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9 Things You Should Know About Freelancing Full-time

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					9 Things You Should Know About Freelancing
  Full-time (source : hongkiat)
For most of us, freelancing full time seems like a dream come true. We get to be our own boss, work
our own hours, and are responsible for our own success. It all sounds great – and it is, but freelancing
full-time isn’t for everyone. While some freelancers thrive on being their own boss, others find that
they’re not as good at working for themselves as they were working for a company, or in their 9 to 5
job.
A lot of people thrive on working full-time in a traditional office setting. Whether it’s because they love
working in teams, like to bounce ideas off each other, and be able to share a joke with a colleague
sitting in the cubicle next to them, or because they are too used to it to be independent, there are people
who may not be suited for the freelancer’s life. So before you take the plunge, consider the following
aspects of a freelancer’s life to see if it is your cup of tea, things like…

1. You Will Be Working Alone (A lot)
Freelancing can be a lonely profession. While previously you work right in the middle of the hustle and
bustle of an office environment, now you’re working from your home, isolated from society.




The kids will be at school, your significant other would be at work and you will definitely be home
alone working on your laptop, Mac or PC. Apart from when you go for interviews to pitch your
services or to meet partners you can collaborate with, sometimes you could go an entire day without
using your voice! Before long the isolation will start to affect your mood and work.
If you’re used to having people around while working, consider sharing an office with someone or go
rent a desk or cubicle and embrace the coworking phenomenon.
2. You Hold Yourself Accountable
Freelancing full time means you’re responsible for yourself and your work more than ever. There’s no
one around to monitor how much work you’re getting done or whether you’re meeting your targets.
For you to be successful as a freelancer, you need to be accountable for yourself. Otherwise, you might
end up spending half the day tweeting and going through your RSS reader.
Your work will suffer and your clients will see the effect in the work you turn in. There are plenty of
tools, apps and methods to help you stay focused at work but at the end of the day it boils down to
having the self-discipine to run yourself and your work.

3. You’ll Need Self-Discipline
When you first start freelancing full time, it’s so tempting to give it your all and work late nights. But
what those late nights really do is make you so tired that getting up in the morning is difficult. Then
you think, since you’re working for yourself, you can set your own hours making it okay to sleep in.
That’s where you’re wrong.




If you sleep and wake up late, your entire day gets realigned. Instead of working through the morning,
you’re working through the night. Not only is that unhealthy, it turns all your waking hours into
working ones.
Stick to your office-going work hours and your freelancing business has a good chance of making it.
After all, clients don’t burn the midnight oil – they keep to office hours and that’s also when they are
most likely to contact you with the latest updates. Keep yourself available.


4. You have to Deal with Clients!
Unless you’ve directly dealt with your company’s customers and clients during your office years, your
very first roadblock is going to be dealing with clients.
When interacting with clients you need to be courteous, direct and helpful in your communications
with them. There’s no room for exasperation or sarcasm – even when they are horrid to work with.
Think of it this way: your client is now your boss and you have to treat them like one.
A lot of clients stick with freelancers who are easy to work with and always go out of their way to
deliver 100%. So impress your client, and you’ll have smooth sailing for the most part.


5. You Must Learn to negotiate
In a full-time job you’re paid a fixed salary each month with a raise every year, medical insurance, paid
leave and other perks. In freelancing your earnings are directly dependant on your rates and there are
no perks in freelancing.
In order to succeed, you need to be able to negotiate reasonable freelancing rates for yourself. There’s
nothing wrong with starting out with low rates – as long as you steadily raise them as you gain a
reputation for yourself and are always improving your skill set to deserve higher pay.




Failure to negotiate rates means that you’ll be stuck with low rates – and nobody else is going to help
you raise your rates.
Here’s a quick tip for raising rates: always quote a rate that is higher for your new clients compared to
your present clients and work your way up as you get more projects.
6. You Musn’t Let Emotions Take Over
Freelancing doesn’t give you a buffer against irate clients, unreasonable demands and rejections.
Instead of hearing the news from your boss or a colleague, you’ll be hearing it directly from the client.
Whether it’s a rejection (they’re the hardest to take), an unreasonable demand or just a disgruntled
client, you’ll need to handle the situation with tact.
Keep your emotions in check and instead of going on the offensive, do damage control. Clients are
your life line; you can’t afford to alienate them.


7. You must Know What’s Trending
As a freelancer, you’ll need to stay on top of the trends in your industry to stay ahead of the game. It
doesn’t mean you waste time trying out everything, but figure out which trends affect you directly and
how you can use them to your advantage.
A few years ago, when blogging became the next best thing for business, freelancers who quickly
establish their own blogs managed to not only get more clients but also established themselves as
leaders in their niche.
As a full-time freelancer, you need to keep an eye on emerging trends and have the ability to quickly
figure out which trends would benefit your freelance business the mos


8. You Need Your Family and Friends
Before you make the jump, make sure that your family supports your decision. When you start
freelancing, things are pretty stressful. You’re spending a majority of your time finding clients and are
constantly worried about making ends meet.
If you don’t have your family’s support (and I’m not takling about just financial support) your stress
level is going to spike through the roof.
There are going to be days when you’ll feel like it might not work. That’s when family support matters
the most. Just having someone – a partner, spouse, your parents or even one of your big-eyed kids – tell
you that it’ll all work out or they believe in you, can go a long way in boosting your confidence.
Friends are also a great source of support during the first few months too. They can help spread the
word about your services and refer you to folks in their social and professional circle if they are looking
for a freelancer.


9. You Must Have Extra savings
Before you leave your full time job, start freelancing on the side. It’ll help you gauge your chances of
success and when you do switch to freelancing, you’ll have some clients already.
But here’s the catch. After a while, you may feel confident that their payments can keep you afloat, but
don’t expect when you do go full-time with freelancing that you’ll have the same clients beating down
your door with work.
Think of it as setting up a business from scratch. You’ll eventually need to go out there and find clients
– which takes a lot of time and networking, something you will be disadvantaged after removing
yourself from the scene by quitting your job.
Until you’re making enough to make ends meet or turn a profit, you’ll need to dip into your savings to
get by on a monthly basis. Try to have enough savings to last 6 months before you quit to go full-time
freelancing.




The Secrets to Success
The secret to succeeding as a full time freelancer is to treat it as a business. You’re the CEO of your
freelance company. You’re the one responsible for everything related to it.
Stick to the work ethics you conform to during your office-going days and you’ll be fine. The only
difference is that you can take a break when you want to, and work extra hours when needed. You get
to spend more time with your family since you’re spending less time getting stuck on the way and back
from work and not to mention those epic-length meetings.
Set your own hours: if you can get your work done in 4 hours instead of 8, no one’s forcing you to stay
in the office. How cool is that?
What was the biggest adjustment you made when you started freelancing full time?

				
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