When you are leaving college, or if you have just gone fed up with the current restriction in your present job you often look at the freedom of freelancing with longing eyes.
To the uninitiated Freelancing looks a great way to be working. The truth of the matter is it takes a great deal of discipline, and you really do need to have a database of clients as well as some cash behind you.
The discipline is required to run your life in a regular schedule and keep to it. You need discipline to have a time for clients, to set up your various jobs and in running your general life. You cannot just goof off as and when you like, unless you actually set up your own agency, and then you will have no time to do it either. Freelancing means you will in all probably be working far longer hours than ever before.
You will need to create and cultivate a data list of clients and potential clients. These clients will need constant attention to make sure you are on hand when they suddenly decide to have something done. Think of yourself as a complete company where you will have to be the negotiator, the entertainer the accountant, the web developer, the designer, the artist, and the gofer.
If you are sensible you will try to find a partner. The choice of partner will be very important as it has to be someone you trust completely and someone capable of producing equal assets in all directions. By this I mean someone who can design. Someone with a list of clients, someone who has sufficient money to keep them going for the amount of time it takes to get established and someone who will take the job responsibly and not goof off just because you are there too.
In other words, someone prepared to put the same effort into the entire project as you are. Doesn’t sound much fun does it?
Those of you who don’t have the entrepreneurial spirit need to forget this route before you even start. The fact of the matter is you are laying a foundation for your own firm, whether you realize it or not. Oh there are those that can pick up a job here or there but, unless you are professional about it, you won’t make a living at it. Sorry guys and gals but I am blunt about this. You need to love, live and breathe what you do if you want to make it in this game. The hours are long. You need to know an awful lot right across the board. There is no room for specialization in this freelancing field. You need to be a total all rounder to be able to succeed. Those people do exist but they are not the majority. If you think ok I can design one website a month and that will keep me going, think again. The freelance market is full of people from all over the world, and they are all cutting and undercutting their prices in the hopes of meeting the next bill.
The amount of time they spend on a project seems to get less and less as they scrabble for the next job in the hopes of beating out the opposition. To be a good freelance you have to build your reputation and do excellent work to become known. This is where the list of clients comes in. You need this to be able to survive. If you are going to hunt work on the internet a lot of the time you are dead in the water before you start.