If you want something badly enough in life, you can make it happen. Becoming a freelancer requires hard work, dedication, and a lot of self-motivation. Providing you have a skill (or perhaps multiple skills), you can advertise your services on various freelance platforms and begin to build a client base for yourself.
Providing you stick at it and are willing to learn and adapt, you will soon succeed in freelancing. However, some people get caught up in negative thinking when they plan on going their own way, which often prevents them from achieving their personal goals. Let’s take a look at ten myths about Freelancing that you should ignore if you wish to grow and become successful.
1. You have no boss.
While it’s true that you don’t take orders from a specified individual within a corporate structure, you need to understand that every client you work with becomes your boss. As a freelancer, it’s your responsibility to ensure your clients are totally satisfied with your work and their requirements are met. You should go above and beyond to make them happy in order to build a good rapport with them and hope they will come back for more business in the future.
2. You have to be an expert.
What is an expert anyway? Is it someone with a Masters’ degree or Ph.D.? There’s a common misconception that to make a living from freelancing, you must be an industry-leading expert. While you must be proficient, professional, and dedicated, you will learn as you go, and as long as you’re open-minded and receptive to feedback, you will hone your skills over time so you can improve your end product.
3. All clients are bad.
In all walks of life, we come across negative and rude people; unfortunately, it’s just a part of human nature, and we need to get on with it. In your time as a freelancer, you will undoubtedly encounter some difficult clients, but it’s vital you don’t let them get you down. For every single negative experience, there will be one hundred positive ones, so don’t let your experiences be defined by challenging clients.
4. Your rate has to be the lowest to win a gig.
Don’t confuse being good value for being cheap. Good value means you’re fairly priced and will offer great service for the cost. Lowering your price to an unsustainable level might get you business in the short-term, but it’s not a plausible long-term solution. Also, people looking for quality freelancers will understand the going rate, so pricing yourself too cheaply will rule you out.
5. You don’t need people-skills to freelance.
Although much of your work is likely to be done behind a computer screen, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need people skills to be a successful freelancer. When communicating with potential clients, you must be polite, accommodating, and punctual and ensure you treat them with the respect they deserve. If you treat your clients poorly, don’t expect any repeat customers, and you will see your reputation deteriorate, too.
6. Freelancing cannot be done part-time.
Most freelancers start their careers while working another job. This enables them to transition into their new work without having to worry too much about meeting income targets in the early days. This relieves some of the pressure and allows them to focus on refining their processes. It then gives them the opportunity to make the leap to full-time freelancing if they choose, whenever the time is right.
7. Freelancers can take time off whenever they feel like it.
Although you are in full control over your time and can schedule vacations when it’s convenient for you, as a freelancer, you aren’t entitled to holiday pay like you are if you work for a company. This means that you need to manage your workload accordingly so you can earn enough money to cover your bills when you take some time off. What’s more, when working with ongoing clients, if you randomly take time off without informing them, they will become frustrated by your unreliability.
8. You need to have multiple skills or a large portfolio.
While many freelancers will eventually build their portfolios and diversify as they become more experienced, they commonly start out by offering just one service to their clients. This is the best approach, as it allows you to focus your efforts in one area without stretching yourself too thin as you’re just starting out. Feel free to add more skills to your portfolio when you have more clients and confidence.
9. You don’t have to dress up for work.
This is really down to personal preference. However, if you sit in front of your PC all day in your boxer shorts and yesterday’s t-shirt, it’s going to be difficult to remain productive and motivated. While you don’t need to opt for a suit and tie, showering and getting dressed up before sitting down to work is an important part of a freelancer’s day and will ensure you are in the right frame of mind to work.
10. You can’t make a living when freelancing.
One of the most liberating things about freelancing is that you set your own prices. You should do this by bearing in mind what your living expenses are and how much you would like to spend on yourself each month. With this in mind, you can then set yourself goals regarding how much business you need to bring in each month, and you’ll find that providing you develop a track record for making your clients happy, you will be able to build up a living wage from your freelancing work alone.
There’s never been a better time to become a freelancer. Opportunities abound for motivated, dedicated self-starters, and providing you’re committed and hard-working, you can make a good living for yourself. You shouldn’t listen to myths that are spread about freelancing, as they will only serve to discourage you and will detract your attention from achieving your personal goals.