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The Biggest Challenges Freelancers Face

October 18, 2021

When it comes to freelance work, plenty of people think it’s a dream come true. Working as your own boss, managing your time, and choosing clients could sound like a dream job. However, there are some difficulties many freelancers need to face, no matter how much experience they have. Irregular income and demanding (or too few clients) and just some of them. If you are considering a career in the freelance business, keep reading the following guide. We made a list of the biggest challenges for freelancers you should know about.

Not finding enough work

For regular employees, the process of finding work is simple. Creating a good resume, connecting with people in their business, and going to job interviews is how this process works. However, the freelancing market is expanding every year, making it difficult to stand out from the competitors. Getting recommendations from previous clients is not always a possibility, which is one of the biggest challenges for freelancers.

Whether they’re working half-time or full-time, most freelancers have trouble finding enough work. Not having a regular income has plenty of downsides. On one hand, there are no steady income freelancers can count on, making it difficult to handle living costs. On the other hand, most freelancers find it difficult to get a loan from banks or investors. In the case of starting their own business, it’s often complicated to provide proof of regular income.

One way to avoid this problem is to look for reliable clients to sign a long-term contract with. This way, freelancers can simplify their finance tracking and rely on (more or less) regular income.

Dealing with difficult clients

In any job, there are sometimes clients who are too demanding and difficult to handle. However, regular employees can usually rely on their bosses and managers in these situations. For freelancers, dealing with demanding clients can be rough since they are their own bosses. This is why freelancers have a greater responsibility to clients, so this process can be pretty difficult. Dealing with negative feedback, providing upgrades and changes to the project are just some of the biggest challenges freelancers face.

Handling all finances on their own

Being a one-man company seems like having freedom, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Working on projects and negotiating deals with clients are just some of the obligations freelancers need to face. In order to have a regular income, they have to work on booking new clients, stay in touch with business connections, and, more importantly, handle their own finances.

Tracking different payments on different dates is not always easy, so freelancers use plenty of tools and programs to help them with this task. Managing their invoices, handling delayed payments and different expenses are just some of the tasks freelancers have to do on their own. Whether they’re working as designers, copywriters, or web developers, multitasking is a job description for most freelancers. At the same time, they need to manage their workload, communicate with clients and keep track of their finances.

Managing time effectively

Out of all the biggest challenges for freelancers, this one might be the least obvious one. Since working freelance implies flexible hours, not many people realize how this can be a downside. For freelancers, managing their time effectively is often a big challenge. Some of them succeed in working from different locations during the same month. Others work late into the night to finish all their projects. In a few words, freelancers don’t always handle their time efficiently, especially when there is no strict deadline for the project. Working from home often requires constant interruptions of the workflow, which is why time management is one of the biggest challenges for freelancers.

Not enough time to socialize

Who would have thought that working from home will give you less time to socialize? Unlike a regular 9-5 job, freelancers often have to be available for clients during evening hours or weekends. Even if they have fewer working hours during a week, it’s not always easy for them to synchronize their free time with friends and family. For this reason, freelancers often struggle to find free time to socialize.

Besides irregular working hours, there is another challenge freelancers need to face. In case of working on a difficult project, they often need to work more than 10 hours per day to finalize it. Since most freelancers can’t rely on a regular income, it becomes clear why working so much for a single project is important to them.

Being a freelancer can be a lonely job, especially if it’s the main source of income for someone. However, freelancers still find it more interesting to handle their work on their own terms. With great time management, freelancers can overcome this problem and enjoy their free time.

Dealing with irregular income

Out of all challenges freelancers face, dealing with irregular income is probably the most difficult one. Since finding clients is not an easy job to do, plenty of freelancers struggle to maintain their income steady. While some prefer having multiple income sources, others look forward to booking one long-term client. Either way, freelance work usually evolves from one project to another, making it difficult to rely on a steady income. This is why money is one of the biggest challenges for freelancers.

Is freelancing the right path for you?

Working as a freelancer has plenty of upsides, but also a few downsides. Without having a proper plan, there is no guarantee that freelance work will bring profit. Working flexible hours and handling different types of projects requires smart time management, besides other things. If you want to try your luck in a freelancing world, make sure to make a business plan. Write down a list of your skills, past projects, and clients you are looking to book. Once you create a bigger picture of all the tools you’ll need, you can start looking for projects and trustworthy clients to work with.

Freelancing is not as easy of a job as it may seem. Most freelancers take years to book well-paying clients and work on profitable projects. In order to become a freelancer, you should get ready to put in the work, manage your time and choose work you can handle on your own. With time, better projects and more income will be easier to reach, especially if you are ready to commit to your work full time.

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