Thursday, April 9, 2009

6 Common Myths About Freelancers

When it comes to freelance design, people always seem to make rash decisions based on the lifestyle quicker than they should. Below are my opinions based from an article that disproves ten myths regarding freelancers. I have chosen the most prevalent six.

6. Freelancers spend the day on non-work related activities. I don’t think they do any work.

This is an extremely common misconception, which in some cases can seem like the only way to live if you're a freelancer. Wrong! As a freelance designer, you cherish flexibility and live your life in a manner that many others with traditional office jobs cannot. They are most productive during certain times of the day and they only know this. Some work through the wee hours of the night and are able to enjoy a nice walk and relaxation during the day. Deadlines are of most important and they know this. The only way to create a name for themselves is if they stay on task and that's what freelancers do.

5. Freelancers don’t have the resources of large companies. I’m afraid I won’t get quality work.

Although they may not have the manpower or large office space that many firms are able to have, freelancers have so many resources at their fingertips to keep themselves just as resourceful as the next graphic design company. They obviously produce good work because stepping out on your own and competing with the big guns is no simple task. Upgrading software and skills is always something easily accomplished with devotion and perseverance; something freelances are sure to have. There are online forums, communities, social networking websites, and much more to keep them in touch with the community.

4. Freelancers are unsupervised. I’m afraid they won’t finish the work on time.

Freelancers have a large amount of professionalism and pride in their work, sacrificing their entire company on projects and the work they produce is involved with every project completed. They know not to risk all of that just by staying off task. If anything, this motivates them more. Just like the first myth listed above, freelancers know what hours they work best during, so their creativity can be maximized this way.

3. Freelancing is too risky. It’s all or nothing.

Yes, this can be an incredible risk that many people wouldn't dare take. That shows that those personalities are not cut out for freelance. But, a freelancer knows this and completely indulges in it, giving all time and energy into their work and the future of their name in the industry. Whether you want to start big or small, there are always going to be risks. One way to ease into being a full time freelancer is to slowly begin taking on small projects while holding another job. This way you are able to build a name for yourself as well as keeping a steady stream of income just in case something comes up. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you though.

2. I’m not a salesman. If I started freelancing I’d never be able to get clients.

Unfortunately, as a freelance designer, you are your own marketing department. Unlike a firm, where there is a set marketing director or position that finds the work, you have to do it all yourself. Of course this can be very intimidating, but that is what it takes. There are many resources available to make yourself marketable. This is yet another time commitment. You cannot produce work until you have found it.

1. Freelancers spend all day on their own. They don’t have a social life.

False. I for one pride myself on having quite a hefty social life. I love my friends and cherish every one of those relationships. Of course there are those days where you don't get out of the house and stay in your pajamas (aka: work clothes) all day, but don't make this a habit. Many freelancers choose to get out of the house and go work at their local coffee chop, just to change scenery and get away from home. I just recently learned of the term called "coworking" in which many freelancers share a workspace or office. This allows them to interact with each other, free of any normal workplace disputes or arising problems, keeping the environment happy and inviting. They are just as flexible as if you were to work out of your home.

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  1. It gives one reason to hope!

  2. Exactly April! These are the things people unfamiliar should definitely know. :)

  3. great article, I have heard those misconceptions so often myself !

    the only diff in my opinion between freelancers and regular work people is their way of working. work wise there is simply no concrete evidence to suggest that freelancer's work is less in quality. of course there may be exceptions but aren't there slackers in regular work people too ?