Freelancing is increasingly becoming the dream career for most of us. In fact, an increasing number of people are choosing freelancing as a profession, as the freelance lifestyle looks perfect in every way to most of us. But some do continue to raise their eyebrows when we talk of freelancing.
But the fact of the matter is who would not want to be their own boss and the freedom to manage their own work schedule? Freelancing offers you the choice to choose the projects you wish to work on and of course decline those that least interest you. Moreover, there are no holiday restrictions or commuting dilemmas. So what more could you ask for as an independent professional?
With that said, it is still important to understand that freelancing requires dedication, discipline, and time management in order to accomplish success as a solopreneur. But this should not be a barrier for those willing to carve a niche for themselves in the freelance marketplace. What we learn from the lives of experienced freelancers is that they have lived a life of complete dedication and discipline once they said it quits to their 9 to 5 jobs. So does that mean freelancing lifestyle isn’t anything about the much-cherished freedom and flexibility?
We will come back to it later.
Freelancers are a great force and are changing the way we work. Gone are the days of the traditional job market, which is gradually transforming into the freelance economy.
See also: How to Finds Jobs in the Sharing Economy
If we were to define freelancing, we could say it is flexible, independent, gig-based, and full of exciting opportunities. When you choose to be a freelancer, you have got to be brave, stable, and determined in order to taste long-term success in this industry. Freelancing does take a ton of work – right from creating your business plan to finding work to creating a brand. The hustle & hard work doesn’t end here. You have to keep looking for work when you are already busy so that there is no lull in your business and the work keeps tickling in to keep you busy.
But the amount of flexibility & freedom that you get by working as a freelancer is matchless. Let’s dig deeper into it.
When you decide to make the switch to freelancing, find a field you are passionate about and specialize in. Can you do better than others? Do you know your market well? When it comes to choosing your niche, you must be confident that you can do justice to your passion, excel in the field, and stand out in the competition.
As a freelancer, you need to specialize in your specific field, but simultaneously have some marketing know-how, since it’s you and you alone who are responsible for selling your personal brand and services. If you won’t spread the word about your services, who else will?
Of course, you do not need to become a marketing specialist, but at least be well-versed with the basics so that you can portray a positive and impressive image of yourself before your audience and convince them to buy your specialist services.
How can you sell your services?
Visibility brings you and your services before your target audience. As an independent professional, you ought to choose a few platforms where you can make your work shine before the right audience. There are some reliable on-demand freelance marketplaces, such as Peer Hustle, which have been set up for independent contractors to showcase their skills before a bigger audience that includes potential clients.
These platforms give you the much-needed support to make the switch over to your dream career and become part of the rapidly growing freelancing market segment.
New Breed of On-Demand Marketplaces Emerges
The emergence of freelance marketplaces has given the best platform for people willing to pursue the flexibility of independent careers. When I decided to quit my stead job, these marketplaces had just emerged on the scene. Slowly but steadily, freelancers have found a goldmine in these work-from-home platforms that connect them with potential clients.
Becoming a member of these freelancing platforms has helped me extend my reach to a vast global audience and diverse client base. Today, I have a huge happy & satisfied client base from all across the globe.
Could I be happier?
Evolving Freelance Marketplace
Initially the freelance platforms were focused on basic skills, including coding, data entry, and other simple tech tasks. However, soon these marketplaces started to bring other skills under their banner. The focus then shifted to include writing and research, marketing, translation, design, data analysis, and virtual assistant gigs.
Soon freelancing earned the nomenclature of shared economy, with these marketplaces placing a focus on ‘skills’ and ‘knowledge’ and matching the right skills with the right requirements.
As more and more people pursue the flexibility of independent careers, on-demand freelancing platforms offer hope to a majority of skilled professionals that want to quit their steady jobs. Certainly self-employment has undergone a technological makeover, with the development of an ecosystem focused on flexible working.
An increasing number of organizations are looking for skilled workers to fill in their temporary positions and thus benefit from the rewards of the shared economy.
Talk to any experienced freelancer and they will not hesitate to give credit for their success in the collaborative economy to some of these networks that make peer-to-peer lending seamless.
Time Management – Key to Freelancer Success
The freelancer lifestyle may seem lethargic to some. But those who are actually part of the gig economy can only tell about their active lifestyle and the amount of perseverance and time management required on their part to succeed in the marketplace.
Successful freelancers will talk in length about the importance of time management. Of course, it is something that every person dreaming of an independent career must master, as working on your own can bring in a sense of carelessness. You don’t want to ruin your dream career by being reckless. It is critically important to manage time and remind yourself of a deadline approaching soon.
An important aspect of managing time is being organized. Organize your time and try breaking projects into sub-tasks or shorter goals. You want to stay focused on the projects at hand, so it is important not to indulge too much in multitasking.
It may help to organize your tasks based on urgency and priority. Use a work calendar to stay organized. Don’t forget to schedule small breaks for tea, snacks, and exercise. After all, your body and mind both need some small breaks to rejuvenate before you get back to work!
When you start working as a solopreneur, you are already aware that it is a journey you alone have to take. But does that mean you ought to remain in isolation? Of course, not! You could become part of groups, where you get face to face with other freelancers and get an opportunity to learn new tips and hacks in the industry.
Joining support groups of like-minded people will give you a platform to enjoy a much-needed break from work. Experienced freelancers understand how important it is to discuss and share experiences. These social groups give a forum to celebrate your success. You would appreciate and welcome the encouragement and support from other freelancers in the groups, who understand the challenges of being self-employed and have hordes of tips to guide you on your way forward.
Who knows you might get some great tips and advice from experienced hands on finding clients and keeping them or even tricks to handle non-paying customers. You could also get some advice on rates & contracts, and the list is endless. Truly, this kind of support can help you sail through tough times, which are the quiet times when there is a lull in the work flow.
Learn tips to understand the freelance environment and how to grow and expand your market and establish yourself in the field.
Freelancing Lifestyle: Live Your Life Your Way
One of the biggest advantages of working in the freelance industry is that you have the flexibility to manage your work schedule and arrange your time freely. Thus you can do a lot many activities that your friends in full-time jobs cannot even think of doing.
Give yourself the space to live your life your way by choosing a freelancing career. After getting into the shoes of a solopreneur, I have found myself lucky enough to find some time to indulge in creative activities that I couldn’t even dream of while working in a steady job. Freelancing has given me new wings to fly and try my hands at different things while maintaining my focus on work while working.
True, there are both pros and cons to a freelance lifestyle. But it’s the pros that have kept me freelancing for over seven years. Again, it’s the pros that I do not want to go back to a steady job. Thanks again to the pros that I have never looked back to the soul-sucking 9 to 5 jobs. Who would mind being their own boss when there is too much flexibility and freedom to decide what you do? Of course, not me!
Freelancing is an exciting career opportunity, which requires you to be brave, stable, and determined. But if you are missing on any of these traits, this isn’t the best career choice for you.
Ian Balina is the Founder of Peer Hustle, an on-demand freelancer mobile marketplace.