top of page

12 Difficulties Every Freelancer Faces and Tips To Overcome These Problems

Updated: Mar 26

There is an increasing demand for self-employed freelancers around the world. This demand keeps on growing which makes other creators attracted to freelancing. Many enter this world of freelancing in the hope of making a full-time career out of it, and some use freelancing as a source of side part-time income.

Freelancing provides a good opportunity for individuals to work on both online and offline platforms. Local Freelancing is well known for those who already established a network of client base inside their town, whereas online freelancing is far more diverse and you don't always need a good client base to start working with.


With the popularity of digital media on the rise, fields like video editing, graphic designing, web development, coding, and many others are catching the eyes of people. Self-employment gives freedom from all the burden that comes with a typical job and freelancing is a great way of earning, and that helps students to handle their expenses without getting an actual job.

Types of Freelancing Jobs:

There are hundreds of fields to start freelancing but these are some of the major skills-related freelancing jobs that one can choose from:

  • Graphic Designing

  • Video Editing

  • Web Design

  • Photography

  • Writing

  • Coding

  • Digital Marketing

  • App Development

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)


Working as a freelancer isn't a tough job, but an experienced freelancer could agree on the fact that it's also not an easy one. Freelancers face problems as a beginners, as well as being an experienced seller. These problems sometimes become so frustrating that one might even question at one point whether to continue in this field of line or not.

Let's discuss 12 common difficulties that a freelancer can relate to.

1. Getting the First Project

One thing that most beginner freelancers can relate to is getting their first project. Having some skills is one thing but expressing your skill is another. It's tough to convince someone to buy your services in the beginning and could become more challenging if your communication skills are not that good.

There is a tough competition out there with a limited amount of work and everyone out there wants to pick a work best suitable for them. Your first project will boost your confidence for upcoming projects and help you prepare for your next project.


  1. A Good communication skill is a must as you may get a few projects in the beginning but later your interacting skills will play a key role in getting you future projects.

  2. Working on your portfolio even before stepping into freelancing can help you get your first project with less effort.

2. Getting Good Ratings/Reviews

Rating is an important factor when it comes to selling your services online. Getting a rating means stars given by a buyer for the service you provided that range from 1 to 5. Most freelancing sites allow ratings to define the tier of a seller. A good rating increases the possibility of boosting your profile and helping potential future buyers.

Rating is not a thing in local selling but there is a work value that you should never underestimate. Your ability to provide quality work is a virtual rating that you can't see in number but a client noticing your efforts and spreading your name is enough rating for you.

We all try to deliver services in the best possible way and that also applies in our beginning projects. If your project doesn't turn out to be good, then you should not be afraid of getting bad reviews. Be always prepared, ready to learn lessons, and follow some tips.


  1. Always work on details provided by the buyer and try not to go completely on your own. Even if the end result of a project isn't up to the mark, a client will always value your efforts on those small details that they provided.

  2. There is no shame in asking for a review after handing over your project to a client. Reviews are more impactful than ratings.

3. Project Pricing

Pricing your services right is an important factor that many of the freelancers are still struggling with. Project pricing simply gives buyers a clear idea of what they are going to get when buying your services in a specified price range. Many freelancers in the attempt of competition feel desperate and make mistakes of pricing their services either too expensive or too cheap.

Your pricing must match the level of output you can deliver. Regular buyers are always willing to pay you good money in exchange for your services as cheap is not what they are looking for. You can go for low pricing in the beginning to get initial sales.


  1. Research on what price competitors are charging for the same service you are willing to provide. This will give you a clear idea of what price you should set for your project.

  2. Never feel afraid to price your services higher (Not too much), if you think you can deliver better work at that price range then go for it.

4. Personal Expenses

Financial problems are a thing that affects everyone from the rich to the middle class to the poor. We all can agree on the fact that one field of the line can't benefit everyone at the same time, and neither does freelancing. Many new creators start freelancing in the hope of making a stable income out of it, but only some of them make it big as there are a limited number of buyers compared to the sellers.

Freelancers do face financial setbacks and most importantly beginners. Even experienced sellers have to face this issue who have been in this industry for many years. Some of them completely rely on earning from freelance projects and it affects their personal expenses when they don't get work for a day or two.


  1. Start working on polishing your portfolio, set project pricing right, and limit your expenses. Don't spend too much money on your hardware in the beginning, instead buy something affordable and later upgrade it one by one.

  2. Freelancers should always have a backup income source or savings as it won't put mental pressure on them. This applies to both beginner and reputed professional freelancers.

5. Finding Work Regularly

Working as a freelancer means dealing with clients on a daily basis, looking for the next work, bidding on projects, and so on. Many freelancers around the world face a situation where they get several projects easily depending on their skills but struggle when finding their next project. Getting a work is one thing but keeping on getting the work is another.

Freelancers have to keep on looking for work regularly even while working on a project. This situation gets frustrating when you have no client base.


  1. Building a healthy relationship with previous clients may help you get future projects. Make good contacts with them, have a better understanding of what kind of work they require, and always be open to suggestions.

  2. Freelancers must work on building a network of high-value clients and their trust. High-value work can provide you with enough income with just a few projects so that you won't have to look for work very often.

6. Client's Trust

Handling your clients can be done easily if you have proper knowledge of what they asking for and what you can offer them. They can offer you a work at a glance and you may have to deliver that work according to their requirements, but that doesn't guarantee that they are going to offer you another work in the near future. These situations occur when a client values your work but doesn't trust you for their future projects.

Winning your client's trust must be a priority and simply depend on your interaction and delivered work. Clients can sometimes become moody and one can't always predict whether they are interested in working with you again or not.


