Whether you’re a part-timer or 100 percent devoted to freelancing, this job has its ups and downs.
Freelancing isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be. Whether you’re a part-timer or you’re devoted to it 100 percent, freelancing has its ups and downs.
Don’t get me wrong, making your own money and being your own boss is exhilarating, but as with anything in life there will be moments when you want to throw in the towel.
There will inevitably be moments that will test your ability to stay on your freelancing path. This is especially true in the beginning of any freelancing career when everything seems like (and very well is) one giant learning process.
Freelancing doesn’t come with a manual because everyone’s situation is different. However, there are several resources to help when things get rough. Below you’ll find a list of common freelancing problems and some of the best advice I’ve picked up on my own freelancing journey.
Problem: You’re only landing low paying projects
There are a lot of people out there who will try and get away with paying you a dollar (maybe even less) for 500 words. Agreeing to these fees is an easy trap to fall into — especially when you first start freelancing — because you’ll be inclined to think that it’s standard. Unfortunately, freelancers of all kinds are also notoriously underpaid.
The advice for avoiding this situation? Stay away from these kinds of projects at all costs. There are much more effective ways to land better paying clients such as using social media and blogging.
Problem: Someone hasn’t paid you
This will unfortunately happen at some point in every freelancer’s career. Granted, sometimes life gets in the way and good hearted people simply forget to pay an invoice. When this happens a simple email usually does the trick.
However, sometimes there will be a client that pulls a disappearing act. This is particularly frustrating because you probably put a lot of time and effort into a project and now you’ve got an unpaid credit card bill sitting on your lap.
The solution? Always request a down payment. If a client gives you a hard time about this simply explain that it’s your policy. Hey, freelancers have to eat too!
Problem: There are only 24 hours in a day
When you start making your own schedule everyday you quickly learn that it’s much harder than it seems. If you work full time while freelancing on the side you quickly learn that there are only 24 hours in a day. The fact of the matter is that time management is a common problem among freelancers — a problem that the less disciplined allow to take control over their careers until they eventually quit.
There are a myriad of ways to manage your time. Different things work for different people. One of the best ways to avoid becoming overwhelmed is by only taking on what you can handle. You can also start prioritizing projects by level of importance and make manageable to-do lists to keep you on track throughout the day (the key word here being manageable).
Although freelancing has its frustrating moments, there are ways to cope and ensure that you continue on your freelance path. Don’t let these moments drag down your career. Instead, use them as a learning experience so you’ll know how to handle the situation if it ever comes up again.
Amanda Abella is a personnel administrator for a Miami-based employment agency and a freelance writer. She also runs Grad Meets World, a popular Gen Y blog where she discusses health, career, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and more.