Top Five Things Every Freelancer Should Know

There are many misconceptions about freelancing.  There are those who think that it is very simple and that everyone can do freelancing.  There are those who believe that anybody can succeed in freelancing with very little work.  There are those who believe that freelancers are paid lots of money.  The public have a lot of misconceptions because they see some freelancers who are doing very well and they end up thinking that all freelancers are the same.  Before you leave your day-job and focus on freelancing, these are top things every freelancer should know.


Some clients may expect you to work for free in exchange for publicity or exposure

Many clients are aware that freelancers want positive testimonials from influential clients.  Many clients think that freelancers will work for free in exchange for a positive testimonial.     Freelancers should be wary of these clients who may want to take advantage of them.   If the client is influential enough in your niche, it maybe worth considering to provide free service in exchange for publicity.  However, if you think about it, if the client has achieved the status as an influencer, then there is no reason for him to take advantage of freelancers.


People think you have a lot of available time

People think that freelancers work only 2 to 3 hours a day and spend the rest of the day in the gym.  People are not aware that much of a freelancer’s time is spent on working.  For a freelancer to grow his business he should allot a considerable amount of time on connecting with other individuals, collaborating with other freelancers and improving his website.  In our case, when we are not taking care of our clients’ needs, we plan the contents for our website, recruit more writers and try to learn new skills.


Freelancers who do not have proof of income may have a hard time applying for loans

Freelancers do not work for anyone so they cannot secure a certificate of employment nor a pay slip.  Typically, banks require loan applicants to secure certificate of employment or pay slip prior to loan approval.  Without these requirements banks are hesitant to approve loans even if you are a long-time depositor.   In our case, we experienced having a difficult time explaining with bank officers the source of our income. 


Freelancers need to do everything on their own

There are tasks which are beyond a freelancers’ skills.  For these tasks, a freelancer can either learn them or hire another freelancer to do it for them.  While freelancers have the option to outsource some work to other freelancers, it can add to their overhead costs.  To save on operation costs, a freelancer should be able to learn them on his own.   Besides, if the freelancer is going to be doing them as he builds his business, it maybe a good idea to find a way to learn these new skills. 

Freelancers need to save up for their retirement    

When freelancers stop working they do not get paid.  If they go on vacation, they don’t expect to get paid.  Thus, it is up to the freelancer to be creative in managing his income ensuring he has enough money for his retirement.


Knowledge is power.  If you have not decided yet whether to go full-time into freelancing, you need to be aware that there are upsides and downsides to freelancing.  Try to research more about freelancing and see if it is the right lifestyle for you.  Perhaps, the best way to find out is to stick to your job first and do freelancing as a side hustle.  As you learn firsthand the ins and outs of freelancing, you can decide whether you want to take it to the next level or stick with it as a side hustle.