Being an entrepreneur is a very demanding position to be in. I’ve talked about only some of the challenges that an entrepreneur needs to go through.
The other big problem is finding a way to turn a profit.
Now I’ve talked before about how easy it is to make a profit. It’s the same thing that’s likely be told to you:
“Give so much value that people will pay for it.”
Whether that’s in the form of a quality product or a quality service, how we are able to make sales hinges on our ability to give tremendous value to those who bring us on.
But to be actually making money there is a little more than that.
Regardless of how amazing your product or service is, no one will buy it if you are some guy who appeared.
To top that off you still need to convince people that it is worth their time and money.
This requires you to delve into marketing and promoting. It’s a grueling process that takes a lot of time, oftentimes money, before you get your first paycheque.
Even then there’s no guarantee.
You could experience things like my brother has for almost a decade: months of hard work resulting in a flopped project (and therefore no pay), or the pay doesn’t reflect the amount of work that went into the job.
Or perhaps you could be in a situation like myself for a bit, struggling to even work and create a proper workflow.
Fortunately, in our situations we have family to help us out, but this gets trickier for others.
You need an alternative, especially when the bills are piling up.
That’s When It Hits You
As an entrepreneur with some budding skills, you may consider working as a freelancer. It sounds appealing for sure. You could get some quick pay for your services and all in all you can connect with brands and expand your network.
It sounds great on paper, but as someone who has signed up as a freelancer, and has landed a contract too, all I can say is this:
Please see freelance work and platforms as a band-aid fix. Using freelance work as a permanent solution is not an efficient way of expanding your business.
The Pay Is Minimal
At the time of writing this, freelance work for myself is very appealing to someone like myself. Where I am making roughly $100 a month, any kind of extra work I can do is significant. So when I took on my writing client, I basically doubled my income earned.
But that goes to show just how small the amount really is.
For me, this works quite well since my monthly expenses are minimal at most at this point. I can’t say the same for those who are raising a family or have a mountain of bills they need to pay.
Yes, I could charge a higher rate, and so could you right out the door.
Yes, I could take on more clients as well and so could you.
But that won’t honestly do much, especially if you are starting out.
On the short-term, marketing is still vital. Much like job searching, you’ll need to be working hard on freelance platforms to land a position.
Furthermore, you may be working from scratch meaning that no one knows who you are and you have yet to prove your skills. In other words, your freelance resume may be unappealing.
And even if you do get a pretty good pay on your first gig, you also have to factor in the platform’s fee. They take a small cut of any money you receive so you never get the full amount.
So in the end, you won’t be making as much money if you otherwise buckled down and hustled.
You’ll Need To Be Patient
Just like with any job that you apply for you have to wait. There’s a lot of applying and waiting.
Fortunately for me, it took me three tries before I landed my current client. But again it’s much like with job applications: You could land one early or you might land one after several attempts.
This is the case with all manner of things in business. It’ll take time. But going back to what I said above, the pay you are making is small.
So essentially you are spending a lot of time and energy to land some low paying jobs.
The wait honestly at that point isn’t worth it if you are thinking of making your money through a freelance platform.
Depending heavily on freelance work long-term is dangerous.
There Is A Better Alternative
The only reason I am doing freelance work right now is to supplement my income in an area where I’m not making much right now.
Furthermore I’m using freelance work as a means of honing my skills.
It’s for this particular set of reasons that I find freelance work actually worth it.
In my situation, there isn’t a huge demand from me to make more money right now. I can afford to gradually build my income rather than rush myself.
Furthermore what I am earning right now is minimal as I’m still growing my brand and name.
And even still, I am in no rush to make massive changes.
In fact I prefer these small and gradual changes right now.
All that being said, I’ve been working steadily on a better alternative to move away from freelance work. That being doing your own personal outreach.
This means branding yourself, being consistent, and provide a massive amount of value in your work.
But the main focus isn’t to attract clients with this outreach. It’s to make a splash to attract people to you on their own accord. At least for me.
It’s for this reason I started up a three-month writing challenge. I want to be building my brand up and I think the best way to do that is to post quality content on Medium.
You don’t have to go to that extreme though.
What I essentially did was looked at my life and asked myself one thing:
“How could I replace my freelance income with something more significant and will give me more control over my life?”
From there it was setting specific goals and taking action.
Freelance Work Is A Band-Aid
I know I bashed freelance work a lot in this article, but I don’t want you to feel gloomy about it.
Despite my thoughts on freelance work, I am still doing it.
But I am aware that the work that I’m doing is for other purposes, but also temporary.
When you start treating those types of things as mere band-aids, you can start moving away from them. This can also help you in finding better solutions. I’m sure over time I could build a good freelance career, but that potential would be squandered as I’m getting only a fraction of the income.
It may not sound like much at the start where you’re getting a few hundred dollars a month. Although it starts to sink in once you take on higher paying clients.
Furthermore, there are many other creative alternatives that can pay you more than spending your waking hours working with a variety of clients.
I’ll talk more about that later.
To your growth!
Visit Eric at www.EricScottBurdon.com.