Being a freelancer is very challenging. The fact that you don’t have a stable income or paycheck, makes it scary. Yes, you must always be on top of your game because of the stiff competition out there.
Being in this game for two years, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly. There are days you will make more money and there are days you will make less. But how can you be a successful freelancer?
When I say successful freelancer, it means you can look into the future and still be optimistic about it. I know some freelancers who are scared about the future. Yes, they make money, even more than I do, but they still feel somehow insecure. Some of them had given up freelancing to pick up a 9-5 job.
Many had reached out to me and asked how I have been able to navigate through this uncertain journey for two years, and still firing on.
Here’s what I always tell them:
- Nothing lasts forever but humans do. Whenever I remember this sentence, it makes me put more value in humans. When you understand that humans make things work, then everything you do will always be about humans. I spend most of my time supporting people, building relationships. But some of these freelancers are only focused on money. They tend not to go far in the game.
- Collaboration over competition always win. Freelancers are supposed to be collaborating. Together everyone achieves more. It surprises me when I see a freelancer claiming to be better than someone else in his field. Yes, we can have a banter, it’s fine. But when it is for the sake of oppression, it becomes an unhealthy competition, which is a problem. Try to make 90% of our work collaborative, and measure the success rate after.
- Explore more opportunities. If you are a writer, don’t be limited to writing. Explore some other areas. The truth is, when you are good at something, try to learn some new things that are related or even different from what you do. Study the market trends, see where you can fit in. I do influencer marketing, content writing, brand storytelling, social media marketing, SEO, editing, scriptwriting and social media management. It’s impossible for me not to have a task to do everyday.
- Leverage many platforms to showcase your work. With the advent of technology, you can use many platforms to showcase your work and get more clients.
- Attend networking events. Meeting new people is the key to staying relevant in the game because people know the people you don’t know.
- Volunteer. Don’t make everything about money.
- Be good at what you do. If you keep doing crap work for clients, you are dying gradually.
- Lastly, invest and save. You could hit a big client and think you’ve arrived. Few months after, you could be struggling to pay your bills. So I advise you to save and invest.
Being a freelancer is an interesting journey, but it could be scary too. However, don’t be scared because no job is secure. Everyone is trying to keep his job.
You are not alone.