Are you still deciding if “that freelancing stuff” is for you?
Do you intend to transition from part-time to full-time freelancer?
Are your doubts about freelancing keeping you from putting in your best?
The days were freelancing wasn’t considered as something worth your while is long gone. Today, 72% of freelancers consider themselves entrepreneur because freelancing as gone from one-off side gigs to long-term plan that involves paying for vacation, college fees and early retirement.
Perhaps, an in-depth look into the pros and cons of freelancing will stop you from investing 1hr/day to a significant time investment to build a solid income that you can bank on for years.
PROS OF SUCCESSFUL FREELANCING
- It’s an inexpensive way to discover what you are passionate about
Do you have several ideas but don’t know which is viable? You can try freelancing for a couple of weeks and if you lose interest, you can always switch to another line of freelancing.
- The opportunity to create multiple streams of income
Let’s assume you pick an idea that is niche but is broad enough for expansion, freelancing will give you the opportunity to turn that into multiple streams of income.
To illustrate, a freelance web developer can take on one-on-one projects, sell consulting services, re-package it as a course, and become a speaker at industry events.
Only freelancing will give you the time and freedom to think wild and execute – which leads straight to my next point.
- Idea and execute in less than a day
One of the superior advantages that freelancers and entrepreneurs have over big companies is flexibility. Big companies are buried in paperwork and processes.
A single tweak to a product design can take anywhere from 1 – 6 months before it gets back to the production department.
A freelancer can have an idea and execute right away without having to wait months
- You can build a solid six-figure network
Have you heard that relationship is everything in business? It is 10X easier to recruit affiliates, do joint ventures, partnership and even find investors when you have a solid network.
To build a successful freelance business, you need to continually build quality relationships that you can profit from months and years to come.
- Every client you get is yours to keep
Yup, not for some company. The clients you get via Linkedin, through guest posts, at events, and every other client getting strategy is directly for your freelance business.
And once you know the customer lifetime value for your freelance business, it’s easier to stay focused and work on customer satisfaction.
- It’s a great way to start a company
While freelancing, you will notice patterns develop over time that will be indispensable as your business grows from one-man to a team.
It is probably the easiest way to move into the entrepreneur phase
- You will discover strengths
And hone in on it. It may even come in handy while making major business decisions like which course to create, what email marketing service to use and which direction your business will go.
- And can outsource weakness
Unlike taking a job, you can outsource any areas you are uncomfortable with even in your area of strength.
So, you may like to write emails but if pitching a new client is a better use of your time, that email writing can be outsourced to a copywriter.
You can’t do that in a job. Whether you like an area or not, you have to do it because it’s a part of the job description
*this is not a post to compare taking a job vs freelancing. I used the example because it illustrates some points in this post better.
- It can change your life forever
Yup, from firsthand experience. I have been freelancing for about three years and tried my hands at a couple of strategies but I hit a home run with this one.
I was able to build my list by 1700% in just over 14 days, tripled my initial investment, built a powerful network of influencers and started work on a new project. It definitely did change my life.
You can start by freelancing on the side. See if it works for you. Or not. Either way, you got nothing to lose.
- You decide working hours
This is one of my best pros for freelancing. You can decide your working hours, early late into the night or early mornings
You can also get your neighbours talking, that guy has a job??
That’s certainly a perk for us. We like weird things like that
- You decide how much you earn
Want to earn more? You know what to do. Get out there and get more clients. If you don’t know where to start, check suggested readings below. You might even nail your next $1000 client in 7 days
- It increases your discipline
Since you know signing clients translates to money in the bank, you have to become disciplined to stick to your client-attraction strategies
- It can help you get a good job
If your ultimate goal is to get a job, freelancing can help you especially if you don’t have the professional requirements or college degree to get that job.
As you know, companies are after results than certificates. If you can prove your results to companies, you might get a shot.
Mary Fernandez landed the position of Content Marketing Manager on OptinMonster through her fantastic post entries on Smartblogger
Also. depending on job specs, a recognized expert can be a tremendous addition to the company and that might get you a higher pay.
For example. Kissmetrics pay well-known writers than they would another writer that is not recognized because the well-known writer can pull in more readers to the site which ultimately adds to the companies revenue.
- It’s easier to go after new opportunities
How many times have you wanted to attend an event but couldn’t make it because it happened on a Thursday?
