The other day I saw someone post in a Facebook group I’m in that they were ready to give up on freelancing as it was too frustrating.
At first, I thought this person just realized that freelancing wasn’t for them and wanted to try something else. After reading more of the comments on the post, I learned that they actually liked the idea of becoming a freelance writer and virtual assistant, but was giving up on it for other reasons.
I’ll be the first to say that freelancing isn’t a perfect fit for everyone. If you don’t like it or don’t think you’ll like it, by all means, there are plenty of other ways to make money and work for yourself.
However, if you really want to freelance but are feeling discouraged or thinking about throwing in the towel, here are a few things to consider before you give up on freelancing.
It Takes Time to Build Up a Sustainable Freelance Business
Even if you have a lot of great skills, you can’t just become a freelancing success overnight. It takes time to build up your business and it starts by growing your network.
The sooner you get in touch with more people who could benefit from your services, the quicker your business will grow as you, onboard new clients.
Still, it takes time to figure out who you’ll serve, send pitches and follow-ups, and market your skills. It took me at around 18 months to build a sustainable freelance business that would replace my full-time job’s income.
It took me at least 6+ months to meet my initial goal of earning $1,000/month consistently from freelancing. It may not take you that long, but this is just a realistic example.
When I first started freelancing, I thought $1,000/month was so far away and I got discouraged but I kept working consistently. If you’re expecting your freelance career to take off within just a few weeks, you may have unrealistic expectations.
Your Income Will Fluctuate Quite a Bit
The one major drawback of freelancing is that your income often fluctuates as you gain and lose clients and as your workload changes.
Some people can’t handle it, but what I do is stash away extra money during the really well-paying months just in case I need it during the lower-paying months. Work will always pick back up even if manage to lose one of your biggest clients so long as you keep your ideas open and pitch prospects regularly.
Another thing you can do is secure long-term contracts with your clients for stability. I’ve been working with some clients for 2+ years and I don’t even have contracts with some. What I did was choose clients who had profitable businesses way before hiring me. This let me know that their business was sustainable and they’d be able to afford to keep a freelancer long-term.
There Are Clients Who Pay Well
Another obstacle that could deter a new freelancer is not finding clients who pay well or pay at all. This was the issue with the person who posted in the Facebook group about feeling ready to give up on freelancing.
She really wanted to freelance but had trouble finding paying clients. This can happen from time to time so it’s important to choose a niche where you see freelancers already making money.
You may want to shy away from competition at first but seeing other freelancing find success just lets you know that it’s a possible outcome for you too. Plus, there’s plenty of work to go around.
I actually found it so helpful to network with other freelancers in my niche and built a solid relationship. Some people are even friendly enough to refer me to jobs or we discuss what we charge certain clients so we can keep our standards high.
For example, I never would have known that someone can become a 6-figure freelance writer if I didn’t connect with 6-figure writers and hear it straight from them.
If you truly want to build a freelance business, don’t give up so easily. It’s not going to be a perfect fit for everyone but if you’re willing to be patient and put in the work, you’ll start to see results and be glad you didn’t give up on freelancing.