Some people jump straight into their careers, laser-focused on what they want to do and what industry they want to conquer. For others, it may take some time to identify career interests and personal expertise. If you’ve ever considered freelancing work in the digital creative space, there are a few things you need to know.
Digital marketing companies and brands rely on freelancers to create web content, design their websites, manage their operations, and more. Whether you’re a skilled writer or a web expert, you can create your career in freelancing for companies.
Freelancing and self-employment aren’t for everyone. They require self-management, discipline, and creativity to be able to work independently and with non-traditional teams and operational structures. Here are 5 things you should know before getting started in freelancing:
1. Freelancing Requires Self-Discipline
If you’re going to work as a freelancing creative like a blog-writer, graphic designer, or virtual assistant, you’ll need to be able to manage your time and your clients’ needs. You may work in a group of other creatives who can help you along the way but as an independent worker, you’ll be required to stay on top of your assignments and commitments.
If you’ve worked in a traditional work environment like an office, you may be accustomed to being managed by persons of a higher level. But when you work as a freelancer, the only person who will hold you accountable for deadlines is you.
Before you consider freelancing as a career, ask yourself:
- Can I manage my own schedule?
- Can I manage my bandwidth and work availability?
- Do I have the capacity to work on several teams?
When you join a digital team, you’ll commit to working for a certain amount of time and to work on specific projects. Your commitments will require you to hold yourself accountable and ensure that you are meeting expectations and fulfilling your agreements.
Self-discipline is essential to your success as a freelancer in the digital world. Your jobs, relationships, and clientele depend on your ability to manage yourself.
2. Solopreneurship Isn’t Necessarily Solo
Working as an independent contractor isn’t always so independent. When freelancing, you’ll most-likely be on boarded onto small teams of digital creatives and collaboration will be a must.
You’ll need to be able to take direction from your client or their managing roles and implement their ideas and your assignments, which will take communication like daily check-ins and status reports. You may also need to work closely with their teams to see projects through completion and meet team deadlines.
When you think of freelancing, you may think of working on your own schedule from the comfort of your couch but that won’t always be the case. You may need to make yourself available during your clients’ times of operation and for occasional Zoom meetings with your team.
You’ll need to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively with your client and their teams. Your work won’t always be done independently.
3. You’re the Determining Factor of Your Success
At the beginning of your freelancing career, it’s important to set your goals individually and be realistic with them to actually work towards accomplishing those goals. As an independent creative, you can’t rely on anyone else to push you to do better or meet your goals.
- You set your own goals
- You’re responsible for meeting your goals
And you’ll repeat the process for the entirety of your career. Goal-setting is never a one and done. If you want to keep growing as a professional, you’ll set goals daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, and for the future.
You’ll need to be able to measure your capacity, your projections, and your growth-plans independently. You’ll be the only thing standing in your way of success.
4. You’ll Become a Forever Student
Whether you’re a starting solopreneur or an established freelancer, you’ll need to learn, learn, and do some more learning. Every day, you’ll learn something new about your craft, clients, industry, market, and more. Plan on being a student forever!
The thing that will set you apart from other people who do what you do, is your ability to grow with changes. You’ll need to acquire new skills, understand new concepts, and it will be challenging at times.
One thing we believe in, here at GrowthFocus, is:
To learn something new is a priviledge. Learning is a priviledge that allows you to be a better version of yourself.
If you’re not learning something new and if you aren’t challenging yourself, you will stay stagnant and so will your business.
5. Freelancing is a lifestyle
You are your brand and you are your business. When you become a freelancer or you become self-employed as an independent worker, you are your legacy.
Don’t let your employment in the past reflect your mindset and your mentality as a freelancer and as a self-employed business person.
Your work is a different world when you are your own boss when you’re the spokesperson of your business.
Your work becomes the way that you talk, the way you communicate with strangers, the way you show up online. Professionalism becomes a part of your daily routine because you are the spokesperson for your own brand.
In freelancing work, there’s no off-switch with your work because you’ve chosen a career path of passion and skill and not a job. Freelancing requires you to keep your business mind on at all times and always show up with your best foot forward.
If you’ve considered being self-employed as a digital creative or starting a career as a freelancer, it isn’t all pajamas and social media posts. It requires self-discipline, individual goal-setting, and accountability. What was the most surprising thing you learned from reading this post? Share in the comments below! Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram for more freelancing advice!