As a freelancer, I have times where life is going at formula one speed and I almost forget to
breathe, and then all of a sudden – the brakes go on! You’d think having some downtime
would be great but as a freelancer, it just gives you more time to panic – where’s the next
paycheck coming from? Am I ever going to get work again? Then the imagination goes into
hyperdrive, and before you know in your mind your business has collapsed and you are
homeless and destitute!
Anyone who handles clients on a daily basis will know that dealing with their needs can be
challenging. Often we over deliver to show goodwill and strengthen our relationship with
them, however, we need to ensure that we don’t give away huge amounts of our precious
time and expertise for free and even lose the respect of the client.
Seriously, there are times when I think people believe copywriters are either mind readers or magicians! Not because they are in awe of what they do, but because they don’t understand how to work with them. Therefore, there are occasions when a client will engage in a way that results in the copywriter being expected to produce copy (instead of bunnies) from a hat!
As a freelance copywriter, I am always monitoring the fees charged across the market. I don’t want to price myself out of work, but I don’t want to undercharge for my skills. It’s a balancing act and, with a fluctuating freelance salary, getting invoicing right is vital.
Freelancing suits me but it is not a career choice for everyone and in all honesty, it can totally suck! I am not trying to put people off – with the industry growing at a significant pace, there are some great opportunities (a recent survey by Payoneer cited that in the US alone freelancers will comprise roughly 40 percent of the American workforce by 2020). However, if you want to be part of this growing industry you have to be prepared for a bumpy ride.
Having worked in busy offices, I understand the social benefits of being in close proximity to colleagues. Whether you are discussing the latest episode of Game of Thrones at the coffee machine, bouncing ideas regarding a client or celebrating a birthday, these can be welcome distractions in your working day. There are even colleagues who cross the boundaries of work and become life-long friends beyond the confines of the office.
As I freelancer, why do I always feel so guilty? I could put it down to my catholic upbringing which, despite my lapsed status, is still deeply ingrained within me. Or I am simply suffering the well-known affliction of freelance guilt? A disorder that leads to daily self-reproach for just about everything – not being productive enough, working too little, having time off, not using every minute of the day to work, not doing enough admin – gosh the list is endless! With no formal set ‘desk hours’, you feel you should be working 24/7 or you are not working hard enough and wasting time.