  1. Having extra knowledge in a field can make you stand out in front of all other freelancers and might help you get recognized and trustworthy by a client.

  2. Always pick a work which you can deliver as required and on time. Clients do value such efforts and that can play a key role in getting a client's trust.

7. Tight Deadlines

Apart from personal work, all the work around the world comes up with a deadline which should be met on time to avoid any problems. Tight deadlines are a headache in the work field not just for regular employees of a job, but also for freelancers. Yes, freelancers are their own bosses, they make their own time but even they have to follow the rule of delivering the work before the deadline.

Freelancers pick as many projects as possible depending on their capability and expertise. Even with having a single project at a time, a tight deadline can affect their other work.


  1. Pick your projects accordingly while taking your other work schedule into consideration. Never let work interfere with your personal time, so make a better schedule.

  2. Don't always go for more projects, instead choose quality projects that you can deliver on time and those projects that can make a good impression in your portfolio. A project that is worth your time.

8. Client's Expectations

Sometimes you encounter such clients who may not have the same basic expertise in the field as compared to you or maybe there aren't many highlighted details provided by them in the work proposal. Client demand is always the main priority and should not be taken lightly. But it's actually quite difficult to look through the client's vision. The project's deadline is decided by the client, but what they want and how they want is what a freelancer has to figure out.

Clients don't always get straightforward about what they are looking for and that creates a barrier between them and a freelancer. Or maybe a client might expect something extraordinary from your final output. Matching a client's expectations can go sideways if you don't figure out what exactly they want. Not working up to their expectations will create your bad image and that is not good for your future projects.


  1. Be clear about what you can deliver, and show your clients a complete portfolio of your expertise so that they don't take any wrong idea about how you work and have different expectations.

  2. If you think you can't work up to their demands, then there is no need to opt for the project in the first place or you can talk them through about what you can offer.

9. Time Management

Freelancing is time-consuming and requires proper work scheduling in order to meet your deadline. Managing your time for freelancing can be hard when you get surrounded by your family, studies, tight deadlines, and work schedule.

Time management is a skill that only a few creators possess. There should be a line between workspace and personal time to keep them from mixing together.


  1. Making a proper time schedule must be the first priority. The earlier you start to manage your time, the better it gets over time.

  2. Always Track your time, and know when to start, when to stop, and when to take a break. Taking small steps and repeating them on a daily basis will result in better time management.

10. Keeping Productivity

There is no perfection in any field, everyone has their own flaws, limits, and boundaries. Even if someone is far more experienced and skillful, being productive is not always possible and freelancers working on a daily basis face this problem from time to time.

One can't always come up with unique ideas and maintain their skill set. There must be some daily routines and rules to follow in order to keep your productivity.


  1. Create a To-Do List, eliminate distractions, and take some time for yourself. When you take a break from work, your mind refreshes and helps you in finding ideas in small things.

  2. Identify flaws in your skill set and use the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle.

11. Competition

Competition is everywhere. Be it education, sports, or the corporate sector you can't deny the fact that competition is getting stronger as more and more people are taking an interest in these fields. Freelancers do face competition when it comes to getting projects. Getting the first project, finding work regularly and personal expenses are the difficulties caused by such competition.

There has been astonishing growth in a number of freelancers after the 2020 lockdown, but the competition was always been there. The number of buyers is limited as compared to freelancers and that creates tough competition out there.

Competition is good for skill buildup and thinking about eliminating it is not going to work in anyone's favor.


  1. Working on your skills and keeping track of the competitors is what can bring a profitable outcome out of it. Notice what's in the trend and learn it as early as possible.

  2. No external technique works in a competition, but improving your work and polishing your portfolio can do some magic. Not even your competitors are perfect, so do believe in your work. If not today, but someday your consistency may result in your success.

12. Low Freelancing Benefits

Freelancing is way different than a day job even though the workflow is the same in both fields. There is positional growth in a job, possible salary hikes, bonuses, work environment, appreciation amongst friends and family, and many other things that make a regular job look far superior to freelancing. Becoming a freelancer, you are going to miss out on all the benefits listed above.

It takes personal expenses to fulfill a client's project. There is not much appreciation a freelancer gets for his work. No work environment, nobody to talk to about the work. But that's the life they chose and yes, they do get fewer benefits than a typical job employee.


  1. Getting low benefits is the nature of freelancing work. Even if it's not appreciated enough, that doesn't make it any less compared to what a job can offer.

  2. It is just the perspective of one who thinks of two things differently. There is no need at all to compare these two fields. As long as you are providing services to others, you are benefitting both yourself and your client.


A few Suggestions For Freelancers

Comparing freelancing work to a multi-staff corporation makes no sense. They have their own problems they can deal with. The benefits are nothing compared to what you can achieve in working as a lone freelancer. You can always make a team of freelancers if you ever feel the need for it. That can ease the workload for you and make time availability easier.

Whether you work as a local freelancer or an online one, always make a proper list of your expertise, learn skills, and make a portfolio before entering this field. Once you make it big, you won't get much time to work on any of these. Working on your communication skills in your free time is going to benefit you in the long run, never underestimate it.

One thing a freelancer benefits the more from this field is self-discipline. Being a freelancer comes with ups and downs but that's how life works. Difficulties are in every field you can think of. Following the above tips may not work for all but you can always look for what works best for you. Freelancers don't seek appreciation and validation, and that same formula applies to all self-employed bosses of their own. What is important is you get work, you doing your work and you fulfilling your dreams. In the end, it's all about you.

Articles Related To Career & Designing:


614 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All


Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

Thanks for subscribing!

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Medium
  • Quora
bottom of page