I live in my pyjamas and get up when I want.
Sadly, nine times out of ten this is not true. Most clients prefer you to work in-house as much as possible. This is better for social media as it is reactionary, better for access to files and to be part of discussions, better for me because it means I don’t just talk to cats and I have to brush my hair (well tie it up anyway).
I have people queuing up to offer me work.
Alas, nine times out of ten this is also not true. Competing for work is hard, Fucking hard. I have (touch wood) been extremely fortunate in that I have always had one client at a time that fills 80% of my working week. Social media and Facebook groups in particular are a bit of a let down, most of the people looking for a logo or a flyer only want to spend a tenner and go on to make them themselves in Word or with the help of Fiverr. Networking groups can be a tough crowd, most of the people at them are selling their own products or services and have already made their stuff in Word. Printing flyers and leaflets has a low yield and you have to be prepared to spend and keep spending until someone gets your stuff at just the right time. Word of mouth is the winner here, one good client will recommend you to other businesses and will keep you on their books for repeat work.
I can choose my clients.
Partly true. Because of my fortunate situation with long term contracts I can fill the other 20% of my time with things I want to do, for people I want to work for.
I can work to my own schedule.
Partly true. Because of my clients preferring me to be onsite I have quite a standard working week. I can take time off when I want to – if I can afford to. However, bank holidays are no longer exciting as they are now just a forced day off when no-one pays me. No-one pays for my holibags either and any downtime is counted in my head in pounds.
I make loadsa money.
Pah! If only! I do bring home better money for less hours than I ever did in full time employment, but factor in expenses, days off and HMRC wanting 18 months tax in one lump sum and Im lucky if Im hitting the 25K mark.
This may read like a list of cons, it really isn’t. I love working for myself and cant imagine having to ‘get a job’, in fact the thought of it fills me with dread. I know that freelance design life was forced upon me due to circumstance and that I probably would have never had the guts otherwise, but my advice to anyone toying with the idea is this: