5 Freelancing Issues and How You Can Solve Them

Five-Freelancing-Issues-and-How-You-Can-Solve-Them

While we believe that working as a freelancer or freelancing is an awesome way to live your life, it’s not entirely stress and hassle-free. In fact, freelancers experience issues in freelancing just like any other professional, which can often be challenging to manage. To help you overcome the most common problems that freelancers face in their day-to-day lives, we’ve introduced you to five challenges and potential solutions that will help you to stay motivated to continue your self-employed adventure.

1. It’s easy to get distracted.

Working from home on your own time is liberating. But it’s also super easy to get distracted. Whether it’s your kids, pets, or spouse, working from home can be demanding on your attention. What’s more, the fact that Netflix or your favourite video game is a mere tap of the screen away can be distracting for many! To help avoid some of the distractions of working as a freelancer, try the following:

  • Designate a specific home workstation that is specifically for work. Clear your desk from distractions and be disciplined with your work rules.
  • Work elsewhere. If working from home is too distracting, consider looking for a communal workspace in your city, or head to the local library to improve your focus.
  • Plan your working day around your family. Try and get all of your work done while the kids are in bed or at school, and allow yourself free time when they come home!

2. Managing your workflow is tough. 

Freelancers are often in a state of flux when it comes to managing and regulating their workflow. At certain times of the year, you might be totally overworked and having to turn down big projects, while at other times, you might have nothing on the horizon at all. To try and strike a good balance, consider the following:

  • Reach out to your clients when things are slow. If you have some time in your diary, drop a courteous message to your current clients and ask them if they have any work for you. The worst they can say is no, so it’s definitely worth asking!
  • Develop a portfolio of clients, and don’t put all of your eggs in the same basket. While it can be tempting to work for a select few customers, doing so can jeopardize your success if the work dries up.
  • Network on social media and LinkedIn to increase your professional network. The more people you connect with, the more chance you have to find the work you desire.

3. Working for yourself can be lonely. 

While some people relish the thought of working alone, it can be daunting for others. Most freelancers spend a large proportion of their time sitting in front of their PC, with little human interaction between projects. So naturally, things can get lonely, particularly if you live on your own. To combat the feelings of loneliness that you feel as a freelancer, you could try the following:

  • Only accept projects that you actually enjoy. If you’re tirelessly working away on a project that bores you, it can be hard to stay motivated, and your mind can wander. If you’re financially able to do so, only take on work that sets your pulse racing, and say no to the projects that send you to sleep!
  • Connect with your clients online. Depending on the scope of a project, you might find it helpful to set up a quick Zoom call with your clients to understand the brief fully. Speaking face-to-face helps to build a rapport and will increase your network.
  • Interact with your fellow freelancers. It can be gratifying to collaborate on specific projects with other freelancers, so reach out and put together your own mini team of co-workers.

4. Some clients are difficult to deal with. 

While most freelancers enjoy developing personable and meaningful relationships with their clients, it doesn’t always go to plan. You are bound to come across a difficult client or perhaps someone who is a little rude once in a while, but you shouldn’t let it get you down. If you experience a difficult client, the following tips will help you deal with the situation positively:

  • Politely turn down the work that they offer you. If you have a bad feeling about a client from your initial exchanges, go with your gut instinct and turn down their work offer. It’s better to avoid potentially negative situations if you can, so trust your instincts and only work with clients who give off positive vibes.
  • Communicate efficiently. Lots of negative freelancer-client experiences result from poor communication. Respond to any messages in a timely manner and inform your clients how best to keep in touch with you.
  • Develop an agreement that outlines the terms of your service. Once in a while, you will come across a client who expects you to deliver the earth on top of your agreed gig. To manage their expectations, it’s a good idea to ask them to agree to your terms of service before starting your work.

5. Financial stability is hard to achieve as a freelancer.  

Most freelancers don’t have a regular income stream and find that their earnings fluctuate significantly from month to month. For example, one month you might be lucky to pick up $1,000, whereas the following month, you bring in more than $4,000. When your income fluctuates so much, it can be challenging to manage your finances and pay your bills. Here’s how you can improve your financial management as a freelancer:

  • Create and stick to a budget. When you’re not guaranteed a specific monthly salary, you need to be mindful of your income and expenditure, and a budget is a perfect way to do this. Check out a resource like You Need a Budget to get you started.
  • Open a savings account. Being self-employed, it’s important to set up an ‘emergency fund’ should anything happen to you that affects your ability to work. When you’ve had a good month, transfer a good chunk of your earnings into your savings, which can then be accessed if things tighten up.
  • Avoid impulse purchases. Buying on impulse isn’t great full stop, but it’s a bad idea if you’re self-employed. You’re much better served transferring your surplus income to your savings account instead of splashing out on a fancy new purchase just because the money is in your account.

Final thoughts.

The vast majority of freelancers love the freedom that their lifestyle affords them. There are many aspects of working in the gig economy that are challenging, so it’s essential to recognize and deal with them as best you can. The five issues that we’ve introduced in this post will resonate with many freelancers, so we hope you’ve found it useful to see some of the potential solutions to some of freelancing’s most pressing challenges.

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