Woah woah. This sentence can be a real blasphemy to freelancers. Contrary to belief, freelancers or independent professionals have probably more ownership than your average office worker. Think about it, freelancers spend time searching for multiple gigs, and the last thing they want to do is to burn any bridges (income) at all. Successful freelancers know that their reputations score them jobs, and because of that, they care about the results and the journey in achieving shared goals with their clients.
How do you measure your job security in your current employment? How many people you know personally have recently been retrenched? Covid-19 has brought down security walls and overthrown security blankets. There really isn’t any ‘safety net’ in being employed full-time. Seasoned freelancers can tell you that freelancing can bring you more security and possibly more income than your current career. It’s all up to you as an independent professional to put in the time and effort in building your clientele. And when you do, it is likely that you will create your own income ceiling and a sustainable business that will work for you.
Have you heard of the gig economy? Gig seekers aren’t just your Grab and Uber drivers. Highly skilled freelancers with digital aptitude and expertise in diverse fields are offering their talents for projects that demand specific skills. They include UXUI designers, UX researchers, developers, app developers, copywriters, UX writers, business consultants and legal counsels. If you have a skill, you most certainly can freelance!
Ditch the word ‘between’. The truth is that freelancers are the ‘in jobs’ people. As a freelancer, you can choose to work for multiple clients and multiple projects. Sure, projects do come and go, but if you work diligently at building a portfolio of clients and a reputation for yourself as a valuable talent, it makes it easier to keep the work coming. What will you choose? Being ‘in a job’ or being ‘in jobs’?
Freelancers are mature professionals with solid work experiences and the confidence to step into the world of freelancing. Most of them have worked for reputable companies and they understand the importance of teamwork and team dynamics. They are conscious that they are hired as an extension of a team to fulfill important projects, and team engagement is key to a project’s success. It is also imperative that companies adopt an inclusive culture for the remote freelancer through group sessions, meetings and discussions. Utilise the experiences that freelancers have to offer, sometimes they might just give fresh perspectives or offer breakthroughs in a project.
Hold your horses on this one. Working for oneself may come with perks, but freelancing can be stressful, especially if you are managing several projects, deadlines and dealing with multiple clients. While you may not have a ‘boss’ to report to, you will soon learn that you will have to work with groups of people with very specific ideas of how the project should be carried out. But if you thrive on challenges and manage your time and relationships well, then there will be little to stress over.
Ask any experienced freelancer, and you will learn that the projects that they have been brought on board to work on are neither miniscule nor unimportant. Freelancers are hired because of a variety of reasons: Lack of manpower, lack of expertise, lack of time. And whose shoes do you think are big enough to fit all these criteria? Certainly someone with the experience, expertise, dexterity and agility to move mountains.
Not as good as? Many have the impression that freelancers only do menial tasks, or that they only work a couple of hours a day, and thus are ‘not as good’. The fact is that freelancers have to hustle hard. They need to be on their toes and seek out opportunities, and when they land their gigs, they have to juggle multiple tasks and clients. Thus they need to quickly suss out what’s important and be as efficient as possible to meet deadlines (and expectations). They may not have an office presence, but they certainly don’t waste precious time in idle chit chat by the water cooler either.
It is no secret that the best freelancers charge top dollar. Why? Because they earned that right to. They are experts in their fields, productive, efficient and they’ve worked hard. They come well recommended from clients who have seen them at work and benefitted from their collaboration together. They have diverse experiences having worked with clients in various industries. They know that reputation is the key to success in this business, and you can be sure they will guard both their reputations and yours well.
As a good friend once used to tell me: “Cheap and Good cannot be Fast. Fast and Cheap cannot be Good. And finally, Good and Fast can never be Cheap!”
In order for both parties to win, a discount is the least powerful tool to negotiate a deal. If you’ve decided on a freelancer, it’s probably not because he offers the lowest rate, right? More likely, it’s because the freelancer has got a good track record, comes highly recommended, does great work and most of all, adds great value to your project. Enough said.