“What I wish I’d known before going Freelance…” Freelancing: What I Wish I'd Known

17 Feb 2015 | COMMENTS: 0 | Author: John Lucas | News

Going freelance might seem like a fantasy of setting your own hours, working on your own terms and pursuing work that you’re truly passionate about. It can be all of those things, but the reality can also involve difficult clients, tedious admin and a lot of hard work – not all of it billable.

We spoke to five successful Freelancers from a variety of industries and asked them what they wish they’d known before they left the 9-to-5 behind…

Mark Walters, SEO Consultant

“The main thing I wish I’d known before I went freelance is that there are a lot of non-billable hours clocked up. Jobs like creating and maintaining my site, writing content regularly, networking and general admin all take time yet don’t directly bring money in. It took me a while to establish an hourly rate that would allow me to do all that stuff and work on clients’ sites whilst being reasonably compensated for it all.”

Thomas Harvey, Graphic Designer

“Chasing money can be a pain, especially when trying to maintain a healthy cash flow. Fortunately I’ve never been a victim of any significant non-payers, but it can be time consuming constantly reminding people to pay their invoices.”

Luan Wise, Marketing Strategist

“My one thing would be to realise the importance of networking – face-to-face and via social media (particularly LinkedIn) – and that a plan is needed to do it well. Building your network, and staying in front of them is the key to referrals; the best form of acquiring new business.”

Neil Wilson, Copy Writer

“That there will be times when you’ll find yourself working through a holiday because you’ve committed to a deadline previously, or when a job crops up that you can’t say no to.”

“Also that if you don’t have the discipline to keep up with work there isn’t anyone to put you back on line – the client will just drift away and you’ve kissed goodbye to money.”

Peter Crush, Business Journalist

“You spend more hours than you really want to chasing people to pay you; that work never comes in nicely spaced out chunks (but all at once, and all with the same deadlines!), and that isolation is either ‘peace and quiet’ to some people, but loneliness to others (luckily I’m the former).”

“Ultimately though, I wish I’d known earlier that freelancing is a much better way of life. If you’re good at what you do, and are fearless about asking people for work, you’ll be fine. It was being frightened of it that kept me in thankless jobs for far too long!”

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