While there is no denying that freelancing can be a very rewarding experience, there are also some common misconceptions about what it entails. In this article, I’ll debunk some of the most popular myths about freelancing so that you can make an informed decision before embarking on your freelance journey!
6 common freelancing myths are:
- Freelancing isn’t secure
- Freelancers don’t have bosses
- Freelancing is easy
- All freelancers work online
- Freelancers only do work they enjoy
- Freelancers make more money than employees
6 Freelancing Myths Debunked
1. Freelancing Isn’t Secure
The myth that freelancing isn’t secure is one of the most persistent misconceptions about this career path. It’s true that there are some risks involved with freelancing, but these can be managed if you take the right steps to protect yourself and your business.
One of the main reasons people believe that freelancing isn’t secure is that they’re used to having an employer provide them with a steady paycheck and job security. They believe freelancing can’t provide that, as you’re responsible for finding work.
Freelancing Can Be Secure
But as long as you manage your finances properly and ensure you always have enough money in reserve, you can make sure your financial situation remains stable even when clients come and go. You also need to make sure you have contracts in place with clients so that everyone knows what their obligations are from the start.
Another way to stay secure when working as a freelancer is by diversifying your client base so that no single project or client makes up too large a portion of your income streams. This helps protect against unexpected changes in demand or delays on projects which could otherwise leave you without work for extended periods of time.
Your security as a freelancer will ultimately depend on your own abilities to find clients, do good work, and continue to grow your income. It’s not the right career path for everyone, but it can be a very secure lifestyle for those that can source consistent work.
Jobs Aren’t Necessarily For Life
Finally, it’s worth noting that even a traditional job isn’t necessarily secure. We have seen obvious examples of mass redundancies as a result of market downturns, with the likes of the COVID-19 pandemic leading to millions of job losses worldwide (100+ million in 2020 alone).
Global events aside, even though a job may provide a steady paycheck, there’s no guarantee your services will be required in the long term. While there are protections in place that prevent most employers from letting workers go without good reason or plenty of notice, it’s foolish to assume a job is 100% secure and freelancing is the opposite.
In both situations, you need to be adaptable, flexible, and motivated, otherwise you will struggle to succeed in the long run.
2. Freelancers Don’t Have A Boss
Another one of the biggest myths about freelancing is that you don’t have a boss. While it’s true that you won’t have an employer who provides direction and oversight, there are still plenty of people who will be involved in your work as a freelancer.
The most obvious type of ‘boss’ for freelancers is their clients – the people who hire them to complete projects or tasks on their behalf. Clients provide instructions and guidance throughout the project, so it’s important to keep them updated with progress reports and take feedback seriously when necessary.
Your Clients Are Your Boss(es)
While you might not see them as a boss, your clients dictate whether you get paid – and how much you get. This means you actually likely have many different bosses when you’re a freelancer, all responsible for different projects.
However, you are still your own boss to an extent. You are responsible for your own success, and you need to manage everything from your finances to client relationships. If you don’t think you’d make a good boss of yourself, freelancing might not be right for you.
3. Freelancing Is Easy
The myth that freelancing is easy to do and requires no effort is one of the most pervasive misconceptions about the industry. While it’s true that there are many advantages to working as a freelancer, such as having more control over your work schedule and not needing to commute to an office every day, it’s still far from being an ‘easy’ job.
In fact, you’ll have to put in considerable amounts of time and energy just to get your freelancing business off the ground, never mind getting any clients. So, if you’re considering becoming a freelancer, make sure you understand all the challenges involved before making any commitments.
You Need To Grow Constantly
Freelancers need both technical skills (such as coding or design) and soft skills (like communication and problem solving) in order to succeed. These skills must constantly evolve with changing trends in technology or customer needs, so your role and responsibilities as a freelancer is continuously growing and changing.
Finding clients, dealing with them, handling payments, and marketing yourself are all vital to your success as a freelancer. None of these things are ‘easy,’ at least for beginners. This means you need to be willing to work hard if you want to go the self-employed route. But if you do, the rewards can be huge.
4. All Freelancers Work Online
While it’s true that the majority of freelancing jobs are completed remotely, there are still plenty of opportunities for those who prefer to work in-person. There are even entire freelance marketplaces for this type of freelancing, such as TaskRabbit or Thumbtack.
Although most freelancers do use the internet to find clients and complete their tasks, not everyone needs to rely heavily on digital technology when working as a freelancer. Some freelancers specialize in providing services such as writing or editing, which don’t require any special equipment and they’re not typically location specific. However, others may work in offices as part of larger teams.
This may be especially true for graphic designers, who may be working as part of a team at a specific location. Someone who prefers to draw artwork by hand may not be able to use a computer at all.
However, there is also a huge market for physical freelancing tasks, such as handyman work or help with moving house. There are even freelancers who help people build their flatpack furniture! So, you don’t have to be a digital freelancer if you would rather work in-person or as part of a team.
5. Freelancers Only Do Work They Enjoy
Freelancing offers more flexibility and freedom than a traditional job, but it also requires hard work and dedication to be successful. Freelancers must constantly be on the lookout for new clients, manage their own finances, and juggle multiple projects at once – all while ensuring that their work meets their clients’ expectations.
In other words, freelancers may not always enjoy every task they have to complete, but if they want to remain successful in this field, they need to find ways to stay motivated despite any challenges or obstacles they encounter along the way.
It’s important for aspiring freelancers to understand that success doesn’t come from only doing tasks you love. Instead, you should focus on finding a balance between what you’re passionate about and what will help your business grow.
This means taking on projects that are outside your comfort zone as well as those within it, even if there are times when these tasks don’t seem particularly enjoyable or rewarding. By challenging yourself with different types of jobs and expanding your skill set over time, you can increase your income potential while still enjoying life as a freelancer.
Plus, freelancers need to deal with tasks like accounting, project management, outreach, and marketing, which they may not find particularly enjoyable. However, these are vital tasks for anyone that wants to make it as a successful freelancer.
6. Freelancers Make More Money Than Employees
There are lots of different factors that can affect how much money a freelancer earns, and so they don’t always earn more than employees in similar roles or industries. I’ve already mentioned a few times that your success and earnings as a freelancer largely depends on the work you put in to get and keep clients. But earning potentials for freelancers in similar industries to employees at companies can also just be lower in general.
Some companies will be able to afford to pay high salaries as a result of investor backing or good sales performance. This means entry-level jobs can pay higher wages than beginner freelancers might be able to earn when they don’t have much credibility yet. However, the ceiling for freelancers can often be much higher, as you can build up a reputation of high-quality work and charge high prices as a result.
Accounting For Expenses
Another important factor to take into account when considering freelance vs employee wages is the cost of materials and equipment. Freelancers typically need to purchase their own tools (such as design software or a new laptop) and cover other associated expenses like internet bills or office rent, which can cut into their overall profits considerably.
Employees usually don’t need to worry about this (although they may pay to commute), and they often get their expenses reimbursed by their employer.
Finally, it’s important to remember that freelancers don’t typically receive benefits like health insurance or paid vacation time. While not directly associated with earnings, these add significant value to an employee’s contract that is just not present for most freelancers.
There are lots of myths associated with freelancing, and while there can be some truth to them, it’s important to remember that everyone leads a different freelancing career. Some freelancers will be more financially secure than some people in traditional jobs for example, while many freelancers don’t make enough money to cover their everyday expenses.
If you want to take on freelancing as a career path, you need to understand what’s behind each of these myths to see if it’s the right choice for you.