Except for about 18 months, I’ve been fully self-employed for the most part since long I can’t remember. I’ve worked mostly in the editorial industry as a freelance writer (editor, proofreader, copy editor, word processor, and paraphraser). In short, I’ve been out there a while. I wanted to point this out because I receive a lot of questions from wannabe freelancers – and what stands out, for the most part, is fear.
Biggest Fears Some Freelancers Face
Following are some of the most common fears that I hear from potential freelancers: (i) fear that they won’t earn enough to pay their bills; (ii) fear that freelance jobs will dry up if the economy goes belly up; (iii) fear that they won’t be able to find clients; (iv) fear that if they freelance (you fill in the blank).
Taking the Fear Out of Freelancing
A lot of these fears about freelancing are simply unfounded, as a recent study sponsored by the International Freelancers Day online conference found. The findings were released as The 2011 Freelance Industry Report.
Over 1,200 freelancers – from web designers to copywriters to translators, paraphrasersand more – provided in-depth info about their businesses and their lives as freelancers that show, “Hey, freelancing is not as scary as many think.” Following are three of the biggest fears this report debunked.
3 Freelance Fears Put to Rest
Freelancing Fear No. 1: I Won’t Be Able to Earn Enough to Pay My Bills
The information proved this to be unfounded. Freelancers earn pretty good money. The report showed that although the range varies widely, 45% of freelancers earn between $20 – $59 per hour. Furthermore, 26% normally earn $80 or more per hour and 17% earn $100 or more per hour.
One thing that was particularly interesting this survey showed was that “Just over half of freelancers are the primary income earners in their household.” So, not only do many freelancers earn enough – they earn enough to fully support their families.
Freelancing Fear No. 2: Finding Clients Will be Difficult
Interestingly, while this was a top concern among the freelancers surveyed, the number who worried about it wasn’t nearly as high as one would think. According to the report, less than a quarter (22 percent) cited finding clients as a challenge.
This underscores what I’ve always felt as a freelance writer especially – even through dry spells – ie, that there’s plenty of work out there if you’re willing to be proactive about going after it.
Freelancing Fear No. 3: There’s No Stability in Freelancing – What If the Economy Tanks
This is one of the biggest worries many wannabe freelancers face. After all, there is no guarantee of a paycheck at the end of the workweek. But, the survey revealed the majority of freelancers (52 percent) either have not been impacted by the economy or have faced only a very minor impact. Only 19 percent said that they have been significantly affected.
Furthermore, freelancers tended to be overwhelmingly optimistic. Over three-quarters (78 percent) said that they are optimistic about their business prospects over the next year. How many job holders can say that?
Is Freelancing Becoming the New Workforce Norm?
This report cited that, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one-third of the U.S. workforce is self-employed, part-time, or contingent freelancing. These figures were compiled in 2005, which means that these numbers have increased because many businesses have downsized. And, with many jobs disappearing forever, many workers have given up on finding new jobs and are giving freelancing a go.
Now that you have some actual facts to work with, it should make striking out on your own as a freelancer a bit less scary . . . because as the 1,200 freelancers in this report illustrate, freelancing just might be the new norm.
Want to start a high-paying freelance writing career? Look into SEO writing. It’s a relatively straightforward, lucrative career anyone with access to the web can start.