5 Uncomfortable Things About Being a Freelancer
For many, the idea of working as a freelancer is the ultimate lifestyle. It’s a chance to be your own boss, set your ideal hours, and work from the comfort of your home. However, while it is a worthwhile pursuit, there are some downsides. Although you will be able to set your own hours, you will need to find the work to fill that time, and the irregular pay can be a pain.
Yes, there are some uncomfortable things about being a freelancer. But you can get past the tough times with proper preparation and a desire for success. Let’s talk about how to get past common speedbumps.
If you are just starting your freelance career, then the idea that you will need to find your own clients can be terrifying. Even long-standing freelancers have client droughts from time to time. You can prevent this scary situation by constantly being on the lookout for work. Start by expanding your professional network. Other freelancers might have resources that you can use to find clients that fit your niche.
You should also make it a point to perfect your website and implement proper SEO strategies so clients can find you when they search online. It is just as important that you promote your business when you are offline. Wherever you go, drop off some business cards. Create promotional products with your name on them, so potential clients can remember you when they use them.
As important as it is to gain new customers, it is also essential that you do not alienate anyone in your existing or potential audience of clients. When you are promoting or marketing your business, make sure to avoid offensive language. Keep your personal views private, especially if they are considered radical. Also, cater your marketing to specific clients and don’t stereotype everyone into one group.
Possibly the second most uncomfortable thing about being a freelancer is the fact that you may not get the bi-monthly paycheck that you were used to when you worked for an existing company. You may get a big payday one month and then have a dry spell where you pinch every penny. That is why it is essential that you combat your irregular paycheck with a smart budget.
Sit down and record every single expense that you pay on a monthly basis. Include your essential costs, like rent and utilities, but also account for your flexible expenses, like gym memberships and streaming services. Now, look at the money that you can dependably rely on every month and see if you are falling short. If you are, then you may need to get rid of some of those unnecessary expenses.
If you are really low on cash, then you might consider supplementing your typical freelance work with a side gig like driving for a food delivery service. A temporary side job is a great idea because you won’t be tied down when you get that big freelance client.
While it isn’t great to think about, there will be times when you get difficult clients that are either rude, too demanding, or completely unresponsive. You need to walk the tightrope here because you shouldn’t have to be subjected to rude behavior, but you also don’t want to upset the client and get a bad review.
When it comes to handling difficult clients, it is important to keep your cool and not say anything that will cause additional drama. Think about how you can satisfy the customer’s needs in a way that won’t bite you later on. If the problem is that your client provides complex instructions that are tough to follow, then focus on the final objective. You may be able to deliver an outstanding product that they will still appreciate. When in doubt, stick to the contract that they signed. Don’t do anything that is outside of your comfort zone.
While many of us like our alone time, it can get out of hand when we are a freelancer. Working for hours alone on your laptop can be hard to face after weeks and months. And if you don’t find a way to reconnect with the world, then those feelings of isolation can lead to deeper mental health issues.
If you don’t live with family or friends, then you can find other ways to overcome loneliness as a freelancer. Consider setting up virtual meetings with your clients where you can go over the details of the project over the computer. It is a good way to simulate the idea of working in an office. You can also join groups on social media where you can discuss your work and the frustrations you face each day.
Loved Ones Not Respecting Work Hours
For some freelancers, isolation is not a concern. Instead, they are unable to work due to their family not respecting their job or failing to provide the privacy that is necessary for their work. As a freelancer, it is essential that you set boundaries. In addition to setting a time at the end of each day when you stop working, you also need to set a time when you are dedicated to working. If your family doesn’t respect that, then you may need to come up with a different solution.
If you are working out of the living room, then it might be close to impossible to get things done. So consider working from a quiet coffee shop or renting an office in a co-working space so you can accomplish your tasks in peace.
In the end, there are typically more perks than problems when it comes to working as a freelancer. Think about the situations discussed here and make the right changes in your professional life so you can thrive.
This guest post was authored by Ainsley Lawrence
Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about how business and professionalism intersect with the personal, social, and technological needs of today. She is frequently lost in a good book.
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