As a freelancer, it doesn’t matter if there is a meet-up on Monday, you can always make out time for it.
What about another avenue to make money where you are not familiar with? Freelancing gives you time to do your due diligence on new money-making opportunities
- Freelancing as little perks that add up
Binge watching an entire six-season series of Suits, wearing your PJ at 12 noon, reading 300 books a year, attending the kids open day, working on a beach somewhere, whew! Freelancing does have its own amazing perks.
I’m glad you are in love with freelancing just as I am and truly believe the pros outweigh the cons so I am going to be addressing the cons and giving you a way out of each.
CONS THAT MAKE UP SUCCESSFUL FREELANCING
- Freelance work can be unreliable
And unpredictable especially if you are just getting started. It can also be a numbers game, meaning the more you pitch clients, the more chances of signing a new client; the more you nurture your email list, the higher the chances of making a sale.
If you pitch 100 targeted prospects weekly via email and you get a high 60% open rate, 20% response rate and convert at 20% [these are good numbers but no guarantees], that is
100 x 60/100 = 60 email opens
60 x 20/100 = 12 responses
12 x 20/100 = 2.4
So you average 2 clients [you can get higher] when you pitch 100 targeted prospects. This can be good if what you are offering has a:
- Monthly retainer feature
- Affiliate program
The downside to that is, everyone you pitch will respond at different times, request more information, some more back and forth and you will hit a lotta No’s before getting a couple of Yes’s.
The lesson here is if you do the work, you will get the result.
- You need to invest some money upfront
While I don’t expressly believe that you need money to make money, the truth is things are way easier and faster if you invest in your business.
Instead of spending your life on social media, you can pay for tools that automate the process.
And there are other business expense that you just have to take care of if you want to quickly scale your business.
As for getting clients, organic is great but it can be a slow, tedious process. However, you can get faster results if you invest in paid advertising.
That way, you can send hundreds or thousands of people to your offers and convert at a high rate depending on your paid channel.
To illustrate, you will convert higher if you pay for a solo ad because you can benefit from the credibility of the list owner and the audience is very targeted and receptive to such offers.
- You need to work at finding clients
There is a huge difference between writing a plan and setting it in motion. ]
You can tire out easily wearing multiple hats in your business but like I said, do the work, get the result.
- It can be hard to take time off
There just isn’t enough time and it’s not unheard of for freelancers to have 70-hour work-week. The solution of course is to automate as efficiently as possible but even that is a bit of a learning curve and can cost money
Good news is once you start getting regular clients, you can hire extra help.
- It can be lonely
Email and Skype is great but it won’t take away that feeling of physically working alongside someone else.
My solution to this simple. If you have a remote team, plan monthly meetups. Also meet your audience live by organizing a live event or “lunch and learn session” and don’t miss out on the thrill of travelling.
If you are visiting a new country, share that information with your network and your mailing list. Meet up with some folks there and have a great time together.
One meeting with the right people can keep you energized for months, honestly.
And for your ongoing development, join masterminds, volunteer at events and visit friends. Maybe even have lunch with a stranger, whatever.
- It requires a bit of trial and error
That means no matter how many courses you get, you need to find a balance. What works for A doesn’t necessarily have to work for B.
You carry out surveys, do A/B tests, collect feedback …
- It can take a long time and process before you see results
Is this the norm? Not quite,
There are a number of reasons that can contribute to this including:
- Treating an idea like a hobby instead of a business
- Not having the right strategy or no strategy
- No proper execution
- Slow growth as a result of focusing on the wrong things
Even if you do everything right, you still need time to grow.
- Getting discouraged is so easy
Are you kidding? Need I explain?
- Getting distracted is even easier
You see million marketing messages daily. It’s hard to not get hit by the shiny object syndrome. Infact, one of the major reasons people complain about things not working out is because they don’t stick with it long enough.
- Continued learning is not optional
Want to nail more clients, earn passive income and become a top 100 influencer? Continued learning is not an option. And thank God for the internet, there are hundreds of posts, books and courses that can keep you up to speed.
And don’t forget, your own experiments are very important and others can’t wait to learn from it.
That’s it. I hope I covered everything?
Do you think the pros outweigh the cons in freelancing? Do you plan to go full-time with your freelance business? What are your biggest fears as a part-time or full-time freelancer?
I appreciate your thoughts and look forward to seeing them in the comments.
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