So, you want to be a freelancer? Admittedly, freelancing is exploding as workers discover how the Internet opens innumerable doors of opportunity to leverage their skills and knowledge into a profitable small business. But, do you know what to expect? Many begin their freelancing career on the side as they work a regular job. Are the challenges the same as with launching out into full-time freelancing?
Full-time freelancing, or even just freelancing on the side after your day job, still faces you with the one inescapable demand of freelancing that can get you down. You may already know what it is; or you may think you know. You may even assume it can be different for every freelancer. But you would be wrong.
The Many Demands of Freelancing
Freelancing has many demands that must be met in order to succeed. Freelancing is basically the framework on which to build a business, so the demands are typically similar for everyone, even though the skills you offer clients may vary greatly from other freelancers. For example, there are freelance writers, editors, business coaches, photographers, social media marketers, translators, accountants, and the list goes on and on. What do all these freelancers have in common? These same basic demands.
Turning Out the Work
Freelancing is about performing paid tasks for another, on your own time. Whatever your freelancing specialty or niche, every day you must do the work to which you have been assigned. And do it well.
The one essential demand you must meet for freelance survival is turning out the work you are paid to do, and in sufficient amounts to make a decent living.
Trolling for Clients
Another constant demand for freelancers is trolling for clients. This is a never-ending cycle, because clients come and go for numerous reasons, some sensible and some stupid. But it is a fact.
Clients are your lifeblood. And because they fall away or slack off in their business demands, you need a steady stream of them bringing you work, and/or new work. That is, if you must maintain a certain level of income on which to survive.
Tilling the Soil of the Future
Every freelance business needs to have a plan for the future. If you aim at nothing, you are guaranteed a hit every time. You’ve got to have a plan for building your business over time. And you need a long-range plan that includes how you will exit.
What does your retirement look like? What about an exit plan sometime in the future? To make these things happen in yourfuture, you must lay the groundwork and make things happen today. And tomorrow.
If you haven’t began thinking about these things, it’s never too soon to begin. At least take some time to write down what you want to accomplish through your freelance business over a span of time.
Freelancing’s One Inescapable Demand
Charles Swindoll is an evangelical Christian pastor and prolific author, founder of Insight for Living, headquartered in Plano, Texas. In his book Laugh Again – Experience Outrageous Joy, he makes the following statement:
“The thing about life is it is just so daily.”
Paraphrasing that for the freelancer, it would say, “The one inescapable demand of freelancing is that it is just so daily.” All the demands discussed above, and many others not mentioned, are daily tasks.
That means no spontaneous days to let things ride and do nothing, and face the consequences the next day, or even the next. Your freelance business is what you make of it. Success or failure, it all rides ultimately on you.