The pros and cons of freelancing
A year and a half into my freelance career, I’ve learnt so much about this exciting and ever-changing industry. In the current gig economy, freelance work is an amazing opportunity and there’s plenty of it around, especially for copywriting.
The 9-5 life isn’t for everyone and freelancing gives you the flexibility you just don’t get with a full time role. However, there are challenges that come along with it. I hope that this blog provides some helpful information for fellow freelancers or anyone considering making the leap.
So, what’s good about the freelance life?
You get to choose who you work for, and when
Whether you start out working through an agency, on your own, or both (like me) you have the power to choose which clients you want to work for. However, I would say that at the beginning of your freelance career, it’s a good idea to accept pretty much any work that comes your way, just for the experience. Copywriting gives you the option to choose your hours and work around other commitments, such as family or a second job.
Your work is always varied
So far, I’ve written copy for the fashion, finance, events, travel and food industries. Freelancing allows you to build an impressive portfolio in a short space of time, whereas in a permanent copywriting role, you may be stuck in one industry for a long time. I’m not knocking it, as it suits lots of people, but the variety does keep you on your toes and broadens your skill set quite quickly.
The pay is pretty good
A junior copywriter working for an agency can make anywhere between £120 – £160 per day, which increases to up to £300 per day as a senior. If you’re working alone, you can choose how much you charge, but as a guide, the average copywriter fee is between £35 and £40 per hour.
You can work from home
Who doesn’t want to work from home in their pajamas?! I’ve never found an office environment very conducive to being creative with the bright lights, noise and hours spent sitting at a desk. The Deliveroo offices in London are the only exception – simply amazing!
And what are the downfalls of freelancing?
Your contract can end at any time
Whether you’re freelancing through an agency or not, the nature of the job means that the client can terminate your contract at any time, usually without notice. I’ve been booked for 2 weeks and only stayed 2 days, or had my contract ended a week early. You just have to be ready and have a back up in case this happens.
The money can be unpredictable
When you’ve got a big job, you’ll feel great. But when it finishes, you may be left with cash flow problems, especially if it coincides with when your bills go out. In freelancing, you can expect an ebb and flow in your income. From experience, the way around this is saving up whilst you’re busy, so there’s a cushion there when things slow down.
There can be a lot of waiting around
Freelancing often means short notice work, which in turn means that it’s not uncommon to arrive on the first day and not have what you need to get started. Laptops, company email, logins and access passes tend to come after you’ve been there for a while, which can be frustrating. But, you’re getting paid for your time and eventually everything does come together!
You may not feel like part of a team
In most companies, freelancers come and go all the time. So if you’re thinking about going it alone, be prepared that the constant change in work means you don’t become part of a team. You’ll mostly be expected to just get on with your work and will be seated wherever there’s space. This is even more so if you choose to only work from home.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog and want to chat about all things freelancing, feel free to drop me an email! firstname.lastname@example.org
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I’m proud to have collaborated with Toptal for this article, a US based freelancer network that connect the world’s top talent with the world’s top organisations. Check out their ultimate freelancing guide with loads of helpful information on how to get started and become a successful freelancer: https://www.toptal.com/ultimate-freelancing-guide