You may have heard the term “freelancing” or even worked with freelancers in the past. But what is freelancing and what does it mean to work as a freelancer?
Freelancing is when you work for a client (or clients), but you are not employed by them.
Contractors are also not employed by a client, but usually work with a client for a set period (a three-month contract, for example) and often work in a client’s office. As a freelancer, you may go to the client’s office for meetings or presentations, but for the most part, you’re working remotely, whether from home or another locale.
Being a freelancer empowers you to work for whom you want to and work how you want to.
Should I become a freelancer?
The first thing to note is that you don’t have to choose to freelance for the rest of your life.
You may make the decision to be 100% freelance now and decide you miss working with people in person and go back on staff. Or you may keep your on-staff position and decide to freelance at night and on the weekends. Or maybe you decide to take a part-time contracting gig.
There is a lot of flexibility when it comes to freelancing.
But flexibility can be overwhelming for some, so you’ll need to have the discipline to structure your day in a way that allows you to get work done.
Isn’t being full time safer than freelance?
For many workers, a predictable, regular paycheck feels “safer.” Plus, as an employee on-staff, you may receive benefits like health insurance.
That “full-time job safety” is largely an illusion, though.
Layoffs happen in an on-staff job. As a freelancer, if one client downsizes their budget for working with freelancers, chances are you’ve got other clients you’re working for—and new clients regularly coming in.
As a freelancer, you’re in charge of whether you continue to work or not—not your employer. You’re also in charge of how much you work and, therefore, your income.
The pitching system that I teach my students involves consistently reaching out to companies and business owners about potential opportunities. That means there are always new business opportunities coming in. If you want to make more money, you increase your pitching. If your schedule is booked, you can pitch a little less frequently (but if you want to avoid those dry spells, you never stop pitching).
Which is better: freelancing or full-time work?
Let’s reframe the question: Which one is better for you? And, which one is better for you in this moment?
What kind of lifestyle do you want to live and which one will help you achieve that?
How do you like to work and which one fits that better?
What kind of schedule do you want and which one suits it better?
What one will help you build the resume or career trajectory you want?
It’s deeply important that you think about the answers to each question to help determine the right direction for you. You may answer full-time for some questions and freelance for others. If that’s the case: which elements are most important to you?
Remember: you can always go back to either option. So if you think full-time may give you the career trajectory you want, but you haven’t tried freelancing yet, it may be a theory you have to test or you may want to talk to experts in your industry that have gone freelance for additional insight to better answer the question.
Can I make good money as a freelancer?
Good news: you can absolutely net serious cash as a freelancer. But you can’t do it without knowing how to do it.
That’s where I come in.
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If you’ve mastered the skill you want to sell as a freelancer and you’re extra motivated to set your business up for success, join the Freelance Success Framework for step-by-step guidance on getting started, plus support from a group of freelancing pros. The self-paced course gives you everything you need to make your business work for you—it’s up to you to take the steps to make it happen!
Your turn! What appeals to you most about freelancing? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Last Updated on July 1, 2023 by Craig Galo