Being a freelancer myself I have encountered my share of popular myths that prevail within this industry. In this article I would be doing some mythbusting again, after I busted some popular marketing myths in my last article.
So without wasting your precious time, let’s dive right in. Below are some of the common myths about freelancing that we all are guilty of believing at some point of time
You need to be an expert
No, you don’t need to be an expert to start freelancing. Low- confidence in our own skills leads us to believe this popular myth. You can always start with your current skill level, and learn as you progress in your freelance career.
Whenever you will work on a project, you will learn new things and your skills would improve and become better. You also need to remember that to become an expert at anything requires patience, time, and lots of hard work. So, you need not wait till 20 years to start freelancing.
Begin where you are and with what you have.
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Jack of all trades
The biggest misconception that people have is that they need to know everything in order to become a successful freelancer. Nothing can be farther than truth. In fact, a generalist will always earn less than a specialist. In today’s world it pays to be a specialist. Becoming a master of one specific skill increases your demand. Just think, who would people go to when they have a heart attack? To a cardiologist or a general practitioner? Answer is clear.
Your degree or academic qualifications matter
Are we living in the 80s? No. Then why do you think that piece of paper that you have would matter in this 21st century. Today people value practical knowledge and skills more than theoretical knowledge. They want to know what you can deliver for them. They don’t care for your academic qualifications in freelancing.
If you can deliver a project on time and with brilliant quality, nothing else would matters.
Can you develop a website? Can you write brilliant copy? Can you create a marketing campaign? (BTW, If you want to know more about marketing, here is a brilliant article). Here’s another one if you want to go further in depth. To know more about a brilliant Digital Marketing Internship program with a unique twist, click here.
These are the questions to ask yourself. If you can do what you say you can do then nobody is going to look at that paper that you earned in your college.
Only results matter.
You need previous experience to gain work
When you enter freelancing industry as a fresher without any previous experience then this may happen sometimes but even then there are a lot of workarounds to gain work. In the beginning of your career when you don’t have enough experience the number of projects that you get might be less but you will get projects. There would be people who would be willing to give you a chance to prove your worth. And that is all you need at the start. Do that initial project well and you can slowly start laying the foundation of your freelancing career.
You are your own boss
If you are entering this market with the mentality that you will command your clients and become your own boss then you are hugely mistaken. Even in freelancing, your client replaces your boss in the beginning stages of your career. When you are just starting out then you will not be at the same level as your client. Your client will be your boss then. Only when you build your brand and become popular you will be able to command equality, but even then you will always be answerable to the client.
Freelancing is not for introverts
As I am an introvert myself, so I too am guilty of believing this myth sometimes. But this myth is incorrect. All introverts tend to believe that as freelancing involves communication with people and selling/marketing yourselves, networking etc., they would not be good at it. Yes, its true that freelancing involves a lot of people to people interaction and that might drain an introvert but the good news is that this might actually help introverts move out of their comfort zones.
As introverts we don’t like to talk to people that much but that also becomes a hurdle to develop our communication skills. So we can take this as a challenge to grow our soft skills which will translate into every part of our lives. We will feel more confident and have greater self-esteem when we break our mental barriers. Lot of qualities of introverts are actually more suited to freelancing, like listening carefully, empathy, high focus etc.
It is easy
A lot of people see instagram profiles of popular freelancers or influencers and they think that freelancing is an easy route to that kind of lifestyle with sandy beaches and mojitos. But freelancing is never easy. In fact, it is difficult than having a job because you have to become a multi-tasker. In addition to the actual work you have to do all other stuff that helps a business running like, getting new leads, marketing and promoting yourself, building a brand, accounting, etc. In your job you are only worried about your work at hand but in freelancing there are million other things that you need to be worried about. That is challenging and exciting at the same time. You grow as an individual and push your comfort zone farther than ever.
Freelancing is not a get rich quick scheme. You have to pay your dues and keep learning for life.
Clients will find you if you are good
When you compete in a sea of other freelancers you have to constantly market yourselves. You have to become a content generation machine and always be in front of your audience. You can never relax and think that your clients will automatically find you based on your previous work.
It’s a fad
No, freelancing is not a passing fad or a trend. It is now a reality and large number of people are entering freelancing industry by the day. More and more work is being given to consultants who are experts in their fields. People are realizing the freedom that freelancing can provide and thus shifting to this field constantly.
Its for everyone
No. Freelancing is not suited for everyone. If you are not a problem solver and you like to complain then this is not for you. You have to realise that even if freelancing is a reality of modern times you can’t just jump in following others. You have to self aware. This freelancing life is not for everybody. If you can’t sustain constant pressure/uncertainty then its better you keep your job. But if you are still interested in exploring this, then better to start freelancing in your free time. That way you can gain the experience and build your client base. Then shift fully into it.
So, these were top 10 myths about freelancing that we busted together. There are many more but then I would have to write a book :)..
Thanks for reading. I hope you liked the article and if it provided any value to you please do leave a comment ✒, would mean the world to me ☻☻.
A message for all my Indian friends: If you need any guidance about IELTS, then this the article to read.
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Should you have multiple sources of income. This article here elaborates on this nicely.