Is Freelancing Right For You?
It seems at some point in almost every creatives life they have pondered whether or not to take the leap into the world of freelancing. You dream of escaping the 9-5 life and living on your own schedule. When you’ve had a particularly bad day the idea of setting your own hours and working on projects that really excite you are even more appealing.
But freelancing comes with its own set of struggles. It is certainly not the life for everyone. In this article, I am going to dish out the pros and cons and let you decide if freelancing is right for you. As an added bonus check out this helpful quiz to see if you would make a fabulous freelancer!
We couldn’t cover every possible angle of the fashion freelance business in just one post! This article is part of a 6 part series. If you are considering freelancing check out the other articles that are part of this series at the bottom of the page.
Pros to Freelancing:
Being your own boss is not the only good reason to try your hand at freelancing. Below are the top 5 perks of going free agent.
1. Get Your Feet Wet
It can be pretty frustrating when you feel stuck doing the same thing day after day. If you have tried to apply for a different position in a different category or area of the industry and been turned down due to lack of experience freelancing may be the way for you to get your foot in the door.
Freelancing allows you to get your foot in the door in different areas of the industry and offers the ability to work on a multitude of product lines. Keep in mind that if you have little experience in this new area your compensation will reflect that. Once you gain this experience though, you will be worth much more.
2. Build Your Skills
As a freelancer, you can move around and work on different projects which will keep your creative juices flowing and build your portfolio quickly. By working for different companies you are forced to learn new computer programs, new processes, and new systems.
When you freelance you get the opportunity to work with new people all the time. You can learn best practices from them which will give you an advantage. You are then able to transport this knowledge to your next job or project where you will shine as a rockstar talent!
3. Grow Your Network
Freelancing allows you to make connections with many more people than you normally would just working for one company. And I always say, “Your network = your net worth!” This is because your best opportunities are going to come from the people you know and who you surround yourself with. Therefore it is basic math. The more people you know the more opportunities will come your way.
By freelancing, you have the chance to interact with new people all the time. When you work on each new project with these people the more people learn about you and your work.
4. Bump Up Your Salary
When you work for someone else your position is usually only considered up for promotion once a year. However, as a freelancer, every job you take is an opportunity to advance due to new skill sets you acquire. You can give yourself a raise!
Because you are solely responsible for setting your own fees you can raise your rates whenever you want. Of course, you are competing with other freelancers, so you need to remain competitive. However, the new skills you learn make you more valuable as a consultant.
5. Work On The Projects That Excite You!
One of the best things about being a free agent is you decide who you work for and what types of projects you want to work on. This helps you keep your creative juices flowing and excitement for the work you do. One thing is for sure. You will never be bored!
Cons to Freelancing:
Along with all these great qualities of owning your own freelance business comes some challenges. Before you decided to jump feet first into the high-stress world of freelancing I highly urge you to consider the following objections. Not every person is cut out for the additional stresses and constant hustle that come with being a successful freelancer.
1. You Have To Always Be Hustling
In this first section of this article, I mentioned how freelancing gives you the opportunity to quickly grow your network because you are constantly meeting and working with new people for each new job you take on. Well, networking is also part of the job. To be a successful freelancer you HAVE TO constantly be networking and meeting new people in order to keep fully booked for jobs. As a free agent, one must constantly be lining up new work so that they have a steady stream of income.
The non-stop hustle of networking does not come naturally to everyone, especially introverts. You should really ask yourself if you feel comfortable constantly pitching yourself and your services to new potential clients. Every person you meet becomes a potential new client. You really need to be “ON” as they say.
2. Must Be Organized
This sounds rather obvious. But it is even more important for a free agent to be super organized. I’m not just talking about the work you do for your clients either. You really need to set aside time each week to deal with the paperwork that is involved in the business. Staying on top of your accounting will ensure your cash flow is healthy. You have to send out your invoices on time and make sure you are being paid in a timely manner.
For people working in creative fields, this side of the business is usually not the part they look forward to. Ask yourself if you are going to be able to manage this on a regular basis. The good news is there are now lots of software and tools that can make it easier for you.
3. Deal With Confrontation
Being self-employed is not always sunshine and rainbows. You will have to deal with some unsavory individuals from time to time. Not every client will love you. There may be situations where a client is late paying their bill or doesn’t pay at all.
Conflict is not something most people consider when they are dreaming of a life on their terms, but it should be. You will need to figure out how you are going to handle these various scenarios. If you are not the type of person who can fight for what you are owed or what you deserve, then freelancing may not be for you.
Are You A Freelancer And Need To Get Organized?
Fashion Freelance Business Series:
- Is Freelancing Right For You?
- Build Your Career By Freelancing
- Top Tax Deductions For Fashion Freelancers
- How To Build A Successful Freelance Business
- Interview With Jennifer Diana of DJD Studios
- Advice From Top Fashion Freelancers