AD- This is a sponsored post. All thoughts and opinions remain my own.
I recently reached 2 months of full-time freelancing, and I can’t believe how fast the time has gone!
In some ways, it doesn’t feel like anything has changed, as I was working on my freelance work part-time even while I had a “regular” job.
However, in other ways it feels completely different to my life before, and there’s certainly been a learning curve.
I currently work for various clients, writing for websites and brands, creating social media content and providing VA services for several fantastic blogs.
When I considered quitting my job to become freelance full-time, I would have benefited from reading someone else’s honest experiences.
I want this post to be honest and open about what it’s like to work for yourself, from someone who has just taken the plunge. I’m very much still learning as I go, but it is great to take a bit of time to reflect at this 2 month mark.
I also asked on Twitter if my followers wanted me to discuss anything in this post- and parts of this post have been informed by that. Thank you to everyone who contributed!
In this post, I’ve put together 5 things I’ve learned in 2 months of freelancing.
One of the big differences between freelancing as a side hustle and freelancing as a full-time job is the fear factor.
If you work in a “traditional” job, you can be ill, tired, distracted or unproductive and it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
You can make up the work on another day or put in a few extra hours on the weekend- but you always know the pay check will be steady.
However, when the amount of hours of work you do will directly influence how much you’re paid- that can be a bit scary.
My best advice to deal with this would be to put a firm, realistic financial plan in place, which takes anything and everything into consideration.
Make sure you have savings to cover the months when you might be making slightly less money, and be realistic with yourself about what you can manage.
Always remember that you can get another 9-5 or part-time job if you need it- this doesn’t have to be forever!
Make it work for you
This advice came from my Mum- and it’s something I’ve had to learn after a few burn-outs over the past 2 months! If you choose the freelance life, it’s because you want to create your own schedule.
I thought I had to sit at my desk all day and treat it like a 9-5, but I’ve actually had better results by planning my day around what works for me.
I work better in the mornings, so I try to capitalise on that- and in the afternoon I take longer breaks. This means that when I’m sat at my desk, I am busy and productive, not just scrolling on my phone.
This also means that I sometimes work outside “normal” working hours, but I’m okay with that. I might take Friday afternoon off, but I’ll work Saturday morning. Or I might go for a swim Tuesday morning, but I’ll work until 6pm.
As long as I’m enjoying the work, meeting client expectations and getting the results I need- I can structure my day how I see fit. After all, isn’t that the beauty of freelancing?
It is so rewarding
I absolutely love what I do! I get to write every single day for blogs, brands and websites- and I get to do it all from home, planning my own schedule.
Whether you’re providing freelance translation services or creating written content like me- freelancing can help you do what you love every day.
After I graduated into a pandemic and tried applying for lots of jobs in this field, I never thought I’d get the chance to create content for a living.
For anyone in a similar position, I would really recommend building up work for yourself- especially if you’re not having any luck finding a job role.
I now do a bit of everything for my clients, and I never would have been able to do that if I’d turned to a specific job role when I finished University.
There’s also just something so rewarding about making money for yourself, knowing that every single part of the job was controlled by you.
Choose an organisational system that YOU like
On the outside, my organisational system seems a bit crazy. I use a lot of post-it notes, and a mixture of digital and paper notes. Sometimes I use a calendar and sometimes I use a diary.
I don’t set myself a timetable and I do different things on different days, and sometimes end up doing something completely different to what I planned.
This would panic and stress out someone else, but it works for me!
I like to plan my day around what needs to get done and what I see as a priority at that time, and I never set myself a rigid plan because I know I won’t stick to it.
Instead, I set a day-by-day to-do list for myself and I amend it as new jobs come in, or when I feel I need to give a task more time than I originally thought.
For some people, all they need is 1 diary. For other people, they need multiple ways to keep track of their schedule.
In 2 months of freelancing, I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter what you use to organise your work, as long as you are organised and you’re meeting all your deadlines.
Clients can come from anywhere!
I’ve learned that clients can come from anywhere, and they can be anyone! I got my first client via Twitter, and since then I’ve also found 3 more of my long-term clients via Twitter.
Social media is an incredible place to meet people, and I would really recommend building your online accounts if you’re a freelancer.
This might mean engaging with people in the same field as you, or building up your following so that more people can read your work.
I use social media to push myself and put myself out there.
If someone mentions they need help with their blog, I message them about my VA services. If someone mentions that they often take on freelancers, I message them about my freelance services.
I also found a few of my clients via Upwork. I like the fact that you can apply for job postings that sound interesting or suit your skills, and it gives a freelancer the chance to reach out to clients, rather than the other way around.
If you’re a freelancer, what are some key lessons you’ve learned during your time? Do you agree with my points about freelancing after 2 months? Do you think this post is helpful if you want to take the plunge?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x