The life of a freelancer is very inviting.
From the outside, it looks like you’re in control of your own days.
You decide when and how long you work.
You can stay an extra hour in bed, if you’re feeling extra sleepy, or go for a longer lunch, if your friends are in town.
It’s your call.
No timestamps, no one checking your time, just simple work at your own time.
But is it really that simple?
No, it isn’t.
Freelancing can be a bit unstable, at times.
We all tend to react differently to new scenarios, and freelancing is a challenge to your ability to be flexible.
And the transition from full-time work to freelancing is the first trial by fire.
This can be easier or harder, depending on our different backgrounds and numerous other factors that make up who we are.
But, at first, all freelancers feel like they were thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool and can’t swim.
Truth be told, this doesn’t happen only in the beginning.
Newbies and seasoned professionals alike, at times, face some or all of these following challenges.
In order to keep your spirits up, here at Vettted, we tried to find some “Ikea instructions” to help you assemble the parts of the tricky furniture that is freelancing.
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5 Challenges Every Freelancer Deals With And How To Solve Them
1. When are you getting your next job?
Let’s start with the basics: the most common issue is knowing when or where they’ll get their next job.
Word-of-mouth is still the number one reported source of new business for independent workers, according to a study in 2019.
The downside to this is that word-of-mouth is highly unpredictable, leaving you uncertain about when or how you’ll get your next gig.
If you’re a freelancer who sometimes feels anxious about not knowing where your next job is coming from, the best way to ease that anxiety is to be proactive.
Setup a sales process that you can use on a regular basis to reach out to potential clients.
Make sure your gigs and services are optimized for maximum exposure and conversions. Nevertheless, don’t sit around waiting for the business to come to you – go out and get it.
2. The Impostor Syndrome
Are you shy or anxious? Well, you’ll have to toughen up.
Some of the things you’ll have to do, to keep your freelancing career moving, is to make phone calls, pitches, meetings…after all, you are your own sales team.
You need to ensure your client has confidence in you and your skills, experience and proposed plans.
There is no quick fix.
Trying and error is the best way for you to start building confidence.
Go to local networking events, talks, launches, and so on.
Don’t do just emails and tweets.
Pick up the phone and proactively call potential prospects or current clients.
3. The basics of financial management
Small businesses operate in waves of ups and downs…and freelancing isn’t any different.
Sometimes you’re flooded in dollars, while other times you will be all dried out.
Almost all freelancers experience this at some time, no matter how long they have been in the business.
When those high waters come, think twice before heading to the stores and buy that fancy piece of tech you’ve been dreaming about.
Keep some of your savings aside for the drier periods.
By having some financial backups, you will be able to keep your bills in check and avoid the natural anxiety, if there is drought in projects, jobs or income.
4: Getting taken for granted by friends and family
Working from home, apparently, means that you have all the time in the world.
When working from home, It’s easy to be asked for all kinds of favors: fixing something for your family, walking your friend’s dog, picking up a delivery from the postal office.
Even your significant other gets thrown in the mix.
Your work is still appreciated by those who surround you, but, regardless, they might ask you to take care of chores during the daytime, while they’re in the office
But there’s an even more wicked side: when your friends and family try to hire your services at a lower rate.
Or worse: for free.
While you may want to help, working for free isn’t going to pay your bills or make others value your services.
Just say no.
Learning to say no is one of the toughest lessons a freelancer can learn
You only have a few hours in a day, and you can do what your resources allow you to.
A little help, a few tweaks here and there can go a long way.
But, if you’re busy, you’ll have to say no
You friends and family, surely, will understand.
Despite the close relationship, they are still like any other client.
Ask for a proper brief, a budget and try to meet their requirements.
5. Secure payment
If you know a freelancer who hasn’t encountered some sort of client payment delays, please send our way.
All professionals working as freelancers have found a similar issue, every now and then.
This can be very frustrating, especially after a long project that you have dedicated so many hours to.
Showing your client the impact of that delay in your personal and professional life can be the best course of action.
This shows your human side and may push some emotional buttons.
A friendly reminder email, that your invoice is overdue, is also a good technique.
There may be some invoicing softwares that allows you to set this up automatically.
Also, make sure to understand all your clients’ invoicing instructions prior to starting.
Different administrative services might have different invoicing requests, and this could create a nidge in your payment.
The last thing you’ll want to happen is to find that the delay is due to your mistake.
The best solution is to use Vettted.
In order to ensure that you can work on each project, without worrying about payments, all orders are placed with a prior payment from the customer.
So you can start your work at will.
When you deliver it, Vettted itself transfers your fee to your account.
In the end, you can withdraw it when it suits you best.
Are you up for the challenges of freelancing?
Freelance your way to the top.
Vasco A. Monteiro, hailing from Lisbon, Portugal, and holding a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management from Instituto Superior Técnico, showcases his dedication to search engine optimization beyond his ventures. He runs a successful YouTube channel and manages a private SEO Facebook group, Vasco’s SEO Tips. These platforms allow him to share valuable insights and expertise in the digital world, further solidifying his position as a respected industry leader in the SEO domain.