In 2021, nearly 59 million people worked in a freelance capacity. More and more people continue to leave the traditional workforce, opting instead to launch into a freelance business, leveraging various skills to get started and build a clientele.
Freelancing offers tons of freedom and other benefits. You get to set your own schedule, choose your clients, be your own boss, just to name a few of the amazing gains you get from freelancing.
That said, there are a number of clear challenges that freelancers struggle with. One main one, for example, is how do you maintain a reasonable work/life balance while operating your freelance business and working from home?
Experienced freelancer and CEO of World of Freelancers, Sabina Lohr, joined the #AGMarketingChats Twitter chat recently to offer insights to help freelancers find that often elusive work/life balance, find the right freelance fit, and grow their freelance business.
Sabina’s insights will help you find that balance between growing your freelance business and and living your life by offering tips to help you find happiness in your freelancing career and be more successful.
During our chat, Sabina offers the following takeaways:
- What’s leading to the growing freelance trend?
- How to walk the fine line between full-time and freelance and you slowly make the shift
- How do you know freelancing is right for you?
- Becoming a freelancer writer specifically
- Popular freelance skills you can turn into a business
- …and, as always, so much more!
So, why don’t we jump into the questions? Follow along with the recap of my conversation with Sabina Lohr to learn how you can achieve success as a freelancer.
Q1: There’s been a trend of people quitting their jobs and opting for freelance life instead. To what do you attribute this trend?
As mentioned, there are tons of wonderful benefits to freelance life. But there are also downsides. Beyond the issue with work/life balance, there’s also the problem of uncertain income. Not to mention, figuring out what path you want to take, how to keep your clients happy, being the marketer, salesperson, leader, and wearing so many other hats. So, with all that in mind, what’s driving the trend toward freelancing?
Freedom is consistently at the top of the list of reasons people opt for the freelance life. Work/life balance, family, the commute are all popular, oft-cited reasons as well. Corporate life, having a boss, and driving so many miles to work can wear people down. Many people are tired of the 9-5 lifestyle, so they decide to make a change.
The pandemic gave many people the courage to launch out on their own and open up shop for their freelance business. With restrictions keeping people at home, many weren’t ready to go back to the office when the time came. And a lot of those people opted to stay at home, despite protests from their employers. When the ultimatum came to come back to the office, many decided to stay home and tell their employers they wouldn’t be coming back.
Q2: What tips do you have for people walking the line between full-time and freelance looking to make the move fully to the freelance lifestyle?
Often, there’s a slower transition from working full-time as an employee to making the shift to going fully freelance. It becomes difficult, in these cases, to walk the fine line while you make the transition.
Steady cash flow, or lack thereof, can quickly determine the fate of your freelance operations. Failing to have a plan in place, or rushing into freelancing too quickly, can be disastrous and have you running back to the office quickly.
Q3: What should one consider to make sure freelancing is a good fit for them before making the leap?
Freelancing is an enticing lifestyle. But there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Doing your own finances, for one, can make people shutter simply at the thought of having to crunch numbers and build out things like income statements. I know I had a bit of a shock to my system at first when I had to become the CFO for my business, along with the marketing department, salesperson, and so much more when I first launched. Fortunately, I’ve been able to build a team around me, but it takes a lot of time. and it’s not easy to get used to. Some people never get used to it, so it’s good to understand whether freelancing is the right fit before you make the leap.
You wear many hats as a freelancer. Be prepared to take on tasks you never thought you would (or ever wanted to) in your career. Going freelance is more than many can handle. If you aren’t comfortable learning how to do new things, freelancing likely isn’t for you.
Q4: Writing is a popular service offered by freelancers. How do you recommend aspiring freelance writers choose a specialty (copywriting, blog writing, etc.)?
There are a lot of avenues you can take when it comes to choosing the direction for your freelance business. Writing, in a variety of forms, is one of the most popular freelancing options.
Understanding the market and the writing needs of your target businesses is super important. Niching down can help you become an expert, but if you pick the wrong niche, it can easily leave you scratching and clawing for the limited amount of work that’s available. Choose wisely if you decide to go out on your own as a freelance writer.
Q5: Besides writing, what are some of the top freelance skills and services you see people turning into profitable freelance businesses today?
If you aren’t a writer, there are plenty of other freelance skills you can leverage to grow your operation. Think about the skills that you possess and the skills you learned during your life as an employee. There are more opportunities than you may think.
Q6: Can you offer a brief outline for how an aspiring freelancer can get started launching their freelance business?
So, with all this in mind, just how do you launch your freelance business? There’s a lot that goes into launching your freelance business successfully. Let’s take a look at some tips from Sabina Lohr.
While it’s important to have a direction and a strategy in place, you also need to build flexibility into your freelance business. Remember, freedom and the ability to have more work/life balance is a big reason why you made the decision to go freelance in the first place. So, have a plan, but don’t be too rigid.
Q7: As a freelancer, do you need a website/blog to promote your business?
Just like any business, your online presence as a freelance is a key component of your journey toward running a successful freelance business. So, how does a website factor into that success, and does your freelance business need one?
Q8: What’s the single biggest piece of advice you have to offer aspiring freelancers?
Thanks for dropping by to check out this recap of one of our recent #AGMarketingChats. If you loved this one, join us most Thursdays at 2 pm EST on Twitter for chats with top marketing pros from across the world. Find the full schedule here, along with recaps of archived chats.
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2 thoughts on “AGMarketingChats: How to Achieve a Healthy Work/Life Balance and Grow Your Freelance Business”
Sabina really hit the mark, Anthony. Plus you make a great note about joining knowledge and passion. Knowing your niche well makes a big difference but being passionate about freelancing in your niche is THE difference. Passionate freelancers find the energy to see the journey through.
She certainly did. Great chat! You really do have to be passionate about what you do. It helps you drive through during challenging times. But, that needs to be coupled with a strong knowledge of your niche and what you do. Thanks, Ryan!