Common Myths About Freelancing
Freelancing is slowly becoming more commonplace and familiar around the world, but there are still many people who have no idea what freelancing is or how it works.
In this article, we’ll debunk seven common myths about freelancing and show you why most of the stuff you’ve heard about working online simply isn’t true.
Myth #1: Working for free or cheap
Starting out as a freelancer, you may be under the impression that the only way to make a name for yourself and snag valuable clients is by pricing yourself lower than everybody else, or even offering your services for free. Clients will come flocking to you, right?
Why is this a myth?
Simply put: if you don’t respect yourself as a business (because as a freelancer, you are running your own business) then your potential clients won’t respect you. If you don’t charge what you’re worth, you’ll learn to quickly resent freelancing because you’ll be working endless hours to make enough to live on, and the only clients interested in working with you will be people who don’t value your expertise, but your willingness to bend over backwards for them for peanuts.
Make sure you figure out how much you should be charging. Not sure how to do that? Read our guide and decide an hourly rate or project price that you are comfortable with, but that reflects your skills. It’s okay to start out with a more modest fee and increase as you gain more experience, but don’t sell yourself short!
Myth #2: Freelancers work in PJs all day
One of the great things about freelancing is the freedom that comes with it. No dress code, no office hours - it’s the dream! So why is it a myth that freelancers sit around in pajamas all day?
Just because freelancers can work in PJs, doesn’t mean we do.
Even if 100% of the work can be done without leaving the house, you’ll find most freelancers prefer to stick to a normal morning routine like getting dressed, taking a shower, and dressing for the day ahead - just like regular employees.
We do this to normalize our work day, and mentally get into work mode.
Myth #3: It’s easy to find good jobs
Why is this a myth?
Finding a good remote gig can be surprisingly challenging. It’s very tempting to get discouraged and give up after only a couple months of trying. Even if you have experience & qualifications, you still have to work hard to stand out and prove your skills.
There’s a lot of competition out there so be ready to compete if you want to win clients. Having a solid freelancer website (or at the very least, a fleshed-out LinkedIn profile) is essential. Writing a killer proposal or a cold email is also a great way to show initiative and get the word out.
Myth #4: A high level of education or experience is needed
Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to have a degree to ‘qualify’ as a freelancer. People from all walks of life can be freelancers.
Only a few remote jobs actually require school study. Want to be a developer, designer, or writer? Start practicing now and learn as you go.
Many freelancers not only have no college education, but used to work in an entirely different field before they became freelancers!
If you don’t have the degree required in the job description, apply anyway! You never know, you just might be the most qualified person they’ve seen so far.
Myth #5. There’s too much competition
This is a big myth that gets in the way of many freelancers’ dreams. If you work on websites like Upwork or Freelancer.com, it can seem impossible to stand out and get noticed in a sea of freelancers. What’s a beginner to do?
Part of the process of setting yourself up as a freelancer involves researching what other freelancer websites look like, what services they offer, and what they charge, so you can get a feeling of how you should structure your own business.
It can feel daunting... and many freelancers wonder if they’ll even get any work when there are so many others with more experience, a bigger portfolio, or are further along in their freelancing career.
Why is this a myth?
Because right at this moment, there is someone looking for exactly what you have to offer.
Yes, freelancing is becoming more popular, but if you’re good at your job and want to work hard, there are plenty of clients waiting for someone like you to help them!
Realize that the only thing holding you back from finding those clients is yourself! Have confidence in your work and the value you bring. Learn more about your ideal clients, so you can discover what makes them tick, where they hang out online, and what they’re really looking for in a freelancer. Once you stop focusing on the competition, you’ll start seeing the opportunities.
Myth #6. There’s no work available outside the US or Canada
This has to be one of the biggest myths we’re about to turn on its head. Many freelancers across the world think they have next to no chance of finding work unless they live in the United States, and this simply isn’t true.
Why is this a myth?
Business is global. From London to Madrid, Nigeria to Sydney, the freelancing world is bursting with opportunity. You don’t have to be a resident of the US to qualify as a successful freelancer! With the power of the internet and companies around the world demanding support in various languages and time zones, it’s never been a better time to be a freelancer.
Start with your local freelance websites! Every country has at least a couple. Contact the companies in your area who need your services (even if they don’t know it yet). You could be sitting on a goldmine right now and not even know it.
Myth #7. You have to be good with computers
Think that freelancing is only for programmers, developers, or software engineers? That only “tech savvy” people can do it?
Not the case!
One of the best things about freelancing is that you get to choose what you want to do. You can be a gardener, a baker, a chef, an assistant, a babysitter, a driver, a piano teacher, … pretty much whatever job you’re doing right now, you can do that as a freelancer too.
You don’t have to work online and find clients through websites unless you want or need to. It’s entirely possible to get clients by word of mouth and referrals, and just set up your own little business and work for yourself doing the exact same thing you’re doing now, but better.
The point is, if you plan it right, you get to decide what you do. Freelancing is all about freedom.
Here are some of our favorite tools to add to your freelancer toolkit:
Trello - project management
Toggl - time management
Invoicely - invoicing your clients
Insightly - sales pipeline CRM - free for up to 2 users
Calendly - appointment management
And if you’re really struggling with more advanced tasks that need specialist expertise, call on other freelancers to help you in the GUAVABEAN Freelancer Group!
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