Freelancing holds alluring perks and opportunities. However, the career also hides disheartening obstacles and challenges. Sometimes walking this path can be discouraging, but the hurdles are not insurmountable. Nonetheless, if you plan to freelance then you should beware of these 3 challenges every freelancer must face at some point.
Challenge 1: Landing that First Client
You spend days or weeks learning your skill and building a portfolio. You polish your bio like an Olympic gold medal. You finally put yourself out there and apply to gigs. Then everything comes to a halt.
You try everything. Send cover letters. Fish for clients with cold emails. Social media. But you all you get back is silence for your efforts. It’s an intimidating experience that pushes many beginners to quit before they start.
When you’re new to the world of freelance, it’s easy to feel like you’re a fraud and you will never make it.
But don’t give up! I’ve got a solution!
Solution: Pinpoint the cause. If you already applied for a bunch of gigs and got nothing back from clients, it means you need to adjust your strategy.
The keyword here is Adjust.
Even if you offer clients what they want in your proposals, your presentation might make them skip you.
So, what do you do?
- Adjust your tone: Is your writing style too formal? Add a hint of casual fun to your next message. Hemingwayapp can help you simplify your writing. Also, be straight to the point with your emails/proposals and cut the fluff. Stop talking about yourself so much. Stop telling people you’re qualified for the job. Show them proof that you are the absolute best freelancer in the world for their needs.
- Adjust your portfolio: Does your portfolio make sense for the kind of clients you reach out to? If you apply to work for a construction company, then you need construction-themed portfolio pieces. Your anime illustrations might killer, but they won’t win the job if they’re not right for the client.
Always test new ideas.
Change things with your approach until you land a client.
When you find something that works, do more of that!
Challenge 2: Losing Motivation
There’s a lot of freedom when you are your own boss. But it can also be exhausting. Many freelancers dive in with both feet, but are surprised when they lose motivation after a few weeks at home.
So they loosen their standards. They slack off a little. It’s a slippery slope that leads to missed deadlines, poor performance, and ultimately, losing clients, income, and freedom.
You want to avoid that.
Solution: Improve your self-discipline.
You’ve got to overcome your self-discipline before they become a problem. Once you start to lack motivation, it’s hard to recover. So take breaks and set yourself a work schedule so you have clear-cut working hours. Remove distractions during work time. Routines are essential for freelance success, so start building successful routines and habits right now.
Also, if you’re bored with a particular project, don’t quit. Focus on your future and your goals. Think about how you will do things differently as you go forward. What projects would interest you more? What will you enjoy doing? What do you think will hold your motivation for a long time? The last thing you want to do is resent your business.
Challenge 3: Inconsistency
Freelancing is unpredictable. Sometimes, your schedule overflows with work and you have to reject some jobs.
Other times, you maniacally refresh your browser waiting for a message. You beg for notifications like a drug addict who wants their next hit.
Solution: Even the most established and successful freelancers have highs and lows in job flow. When you’re low on work, be patient. Keep searching for new gigs; the wheel won’t stay idle forever.
It’s also helpful to save money before you start freelancing. Have at least $1,000 nest egg saved up so you have something to fall back on in hard times. If you dip into your savings, then work to quickly replace it once you take on new clients.
Those are 3 challenges every freelancer must face and overcome. As you grow in your career, you’ll face many more. Be prepared for that. Know that #freelancelife isn’t all rainbows and daisies.
Set yourself up for success right now. Freelancing isn’t impossible. You can enjoy an awesome career with new opportunities and tons of freedom and flexibility. But there are hard parts too. That’s true of any career. So just hang in there and be prepared to do whatever it takes to keep your new business alive!