For those looking from the outside, becoming a freelancer often appears tempting. Being your own boss, choosing the work you do and avoiding the same daily routine has its perks.
Freelance opportunities are available in a huge number of industries, and the internet has made it easier than ever to get your name out there.
However, no amount of previous work experience will prepare you for freelancing if you don’t have the right minerals.
10 Traits of a Great Freelancer
- Time Management
- Skin like a rhinoceros
- Little need for sleep
- A headful of ideas
- Marketing savvy
- Time alone
Let’s take a closer look at the top 5 of those we’ve mentioned above.
1. Time Management
To go freelance, your organisational skills have to be fabulous. The buck will rest entirely on you, so there will be no one to delegate to when you realise a two-hour job is going to take five.
On top of the work you’ve agreed to, you’ll have to make time to source new work, chase monies owed and keep the tax man informed. Oh, and you may want a life on top of this.
Freelancers need to keep any natural shyness for nonworking hours and be prepared to meet and/or speak with total strangers on a whim.
You’ll need to go further than producing great work, delivered on time – some clients will see you as an extension of their office staff, and forming professional friendships gains trust.
3. Skin like a rhinoceros
Be prepared for rejection slips or a total lack of response to work you’ve pitched. It won’t matter how genius your proposed work may be – the quicker you can get the next freelance proposal, the more successful you’ll be in the long run.
Freelancers need to accept rejection as nothing more than part of the daily grind.
4. Little need for sleep
Sleep may need to go on the back-burner for awhile, especially when you’re getting started. Some jobs will overrun, or a great last-minute opportunity may present itself.
With no job security, you’ll need to take on and complete jobs, regardless of the unsociable hours.
5. A headful of ideas
Brilliantly original ideas will need to erupt from you like water from a fountain.
Regardless of your chosen field, you’ll be competing with some brilliant freelancers and your proposals will need to stand out from the crowd.
Always have a plan B, should your first idea hit snags en route to completion. And preferably a plan C too.
70% of UK freelancers polled in a recent study by Manchester startup Approve.io stated that they were asked to work for free at least once in 2016. So being able to organize your time and fight for your rights and worth are necessary skills.
The UK labour market has seen an increase in freelancing since 2000. People working for themselves has risen by 45 per cent. That’s 5 million workers, or 1 in 7.
The exact reasons for such an upturn are unclear, but there are usually a number of factors driving people to this way of working.
Those most often cited, according to surveys by the association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), are a better work-life balance, increased earning potential and having greater control over their work.
- 5 million workers are now freelance
- 45% increase in freelancing since the turn of the millennium
- Productivity of the self-employed is historically higher than those who are employed
- 70% of UK freelancers polled in a recent study by Manchester startup Approve.io stated that they were asked to work for free at least once in 2016.
Financial experts Money Guru have taken their knowledge of working with the self-employed and created a short quiz to test whether you have what it takes to go it alone. They’ve also included advice and a breakdown of the traits you need to succeed.