The things nobody tells you about being a freelancer

 Well hello to you my reader chums! I've been wanting to be a freelance writer since I was in my teens; the thought of doing my favourite thing of writing, and working on my accord sounded like a dream to me. I've been freelancing since April this year and I love being my own boss, searching for clients I like and taking on projects which I'm passionate about.

However, freelancing is anything but easy and I've learnt a lot since starting out - many things I didn't know and other things I wasn't aware fully of.

If you're planning to start freelancing or in the early stages, here are the things nobody tells you about being a freelancer. 

The things nobody tells you about being a freelancer

It's either really busy or quiet - there's no in-between

This wave of work is something I'm getting used to as both being really busy and quiet have their cons - and it's about learning how to cope with both of these. Each month for me is either having too much work or being so quiet, I'm worried work will come in. I find the busy months are easy to cope with by organising my calendar and booking breaks, whilst the quiet times I use for working on my own business growth and building new connections.

Lots of admin is involved

The admin is real. If you've ever worked in an admin role, you'd know the types of tasks which are involved for a business. As a freelancer, you'll need to do this yourself (unless you hire an employee). This admin can involve sending invoices, emailing, website updates, organising business meetings and managing workloads.

Invoice chasing is real

Sending invoices is all part of being a freelancer to get paid for your products and services. However, what I've noticed is how for freelancers, many businesses won't take the invoices as seriously as employees' wages and sometimes, they're delayed. This means you'll likely be chasing invoices in one way or another. The best thing to do is to have a contract in place, especially if it's a retainer client as then they'll know which day payment is due.

Freelancing isn't as shiny as LinkedIn makes it sound

Scrolling on LinkedIn is a blessing and a curse as there are plenty of posts which gloat about how they've made millions of pounds as a freelancer. However, in reality, the majority of freelancers don't earn big cheques of money like that. It's possible to be successful and make an exceptional living after years in the business, and committing to it, but not overnight. Don't compare yourself to the people on LinkedIn as like any other social media platform, it's a showreel of people's lives and a form of pushing sales for courses.

Building a client base takes work and time

This leads me to this: for any substantial business, it takes time to build it up and it's the same with freelancing. It takes time to make connections and build up a client base of retainer clients, project-based clients and those who are going to refer you. This isn't going to happen overnight so don't try and rush the process or expect success a week in, because that's very unlikely. 

You're HR, marketing, CEO and everything in between

Typically as a freelancer, it's just you running the whole gig, from being the CEO to all the other teams. You'll be your own HR, booking in holidays, and sick days and your own marketing team, learning to promote yourself and build your personal brand on different channels. Likewise, you'll be in the accounts team, sorting your invoicing, income and tax. Unless you outsource for other essential roles in a business, you'll be doing this all yourself and need to make the time for that or do the training. 

Time management and communication skills are crucial

Freelancing takes many skills, however, two of the most important ones I've learned are time management and communication. As you're your own boss, you'll need to get used to learning how long it takes you to do a certain task, work on a project and spend in meetings - as it can help you map out your income projection and the total time everything takes you. Whilst with communication, it's how you present yourself to potential clients, current clients and past clients, as well as other business professionals you'll meet along the way. Communicating effectively will help with better results, in person and virtually.

It's constant grafting and showing your worth

Freelancing is tough. It means constantly grafting and working at building those connections and pitching for work. New business should always be in your mind. Constant grafting means showing your worth as many people may want to lower your rates or don't understand why you charge as much as you do for your business.

I hope you enjoyed this post. What else would you add?

Thank you for reading <3

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