Many blogs write about the benefits that go hand in hand with freelancing, such as enjoying a flexible schedule, total freedom, the ability to wear what you feel like to work and doing what you love every day.
There are many other important advantages, though, and they’re often overlooked or simply forgotten. These freelancing advantages can help you increase your client base, enjoy greater success and build up a stunning resume if you decide to become a company employee.
Let’s revisit some of the reasons why freelance writing is a fantastic, interesting and adventurous career to pursue, and some of the business advantages you’ll gain:
Time management, scheduling and discipline.
Yes, it’s true. Freelancers don’t really have the tra-la-la life of no obligations or responsibilities. You’ll quickly learn that scheduling effectively and managing your time properly become a must to avoid overbooking or missing deadlines. That also means you’ll learn discipline – you’re the only person responsible for making sure you get the work done. Too much time off, and you don’t make any money.
A great writer books a normal-sized workload into a decent schedule and sticks to it.
Bonus advantage: When you learn how to schedule well and manage your workload in the available time you have, you’ll benefit from more satisfied customers who see you as reliable, responsible and time. You’ll also develop good skills that make you attractive to potential employers.
Money management, investing and budgeting
Most writers aren’t amongst the elite or the rich, and it takes some time to feel safe with your income stream. Freelancing often involves peaks of great times and valleys of huge lows. You’ll need to learn how to budget for those dry spells and sock money away during peak times. You’ll also learn how to analyze expenses, cut back on luxury spending and waste and become savvy about business improvements that offer the best returns.
Bonus advantage: When you start to monitor income and spending, you’ll realize how much money goes into the wrong places. You’ll learn how to redirect funds to other areas where the money is better spent and invest wisely in your business for smart improvements.
Effective, efficient project management
When you first start out as a freelance writer, you don’t have many processes or systems in place to have smooth operations. Getting the work done might even happen haphazardly and you might feel sloppy and scattered until you settle in. You’ll develop a nice routine that flows work through a systematic process, developing strategies that save time and help you do a better job.
Bonus advantage: Developing good work habits that follow a set pattern and that have a stable routine mean you’ll increase your profit margin on the projects you take on. Time is money, and the more you save, the more income you keep. You’ll even produce higher quality work, and that means more happy customers.
Expanding knowledge in related fields of business
Freelance writing isn’t just about writing. You’ll need to learn how to find jobs, attract clients and promote your services or else you won’t have any customers. That means you’ll become familiar with marketing, accounting, sales, branding and all sorts of other fields of business. This new knowledge can help you offer new services, add-on extras and build a better business on a good foundation for growth.
Bonus advantage: The more knowledge you have in business, the more attractive you become to potential clients and employers. You may even decide to change career paths or expand your business beyond writing alone.
Can you think of other advantages gained from becoming a freelance writer? Which advantages have you found to be winning ones for your own success? Which are you working on achieving right now?
If you want to learn how to develop smart systems and increase your client base for a better freelance business, check out The Unlimited Freelancer. It’ll teach you the tricks you need to know to take freelancing to the next level.
You can’t get fired. Even if you lose a client, there are always new possibilities.
Another bonus advantage to “time management, scheduling and discipline” that I personally have gained, is an increased income. At one point I really believed that I did not have the time to do more work to earn more money. Once I started running my freelance business with a well-planned and organized schedule (one I rigorously follow each and every workday), I was surprised at how much more work I could do on a daily basis. The value in better managing my time, scheduling work and having the restraint to stick with my own schedule was literally doubling my income. I just never realized how big of a difference these three things would have until I bit the bullet and got a good system in place and started making better use of my time.
Expanding knowledge in related fields of business is something I need to work on. Thanks for the advice to get me started.
Angie Haggstrom says
Ok, this sounds silly, but I’m amazed at all the various topics I’ve learned about since starting as a freelancer. Most of it is stuff that I never would have taken time to learn about before.
Lots of it has come in handy for something else completely unrelated to work. For example, I was able to talk with a friend about certain web design problems not because I’m a web designer, but because I had worked on a project that involved 10 common problems designers/developers face and what to do about it. The collection of bookmarks I have is so varied that they always seem to come in handy at one point in time or another.
It helps relate to clients directly as well. Knowing what I know about certain topics has made it easy to relate and understand what they’re trying to achieve or what difficulties they may be facing. I know the industry lingo. In all, I would say that customer service has certainly improved (not that it was bad before, but I can always improve).
Thanks to a host of diverse clients I know about hunting, industrial topics, mechanics, and many more. In fact, these topics seems to stick better than a lot of the things I read or research for fun or to improve my business. This doesn’t include the significant improvement in my research skills.
Completely different from the benefits you mention James, but vital to a successful business in my opinion. You actually brought up a few I had never really thought about before.
James Chartrand says
@ Angie – Yeast infections, peanut butter, dollhouses… I jest, but you’ve got a good one, definitely. Writers are indeed learned people, and become informed consumers faster than one would think!
@ Aurora – Absolutely. More time because of better systems equals more money and better jobs. Hands down.
@ Lisa – Not only can you never be fired, you can always fall back on what you’ve learned and rebuild better and faster the second time around.
Being a freelance writer can teach you perseverance. It’s not always easy, and most people don’t strike gold in their first month of freelancing – or their first six months.
The biggest advantage to freelancing that I enjoy is not ever being micromanaged. When I was a company employee, I was micromanaged to death; and as an only child, I didn’t take that too well. As a freelancer, you get to determine how you work, how your desk is set up, when you take breaks, eat lunch, etc. It’s a nice feeling after spending years and years on a short corporate leash.
Matsya Siosal says
I provide writing and marketing services to companies and organizations that contribute to a healthier, more sustainable marketplace.
For me, the greatest benefit of self employment comes from upholding my mission statement: to write about the things that move me and to use my creativity to influence positive change in the world.
By providing creative and professional services to businesses and organizations that promote a healthier, more sustainable marketplace, I manifest this mission.
I elaborate on this benefit of self employment in this week’s post on my blog http://skullandquill.blogspot.com/.