As technology continues to innovate, more and more people are leaving their 9-5 grind to embrace the freelance life. In fact, recent statistics show that 40% of the entire workforce will be freelancers by 2020.
The freelance life offers rewarding perks that regular employees are dying to have. The flexibility and freedom to work anywhere are the popular reasons why people jump into freelancing. Some love the fact that they can earn while pursuing their passion.
Parents, on the other hand, see freelancing as an opportunity to watch their kids grow while building their careers.
Though freelancing seems like a dreamy road to take, it’s not always strewn with roses. In reality, it’s a rough and challenging path.
If you’re thinking about transitioning to freelancing, ask yourself first if you’re ready to quit your 9-5 job.
Here are the signs that it’s time for you to take the leap.
Your efforts seem futile
There are times when you work hard to reach a certain goal but all your efforts remain unnoticed. Your boss doesn’t seem to recognize your awesome performance. You find yourself thinking, “Is this still worth it?”
You’re dragging yourself to work
It will come to a point when you wake up one morning feeling too lazy to prep up. This indicates that you have reached your “boiling point”. It’s not just a simple mood swing. You feel it because you don’t see value in what you do. In other words, your fire is no longer burning.
Hours become longer and pays become scarce
When you’re in a regular job, your salary is fixed. You’ll get the same amount of income mid and end of the month unless you spend extra hours in the office. But of course, working overtime prevents you from enjoying life or spending more time with your family.
If you are starting to feel these signs, then it’s time to take the plunge.
But before you write that resignation letter, let’s discuss the few things you need to consider before entering the freelance world.
Timing is important
Transitioning from an employee to a freelancer is not a walk in the park. There are various challenges that you’ll encounter, including getting projects and clients. Some freelancers searched for clients for months before they found decent-paying gigs.
You need to assure that everything is all set before you switch over. Make sure that you have enough money in the bank to make both ends meet while waiting to have a client and get paid.
You must change your mindset
Freelancers don’t do easy work, contrary to popular belief.
As a freelancer, there are deadlines you need to meet and clients to satisfy. You have to be emotionally and mentally ready to hustle and put extra efforts to your works.
In addition, having a growth mindset is a must to be a successful freelancer. You need to develop your skills to stay relevant in the industry. Remember that many people are jumping into freelancing, which means you can be replaced anytime by someone who’s better than you.
You must let go of your employee mindset as well. Freelancing is no different from setting up your own business. You manage your finances, look for clients, and upgrade your skills.
Personal brand and networking matters
For starters, it is necessary that you establish your personal brand.
Nowadays, it’s easier to do it. You can use social media to build your personal brand. Create a page for your services or simply include your expertise in your bio. You can also join discussions, share your works, and provide valuable information to your fellow freelancers.
Networking is a skill you must accumulate as well as a freelancer. Being detached from the corporate world can be lonely, and networking can save your mental health.
You should learn how to connect with other freelancers. This won’t only do wonders for your sanity, but to your knowledge and growth too. You’ll have the chance to learn from the experts and get tips from them.
Like what we mentioned earlier, freelancing is not an easy path to take. There are ups and downs, success stories and failures.
Here are some tips on how you can boost your job security as a freelancer.
This sounds scary, but your contracts can end anytime with little notice from your client. The best way to handle this is to ensure that you have other sources of work.
Try to expand your skills and explore other varieties of services and industries. Invest in workshops, webinars, and masterclasses that will help you improve your craft. This way, when one client ends your contract, you’ll have the confidence and skills to look for better projects.
Be financially smart
Freelancing can’t promise you a stable flow of income. There are times when projects become less frequent, so spend your earnings wisely.
Being a better negotiator will help you surpass the hurdles as well. Know your worth and learn to ask for a higher rate if you have to. Just make sure that you’re providing excellent services, so your clients won’t hesitate to give you what you deserve.
Make a contract
While most clients are trustworthy and will pay on time, this doesn’t mean that you work on purely trust and confidence alone. Make sure that everything is in writing including your payment terms, the due date, and the mode of payment as well. Is it through PayPal, Payoneer or via direct transfer to your bank? Everything should be documented to protect you and your services.
As a new freelancer, it’s important for you to know that freelance life is full of tough realities and unique challenges. But if you’re driven by passion and you know exactly why you want it, the rough road will be rewarding to take.
Build your brand’s voice, reach out to your market, and create a strong online presence through online marketing!
NextStep will help you extend your brand’s reach to China through WeChat and Weibo Marketing. Go local with content in Chinese, English, and French.
Contact us today and get to know more about our services!