Tuesday, May 8, 2018

What It's Like Working As A Full-Time Freelancer

What It's Like Working As A Full-Time Freelancer

The past couple of months, I've had quite a few people ask me how full-time blogging is going. For those who follow along on my social channels, it's been unclear what my actual business is really like. There is always some degree of surprise when I tell them, "Oh, I'm not full-time blogging. I have my own freelance business." After being asked this by several friends and family, I decided I should clarify what exactly I'm doing now as my full-time gig and share my story for those interested in freelancing.

I’ve been in the blogging and digital content world for almost six years. I’d always dreamed of taking my blog full-time, or creating my own agency working with clients and producing content that I loved. But, like anything else, the idea of leaving my “comfortable” full-time position for the unknown scared me to no end. Looking back now, I wish that I took the plunge sooner.

Now, I know what you might be thinking – dang, she just up and left? The truth is that I had been considering freelancing full-time since January 2017. Yes, you read that right – I LET AN ENTIRE YEAR GO BY. I found myself saying: What makes the most sense at this stage in my life? How will I find clients? What if I completely fail? I kept pushing away the most important question of them all: What if I am successful and love it? That’s the question I asked myself late last year, and I knew that only time and giving it my all would yield the answer.

I offer my clients an array of services including influencer marketing, digital content creation, social media management and paid media marketing. And you know the best part? It’s only the beginning! I’m tuning into podcasts, registering for webinars and courses to keep learning how I can keep taking things to the next level!

So what exactly is freelancing full-time like? Here's five basic things you should know:

No Two Days Will Be The Same

Now, I used to say this as a description for my corporate job, but I've quickly realized that was not the case. One day I'll be at the HQ for one of my clients from 9am-5pm. The next day, I'll be driving across the state to capture content. The following day, I'll be working in my home office until the sun goes down editing video and scheduling campaign posts. There truly are no two days that are the same.

The 9am-5pm Timeframe is Just a Guideline

Of course, when you make your own schedule you can set your desired hours. But, you should come to the realization that there will be days, weekends and other times when you will be working unexpectedly. I've dedicated time during some traveling, shot photoshoots on weekends, worked into the late hours of the night and started working promptly at 6am for some clients. I do whatever it takes to get the job done. Though this may sound miserable to many, there is a trade-off. Being able to do this means that I can take the time to go to those workout classes, run necessary errands, cook a nice dinner, work on my blog content or clean the house without the pressure.

Dry Months Are A Possibility

Everyone is afraid of the zero-dollar month - but that's the reality of working as a freelancer. Paychecks can be steady with some clients that you have on a schedule, and others can arrive at random times. This means that you must be prepared to go out-of-pocket for some expenses when necessary until payment comes in. If you find yourself in this situation in the beginning, that's okay. If a year goes by and you're still struggling to make ends meet, it may be time to add a part-time job or side hustle into the mix to earn a little more cash.

Be Financially Fit Before Making A Move

There have been so many people who decide to make this move on a whim without being in the proper financial state. The golden rule is that you should at least have enough money in savings to cover six months of needed expenses in the case of a dry period. I think one should have a year's worth of expenses covered - for incidentals and business-required investments (think equipment/software and more). It never hurts to explore different job opportunities (part-time, remote jobs, temp jobs) if you want to add to the stash.

Be Passionate and Love What You Do

At first I was so afraid of how things were going to turn out, having to work odd hours to make ends meet or ultimately failing at my dream. Fast-forward five months and I'm an established LLC working with clients that I love, and enjoying every minute of the work I do for them. Being able to say that means more to me than anything. Whatever industry you're looking to venture into, attack it with passion and you'll be astonished at the good things that come your way. Don't be afraid to accept help from family and friends, reach out to old colleagues and always leave a lasting impression. Those instances will set you up for the time when you open your inbox and have an opportunity that you never expected.

Now, this isn't a deep dive into all things freelancing. There are so many things to consider on the side - medical insurance options, retirement plans, and tracking business expenses. I'll be doing an in-depth post about this in the future for those interested!

If you're thinking of freelancing, I would love to hear your thoughts, fears or questions! Feel free to comment below or email me at any time.

It's perfectly normal to be afraid, but you don't have to do it alone.

x, B
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2 comments

  1. So cool to hear about your day to day routine at a freelancer! I do it too and find the same struggles with some dry months but it's been such an amazing experience so far! Best of luck!

    Amanda
    Affordable by Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love this! I am just graduating and now I am looking for a job but I'll probably just blogging until then! I really hope I can make it!

    briana
    https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

    ReplyDelete

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