Some time ago a friend told me: “There is not enough information about freelancing on the Net”.
Hey, how’s that, there is everything on the Net! I was sure he has not searched, but when I tried myself I understood he was partially right. There are a lot of discussions about freelancing and a lot of sites offering useful information. But there is also a lot of disinformation and myths which keep many capable people out of this business.
Let’s sort the most common delusions:
1. Freelancing is too risky
Sure, every business is risky. But is it riskier than your day job? What happens if you make a big failure in your job? You may get fired. Then you are left without any income and must look for another job. In freelancing, if you make a failure you will lose one client. And the smart freelancers never work with only one client.
Without proper money management freelancing is really risky. If you spend all the money you get each moment, you won’t be able to meet eventual low months. That’s why you need manage your finances and put money aside when you have more than needed.
2. Freelancers are underpaid
Really? Who said that? As a freelancer I was earning 2-3 times the salary in the last company I worked for. And I considered it a decent salary.
It depends entirely on your skills how much you will get paid. Of course worldwide freelancing is harder for people who live in US and Western Europe because they have to compete with much cheaper offers of the rest of the world. But I know about several freelancers who charge $60 or more per hour and still can’t complain of lack of projects. It’s all about you.
3. There is too much competition
There is no market without competition. But internet freelancing gives you not only all the competitors in the world. It also gives you access to all the clients out there. For everyone there is a place under the Sun. The competition in freelancing is not worse than the competition for getting a job in a local company.
4. It takes all your time
Yes, maybe – if you work very slow or if you are too greedy or if you have nothing better to do than working.
Freelancing allows you to manage your free and work time on your own. It does not force you to work all the time. Some freelancers have no free time at all, but this is entirely their decision.
5. Only programmers can freelance
Why don’t you visit Guru.com for example. You will see so many professionals from so many different fields freelancing.
The freelance business is available for everyone whose work can be done remotely. This includes all web based jobs, writing, copyrighting, arts, consulting, all kind of computer jobs, accounting and many, many more.
6. You wait too long to get paid
This is possible depending on what payment methods you are using. An international bank wire usually takes just 3-4 days. If you are doing your freelance business thru a third party service, such like a freelance marketplace, you will have to wait for them to send the wire. This usually can take up to a week.
If you accept Paypal or credit cards, the payment appears in your account immediately. From then on it takes time for the money to come in your bank account however. Depending on where you live it can take 3-4 days again.
If you accept e-currencies like e-gold you can use debit cards and cashout faster – in 24 hours or so. Usually it is expensive (about 10% of your money burns in fees).
So, what do you think, is a week too long wait to get paid? What about the office workers who wait two weeks or one month to get their salary? It all comes to proper money management. If you don’t immediately spend all you receive, you will have no problems with the payment delays.
7. When you are new, you can’t get a project
It is well known that the buyers of freelance projects are looking for established providers. Usually. Your resume is very important (see how to write a resume).
Many of the customers however are looking for small help for cheap. The freelancers with a lot of experience usually are not very interested in such jobs. This is your chance. If you are new, aim for the small projects – even if it is a job for $10, try to do it and over deliver with quality. Get a testimonial and a happy customer. Work for your name and it will start working for you later
8. Freelancing is not letting you grow
Do you really believe this? A programmer or a web designer who works in a company usually work on a small piece of a large project. On the other hand, the freelancer often has to complete the entire project, to solve new problem and to learn new technologies.
In fact if you want to be a successful freelancer you must grow and learn new things all the time. Isn’t it a great way to expand your skills?
9. You must spam people or bug them on the phone
I’ve never ever spammed anyone, nor I had done any cold calling in my freelance career. There are a lot of people who look for something to be done. Instead of contacting someone who may not be interested at all in your skills, it’s much easier to find these who are already looking for things to be done.
See the best way to find freelance jobs without spamming anyone or ringing phones.
10. Freelancing is only temporary employment
If you make nice income and feel like doing interesting things, why stop doing it?
Filed under: Freelance Beginner Guides