As technology advances, more and more opportunities have arisen for professionals. One of the more prominent opportunities is freelancing. Freelancing allows you to have a job, but without being tied to a specific company or corporation. Through this unique arrangement, you will have control of your time and tasks and have options for your work style.
However, freelancing is faced with several challenges that stem directly from these advantages. Freelancers do not get as much benefit as full-time employees, nor do they have a proper system to guide their schedule and tasks. But most of all, freelancing requires a sizable amount of practice and preparation before they can truly be independent.
This article will explore these drawbacks and give you a few ideas on what you will need as a freelancer to deal with these drawbacks.
Tool 1: A Proper Business Email
As a freelancer, whether you are openly looking for a job or not, you will receive offers from different people. And due to the nature of communication in our modern time, those offers will often come in the form of emails.
Thus, it is a good idea to have a specific email dedicated only to your freelancing endeavors. This will allow all job offers to be filtered from the clutter of all your other emails. This also sets up a good identity for other freelance-hiring companies to look at as the email address can be deemed reliable to respond to.
In addition, you can use your freelancing email to set up all other types of online accounts on job hunting sites and social media to establish your presence as a freelancer. By doing this you will be able to extend your reach towards opportunities while remaining organized and with minimal effort.
Tool 2: Online Scheduling Tools
With great power over time, comes great responsibility to manage it. A drawback that freelancing has is that you are not tied down by a specific schedule. While employees rely on company-mandated schedules and shifts, in freelancing, you will have to manage your schedule alone.
Thus, it will greatly benefit you to have one or two digital tools that will help you keep track of how you allot your time. When you keep track of your time, you can figure out when you are most productive and when you have enough time for your personal affairs. This can improve how you can properly balance your professional and personal life — something people associate with freelancing, but is only attainable when you can organize your time well.
Tool 3: A Time Tracker
Similar to an online scheduling tool, a time tracker is a tool that helps you get your affairs in order. However, this one is more for the benefit of your clients. A time tracker is a tool that will help you in making detailed reports on your tasks by recording how much time you spend on doing a specific task. These kinds of reports are the ones that your client will be thankful to receive as they will often have questions about the allocation of your time and effort towards tasks.
In addition, showing your client how much time it took you to finish the project, makes negotiations and pricing for your services easier.
Tool 4: A Way to Do Paperwork
Similar to being solely responsible with time, freelancers are pretty much alone in the different types of legal forms and tax forms they have to fill out. Unlike full-time employees, freelancers have fewer people to turn to for advice in arranging financial paperwork. This dilemma can be fixed by using digital tools such as PDF editors and online form databases. These digital tools will not only provide you with a hassle-free mode of acquiring forms and documents but also a hassle-free way of filling them out. It will relieve your mind of stress as these digital tools can guide you in arranging these types of paperwork, allowing you to focus on your work even more.
Furthermore, with the rise of technology, this style of doing paperwork has become much, much easier, as databases are now full of the forms and documents you need to do to be a responsible working-class taxpayer.
Tool 5: File Organizational Tools
Another unfortunate drawback of freelancing is having to keep all your files on your desk, instead of having an office desk to leave them at. This is especially detrimental if you are working on your desktop as there is a high likelihood that if you are not careful, your files will get lost and mixed in with other non-freelancing related files, leaving you stressed out and wondering where you could have put that specific draft of the project or maybe that document your client has sent you. In any regard, it is wise to keep yourself organized while freelancing to avoid these hiccups.
A good way to ensure that is through online file organizing or storage tools. These tools allow you to save your files online so that they are not cluttered in your physical workspace. You can also access files more conveniently given that online storages allow you to view them on any device that you have connected to the storage.
Furthermore, better organizing tools will allow you to have an easier time sharing files with your clientele and receiving files from them. You can set up an organized stream of information between you and your clients so that they do not have to go through the difficulties of sending you certain documents, and you do not have to think about where and how to send your finished tasks and reports back to them.
While freelancing is currently rising in popularity for both professionals and employers, some people do not find the success they expect because they do not know how to take control of the freedom that freelancing provides and the responsibilities that come with it. It is good to remember that while you are released from full-time employment, it is still wise to invest your time and attention in learning about new digital tools that will allow you to flourish where the ill-prepared fall short.