I’ve been freelancing for nearly 6 months now and I’m glad I made the decision to do so.
However, I didn’t go into it with all the knowledge of what I think most people do.
Offerings and Services
The first thing I struggled with was how to position what I could do for people. While it’s easy enough for me to communicate how to help people use a product or service, selling what I do in a nice and easy way didn’t come naturally.
My interests are wider than what I say I can do. But saying you can help put a Marketing Plan together and that you can help product manage or review the design of an end-to end service can sometimes come across as if you’re a Jack of all trades and a master of none.
I love that I can do more and my that my interest means I can be aware of how lots of elements join together. Putting this down into a package that clients can understand how it can benefit them though is tricky. More often than not they need to tick some boxes. You just need to work out what those boxes are and if you want to fit yourself into them.
The next thing that has become incredibly important to wherever I work is the team I sit with. Being a freelancer means that you don’t have a lot of time on projects usually so you don’t form the long term bonds you usually do with work colleagues.
To counter this, I’ve found that working with people who I can have a great conversation with, bounce ideas off of and help me to be inspired and develop means that I will be constantly engaged.
It’s important that while you might not be able to be picky about everything you work on, that at least you can work productively with the people around you.
Finally, I’ve realised that not only have I caught the Startup bug, but I’ve also begun to realise that I need to work on projects that have a “feel-good factor”. That is services and products that bring real value to a wide user group such and mean they genuinely help them out. This probably (more often than not) means they are a social enterprise or government service that isn’t looking to sell or make money out of their users.
Maybe it’s a weakness upon my part which means that I can’t do things that I don’t care about. And I could probably make more money if I was less invested in doing the right thing. You can’t beat that feeling though of knowing that what you’re working on with make a real difference to the lives you’re trying to help.