The freelancing industry is an opportunity-borne platform for anyone and everyone. It is exceptionally huge, and now with the advent and the subsequent advancement of the Internet, it is only growing stronger and more attractive. The convenience offered in a freelance world is irresistible, and this makes it one of the biggest communities in the world
Every year hundreds and thousands of fresh freelancers enter the industry, aiming to make big in their respective career choices. However, many times they are taken aback by a plethora of issues that cannot be easily resolved. In the first few days, fresh freelancers find it difficult to cope with a variety of things—different time zones, creation of a time schedule and what not.
In this article, we have picked up the topic where we would like to draw your attention to initial but major hiccups for fresh freelancers. It becomes important for all the fresh as well as potential freelancers to acquaint themselves with these problems; if they are not adequately prepared, they may end up going through a really troublesome and may be a disappointing experience.
The freelance industry is for everyone, as noted earlier; but the survival is not as convenient as its work environment. In order to survive here in the freelance industry, you must be smart and level-headed—this is especially important for newbies who have to brave many odds to make it to the top.
Remember this: Just because you are new, that does not put a stamp of subordination and inferiority on you. You can deliver as brilliantly as any other professional and highly experienced freelancer, but you must learn from what you know and find out what you may not know.
With this on our mind, let us begin exploring ten problems new freelancers face:
1. Working Time zones
The freelance industry is not geographically limited; it has no borders to hold and no preliminary acceptance criteria to impose. Since there are no geographical limitations in place, you will most likely end up working or would want to work with an international client(s).
The mere thought of this might give you fascinating illusions of money and comfort, but you should not forget that all of this will only happen when you keep your international clients happy, and, trust me, time zones are one of the biggest bottlenecks on your way.
Management of time zones may be little too much for newbies; they will be nervous and too worked up over this matter and this may cause them to commit blunders. Now, the problem will remain until you solve it.
While there are many ways to manage time zones, the most indispensable one is through time converters you can easily find as Apps on your mobile phones. Just put them as widgets on your mobile screen, and you shall remain informed of the time zones.
2. Different currencies
International clients? You will inevitably stumble upon the issue of different currencies. You may work for a Japanese client paying in Yen, and this may worry you a little. Well, fret not, because now things have changed dramatically, and there are many diverse but simple ways to reduce your worries.
First of all, the freelancing world has become accustomed to using U.S. dollar as a transaction constant for many clients, and if your country trades in dollars, well, you have no problems to face.
Second of all, in case your country trades in a different currency, you can avail benefits of Paypal, which is extremely popular among freelancers. Transaction in different currencies is simple and without hassles on this platform.
A tip to all newbies out there: Keep a constant watch on the exchange rate. According to the prevalent exchange, you ascertain your pay rate. An informed freelancer is liked by everyone!
3. Financial management
Many newbies start quite brilliantly and end up earning handsomely. The only problem is that most of them tend to become too lax with their earnings and undergo a period of reckless spending and mismanagement of financial resources. We strongly recommend you fight out this temptation for your own good.
The freelance industry is full of grand opportunities, but it is also vulnerable to destabilizing conditions. Things may go south anytime, and you will not be able to handle it with such a careless and disorganized attitude. Cash crunch and lack of work will seriously hamper your morale and might make you go through horrible experiences.
The regulation of financial resources is imperative—start saving. Spend, but spend judiciously.
4. Man the counter
One of the most common reasons why people switch to freelancing is that we can be our own master; we have contractual obligations, but there is greater freedom of choices and work mannerisms. All of these perks help us work comfortably and with a bigger vision.
You should know comfort is valuable, but if you are repetitively compromising on your worth and time, then you should stop and contemplate a little bit. It is good that you deliver quality to your clients, but if you are unable to achieve this without pushing yourself too hard, almost pushing yourself off the cliff, and making meager profits, then you are not doing good.
If you are going in the wrong direction, you need to stop and start afresh. You switched to freelancing for comfort and profit, and if either of them is missing, you have matters to deliberate upon.
5. Isolation and detachment
There is a common misconception among people that freelancers are obnoxious workaholics, nerds, and socially awkward. These are unwarranted generalizations that should be immediately debunked.
Having said this, we do not completely deny the fact that many freelancers, especially newbies, tend to take their work assignments with exaggerated seriousness when things could be done without pressure and self-torture.
Take it easy—you do not have to work all day all night to finish off assignments. Take advantage of the flexibility freelance gifts you. De-stress yourself everyday by engaging in productive exercises such as morning walks, brunching with friends, watching TV, and what not.
Live your life!
6. Connections are important
Freelancers grow in their respective careers with hard work, punctuality, delivery of quality, and connections. Business connections are important to land yourself on lucrative and better work opportunities.
Meet-up with your clients, if they are locals; organize forums for clients and freelancers to meet-up, discuss on a range of issues, and interact with one and other and establish connections. As your community grows, you will not find a dearth of opportunities even when your current contract is not paying you well due to any number of reasons.
Keep a tab on online blogs and newspapers that occasionally announce the organization of such events. Sign up and attend them—the exercise will really help you develop your career as a freelancer.
7. Knowing what you can and cannot deliver
Newbies tend to get over-excited over work assignments, and their reaction is so unreasonable at times that they compromise on their skills and time management.
Before taking up assignments, give ample of time to yourself and think what you are best at and can deliver on time.
For example, if you are good at product description writing but not academic writing, give preference to the former. Even if the latter offers more lucrative opportunities than the latter, show some restraint, at least for some time until you have worked on the latter and will be able to deliver quality.
Know your skills—do not be a jack of all trades, but master of none. Your reputation will sink, and nobody will be willing to give you work.
When clients ask you to give a detailed account of your preferential work areas, do not over-stuff the details with lies. To avoid conflicts in the future, honesty is a great tool—apply it for your own good.
8. Do not succumb to pressure
If clients know that you are fresh in the field, they may try to subdue you into accepting lower bids. Do not fall into their traps. While we do not recommend placing exorbitant pay bids in your application since you are not experienced yet, but that does not mean you should accept egregiously low pay rates.
In order to avoid getting fooled by such unscrupulous tactics of clients, undertake a comprehensive research on various matters concerning freelancing such as prevalent financial conditions of the freelancing industry, prevalent pay rate in different areas of work, etc.
So, if the clients try to deceive you and influence you into accepting less than what you deserve, you know when to throw facts. As noted above, an informed freelance is liked by everyone but is feared by dishonest clients.
9. Tell them when you can work
If you agree to whatever the clients want, you will end up as one of those stereotypical isolated and nerdy freelancers with no life and say of their own. In the freelance world, both—the clients and the freelancers—stand on more or less same pedestal, and therefore, you must fearlessly express your opinions.
Freelancers are humans too; they might not be able to work at odd hours or subject themselves to narrow deadlines. It, therefore, becomes important for them to convey when they are free to deliver work. Designate an adequate number of hours for freelance assignments and convey the schedule to the client.
If you are lucky and working for a client who is pleasantly flexible with submissions, you can relax a bit, but that does not mean you take your work for granted. Do not take undue advantage of your privileges—otherwise, you will eventually end up suffering.
10. Explore the Internet for opportunities
Do not get stuck with one client or on one website for too long. It is good that you love working with your present client, but you should not let your affections come in the way of your professional growth. Once your career starts blooming, it is advisable that you switch over to better jobs.
There are many, many freelance websites that cater to dynamic needs of clients and freelancers such as freelance.com, worknhire.com, guru.com, upwork.com, and others. These websites may be slightly complicated to use, but once you get your hands on them, you are bound to get access to diverse but amazing work opportunities.