Want to start a freelance career? Freelance work has many benefits: independence, control, flexible hours, and the potential to make a lot of money. Before you make that decision, think about these drawbacks.
1) Can you and are you willing to do what it takes?
A freelancer has no backup, no wingman, no one to bail you out. The job is completely up to you, or at least your part of the job. Can you accept that? Do you have the skills, experience, and determination to get it done? Freelancing isn’t easy, and bad customer experiences can make you look bad too.
2) Are you a closer?
Getting freelance work isn’t about the number of social media sites or contacts you have. It is about telling the customer how you will do the job, in their time, and within budget. Social media sites – LinkedIn in particular – are great, but don’t replace a firm handshake or personal contact. And once in the door, do you have the personality to close the deal? You have to always sell yourself and always close the deal.
If you can’t or are not comfortable selling yourself and the services you bring, freelancing may not be for you. You must be able to sell and react to changes in client demand and expectations.
3) Do you have the time?
Freelancing is not a 9 to 5 job at all. It is closer to a 50 or 60 hour workweek or more. Other than the actual consulting (freelancing) work, you will have lots of paperwork (billing, taxes, education),work on getting the next client (while still on the current job), and of course every little task a small business needs to do. As a freelancer, you have no staff and need to handle everything yourself.
Can you put in the time needed? If you can confidentially answer yes to all of the above, you may be ready for a freelance career. If you can’t, perhaps part-time freelancing is a better choice at this time.