In the 23 years since I started freelancing (I know, I know, that’s a really long time…), I’ve faced many challenges along the way. In no particular order, they have included:
- Clients are REALLY slow to pay, seriously impacting my cashflow.
- Clients reschedule projects that clash with others already in my diary.
- The cycle of feast and famine (linked to above). One month I may have very little work on and the next I don’t know how to cope with all the projects that are being thrown at me.
- Clients don’t keep to their side of the schedule but the end deadline can’t move.
- Clients decide to bring the project in-house in order to ‘save money’.
- Clients go bust, owing me money.
- I turn work down because I am fully booked, only to find that a project from another client is then put on the back burner or cancelled completely. (Seriously annoying, that one!)
- A senior person on the client side decides to get involved when the project is well underway and completely moves the goalposts.
- Technology fails on the day when there is an urgent deadline (never happens on a Saturday morning).
Yes, these are just a few of the challenges I face in my life as a freelance copywriter. And I am sure you will be all too familiar with many of them.
Note how many of the above bullet points start with the word ‘clients’. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy working with my regular clients and have worked with several of them for well over ten years. Without them, I wouldn’t have a business.
No, it’s the ‘one-offs’ that cause me grief. Over the years, I have tried to learn my lesson over who to work with and who not to work with. If a little warning bell goes off in my head that I think may result in something from the list above, then I make sure I listen very carefully to that bell and say ‘no’.
What are the biggest freelance challenges you face at the moment?
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