Work as a freelancer and you can earn a six figure income! Get paid in dollars. Never have to commute to go to work. And yes, you can do it at your own home. That sounds a lot like an advertisement on the newspaper or website. They sound good, but they may not be entirely true all the time. So today, I'll give you some reality check on what a freelance life is all about. Some of you may already know most of what entails being a freelancer even before you started reading this, but there are things you will only discover and realize once you've already jump into it and started living a freelancer's lifestyle.
Freelancing is too risky with no sense of security
Like every business, a freelancer's life follows the same cycle of highs and lows. Sometimes you get huge earnings with lots of clients flocking to you. But there are also times when it seems like a very calm lake that you will almost drown in its silence. They call it the feast and famine cycle.
This is a very real situation and a very real threat to security. And if you don't know how to navigate, you might just think that it's pointless taking this too much of a risk. I totally agree, that the instability of the work is a concern but it's a manageable risk that can be weathered out if you do the following:
a. Save – It's easy to get drowned with the new lifestyle and sudden change in income. But if you want to make sure you still can get going even after you've lost your major clients, or there's some abrupt in the exchange rate, then saving is your best friend.
b. Keep your clients happy – I never heard anyone who keep his clients satisfied and always feeling a wow experience who've ended up without a job. The truth is, as long as you keep your clients happy, you'll almost sure to keep the client and more than that, get a referral.
c. Diversify your income source – it's either you get another 1 or 2 clients that you can manage or have a local business that you can partner or invest in.
Freelancing is only for those who are good in English
In this global age, if you know English well, and you have other skills to boot, like web development or programming, you are a step ahead in the competition as communication matters a lot in the hiring process. However, being proficient in English is not the sum and all of getting a freelance gig. As long as you can express yourself in the most basic way and you have a good work portfolio, then you should be good to go.
It's also important to note that although most of the freelance works come from English speaking countries such as the US, UK and Australia, you might be forgetting that you can also do freelance work locally. You can also sub contract jobs from locals and therefore may not even need to master English at all.
There's no opportunity for local freelance work
It's not really a question of opportunity in the local area but it's more of a concern of parity in rates. Local freelance jobs would earn you local pay rates which may not be too attractive compared to pay rates in the world market. But if you are willing to explore within your local scope you may find some gems of opportunities that are yet to be tapped. Areas like social media marketing, SEO, web design and development are commonly abundant.
You can choose when or where to work
There is some truth to this statement but it's not always the case. It is true that you can choose who you want to work with, set what time you would like to work, or choose a place where you will do your work. But as a freelancer, you still have to abide by the rules and agreements you set with your employer. Your are not the boss. You still have to work in a quiet room if your client requires you to do so. You simply can't reason out that you're a freelancer and can therefore work on the beach or the rooftop. The statement is the ideal situation that many who have been confined in offices wants to experience. But realistically speaking, this may not always be the kind of job that you will land on specially if you are more concerned with making sure that you don't go into the famine stage of your freelancing.
You will earn huge income every month!
This has been true to many freelancers I know and I can also personally testify that freelancing can make a lightyear of difference to your income. But then again, it's still not absolute or applicable to everyone. Some factors such as skills and expertise, level of competition in your field and experience, play a role in determining your potential earnings. Programming and web development are two of the high paying skills. The same goes with mobile apps development. The bottom line is, if you work hard as a freelancer, you will almost sure to get the earning you deserve, sometimes more than what you expect to receive.
Now it's your turn. Did I forget something to add? Make sure to drop it on the comments.