The taste of success in the life of freelancers is much sweeter if they can overcome the barrage of insecurities scattered along their path to success. Take a glimpse into the life of a freelancer, and everything may appear hunky-dory: freelancers seem to work less than what a full-time employee would, they appear to have ample sleep, and most importantly, they secure work based on their own convenience.
Those who are not freelancers are often impressed by the laid-back style that defines the working life of freelancers, which may, in turn, inspire them to consider the same path.
What these ‘outsiders’ fail to see is the amount of hard work and insecurity every freelancer must endure to realize their dreams. The truth is, despite consistent hard work, not every freelancer achieves success.
One reason is their inability to cope with the pressure of having insecurities as a significant part of their career. Those who rely solely on freelancing for their livelihood are the ones who are most insecure.
In this article, we provide an inside look into the insecurities that plague freelancers and what you need to prepare for to establish a long-term career in freelancing.
Ensuring a Steady Flow of Work
The nature of a freelancing profession is such that nothing is guaranteed. As soon as a freelancer completes an assignment, they have to start looking for another one. New freelancers will feel this more than seasoned ones, but even the most successful, at times, struggle to secure new jobs. This is the most striking insecurity that freelancers face these days.
The fierce 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 crucial for a freelancer to build a strong and large clientele to source assignments from. It is equally important for freelancers to complete each assignment well and win over the client.
A satisfied client will return with more job offers. Building a good rapport with clients will pave the way for more opportunities for freelancers, keeping the hunt for assignments minimal, so that more time can be spent on performing the job 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 have 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 challenging to deal with at times. I eventually came to realize that it’s not just about doing things perfectly, but also doing them in a manner that impresses your clients.
This is why freelancers should never become 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 for a client to stop coming back to you. Each client is precious, so give your best in order to retain your clients. One po
Scouting for New Assignments
You never know when you might experience a dry spell in receiving assignments from your clients. Sometimes, the wait for the next job seems endless. Such situations do arise, and the best action a freelancer can take is to scout for new sources of job opportunities.
However, this should be done within reason – don’t expand your client base too quickly, otherwise, you might become overwhelmed by overlapping deadlines and conflicting requirements.
Fulfilling commitments to a long list of clients simultaneously can be challenging for freelancers. You don’t want to make a poor first impression with new clients, and you can’t afford to renege on the deadlines set by your long-term clients. The decision on which job to prioritize can be difficult, so it’s best to avoid putting yourself in the uncomfortable position of having to choose.
Quoting the Worth of Your Services
Many freelancers face a dilemma when asked to quote a price for their services. They fear losing a client if they quote a high price. Conversely, clients might reject freelancers who quote below par for their services, believing that they may not be capable of performing the required task. I have faced similar situations when I was unsure how to proceed.
The best solution I’ve found is to quote a price that I’ve been charging other clients. It’s important to find jobs that pay according to your expectations. Accepting jobs that pay less will always put you in a difficult position. These clients will never increase the price, and may even pressure you to decrease your rate.
Losing Money from Unsatisfied Clients
There are many instances when freelancers fail to receive their payment because the client believes that the completed assignment is not what was requested, or is substandard. You may have worked diligently on the project, dedicating 18 hours a day to it, but in the end, all your efforts go unrecognized and are wasted.
If your client has decided not to use your work, there is very little you can do about it. A freelancer will always be plagued with the fear that a client might refuse to pay if they don’t like the work. The only option left is to sell the work to someone else.
If your client refuses to pay you for the completed assignment, you have the right to sell it to other clients, or use it elsewhere. A client may have their own reasons 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, emerging stronger than ever. In the freelancing field, you have to learn to live with these insecurities and develop strategies to deal with them.