The taste of success in the life of freelancers is much sweeter, if they can overcome the barrage of insecurities scattered on their path to success. Take a peep into the life of a freelancer, and all may look hunky-dory: freelancers seem to work on less than what a full-time employee would, they seem to sleep a lot, and most importantly, they get work based on their own convenience. Those who are not freelancers are particularly impressed by the laidback style that defines the working life of freelancers, which may in turn spur them to decide going down the same path.
What these ‘outsiders’ don’t see is the amount of hard work and insecurity every freelancer has to go through to realize their dreams. The truth is, despite consistent hard work, not every freelancer can turn up successful. One reason is that they are unable to deal with the pressure of having insecurities as a major part of their career. Those who depend solely on freelancing for their daily bread are the ones who are most insecure.
In this article, we give you an inside look into the insecurities that trouble freelancers and what you have to prepare yourselves for to establish a career in freelancing in the long run.
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Ensuring a Steady Flow of Work
The nature of a freelancing profession is such that nothing is guaranteed. As soon as he completes an assignment, he has to start looking for another one. New freelancers will feel this more than seasoned ones, but even the most successful, at times, struggle to get new jobs. This is the most striking insecurity that freelancers face these days. The tough competition for jobs has made the piece of the pie smaller for each freelancer. To ensure a steady flow of work and income, it is important for a freelancer to build a strong and large clientele to pull assignments from. It is equally as important for freelancers to complete each assignment well, and win over the client. A satisfied client will return with more job offers. Building good rapport with clients will pave more opportunities for freelancers, keeping the hunt for assignment minimal, so that more time can be spent on getting the job done well.
Fear of losing clients
In all my years as a freelancer, I feel that losing a client tops the list of a freelancer’s insecurities. It’s hard for me to pinpoint the reasons for a loss. I had faced situations in which I thought I had completed assignments perfectly, but still, I lost the client. Despite the amount of hard work you put in, clients can be very hard to deal with at times. I came to realize eventually that it’s not just about doing things perfectly, but also doing them in a manner which impresses your clients.
(Image Source: Kusut Masai)
This is why freelancers should never get complacent with their work, even when working with long-term clients. Such an attitude could be detrimental to your career. It doesn’t matter how many good jobs you have done for them, it takes only one mistake to make a clients stop coming back to you. Each client is precious, so give your best in order to retain your clients. One good thing from this insecurity is that a little fear could turn into a recipe for success.
Scouting for New assignments
You never know when you may go through a dry spell when it comes to getting assignments from your clients. At times, there seems to be no end to the wait for the next job. Such situations do arise, and the best thing a freelancer could do is to scout for new sources of job opportunities. But even this should be attempted within reason – don’t increase your clientele base too quickly, otherwise you might just crash from the overlapping deadlines and conflicting requirements.
Fulfilling commitments from a long list of clients simultaneously can affect freelancers. You don’t want to deliver a bad first impression with new clients and you can’t afford to renegade on the deadlines set by your long-term clients. The decision on which job to rush first may be a real pain, so it’s best to not put yourself in the terrible position to have to choose.
Quoting the Worth of your Services
Many freelancers fall into a dilemma when asked to quote a price for their services. They fear losing a client if they quote a higher price. On the other side of the fence, clients might reject freelancers who quote below par for their services, believing that they may not be up to the mark for the required task. I myself had faced similar situations when I was not sure on how to break the ice. The best solution I follow is to quote a price I have been charging other clients. It is important to find jobs that pay according to your expectations. Finding jobs that pay less will always throw you into a fix. These clients will never increase the price, and instead may force you to decrease your price.
Losing money from unsatisfied clients
There are plenty of instances when freelancers fail to receive their payment, just because the client believes that the completed assignment is what was requested, or substandard. You may have worked hard all through the project, given 18 hours a day to it, but finally, all your efforts go unrecognized and poured down the drain. If your client has decided not to use your work, there is very little you can do anything about it. A freelancer will always be plagued with the fear that a client might refused to pay, if he doesn’t like the work. The only way left is to sell the work to someone else. If your client refuses to pay you the money for the completed assignment, you have the right to sell it to other clients, or use it somewhere else. A client may have his own reason for not accepting your work. Instead of worrying about the money lost, think of ways to salvage what you can by taking your work elsewhere.
Insecurities will always exist for freelancers. The best freelancers are those who learn to accept and overcome such insecurities and come out stronger than ever. In the freelancing line, you have to learn to live with these insecurities and learn to deal with them.