Freelancing is most people’s dream work scenario, but not everyone can pull it off. The main mistake most freelancers make when going into freelancing is thinking that it means you’ll do less and earn way more. It is essential to recognize that freelancing is daunting and a full-time job.
If freelancing is your way of escaping the rat race, you need to be ready for the great times and the tough times. Freelancing is an ever-evolving industry, and you need to keep up with these changes. As the world of freelancing changes, many more tools and platforms have come up to aid freelancers in their jobs. It is knowing which tools are best suited for you that helps you keep organized.
Is freelancing all it’s painted out to be?
This depends on what you’ve heard. If you mean that it’s an industry like any other with benefits and drawbacks, then you’re right on the money. Freelancing is not just about working in your pajamas all day and swimming in cash; you need to build a strong foundation first.
It is during the establishment of your footing in freelancing that most of the heavy lifting happens. You’re like an entrepreneur, you’ll have long, hard days and little returns, but once you get out of the initial murk, the sailing is smoother.
What are some of the benefits of freelancing?
The first and most prevalent benefit of freelancing is time freedom. You are not stuck to a 9-5 plan, and you don’t need to brutal commutes every morning to get to work. You work where you are and when you want.
It also boosts creativity. Freelancing gives you enough leeway to explore yourself and your creative bounds. When you’re not stuck to a strict routine, you get more opportunities to discover new ideas and interests that you can pursue.
You’re your own boss.
Being a freelancer means that you’re your own boss. That is quite freeing as you don’t need to answer to anyone but your clients. You’re free to work as you please with no one checking in on your progress or rushing you.
You get to keep the profit.
In an office setup, it doesn’t matter how much money you rake in for the company; your salary remains the same. However, as a freelancer, you get to keep all the profits from the work you’ve done. You are sufficiently renumerated for your efforts, and it feels more rewarding.
Disadvantages of freelancing
There’s two sides to every coin, and some of the disadvantages you’ll encounter in freelancing include:
- Being your own boss
Being your own boss is not all roses and sunshine; it can be very arduous. You are running a business. In a job setting, your boss is responsible for getting you a salary each month; as a freelancer, that responsibility falls squarely on you. You are in charge of handling your clients, getting clients, and making decisions. You’ll need to pay taxes, follow up on payments with clients, and a lot of other tasks that can be quite daunting.
- Dry spells
You’ll often land on dry patches when working as an entrepreneur. Finding steady work can be very tough, and it requires that you manage your projects well enough, as well as your money, to tide you over the tougher times. Finding your next gig after a project can be incredibly difficult.
- You’re very isolated.
Most of your work is done remotely, that is, unless you have a specific place you prefer to work. Freelancer hubs have been created to help reduce isolation. Most of your time will be spent alone, away from a team, which can get lonely and stifle your creativity. Mingling with people every now and then can help alleviate this.
- No benefits
Unlike a traditional work setting, freelancing means you’re responsible for everything, your retirement fund, insurance, and other benefits that might come with a job. This is a huge adjustment for people transitioning from a job to freelancing.
What do I need to get started?
You’ll need a couple of tools to get you started as a freelancer. These include a computer, a workspace, or a home office, and you’ll also need a load of passion in what you do. Every freelancer has their go-to platforms and tools for work. Here are some of the most beneficial items you should invest in as a freelancer:
- Management software
Being a freelancer makes you responsible for every task, from pitching to the client to following up on payments. You need to have an effective way to keep you organized. Therefore, freelancers should invest in project management software and collaboration tools for their work.
A planner is also important as part of your management software to keep track of your projects. Part of this should also include accounting software to help you keep track of your finances and pay taxes on time.
Freelancing means that you are self-employed and therefore responsible for all possible benefits that might have come with a regular job. You are responsible for your insurance as a freelancer. It is therefore crucial that you invest in good health and dental plan.
Your retirement plan also falls on you; you need to set up a retirement plan to live off when you retire. In addition to this, you need to set aside an emergency fund in case you need legal help, workers' compensation, and so much more. As you go into freelancing, it is important that you research these expenses and work out a plan for them.
You need to sell your skills and present them in a way that clients will want you for their work. A portfolio is a great way to show clients the extent of your abilities and passion. Therefore, as you go into freelancing, carve time to work on a portfolio that captures your best work, showcases your passion, and tells clients why you’re the right person for the job.
- Neck massager
You will have long, hard days working on a project, and your muscles will be taunt. You should invest in a neck massager to help you release tension from your neck while you’re working or after work. A good neck massager can help rejuvenate your motivation and help you work on a project longer and faster.
Self-care comes first, even as you try to make money. It is important that you have a comfortable work area and allow your body some comfort for more productivity. Therefore, indulge in a footrest; it is healthy and helps you boost your productivity since your body is well-positioned as you work.
- Website/ social networks
You can’t afford to be a digital ghost when you’re a freelancer. The digital space is perhaps your best asset, a well of information and pool of clients. Therefore, you should set up a web page that your clients can easily find you on, one that showcases your skills.
Social media is also a great tool to use as a freelancer. Set up your social pages to speak for you and your work. Most freelancers today find their clients online; that is where you need to be to catch the big fish.
This should be a starter for any freelancer. You’ll spend most of your time on your computer or on your phone sorting through emails. Having the right computer is crucial, and you should define what you need and invest in it. For some, two screens work magic, and others prefer an external mouse and keyboard. Depending on what you do, pick the right technology to make your work easier.
- An ergonomic chair
An ergonomic chair is designed to cater to your needs and help you achieve maximum productivity in a comfortable sitting position. In most jobs, you’ll be sitting long hours, and therefore, it is imperative that you have the right kind of chair. An ergonomic chair is customizable to your height and support preferences. Get a chair with good support for your back, neck, and arms. Your elbows should always bend 90 degrees when you’re using your computer. Your hips should be straight, and your knees bend 90 degrees to your feet.
You’ll need to send those emails, do some research online, and have meetings with clients. A reliable connection is essential to all freelancers. Slow internet might rob you of opportunities and set you back in your work if it takes too long to download or upload files. Freelancing means that every minute lost is an opportunity to make money that’s slipped through your fingers.
- A standing desk
An overall healthier and more productive choice. A standing desk is a perfect addition to your work corner as a freelancer as it allows you to switch positions from time to time. With a standing desk, you can adjust the height to work while sitting or standing. Take the adjustable standing desk pro series by Flexispot, for instance. It has all the qualities of a modern standing desk fitted with the latest technology. It is height adjustable at the touch of a button and has a greater weight capacity. Not to mention, it is incredibly affordable and easy to use with an excellent surface.
As a freelancer, you need to invest in your business, and this means investing in long-term beneficial products that will make your work easy and improve your productivity. There are more tools that can help you, and the ten listed above can be a great place to start.