It’s 7.00am Monday morning. Your stomach lurches as you pull yourself out of bed. You put on your work clothes and get that sinking feeling. You have to spend the next few hours of your life doing a job you don’t enjoy. It might even be a job that makes you anxious. Your boss might be a total shit.
You think, ‘Am I just not cut out for a 9-5? Why don’t I fit in with the office crowd? There must be something wrong with me.’
I’ve been there. I have hated every job I have ever had. But why? How come most other people can go to work every day, and seem to enjoy it?
If you feel the same way, maybe neither you nor I have ever found the right job to make us feel happy and fulfilled.
It was while I was on maternity leave from work that things changed for me, and it was only by a happy accident. I was surfing the web, and noticed a small advert. It was for a freelancing website. I clicked, and joined – all on a whim.
Fast forward eleven years… I earn a good living as a freelance writer, agricultural journalist, blogger and author.
I have always been a writer, even at a young age I was penning stories and journaling. I went to university and gained a degree in English Literature. Yet, my work life never reflected any of those passions. Maybe that is why I never enjoyed any job.
Freelancing gives you the capacity to be in control of your work life, and when you are working for yourself, even the mundane tasks are more fun. You will still have to work hard, but you choose when, where and how you work.
Does Freelancing really work?
It depends. If you pick a niche that you think will make you money, but you have no passion for the subject, then it is unlikely you will be able to put the effort and passion into making it a success.
However, if you love the niche and have existing skills, then you can turn a freelancing idea into a profitable business.
My interest and skills are in writing, so it was a natural way forward for my freelancing career. I know other freelancers who have become consultants, photographers, and graphic design artists. If you love what you do, it never really feels like too much work.
What about Freelancing and Financial Security?
Freelancing can be a risk, especially if you don’t know how well it will go to begin with. Before you quit your day job, it is a good idea to have been freelancing as a side hustle for a while. Once you begin to pull in a regular income, only then consider leaving your day job.
You might also consider working part time, so that you can get your freelancing business up and running while you still have a little regular money coming in.
How do I get started as a Freelancer?
If you have a service to offer, then you need to get your message out there, and there are several ways of doing so.
A well designed website is your ‘shop front’ and potential clients will be able to find your contact details to discuss working with you. As well as contact detail, you should have a page where you describe the service you offer, as well as an ‘about’ page so clients can get to know you. Some freelancers list fees, but as no two freelance jobs are the same, I recommend providing quotes based upon the details of the job.
Networking is another essential skill that will help get your freelance business started. Start with the people you know and let them know that you are available for work. You’d be surprised at how many jobs you can get from family, friends and acquaintances.
You can also attend local events that fit with your niche. Talking to people, either the public of other businesses can lead to new custom. Always have business cards with you to hand out, so people can contact you or look at your website.
Making the effort to get to know influencers in your niche can help your business grow. Not only are they a source of advice, but they can bring business to you from their own following. You might break the ice by offering your services for free in exchange for something they can offer that will help your business.
Job boards can be a source of work for freelancers. People per Hour, Freelancer and Upwork are all examples of websites where jobs for freelancers are advertised. Be cautious though, as some jobs are not what they seem and can be poorly paid. However, there are genuine clients there who are willing to pay a fair price for quality work.
Local adverts can also be a source of work, so check out websites such as Gumtree and well as local job websites.
Social media can be a good tool for promoting your freelance business. Find out where your target market hang out, and be there too! Engage by joining in with conversations, as well as adding posts that promote your business.
Most social media platforms make use of hashtags, so make sure you add them before any keywords in your posts, so that people outside of your friend groups may find you if they search for the same words. #freelancing #writerforhire
Are you ready to start a new chapter and become your own boss? Time to stop thinking and take action. You might not want to quit your day job just yet, but you can take the first steps to the freedom you want.
Build your website, tell people you know how your services can benefit them, and soon you will be have clients for your business. Keep working on your business, and you might get to the point where you can quit your day job for good. That would be a great feeling, wouldn’t it?