The world of self-employment and, more specifically, freelancing is becoming more populated every day. Freelancing is now being seen as a viable way for entrepreneurs to pursue their passions with a feasible amount of risk.
Freelancers Union and Upwork recently reported that:
- One in three Americans are now freelancing as their primary career—60 percent of whom say that they now earn more from freelancing than they did through their previous method of employment.
- 84 percent feel that the best days of freelancing are yet ahead
- Over one-third of freelancers have seen an increase in demand for their work in the past year
- More than half expect their salary to increase within the coming year.
The Gig Economy Generation
For millennials, freelancing is particularly attractive because they can ease into the world of self-employment without the large, immediate investment of time and money that comes with opening a full fledged business.
However, as attractive as a freelance career may seem to those on the outside, it is important to remember that success in freelancing doesn’t come easily. The path to freelance glory is full of challenges that can be difficult to overcome—without proper help, that is.
Thankfully, for those who feel ready to take their first steps toward the path to self-employment, there are plenty of great resources available to help. A mobile invoicing app developer, Invoice2go, recently created a crowdsourced infographic that draws tips and advice from real world professional freelancers.
What exactly did Invoice2go find out? When professionals from a variety of fields were asked the simple question, “what are your top tips for starting a career in freelancing,” they tended to stick within three distinct categories
- Time management
Here’s a quick breakdown of freelancing tips for millennials and a closer look into what the community had to say:
As a career freelancer, you have the ability to define and adjust your work schedule as you see fit. Compared to the traditional nine-to-five workday, this freedom is largely regarded as a positive. However, new freelancers should practice caution as not to fall victim to the many pitfalls that come with this responsibility.
Setting up specific time for both free time and work can help you avoid turning your calendar into one giant grey area of work/play.
Action item: Professionals from the freelance community recommend recording data from past projects so that you can better manage the time it will take to complete future ones. Finding a time tracking app can also help you better manage your time.
It’s no secret that networking can play a great role in determining the success of your career, but when that career is freelancing, it can be a game changer. Some of the most common obstacles for freelancers are income stability and finding new work. With a strong network of contacts (consisting of past clients and other freelancers alike), you will end up with a much bigger net to cast when you’re on the lookout for that next project.
Action item: Members of the community recommend venturing outside of your home or office. Experiment with working in a coffee shop or find a co-working space; it’s a different kind of networking.
More often than not, freelancing is a solitary effort. For some, this can make it difficult to stay motivated. When it comes to finding your next client or even producing your best work, motivation becomes an integral part of freelancing. So what keeps the professionals motivated after years of work?
Action item: The community recommends celebrating small goals to help keep yourself on track towards the big ones. They also make note that new freelancers should not be deterred by rejection—it’s a big part (and a growing point) in the freelance process.
What freelancing tips for millennials do you have?
As a newbie freelancer, you will undoubtedly run into problems that seem to stop you in your tracks. When those inevitable problems do arise, it’s best to remember that you are not alone. There are always others out there who have either encountered the same problem, or are willing to help you figure out yours. Just take a look at what the professionals had to say in the infographic below, they all started somewhere and have learned valuable lessons along the way.
Do you have any advice that has helped you find success in your own career? Let us know in the comments section!
Bio: Kate is the Community Coordinator at Invoice2go—a mobile invoicing application that offers a suite of helpful products for small business owners and freelancers, as well as free services such as invoice generators. Feel free to check out their blog and Twitter.