How to overcome common freelance challenges – 4 tips

How to overcome common freelance challenges - 4 tips

There are many perks to being a freelancer and there are also many freelance challenges you must overcome. That is why we have taken time to write this article on how to overcome common freelance challenges.

There is no doubt in the fact that freelancing offers flexibility, autonomy and the ability to work in a hybrid system with other job commitments. This has elevated freelancing as the ideal career choice for many who seek to have total freedom and control over necessary business activities.

Freelancers have now constituted a large portion of the workforce in this modern era. This is due to the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic which imposed the freelancing system on various organizations in the industry. During the time of the pandemic, for employees and employers alike, the  introduction of the freelancing work system was very beneficial, being of advantage to both the workers and employers.

For the employees, freelancing helped to reduce the high costs and stress incurred when commuting to and from the office. It also offers the convenience of flexible working schedules, allowing the workers to work when they are best productive.
However for the business employers, freelancing was able to highlight that the existence of flexible work arrangements is crucial to improving the quality of staff, helping to better attract and retain them in the business.

While there is a whole lot to benefit from freelancing, it is worthy to note that the road to smooth freelance success is full of potholes. The potholes being various challenges such as finding clients, lack of motivation, navigating unpredictable income earnings and so on. These challenges will put the determination and resilience of freelancers to the test, ultimately leading them to failure when these problems are not tackled effectively.

In this article, we would be discussing the ways to overcome common freelance challenges in the work industry. These are;

How to overcome common freelance challenges – 4 tips

Before we continue you might want to check out this article on the 4 pros and cons of freelance work. As promised, here are the strategies on how to overcome common freelance challenges;

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(1) Maintaining financial stability

A major prevalent challenge most freelancers face is the area of unpredictable or irregular income streams. This makes it difficult for most freelancers to be financially stable due to the fluctuations they experience in their income earnings.
The following are tips on how freelancers can improve their financial stability.

1. Creation of a clear, well-established budget
Due to the unpredictable system of work of most freelancers, it is difficult to navigate when exactly one will be awarded contracts. For this reason it is crucial that freelancers design budgets that will help to check expenditures.

This will help set aside funds that freelancers can use as financial cushions to navigate dry periods without stress. The budget should be well-defined in such a way that it will allocate enough savings that would serve again variability of freelancer’s income.

2. Diversifying of income streams
Freelancers should explore different types of freelancing projects via online courses. This will make the freelancer to be the jack-of-all-trades allowing him to diversify his income sources by offering different digital skills for different customers.

3. Setting of rates and payments terms
Freelancers should negotiate fair rates and prices for their services. This rate should reflect your experience, skills, market demand and value while being moderately fair and competitive.

Most freelancers assert their value by considering various factors such as expenses, time used and the scope of work. The terms of payment should be clearly established with the methods of payment clearly stated either hourly, weekly or monthly to prevent cash flow disruptions.

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(2) Maintaining a Healthy Work-Life Balance

The solitary nature of freelance jobs does not provide the social interaction that is provided by the traditional office environment. This makes it difficult for freelancers to maintain the delicate balance of work-life structure. It has been discovered that most freelancers spend extra work hours than they would rather do in an office without clear boundaries whatsoever to their personal and professional aspects of their lives.

Hence to maintain a healthy work-life balance, the following tips should be adhered to.

1. Developing a routine
Creation of a clear daily schedule will help to designate and define work hours, separating it from leisure periods. The routine should allocate enough time for rest, relaxation and necessary social activities. This is important to boosting motivation, reducing burnouts and improving overall work productivity.

2. Build a supportive network
Freelancers should seek out and connect with online communities. Alternatively, one could connect with peers and colleagues in industry related events like conferences or project meetings. This will foster social interaction and collaborations amongst freelancers in the same field, reducing the feelings of loneliness and lack of motivation. The association of oneself with other like-mind individuals will also provide a sense of emotional support, in addition to exposing the individual to a range of new, valuable networking opportunities.

3. Effective Time management
As a freelancer, though you have more freedom and flexibility than the traditional office setup, there is a greater need to effectively manage your time. This is because with more freedom, it is sure that there will be more distractions.

Manage your time effectively by planning ahead of tasks, setting deadlines and also by keeping track of work progress. You should set boundaries by performing tasks one after the other in an orderly fashion. This will help prevent over commitment to work and help maintain the balance of work and personal life.

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To this end, one can employ the use of tools and software that will help in time organization such as calendars, timers, planners etc.

(3) Discovering your particular niche

A crucial step to being successful as a freelancer is to discover your own niche. While most freelancers find it easy to choose their discipline like programming, designing etc, it is more of a challenge to them in determining their specific niche.

A niche is a specific area of expertise or specialty that you are based in, that you can offer a target market. By being focused on a particular niche in a field, one is able to differentiate himself from others, showcasing in-depth knowledge and skills in the niche. This will attract more, higher paying clients to you who require high expertise in the field for one solution or the other.

To discover one’s niche, one needs to conduct research on the industry highlighting your strengths, ideal client base and competition. A portfolio should be created highlighting your particular niche in the freelancing system on your social media platform. This should showcase your works and customer feedbacks that new potential clients would be able to use to evaluate your freelancing abilities.

(4) Continuous learning

As a freelancer you need to keep up with the times by learning new skills. This will better update your knowledge, keeping you highly relevant in the competitive freelance market.

In one’s particular niche, there is need for one to be informed about the latest trends and work methods. To this end, learning new skills will enhance creativity, boost motivation and expand one’s professional abilities.

One should invest in necessary upskilling trainings, attending conferences and even seeking for mentorship programs, as these can improve the growth of one’s freelancing skills. It might even be just simple things like reading books, blogs or even listening to podcasts that it would take to unlock new skills.

The key to learning new skills is having a inquisitive mindset, being motivated and highly resourceful.

Israel Otoijamun

Israel Otoijamun is the founder and CEO of GigHQ.xyz. With years of experience in the digital space, I have earned a lot from freelancing, both on Upwork and fiver, thanks to my digital skills. My goal for creating this platform is to help digitally skilled people earn a living through their skills online, irrespective of their location and background. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have enquiries. E-mail: israel@gighq.xyz. ✌️

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