When I first got interested in freelance writing, I thought the role sounded too good to be true. Get paid to write and do what you love? Set your own rates and choose your own hours? Awesome!
For anyone who has a marketable skill they can offer as a freelance service, the freedom and flexibility provided by freelancing can seem really nice, but you have to be careful that you don’t fall for common and believable myths that could derail your success.
Here are 3 you need to look out for.
1. You Only Need to Work a Few Hours Throughout the Day
This is such a believable myth but it’s not really true especially if you want to freelance full time. I’ve never worked as hard as I do now and I typically work during regular business hours like everyone else.
If you have bills to pay and lots of other financial goals, you’ll find yourself working around 40+ hours per week as a freelancer too. Yes you can sleep in, but you may have to put in 6-8 hours of work that day.
Aside from working on projects you also need to factor in time for editing your work and doing revisions, doing outreach and pitching for new opportunities, along with managing email and sending invoices.
You can become really efficient with your work, but don’t expect to have a 4-hour work day right off the bat.
2. It’s Less Stressful
My old job really stressed me out. I was anxious and out of place whenever I went to work and eager for the day to be over.
When I started freelancing full-time, I experienced another type of stress. In the beginning months, I was worried about having enough client work and earning enough to meet my needs. Setting aside money for taxes also threw me for a loop when I realized the amount I had to part with each month.
No work is guaranteed but freelancing opens you up to a whole new level of stress because it can be feast or famine.
3. You’re Guaranteed to Make More Money
This is a big myth you shouldn’t fall for especially when you’re just starting out. Yes, you can set your own rates and have more control over your income. When you want to earn more, you can start charging more and boost your income.
However, you need to have the experience and connections to really double and triple the income you may have made at your day job. You have to take time to sort through client leads and figure out who can afford your rates.
If you’re brand new to the industry, you may need to even do some trial or free work to get your foot in the door. I wasn’t making much at my day job which is why my income did increase when I quit my job to freelance, but I’d also been freelancing for at least 18 months on the side by that time so I was able to build up my experience and pitching skills.
If you’re already earning a competitive income at your traditional job, you may have to prepare for a pay cut when you start freelancing as you work to build your income up. Yet and still, earning more is not always a guarantee so it’s best to have a fully funded emergency fund for when you take the leap.
There’s always more to freelancing than meets the eye. Avoid falling for these very common and believable myths when you get started. The best way to debunk these myths is to see for yourself and start freelancing on the side.