Being a freelancer may be one of the most rewarding and yet stressful things you will ever be fool enough to seek or try, but it is not impossible! In this article I’ll give you some tips on how to maintain your free-lance work and also keep your sanity and drive.
Tip #1: Tomato … To-mat-to … They are both the same.
You have to realize that your success is not going to be at the same speed or rate as other freelancers. By constantly reminding yourself of this it will help you to appreciate your small accomplishments. Comparing your work to others will leave you either extremely satisfied with your progress (which could lead to you slowing down because of how far you think you’re ahead) or it will leave you depressed about the progress that you have not made (which could cause you to think that you should give up). Am I saying that you should not look for inspiration in others drive and success? No, what I’m saying is that you have to understand that your timing is based on the market, level of attraction, and quality of your work. Success is not measured by who gets there first but who is able to maintain and create longevity! Simply put, work on relationship building, find mentors, and building a reputation, but never ever compare your success to someone else’s success.
Tip #2: Nothing is impossible … You just have to go out there and do it.
Let me just be clear … Freelancing, whether it is painting, creating websites, applications, or whatever you have chosen to spend your time creating is hard work but it is not impossible. Look at all the work that has been created and remember at one point in time someone thought it was impossible to have street lights. Someone at one point in time someone thought it was impossible to have computers so don’t trick yourself into believing that your dream is impossible. Now, with that being said this takes work people and capital! Money does not fall from the tree so if it takes you going to a full time job for a couple of years to build capital that is what you have to do! Steve Jobs said it best “It’s not impossible – it just hasn’t been done yet.” In addition to the work there is something else I should probably fill you in on sleep is not made for a freelancer! This is more than a full time job, that is if you want it to be your career. Freelancing requires that you work during the weekend and every single work day. Even if you go on vacation your job will never stop. It will become your life but when it does you should be in a good position to feel good about the progress you have made. You will have many sleepless nights. I’ll give you a real life example. This summer one of my clients was overseas but wanted to launch a website. At first I was thinking how bad could it be? Our conference hours would be from 10:00pm until 2:00 am most of the time. So while working a full time job I would come home eat, relax and then get ready for my 10:00 pm meeting that basically took place every day for three months. Yes, for three months! I would wake up for my full time job at 6 or 7 work 8 hours and come home to what? My work? No, my passion! Since it was something I enjoyed I didn’t mind and I also saw the importance of that face to face time with my client. The story sounds simple but believe me it was tiresome because you still have to factor that I actually had to produce something for these meetings. I said all that to say, in the beginning that is the time when you should stretch yourself as far as you can go. Challenge what you feel is impossible and make it a laughing matter that you would even think that you couldn’t do it!
Tip #3: This is just a stepping stone
One of the worse mistakes I think people make is not embracing the time that they are in regarding your business. If you are working in the corporate sector and you think that it has absolutely nothing to do with your freelance work you are mistaken. Everything in life has something to do with the success of your business. Use it! Go into your job and look at the relationships of the higher ups in the company one day you will have a team and it is good to see how that type of atmosphere works. Remember it is not a conflict of interest if you work after hours! There are plenty of people who work with you who need your services and no one can be a bigger advocate and promoter for you than yourself. You would be surprised how many people you could find at your job that would be interested in your work. Think about it, they see your brilliance at your job. That is if you are performing like you care about your job. If you aren’t then that could be negative for your freelance work later on down the line. What you do at work is what you do with your freelance work; meaning if someone can recall a time when you showed up to a meeting late, or showed you had no interest in engaging in the workplace, or no interest in the job at all that could be a result of you being deemed unprofessional and damage your image.
Tip #4: Expand your brand by any means necessary
If you’ve made it this far you actually like what I’m saying so I guess I’ll share this secret with you. I’m a freelance web developer. I specialize in creating a platform for small businesses and artist to build a brand and drive more cliental to their business or music. Am I making a mill off of my freelance work? No, but I’m using this platform here to educate you and someone, somewhere, will read this and need a freelance web developer and just so happen to have not a clue where to look but look who they just found … Me! It doesn’t matter if you think that a certain platform won’t add value to your company but you’re mistaken it will! Never let an opportunity pass you by. Keep business cards on you. Engage in conversation about your business. Scream it from the mountain tops and whisper it to your neighbor in the movie theater. Do free projects for the community! 100% free and make it spectacular! These are the things that will get you unexpected business! I would be remised if I didn’t mention social media here and stress the importance of discretion. While you are in the process of building your brand it is important that you make sure you don’t do things that could potentially harm your image. You and the people who work with you create what the world views you as. Be careful what you post, make sure your private page on all social media outlets are blocked, and create a public image page for your work. Less distractions of your personal life could potentially drive your business.
Tip #5: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do!” – Steve Jobs
I probably should have started off with this being the first tip that I gave you because it is the most important! Being a freelancer requires that you love the job you do. If you are slightly interested in freelancing and only want to make quick cash then you may can pass for just enjoying what you are creating but if you want this to be something that transcends into your full time career you must love what you do. Your love for your work is what will drive people towards you. The more you love it and spread the love of your work in different places the more your success level will increase! I would imagine those who love what they do never work a day in their lives. Loving your work also shows through how you study your craft! Never stop learning about the new technics and new methods surrounding the work that you do. Gaining certificates, taking college courses, and constantly practicing will increase your performance level and will also be an excellent way to network with people like you; possibly leading to collaborations and longstanding partnerships.
As stated in the beginning, freelancing is not impossible but it doesn’t happen overnight and requires your attention. Please take the time to enjoy your process and learn all that life will teach you. Build a reputation of greatness and shoot for the starts! Start small and work your way up and remember nothing good can always been done alone forever. Plan for the future strategize about how you will involve more people. Most importantly, go out there and do what you love to do! Think less of what people have to say about your art and more about the love and passion behind your message! I hope you guys enjoyed this article and please contact me if you need more advice or someone to help you start your own website ☺