The Honest Truth About Freelancing Full-Time: Positive and Negative Aspects


Freelancing seems like the dream gig for a number of people that want to travel the world while earning money. Remote workers can also do this but they likely have certain hours they have to be online. Finding the right few freelance gigs can allow for your income to stabilize monthly. Long-term clients are the consistent income while other gigs you pick up can supplement your regular income.

Long Hours Are Needed

Long hours are going to be required in some roles in order to maximize your income. The ability to work an extra few hours per day is going to haunt you if you decide to end your day early. Money left on the table is something freelancers think about when they aren’t picking up new projects or have lost a high paying job. Doing the following will allow you to avoid guilt from working too little:

  •         Set a daily agenda and stick to it even if you want to be done for the day.
  •         Prioritize work by deadline so you do not overload yourself on a certain week. There are going to be weeks where you have an immense number of deadlines that all seem to occur in a short span. These times test even the most motivated of freelancers as it seems like they are constantly working.
  •         Set specific working hours if you have hourly contracts that you work.
  •         Jobs that overlap in some forms can allow you to earn on both contracts simultaneously.

Certain Clients Take a While to Show Their True Colors

Clients might take a few projects to show their true colors. There is the client that is a bit more reserved in the beginning then loosens up and ends up being a valued partner. The other might be quite friendly in the beginning of the relationship only to be abusive or refuse to pay later. Kill your clients with kindness as the last thing that you want is to be kicked off of the platform for responding to a disrespectful comment. Web design projects can really go off of the rails which makes it essential to check in with milestones. Keep your work protected until the final payment is made as you would be surprised at the tactics some companies use to take advantage of freelancers.

Clients that truly appreciate what you bring to the table can be a valuable asset. These clients can expand the work they require from you or even refer to other projects. The fact that they have you earn around the same amount of money monthly is just another positive aspect of appreciative clients. Dropping clients that are disrespectful or change the scope of the project needs to be done with tact. There could be someone new managing the freelancers that doesn’t understand what you were asked to do. End things with grace as you might find a great gig offered by the same company down the road. While you might not think this will happen, a number of freelancers can attest that this is a fact.

Tactics You Will See With Some Clients

Scoop creep is extremely common as a client will change the scope of a project. Small changes are one thing but completely overhauling the project then expecting the same rate to be charged is ludicrous. Mention this to the client that the requirements of their new project will be more expensive. Some clients will have no issue increasing your pay due to the extra work required. Other clients might start arguing over this as they might not think the extra work deserves more compensation. You should already know the value of your time so this will be left up to a judgement call of whether you want to proceed or not.

Asking you to lower your rate for more work happens with clients trying to save money. Clients are going to promise extra work or more volume if you lower your rate. The fact is that you are not guaranteed the extra work but will be lowering your rate for work you are already taking on. Clients that ask for a lower rate after you have done a quality job can be a warning sign. The client is not appreciating your work in some cases while in others they are kept to a strict budget.

Waiting until you halt work to pay can be done by a client. Clients that always want you to hit their deadlines but are MIA when it comes time to payment can be a nightmare. Halting work is a great way to get their attention as you should be paid in a timely manner for work you have done.

Demeaning your work then asking for a reduced rate is a common tactic used by those that do not know how to treat freelancers. Insulting your work then asking for a lower hourly rate or price per project can be confusing. Your work is not as low-quality as the client wants you to think or they would opt for another freelancer. Be confident in the work that you do as some clients are playing games to get work done at the lowest price possible.

Threatening to sue you is going to be a common tactic as legal proceedings can be expensive. This is used as a scare tactic and likely will not be pursued. In your contracts, you need to specify payment terms and other specifics. This can protect you in court if a client wants to try to threaten legal action for one reason or another.

Disappearing without paying can happen, although some freelancer platforms protect the freelancer in these cases. Be patient about this as your point of contact could be on holiday. Immediately threatening the client can ruin the relationship when the whole situation could be some form of miscommunication.

Days Can be Lonely

Working from home can be extremely lonely as you will not realize how much you miss the interaction of coworkers. Working with other freelancers can allow you to socialize without worrying about your productivity levels. The ability to work at your favorite park or beach needs to be taken advantage of. Breaking up the work week can allow you to stay motivated as it is easy to burn yourself out after a few weeks of long hours. Shared working hubs are common throughout the world and very popular in locations with a number of digital nomads.

The Freedom is Truly Worth It

The freedom to live internationally or constantly be on the road as a freelancer cannot be matched in terms of professional flexibility. The ability to save excess money due to living in a country with a low cost of living is a popular option. Being able to travel the world is one thing, being able to do this while maintaining a healthy income is another. Being able to pick what type of clients you will work with can be rewarding as well. A freelancer that specializes in the digital promotion of events for charities can earn an income while helping a great cause.

Finding a Few Contracts You Can Provide Needed Interaction

Finding a few companies that you can work with as a freelancer whether it is 10 or 20 hours per week can be important. This allows you to interact with people weekly and you can develop personal rapport. The consistent weekly income also provides peace of mind as long as you know the quality of the work you provide is top of the line.

Addiction Can be Easy to Form

Even before the days of COVID-19, freelancers can easily develop a substance abuse problem. There is no direct manager that will be physically with you during the day. Having a drink with lunch can quickly lead to two drinks. The tough aspect of addiction is that it can spiral quickly if there are very few repercussions. Take a look at your drinking habits as you might find you drink far more than you have even realized.

The life of a freelancer can be stressful but nothing beats not having to go into an office. Take the time to consider all of the factors above before making the transition to freelancing full-time.