On the surface, freelancing is a great gig. You can lounge at home while getting your work done at your own pace. You don’t have to answer nor delegate to anybody else. You don’t have to deal with the stress of traffic or listening to the endless droning of Dave from across the office.
Because of this, many people look at freelancing as a sort of half-career. They don’t understand how constantly working from home can mean that you work a full-time job. In times like this, it’s best not to argue and just enjoy all the money you are saving on coffees, lunches and petrol, as well as the wasted time you spend in your car.
But the life of a freelancer is not all that sweet. The fact that you don’t have an office or anyone above or below you means that everything is your responsibility. You have to deal with taxes, chasing payments, and god forbid you get sick. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If you feel enticed by the allure of freelancing, then you need to be aware of the trials and tribulations that come with it.
As with any job where you work from home, it is all too easy to be distracted by the TV, pets needing attention and also pretty much anything you can find around the house to avoid doing work. The problem with this is if you don’t get your work done, you aren’t going to get paid.
Try and set yourself up in a spare room or an area without distractions and let the motivation come naturally. It will be frustrating at times, but you need to work to overcome it instead of being consumed.
Along with losing motivation, you might also suffer from loneliness and an element of cabin fever, especially if you live alone or your partner is out of the house all day. This can have a disastrous effect on concentration and lead to you going just a little bit stir crazy.
To combat this, dedicate a time to get out of the house, go for a walk or to the shop, or even go for a run. This will allow your brain to recharge and you will get some much needed fresh air to get you back on track.
Any experienced freelancer will tell you that you will encounter your fair share of unreliable clients during your career. These will either be completely fake, shy away from paying you or simply give you instructions that only the most exceptional cryptographers can decipher.
Thankfully, this does not have to be the end of the world. Services, such as those found on https://www.jumio.com/trusted-identity/netverify/ can help you ensure that you never get bamboozled by any clients, despite how trustworthy they may seem on the surface.
Taxes are a struggle for most people to get their heads around. But at least working for a large company means you have an accounting department to help you with any issues. For freelancers, this is a whole different ballgame.
The last thing you want to do is appear to be cheating on your taxes and so doing proper research into how to complete them, such as filing for self-employment tax, will save you a lot of bother in the long run. If you are ever unsure, check with your local tax office and be as transparent as possible.
Without a dedicated marketing department, it means that it is the sole responsibility of you to promote your business. For those unfamiliar with marketing, this can seem overwhelming at first, and you might feel that you will spend so much time on self-promotion that you won’t have time to do any work.
A successful marketing campaign needs to focus spreading awareness as far as possible. Social media and digital marketing is the perfect tool for this, considering how often people spend online nowadays. However, be careful as too much promotion can quickly turn to spamming, and that will only put people off seeking out your expertise.
GETTING THROUGH IT
If after all this you still feel compelled to get into the freelance game then congratulations! You will probably be more prepared than most others who dive headfirst into the industry. This isn’t supposed to be a post that warns you away from freelancing but is instead a cautionary tale.
You are urged to make sure that you can cope with the low payments, vague requests, and the feeling of constantly chasing your paycheck. With all of this knowledge, you will be able to enter the freelancing world with the knowledge you need and the solutions to overcome any problems.