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6 Things Every New Freelancer Needs to Understand

The freelance economy is booming as more and more people opt for working from home instead of the traditional 9 to 5 shift. The “work from home” trend has become a dream lifestyle for millions of people around the world.

But there are plenty of things that happen behind the scenes in a freelancer’s career that most people are not aware of. The truth is, being a freelancer is a lot more complicated than you imagine.

Here are the six key concepts you must understand before you ditch your job for a remote opportunity.


1. The Financial Side

If you want to succeed as a freelancer, you have to find a way to turn your side hustle into a full-time income. While it is possible to make a lot of money freelancing, it might not happen right away.
After all, the gig economy has become a competitive field. You won’t be the only one aiming for the available gigs. It is imperative to understand this before you quit your full-time job position. You need some money to cover your expenses for at least the first two months.


2. Working by Yourself

The idea of not having a boss to report to might sound too good to be true. But there are a few downsides to working all alone. If you don’t mind the loneliness of being a one-person team, you come across other obstacles, such as less time to get things done.
There aren’t any teammates to jump in and replace you when you have an emergency. Without anyone else to lean on, you are the core of your business. It means you have to take care of marketing, administration, and the services you provide.

3. Time Management at Home

Another downside to working from home is the difficulty of managing your time. The main benefits of working from home include saving time and money on the commute to the office. Also, you have the freedom to create your own schedule.
But after months of freelancing, you start noticing yourself becoming your own worst enemy when it comes to time management and organization. As a freelancer, you have to master self-discipline and create a strict schedule dedicated to working. Otherwise, you might find yourself lost in all the piled up work you’ve been putting off.


4. Online Security

As a “solopreneur”, you don’t have a team of security experts on your side to handle potential security threats. Instead, you have to put maximum effort into securing your accounts and online network from hackers and third parties.
The best way to do so is to invest in reliable cybersecurity software. And that includes more than an antivirus. A virtual private network (VPN) is also a must. Software such as NordVPN encrypts your data when you use the web. With a VPN, all your login credentials and personal information stays hidden from any third parties.


5. Build a Productive Space

The space you work in as a freelancer has a massive impact on your productivity. Cluttered spaces tend to be too distracting. So make sure to create a distraction-free area dedicated to work only.
Your office space should be away from the comfortable couch or the TV in your living room. It should be a work-oriented area that helps you focus as soon as you sit down to work. Practice getting into the work mindset each time you sit down at your desk. Don’t let any distractions get into your productivity space.


6. Don’t Underestimate Your Work

Last but not least, new freelancers must understand how the competitive field works these days. Most new freelancers try to beat the competition by offering the lowest rates possible. But it isn’t the best way to go about your freelancing career, especially if you want to turn it into a full-time income.
Clients associate low rates with poor quality work. Thus, by being cheap, you’re telling the client that you won’t care too much about their project. Besides, low rates only attract low-quality clients. They want to get work done cheaply without respecting the freelancer’s effort. Instead of underestimating your work, offer fair rates but provide the highest quality.


Kick Start Your Freelancing Career

Getting started with freelancing can be a frustrating journey. Nowadays, the field is way too competitive. If you don’t have any background as a freelancer, build a professional portfolio to have something of value to show your potential clients. Stay patient through this journey, focus on the quality of your work, and keep your productivity up.


Bogdan is the founder of Top Design Magazine. You can find him in Bucharest-Romania so next time you want to drink a beer there and talk about web and stuff, give him a message.