If you're looking for freelancing lessons and insight I have a lot to share.
Because I've done something that not a lot of people have done:
Got to year three of the journey.
Sure, I feel like there's so much left to learn.
But that's been a pretty consistent feeling overall over the long-term.
Since I first started freelancing, I've been pretty open to sharing what I've learned, via my blog.
Freelancing Lessons: Moving Forward
Year three has been a super transformative journey.
So...the number of freelancing lessons I've learned have been quite large.
I really focused on niching down more than I already did in the previous year.
And then I trimmed the fat and got rid of some packages that weren't doing any favours for my business.
So what have I learned, anyway?
Today I'm going to share with you all the cool stuff I've learned after three years in business.
1) Other Freelancers are Important too
The words "it's all about who you know" are thrown around a lot.
But the one thing that's not thrown around enough is the fact that this also applies to other freelancers.
In the beginning, I thought I could do this all alone.
I thought I could quietly send emails from the comfort of my home, and freelancing was the escape from my high level of introversion and hatred of small talk.
But the one thing I underestimated is just how much talking I have to do.
For instance, I really made progress when I joined a few Facebook groups on freelancing.
Because suddenly I had easy access to like-minded people from all over the world.
The kinds of people that can provide me with life-changing advice and bring my social share up a few notches.
Occasionally, these are also the same people who have thrown referrals in my direction.
2) Do Things on Your Own Terms
For those of you that didn't go to school with me, I figured I might as well mention I was a good student.
And I was a really good student because I've always been good at adapting to what other people want.
So when suddenly the only people I was reporting to anyway were clients/ customers it took some time to adapt.
And for me, it was things like not having to get someone's permission to take care of either my own health or someone else's that took some getting used to.
Because I'd always feel like I should be working when I'm not, or it wasn't right for a task to take 4 hours instead of 8.
But the thing about freelancing is that everything will take as much time as it needs to take, and will only work like a well-oiled machine if you find the productivity sweet spots.
So clients may think that they know the best conditions or times to finish a task, but they really don't.
Because they're not actually there when you work on a project.
Want to be taken seriously as a freelancer?
Make your hours, rules, and turnaround time clear from day one to the end of a project.
Once I started doing that, the number of leads that treated me like just someone that's casually moonlighting for fun decreased.
And that's great because that's how it should be!
3) Adaptation is Key
I know I just said that doing things on your own terms is important, but you still have to sell stuff.
And I think I really did awesome stuff for that process when I packaged my services like physical products.
It took some time to reach the sweet spot on how to get it right, but I'm glad I did it.
And you know what lead to that sweet spot?
I started attending networking events where my ideal clients hang out and participating in social media discussions that discussed my clients biggest problems, and everything changed.
Because suddenly I knew exactly what my ideal client wanted.
And I could think not only like a marketing writer but like a savvy salesperson.
And that's why I also offer complimentary content promotion strategy sessions.
4) Embrace the unexpected
One of the most important freelancing lessons that I've learned is the importance of embracing the unexpected.
Because honestly, it just happens sometimes.
Sometimes a client will say they'll get back to you today and actually mean tomorrow.
Or your only project of the day will take half the amount of time that you thought.
So, rather than thinking of it as the end of the world, just accept it.
Because if you don't embrace it, it will simply drive you nuts.
For instance, I find that a great way to embrace it is to just always have smaller, backup tasks.
Or simply see it as an excuse to recharge my creative batteries, and get some exercise.
Because often, the unexpected can lead to really cool, new approaches to things that you might not have thought of before.
And, as things continue to progress, I want to use those unexpected moments to start coming up with my game-changing solutions to the business goals that are still floating around in my head.
So...what freelancing lessons and mistakes have been the most game-changing for you?
Feel free to comment on your experiences in the comments section below.
And, while you're at it, feel free to check out my website: www.rosemaryrichings.com, to familiarise yourself with what's new with my biz.