I got my first freelancing job almost by chance. After being made redundant from my job at the time, I contacted a connection I knew who just so happened to be in urgent need of copywriting support.
I then got in touch with an ex-colleague. Luckily for me, his partner was on the lookout for a freelancer, which was how I was approached by Amy at Hey Me. Within a month, I had several clients on my books and the work was flowing in.
I’ve wanted to pursue freelance for a while now, but to put it frankly, I’d never had the guts to take the plunge and just do it. Having a young toddler to look after has meant that it’s been the perfect solution for me. Freelancing has enabled me to work part-time, while also allowing me to spend quality time with my little boy.
I’ll be honest, it’s not all been plain-sailing and fear has swept over me at points. I’ve had to develop crash course on-the-job learning about pensions, invoices, tax, and all the other admin tasks that wouldn’t cross your mind when you’re working for somebody else.
But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learnt so much during the three months I’ve been in the gig economy. I’ve worked with a diverse pool of clients from a wide-range of industries, and it’s boosted my confidence massively. I’ve felt respected and wanted by every business I’ve worked with so far, and I’ve learnt a tonne of new skills along the way.
So, as someone who’s fresh into the freelancing game, what can I teach those just starting out? Here are three lessons I’ve learnt in three months:
- Park any nagging doubts
When I first started freelancing, I struggled with imposter syndrome. People will know I’m new to this, what if they don’t think I’m good enough? These were some of the thoughts circulating in my head. What I’ve learnt is, if a client looks at your portfolio and they are willing to pay you for your work, you are good enough. Don’t second guess yourself. Concentrate your efforts into making your work as good as it can be, and park any nagging doubts. The more you believe in yourself, the easier your freelancing journey will be.
- Make the most of jobs that offer collaboration
A lot of freelance work involves working alone, so when a job comes up that allows you to collaborate with others, seize the opportunity with both hands. It’s incredibly valuable being able to gain immediate feedback and share ideas with other people in a team. It also gives you a sense of belonging. It’s refreshing to have conversations with others after working on your own all day. I’m lucky that working with Hey Me has given me the chance to work in such a collaborative set-up – I feel like part of the team, and that’s great.
- Hold your nerve
Holding your nerve is something that Amy mentioned in her 3 things for 3 years post, and I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Just when I feel like work has vanished, and I start to wonder how an earth I’m going to find a new client, an opportunity seems to crop up out of nowhere. Patient is a virtue, and for someone who struggles with patience, I’ve had to learn to go with the flow and trust that everything will be ok.
Freelancing isn’t always a walk in the park, but for me personally, I’ve had an all-round positive experience so far. I’ve learnt so much, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.