Charles R. Swindoll said, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” How does this wisdom apply to freelancers? The answer is simple: freelancing, like life, comes with inevitable successes and failures. Although failure is often unavoidable, a freelancer’s attitude will determine whether recovery is possible.
So, what are the difficulties that freelancers commonly face? The top two are finding clients (according to 20.8% of freelancers), and experiencing feast or famine cycles (16.3%). Although these challenges almost invariably accompany freelancing, they can be minimized with effective response strategies. Below are a few tips for avoiding these common drawbacks of freelancing:
1. Build solid relationships and don’t burn bridges.
So much of success in freelancing depends on building healthy social capital. Treating everyone with respect and approaching all situations with a general air of positivity will eventually come back around to you. Making good impressions on others will always work to your advantage. Potential clients are often found in unexpected places. When a project goes over budget or past deadline, remain calm and collected. Your client will appreciate your attentiveness and courtesy. Just remember to analyze your mistakes and work to avoid them in the future. With everyone you encounter, maintaining healthy human relations is always paramount.
2. Make networking part of your job.
Networking is not overrated. For freelancers, it’s a necessity. Both professional and social networking can lead to work opportunities, or, at the very least, invite new ideas and people into your life. Exchanging knowledge and expertise can make a world of a difference in your work. Plus, word of mouth is the most effective way to gain clients and boost your reputation. Check out this link for tips on how to build your network: https://benrmatthews.com/grow-your-freelance-network/
3. Plan for ebbs and flows.
Freelancing is often a game of feast or famine. Sometimes you’re struggling to get clients on-board, while other times you have more work than you can handle. When things are going well, always keep the future in mind. For instance, if possible, plan for cash reserves in case you have to get through a long drought of slow business. Plan ahead so that you can expect the unexpected. Find a more in-depth survival guide for the freelancing feast or famine cycle at: https://ithemes.com/2015/04/09/feast-or-famine-freelance-cycle/
Ultimately, maximizing pinnacles and minimizing pitfalls heavily depends on a freelancer’s attitude toward life. In the end, effort and determination are keys: freelancers must actively seek out opportunities and smoothly react to worst case scenarios.