Freelancing != more work

I’ve got to agree with Elliott Jay Stocks here, freelancing shouldn’t automatically mean lots of work. When I hear of other freelancers working silly hours, I always think, why?

Since becoming freelance full-time, I’ve probably worked about the same amount of time as I did before. I suppose I’m writing and chasing invoices as well as finding time to market myself but in the grand scheme of things I’ve not seen a tremendous increase in the number of hours I’m putting in.

Making those connections

Reading the comments on Elliot’s post, you’d think freelancing was the hardest thing in the world to do and he’s only making a success of it because of his high profile. The truth is that, Stocks’ high profile and freelance success undoubtedly owe more to his strength of character than a string of good luck and coincidences.

However, making good connections in the industry, is certainly the way to go if you wish to stay employed, but until you actually start freelancing, getting out there and meeting people – those connections will only trickle through slowly.

Talking yourself out of it

People will always find enough reasons not to go freelance:

  • I won’t be able to find the work
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t have the connections

Those concerns are all valid and I’ve felt them too but there comes a time when you have to take the plunge. I decided to make the switch after getting my first on-site freelancing gig and realising that there wasn’t a magical trick involved – I met the agency convinced them I could do the job, then a week later I turned up and did a job I knew I was good at. Once I had that confidence, it was easy to start marketing to other agencies that I was a freelancer and was available for hire. It’s not easy but it certainly isn’t hard either.

Are you a freelancer? What made you decide to take the plunge and how have you found it?

5 responses to “Freelancing != more work”

  1. I ‘took the plunge’ after hating the first (and only) ‘real’ job I had. I do work longer hours, but that’s because I want to, not out of necessity, and having a similarly-minded business partner means it’s a good environment to spend time in.

  2. I decided to go freelance after taking a redundancy offer from a civil service job I was in that was draining all my enthusiasm for life.

    It’s hard. The biggest problem for me seems to be maintaining my confidence and self-belief. It’s all too easy to compare myself to the thought-leaders in the industry and decide I’m too crap to even begin. But what I ought to be concentrating on is the results I get for my clients (effective seo, usable sites, winning ppc campaigns, greater web presence than they realised was possible, etc).

    I really like your blog; it’s a great inspiration.

    And I like yellow.

  3. @James Ward you have to keep up the confidence levels and certainly don’t worry too much about these ‘thought-leaders’ – they’re not necessarily better than you, they’re just better at marketing and making themselves known.

    Glad you like the yellow – very few people do.

  4. Talking yourself out of it… worry of not getting work (via not having the contacts) is so true of myself, having a Baby and a Mortgage and the economic downtime making me think hard about at which point (enough demand for freelance work) I would quit my day job.

  5. I had no choice as companies would not hire me out of uni without 1 or 3 years commercial experience. It was simply impossible, in the Bristol area, to get that experience if no-one was willing to give me a try! Very hard times they were, so i decided to go freelance and do it myself. It is stressful at times but the rewards are well worth it. I’m not sure if i will ever go into a 9-5 if work continues to grow