The Freelancing Lifestyle – A Primer For My Services Series
I’m about to start rolling out my guides on how to tailor your blog to the many forms of revenue generation – this is a primer for my “Services” blogging series, all of which deal with freelancers looking to drive some attention and clientele to their site.
Freelancing: Waking up whenever the hell you want (so long as you’re getting your work done), working from wherever you want, earning a killing, and still having time for the simple things in life.
It’s not all fun and games, however. You still have to fight for your work and work hard to find clients in the beginning – an entrepreneurial spirit is a must-have.
Once you’ve got a client-base and a steady source of business, though, freelancing is the ultimate employment channel.
But, just how good is the freelancing life? I’ve compiled a short list of the major perks that come hand-in-hand with the decision to work for yourself.
You Earn Every Cent to The Dollar
One of the biggest rationales made in the decision to leave a job in favor of freelancing is the ability to actually earn every cent of value you provide.
In a company, when a bid is made to a client for your services, the bid includes overhead costs (management, technology, leasing value, etc.). So, you may be providing $2,000 worth in design services – but you’re only actually getting a third of that.
When you’re freelancing, you can still bid for overhead costs. The difference? You keep every cent of it. There’s no dividing funds among management and no trickle down in capital. Every bit is yours.
You Make Your Hours
Sure, you’ll still have deadlines.
But, you can choose to meet those deadlines in whatever fashion you choose. Kids have a field day? No problem. Start work at 6p.m. You got invited to go on a camping trip in the middle of the workweek? Go! You can work from your laptop at night.
That’s the main allure of freelancing. You choose when you work, how you work, and where you work.
Get this: Only 29% of freelancers work a full 40-hour workweek (which is crazy, considering my next point).
That means more time for your spouse, more time for that novel you’ve been writing, more time for exercise…. More time for living.
As a freelancer, you’ve got to get real familiar with bidding. You’ll set your rates for certain projects and submit them to the clients. If you bid too high, they can barter you down. Or, you can simply say no. Then, clients who value your work more will pay you higher.
You’ve got to be careful here, though. Don’t get too zealous with the bidding system and set your rates to ungodly levels. That’ll be sure to drive all of your clients away.
A good rule of thumb is: If you’re being asked to take on too many clients at once, you should probably increase your rates by 20%. If your client-base is bone dry, though, you should do the opposite. You’ll eventually find the sweet spot.
The average US freelancer earns 45% more than your average employee, too. Pretty phenomenal, considering all of the other perks that come with the job.
You Control the Project
This is the pinnacle of creative freedom. Sure, you still have to appease to the client, but no Creative Director or higher-up will have a say in your work. This could potentially be perceived as negative – there isn’t anyone to correct the mistakes you may not be able to see.
However, yet again, an entrepreneurial mindset is needed to be a freelancer. With that comes a nearly obsessive need for perfection.
As a freelancer, you’re given the freedom to think outside of corporate barriers and office politics.
Also, you won’t be subject to some of the boring projects you would have to complete in a corporate setting – You choose which projects to take on.
Several Methods of Income
You can’t survive without a solid portfolio of clients to provide you with work. That’s the great thing about freelancing – You aren’t relying on one client, or waiting for that potential corporate layoff.
You’ll always have the added security of a plethora of clientele, so long as you keep your effort levels high and quality of work impeccable. One client decides to shrug you off? Forget about it. You’ve got plenty more to keep you busy, and another spot open for another client.
Paradise or McDonald’s
Work where you want. You don’t need to check in with a boss, or clock into a time sheet.
You’ll be a member of the laptop lifestyle. Free to travel where you want, work with clients across the globe, and live a life completely void of locational ties. Work in paradise, or use McDonald’s WIFI – It’s up to you how and where you live.
Here’s where the entrepreneurial mindset comes back into play. With that obsessive attention to detail and perfection comes a desirable, high quality of work. When you submit projects to first-time client’s, they’re likely to want to transition into a long-term work relationship.
This is especially true if you’re working with an agency representative or a startup. Sometimes agencies like to outsource their workload to qualified freelancers in order to balance their capabilities and meet deadlines. These types of clients are very keen to long relationships, and you’d do well to give the highest quality of work you can provide.
A Foot in the Door
For some people that test the waters by freelancing, it turns out to be a sour lifestyle. For whatever reason it may be, it just isn’t right for them. They may need more structure, more oversight, etc.
That’s just fine – Because now they have a portfolio good enough to get their foot in the door of a physical job opening in a corporate office. Not only does freelancing put you into contact with hundreds of business owners, but that work you’ve done for them can now be used as leverage to land job positions.
But, that’s only in the unlikely event that you decide the luxuries of freelancing aren’t for you.
Cliché, but true.
Your overall levels of happiness will rise dramatically from the transition into a freelancing career. How could it not? All of the points made above are testaments to this. More freedom, more financial capabilities, more time for life.
Being a freelancer does have drawbacks. Things like self-employment taxes, health care, and the initial lull in work when you start are some factors that need to be taken account for.
But, once you accommodate those factors into the lifestyle, freelancing is a dream for entrepreneurial-minded individuals with the talent that business owners are looking for.
What are you waiting for? Join my newsletter to get constant updates on new content to help you traverse your freelancing career as successfully as possible.
Chief Executive Officer
Real Deal Productions, LLC
Prosperity Publishers, LLC
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