Freelancing is often portrayed in different ways, with industry influencers making it seem effortless while other freelancers share their behind-the-scenes experiences.
The truth is, the answer varies from person to person. In this article, we’ll provide an honest and well-researched perspective on freelancing for beginners, starting with the fundamental question: ‘Is freelancing easy for beginners?
Freelancing for Beginners
I’ve heard various stories about what led people to become interested in freelancing. For many, it was the perception that freelancers don’t seem like traditional workers because they are always online, appearing like random media enthusiasts. Others have shared different accounts of their motivations.
However, one common thread among these stories, including yours, is that the storytellers were initially exposed to the positive aspects of freelancing. This often leads beginners to believe that freelancing is easy, without considering the underlying challenges and background stories.
As a beginner, it’s natural to feel anxious and unsure about what to expect when starting out as a freelancer. I can relate to this because I’ve been in your shoes before.
Just like in any other situation, it’s difficult to fully understand someone’s experience unless you’ve been through it yourself. In this piece, I will provide you with firsthand information about the good, bad, and awkward sides of freelancing for beginners.
While certain aspects of freelancing as a newcomer may be unavoidable, your approach to entering the field can significantly impact your overall experience, both positive and negative.
Understanding that approach plays a vital role, I will focus on the most common approaches taken by first-time freelancers and whether or not they contribute to an easy start.
Bad Approaches First-time Freelancers Take
Doing these things as you start freelancing may make matters worse for you in the industry.
Starting out on your own
You are not totally wrong if you see other freelancers in your field as competitors but who else can help you out? Those who appear like your competitors in this industry are the right people to move with.
They have some information you are not opportune to get on your own. Seeing them as competitors should only motivate you to do more rather than taking them for enemies. We are one!
Joining a freelance community of like minds will help beginners come over this. It guarantees members first-hand knowledge from others.
Having the wrong mindset
This will do to encapsulate all that has been said in this section of the article. It is a simple reminder to you. Your success should make you feel fulfilled and not victorious over your competitors.
Moreso, you shouldn’t think freelancing is so easy as to sit back without doing the needful.
A bad attitude to freelancing has been developed in you the moment you start taking it for what it is not. It deters you from getting it right!
Good Approaches First-time Freelancers Take
To have a smooth riding as a beginner freelancer, here are some of the things you have to observe.
You should be organised
Meanwhile there is this belief that freelancers play around all day and work for some hours every night, a beginner is not advised to start with this.
Right from the outset, take it as a job and have a scheduled time for resuming work and closing for each day.
Learning to negotiate
Negotiating and knowing how much to charge may not be as simple as it sounds for first-time freelancers, so those who have learnt this act are always at advantage. Most successful freelancers started by charging hourly and then project-based. In my own case, I started with small fixed priced projects.
Getting clients on freelance platforms
You can get clients almost anywhere, but signing up on some platforms will open you to a lot of freelance opportunities.
One won’t go wrong to add that the major freelance success can be traced back to these platforms – wherein referrals are also done.
Clients should know you can
Clients need to be sure they are not wasting their time and resources on you as there are millions of other freelancers out there. Therefore, you’ve got to show up what you can bring to the table if hired.
Having a portfolio to show clients what they are capable of, has helped a number of freelancers in the past. Online learning will help you figure this out.
Give it a try
So, if you can, at the first stage of freelance entrepreneurship, I would advise you try all the niches you like. You can settle for one, afterwards.
With two concise illustrations, I want to make the true idea of what first-time freelancers can expect, based on approaches, crystal clear.
Illustration One: It takes two months of consistent activeness to rank on Freelance Marketplace X, but most freelancers didn’t notice it. Knowing a handful of successful people on the said platform, one teacher up the hill quits his $50 teaching job.
The teacher was down the hill to a post office in search of another job before two months had passed. Why? He lacked two things: the right information and an alternative means to survive.
Illustration Two: One student won a price of $1,500 for his exceptional academic performances as he concluded high school. He loved to design and thus started to showcase his skills on the Freelance Marketplace X.
Before it was already three months, he had a couple regular clients. Why? The logic behind this is being fully prepared (and so on).
Both illustrations are factional. They will help you.
Whether freelancing will be easy for you as a beginner depends on your readiness, approach, mindset, and perhaps the nature of the freelance jobs you long to take.
When you are set, start your freelance journey with a positive mindset. Like others that are already successful, you can do it. It takes discipline, it takes time. It takes learning, it takes practising, and the curiosity to do so.
Freelancing is easy for beginners who do it right. Otherwise, it can be the most challenging thing a person has attempted—owing to its unstructured nature.
Frequently Asked Questions
Freelancing is flexible. However, a source has gathered that over 50% of freelancers work less than 30 hours weekly.
Yes! I’m a Nigerian and freelancers get paid not just in Nigeria, but globally!
You just need a solid portfolio and you are good to go!