• Ailsa jane

Why become a freelancer?

What a loaded, juicy question.

Well firstly, let's get one thing real clear - not everyone is made to be a freelancer. Some people prefer to work for a company that they can leave in the office when they clock out at 5. Others don't like feeling like a fish in a big ocean and would prefer to carve their own path - hi, hello, have we met?

I am definitely in the second group of people.

There are a few exceptions to be sure, with some people wanting to work for someone else but still wanting a better work/life balance. Others want to work for themselves but are scared to take the risk because it is a risk. Don't kid yourself. Businesses and brands aren't built over night - it takes time, sweat, tears, self doubt and money to make it. BUT the rewards outweigh all of those points in my opinion.

There is hope for everyone mentioned above ie, HR departments are working on creating a better work/life balance for in-house employees and those who take the risk can see great payoffs but this post is about why you should consider becoming a freelancer.

So let's get cracking.

To start with, what skills have you got? If you answered "none at all," sit down and try again.

If you've worked in even one job or position, you have a set of skills that can be freelanced. Worked in retail? You have customer service. Have customer service? You could work as a social media comment moderator.

Have you worked in an office? You have basic admin and organisation skills. Have those? You could find work as a virtual assistant.

Are you a good drawer? Hello designer! You can have a great job working as a freelance graphic designer. While some prefer qualifications, if you're good, you are hireable.

Do you spot spelling mistakes in menus or blog posts? (Eeeek) Why not freelance editing services?

Are you like me and enjoy writing? Doesn't necessarily matter on the topic for me but I love it. One of my skillsets is content writing.

Are you starting to get it?

Just about every skill you have can be contracted out IF you are passionate about said skill. Work on it, evolve it and then learn how to market it. I get fantastic responses from running free gumtree ads!

I'm going to put out another post where I walk you through how I first started, covering everything from basic logo design, website decisions through to how I approach new clients so drop in your email below if you don't want to miss when that baby gets published.

So even though I've shown that you can freelance, why should you?

Again, this does boil down to your own personal preferences and goals but freelancing has a lot of benefits, if you ask me.

1/ Work with who you want.

While you might think you have to do every tiny job to make money, you have to remember if it will help build your brand and is what you want to do. Don't accept a job for the sake of it otherwise you're not making yourself any happier.

2/ Work when you want.

I don't know your circumstances - maybe you're a lucky duck and you don't have to work all of the time. In this case, freelancing is amazing because it gives you the freedom to choose when you work on the projects and for how long you'll be working for. Beyond this, you won't necessarily be locked into 9-5, Monday to Friday hours. Head out to lunch with your girlfriends midweek and work a little that night. With my clients, I make it clear that so long as the work is done and delivered, I decide when I physically park my butt at the computer and work. Got some free time on Saturday? Do some work and take Monday off.

3/ Work from wherever you want.

I went overseas last year for 2 months. Guess what? I was working the entire time. I still had a fabulous holiday but I scheduled in time where I would sit down and work so I could keep invoicing my clients and not let them down. Work from home in an office or the couch, head outside and work from a cafe, sit on the deck of a cruise ship and pump out some content - the choice is yours.

4/ You decide how much your skills are worth.

This part is a little tricky when you're first starting out but there are loads of guides online for how you can begin to price your skills. The benefit here is that you decide when you get a pay raise. Obviously current clients are negotiated with but you could choose to raise the price for any new clients when you feel like you've got the experience and skillset to earn that. I particularly enjoy this aspect because my prices are different for each client. I actually don't worry so much on the money as I do working with good people on great projects. If someone can't afford what I usually charge, it's up to me to consider and adjust the prices to what I'm comfortable with. It doesn't ever mean working for free but it does mean you have that flexibility.

5/ Do work that you are passionate about and proud of.

A lot of jobs now are a mash of several skills and responsibilities, not all of which you might be interested in. When you freelance, you choose the skills that you are happy to offer and that's what people will come to you for. This means working every day in an industry that you love so you're naturally going to perform better and be passionate.

Come on now, do you need any more reasons?

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