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When it comes to freelancing, ultimate freedom can be a true benefit. It allows you to truly act creatively with your work, pick the hours that suit you and even brand yourself in the initial stages. It can also be a detriment. For those who aren’t hyper disciplined, work can quickly pile up, and the ‘freedom of the freelancer’ is often something which seems to be overstated.
Still, for those who make it work, freelancing can be much preferable to those jobs which have no progression, or those which you feel stuck in. Making the decision to become a freelancer is something that can feel very self-empowering. It also means you have much more responsibility to make this work than at any time of your life. To emphasise what not to do, we’re going to take in account the ‘fool freelancer.’ This is someone who does not pay this process the attention it deserves, and suffers as a result.
You can see the errors of their ways here:
The Fool Freelancer Is Not Organized
Freelancing is a job which requires surgical precision over your schedule. This is especially important if you’re to manage multiple clients at one time. Someone who does not exercise this duty will quickly fall into a mismanaged state. This means that work will become overdue, or in a rush to complete it, will not be as quality as it otherwise could be. It means that even if you have the best of intentions and ideas for the whole process, you will struggle to truly inject that positivity into the work you do.
It can mean that the general act of communicating with your clients is hampered by an inability to connect with them at the right times, or get back to them in a suitable time frame. When this happens, people quickly understand your services are not ideal to hire. This means that work will dry up, and work drying up is the bane of the freelancer. If you hope to be profitable at all, or if you respect your own time, keeping a solid schedule and calendar is absolutely paramount to the whole process.
The Fool Freelancer Is Narrow Minded
Most freelancers begin work because they believe they have something positive to offer the world. This could be in the form of artistic skills, writing ability and creativity, consulting advice or some other personalized good which is difficult to find elsewhere. If you feel you have these skills, then it’s easy to feel you’re the only one who uses them correctly. Due to the fact that you work from home, and you haven’t other employees or colleagues to compete with, you can forget all about the necessary competition you must constantly think of.
The world is online these days. People can find you, or another’s services within the click of a button. So freelancing does not mean that you have complete utility over your work. It means you are competing with every other freelancer in your area for jobs. For this reason, it’s important to always, always, always listen to what the client needs for their brief.
The fool freelancer believes that they know best, and that they are providing an authorative consulting role on top of their creative expression offerings. The reality of freelancing is that you will (potentially often) be stuck with boring briefs. This is just a part of the nature of corporations and the free market, as often what’s effective will overtake any integrity in artistic expression. This might frustrate the creative within you, but it will also get you paid. Never be so arrogant as to turn down work, or to negatively communicate with a client who isn’t ‘testing your inner limits.’
The continual offer of work is something that every freelancer dreams of, and if you behave correctly with your clients you can sustainably build a long term relationship with them. The fool freelancer destroys that relationship before it has a chance to even blossom. Not ideal.
The Fool Freelancer Pays Little Heed To Reputation
A great reputation is the ideal, as it will continually afford you work. It will also upgrade the quality of your clients for a good time. This means that no matter who you are, and no matter how ‘lowly’ the client is in your eyes, you can always benefit from giving a solid performance. Remember, your work is not just your work. It’s an expression of what you’re capable of. You’re only ever as good as your last brief completed, and your last satisfied client.
Something you’ll hear in hospitality training is that ‘one person with a bad experience will tell eight people, one person with a good experience will tell two.’ This maxim can be well utilized as a freelancer. Always be sure to test the waters by asking your clients to give you honest feedback, and to continually observe your Google or Yelp reviews.
Also, never be afraid to approach businesses or those somewhat out of your reach with your portfolio. You never know, freelancing can turn into a full job, or a developmental relationship with a brand you truly love. As you develop, so will your reputation, and if you’re performing well your skills and branding should be at a 1:1 growth rate. The first step? Care about how this develops and is perceived amongst the market.
The Fool Freelancer Ignores Tax
This is the most heinous example on this list. If you never pay attention to your tax contributions, calculating them effectively, or generally keeping your books watertight, you’ll soon find a nasty bill on your doorstep. This can be truly worrying and disabling. For this reason, it’s so important to hire a specialized tax accountant, no matter the size of your reputation. These professionals can witness the story of your freelancing life, and offer you tips and investment advice where necessary. They’ll also help you understand exactly where you can claim on your tax, potentially saving you hundreds in the future.
With these tips, your freelancing forays are sure to be successful, as you veer away from the mistakes which can corrupt you into a ‘fool freelancer.’