Updated: Dec 24, 2021
There is an increasing demand of self employed freelancers around the world. This demand is keep on growing which makes other creators attracted toward freelancing. Many enters 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 diverse and you don't always need a good client base to start working with.
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With the popularity of digital media is 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 expanses 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:
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 faces problems as a beginner, as well as being an experienced seller. These problems sometime becomes so frustrating that one might even question himself at one point whether to continue in this field of line or not.
Let's discuss about 12 common difficulties that a freelancer can relate to.
1. Getting 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.
Their 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 helps you prepare for your next project.
A good communication skill is must as you may get few projects in the beginning but later your interacting skills will play a key role in getting you future projects.
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 tier of a seller. A good rating increase the possibility of boosting your profile and help 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.
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 done on those small details that they provided.
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 give buyers 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 feels 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 of your services as cheap is not what they are looking for. You can go for low pricing in the beginning to get initial sales.
Research on what price competitors are charging for the same service you are willing to provide. This will give you a clear idea to what price you should set for your project.
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 Expanses
Financial problems is a thing which affects everyone from rich to middle class to a poor. We all can agree on the fact that one field of line can't benefit everyone at the same time, neither do 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 limited number of buyers compared to the sellers.
Freelancers does face financial setbacks and most importantly beginners. Even experienced sellers have to face this issue who are in this industry for many years. Some of them completely rely on earning from freelance projects and it affects their personal expanses when they don't get work for a day or two.
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.
Freelancers should always have a backup income source or savings as it won't put a 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 daily basis, looking for next work, bidding on projects and so on. Many freelancers around the world face a situation where they get several projects easily depend on their skills but struggle when finding their next project. Getting a work is one thing but keep on getting the work is another.
Freelancers have to keep on looking for work regularly even while working on a project. This situation gets frustrated when you have no client base.
Building a heathy relationship with previous clients may help you getting future projects. Make good contacts with them, have a better understanding of what kind of work they requires and always open to suggestions.
Freelancers must work on building a network of high value clients and their trust. High value work can provide you enough income with just 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 in a glance and you may have deliver that work according to their requirements, but that doesn't guarantee that they are going to offer you another work in near future. These situations occurs 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 is simply depend on your interaction and delivered work. Clients can sometime becomes moody and one can't always predict whether they are interested in working with you again or not.
Having extra knowledge in a field can make you stand out in front of all other freelancers and might help you getting recognized and trustworthy to a client.
Always pick a work which you can deliver as required and on time. Client 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 problem. Tight deadlines is a headache in a work field not just for regular employees of a job, but also for freelancers. Yes freelancers are their own boss, they make their own time but even they have to follow the rule of delivering the work before deadline.
Freelancers pick as many project as possible depend on their capability and expertise. Even with having a single project at a time, a tight deadline can affect their other works.
Pick your projects accordingly while taking your other work schedule into consideration. Never let work interfere in your personal time, so make better schedule.
Don't always go for more projects, instead choose quality projects which you can deliver on time and those projects which can make a good impression in your portfolio. Project which 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 isn't much highlighted details provided by them in the work proposal. Client's 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. Project's deadline is decided by a client, but what they want and how they want is what a freelancer have 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 that they want. Not working up to their expectations will create your bad image and that is not good for your future projects.
Be clear about what you can deliver, show your clients complete portfolio of your expertise so that they don't take any wrong idea about how you work and have different expectations.
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 which only few creators possess. There should be a line between work space and personal time to keep them from mixing together.
Making proper time schedule must be the first priority. The earlier you start to manage your time, the better it gets over time.
Always Track your time, know when to start, when to stop and when to take a break. Taking small steps and repeating them on 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 experienced and skillful, being productive is not always possible and freelancers working on daily basis face this problem 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.
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.
Identify flaws in your skill set and use 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle.
Competition is everywhere. Be it education, sports or corporate sector but you can't deny the fact that competition is getting strong as more and more people are taking interest in these fields. Freelancers do face competition when it comes to getting projects. Getting first project, finding work regularly and personal expanses are the difficulties caused by such competition.
These is an astonishing growth in number of freelancers after the 2020 lockdown, but the competition was always been there. Number of buyers are limited as compared to freelancers and that creates a tough competition out there.
Competition is good for skill buildup and thinking about eliminating it is not going to work in anyone's favor.
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.
No external technique works on 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 work flow is same in both field. There is a positional growth in a job, possible salary hike, bonuses, work environment, appreciation amongst friends and family and many other things that makes a regular job looks far superior than freelancing. Becoming a freelancer, you are going to miss out all the benefits listed above.
It takes personal expanses 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 less benefits than a typical job employee.
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.
It is just a 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.
Few Suggestions For Freelancers
Comparing freelancing work to a multi staff corporate 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 of it. That can ease the work load for you and makes time availability easier.
Whether you work as a local freelancer or an online one, always make proper list of your expertise, learn skills and make 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 free time is going to benefit you in a 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 is in every field you can think of. Following the above tips may not work for all but you can always looks for what works best for you. Freelancers doesn't seek appreciation and validations, and that same formula applies to all the self employed bosses of their own. What important is you getting work, you doing your work and you fulfilling your dreams. In the end it's all about you.