I’ve been a freelance writer for the past 6 years. Whenever I tell people what I do for a living, 99% of them are surprised. They say things like:
“Wow! How’d you manage to get into that field?”
“But… isn’t that the job everyone wishes they had?”
“You must work really hard!”
After hearing responses like these for a few years, I realized most people have an unrealistic view of how challenging it is to start a freelance business.
In reality, just about anyone can get into freelancing. And you don’t have to work particularly hard to succeed (I definitely don’t).
Most recently I’ve turned to coaching people about how to get into freelancing. I regularly talk with people who want to start a freelance business but never manage to start.
It’s a shame, especially right now as so many people are stuck at home with no job, wishing they had freelance income to fall back on. What they don’t realize is that quarantine has given them a huge opportunity to succeed. All they have to do is start.
Here’s why now is the perfect time to start a freelance business for yourself:
Freelance is the Way of the Future
Today the majority of workers are still employed with regular jobs. But that won’t be the case in the long run. According to Freelancers Union’s Freelancing in America survey, 35% of the US workforce are freelancers. That’s 10 million more people than 5 years ago.
The freelance workforce will continue to grow, and that’s largely because there’s more demand for freelancers. Lots of businesses today prefer to work with freelancers instead of hiring salaried employees. After quarantine forced millions to start working from home, business leaders also realized a lot of jobs could be done remotely. Why should they hire, train and house employees in an office when they could outsource to a freelancer for a fraction of the cost?
Statisticians and economists agree that in the future, freelancing will be the rule, not the exception. Getting into the freelance world now means you can stay ahead of the trend, instead of scrambling to make changes later. Get started now so you’re already an experienced freelancer when everyone else tries to get in the market in the next 5 to 10 years. It’s still early days, but not for long.
There’s No Need to Change Your Whole Life
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no need to quit your day job to become a successful freelancer. You can invest as little or as much time into your freelance business as you want.
This is an important point for a lot of people sitting at home unemployed, not sure if they’ll get their job back soon. Even if you get a job next week, taking key steps to set up your freelance business now can be beneficial for you down the road.
A freelance business gives back what you put into it. If it’s a full-time endeavour, you can work hard to pitch and land clients within days. If it’s secondary to your main job, you can work on it in evenings or on weekends to slowly grow your client base. If you get really busy and can’t invest at all, it will still be there for when you find the time. So why not start now?
You Already Have the Skills You Need to Succeed
Probably the most common misconception I see about freelancing is that you need to learn some special skills before you can get started. In reality, you likely already have all the expertise you need to freelance today.
Skills you gain from school or a regular job translate really well to freelancing. All you need to do to get started is to identify your most valuable skills and figure out which freelance niches you’re best suited for. Look at me, for example. I’m a trained anthropologist turned freelance writer. I was able to utilize my research and writing skills from academia to build freelance income for myself.
Lots of people underestimate themselves and struggle with applying their existing skills to a new freelance business. They think they need to start out on the bottom with low-paying work because they have no “experience” as a freelancer. In reality, you can apply and market your current skills to get top gigs with great pay from day one.
I have an online course that helps people effectively apply their skills to freelancing so they can earn great money from the beginning. Check it out if you need help!
Check out the course today!
Excuses Will Always Be There
It’s always easy to come up with reasons why now’s not the right time to start a freelance business. I’ve heard them all from people who were too scared to ever make the leap:
- I’m under a lot of stress from my day job right now.
- I’m too busy with other projects to invest enough time in it.
- I want to wait until the kids are a bit older.
- I’m going through some emotional stuff right now.
- Let me wait until I get a home office.
- I want to read up on it more before diving in.
The list goes on.
Yet the majority of freelancers today didn’t get into it because it was the “perfect” time. They were motivated by major life events, such as realizing they could make more money freelancing:
Nobody can predict what might happen in their life. It might not be the “perfect” time to start freelancing right now, but how do you know it will be in the future? Life is constantly throwing us curve balls that convince us not to pursue our dreams. The only way to overcome it is to stop justifying excuses and convince yourself you can succeed despite them.
Building a successful freelance business is easy. Convincing yourself to actually start is the real challenge. So let today be your major life event — your realization that freelancing is the right choice for you now.
Check out How you can turn your liberal arts degree into Endless Freelance Income!