Life as a freelancer is not a bed of roses and you know that, I'm sure. It's challenging. It's sometimes disappointing and frustrating. And what better way to learn than to ask those who've been in the business, and have gone all through what we're just starting to cross. So I started a group discussion in LinkedIn and asks:
What Are Your Biggest Freelancing Challenges?
Here's what LinkedIn members has to say:
Ashish Mishra • Hi,
Thats a good question and here is the answer as per my experience-
Its hard to find out work on a regular basis
Less value of your work
and extreme competition
Dmytro Kharchenko • It's harder to find quality personel at fair price at the time when you need it. FL forces you to be fast and keep yourself constantly open to changes.
Donna Bentley • My biggest problem has been my most recent client. I had to quit the job because my client was so hostile. My client had spent over $1,000 on pages to a website, landing page, and sales page. She decided to scrap everything and do a complete new money making campaign with all new designs and felt I owed the new work to her for free because she had already spent money on pages she would not use. It was tense to say the least. I am glad I quit but I did not do so without leaving a complete website for my client. I did the entire site because of my professional attitude not because I felt I owed it to her. We did agree on a small flat rate for the new site and I was paid 1/2 and needed to get out of the project. I can live without the other 1/2 payment knowing that I did finish what I started. I did not leave the new site undone. I provided a complete site for the client.
George Beltzhoover • One of the most difficult parts of freelancing is finding steady work from clients who seem to only use internet-based freelance job boards to find the lowest price.
Patrick McCarthy • “…She decided to scrap everything…” When I worked in the corporate world I was amazed by how many projects were completed, delivered, accepted, paid for and never implemented. Management could have saved a lot of development money by knowing what they were buying BEFORE they bought it.
Mehdi Boutiti • Hello, I'm a new Freelancer from Tunisia. I think that the biggest problem between freelancers and clients is the language; some freelancers who have very good skills from other countries can find many obstacles when communicating with clients. What do you think?
Myra Rose Ilisan • Biggest challenge…oooh wow, does impossible deadlines count?
And somehow that feeling that you are like walking on eggshells, probably wondering when the project ends that would mean you need to look for another job assignment.
George Bang • I have used freelancers from Chandigarh India for three years now. I have found that the easiest way to communicate is via instant messenger. I have some colleagues with whom I have never had a voice to voice. I find that there is much benefit in having an exact transcript, as there can be no doubt as to what has been discussed and agreed upon.
As for you freelancers: I have a piece of advice for you: learn to use the word NO! A good client will be grateful when you tell him that what he is asking for is impossible, impractical or just plain stupid. I think if may be a cultural thing, but I found many freelancers in India could not bring themselves to utter the word no, and it caused much wasted time and resources. A good client LIKES to hear the word no, and if he is NOT a good client, you don't need him.
Donna Bentley • This type of job advertising:
Web 2.0 Web and graphic DESIGNER needed
$3-5/Hr need a freelancer
all work will be monitored by teamviewer, remote screen sharing, REQUIRED
SKILLS NEEDED SLice pages ,and HTML, XHTML, XML, CSS
I NEED A PERSON THAT CAN DO GRAPHICS, ICONS , VECTOR , TEXTURES
$3-5 an hour?? This is a US based company…exploiting the designers outside the US who are skilled and good at what they do. Reality this company would never find a person in the US to do this work for $3-5/hr. That is not even Fed. min. wage.
Daniel DiRico • I'm sure the quality of a $3-5 / hour job isn't that great. As I'm on both ends of oDesk (buyer and a freelancer) it does seem that the buyer end has the greater advantage since there is just so much talent available out there now.
As the economy improves, this will change. So hang in there.
George Beltzhoover • The amount of money some buyers are willing to pay is really insulting! I don't know how a skilled person can work for that small amount of money. Would the buyer work for that amount? I think not!
Vincent McCune • I have been trying to use ODesk but I have not had much success. I charge between $75 and $95 all day long here in Tampa, Florida. I often do find rediculous prices from buyers and it seems that this is more and more a site for US buyers to find offshore vendors. I mean no offense to anyone but I find it hard to believe any North American consultants do work for $5 – $10 per hour.
Another issue I have is the large number of jobs that seem to be “Fishing Expeditions” I have applied for around 12 jobs so far and I believe 8 of them were cancelled with no work being done.
Kartik Goyal • Clients keep changes/adding their requirements, they normally says they will come to know more about things when the site will get developed. Somewhere, to an extent, I am agree with them, as they are developing their website first time. But they normally does not ready to pay for that extra work
All of what they've mentioned are true and there are more to that. Do you have other challenges you want to add? Feel free to share your thoughts. We'd like to hear about them and learn how you have overcome them.