Freelance work is terrific.
You enjoy the freedom to work on your chosen projects when you want, wherever you like. For workers seeking to optimize their work-life balance, freelancing is the answer.
Want to trek Nepal while still getting work done? Rather be your own boss? Prefer to use the time you’d spend commuting to get more work done on your passion project? Freelancing gives you options you can’t find in the traditional workplace.
However, while so many possibilities and opportunities come with freelance work, it also brings its own challenges and pitfalls.
If you’ve worked as a freelancer for any time, you’ve undoubtedly run into many of these. Some issues, like a lack of coworkers, are obvious. Other issues, like large businesses bullying you with complicated billing cycles that pay months after work has been delivered, surprise many.
With 20% of the workforce considering a future switch to freelance work, it’s crucial to highlight these pain points. Considering a switch in employment is serious, it’s best to ensure you’re not rushing in with rose-tinted glasses.
Freelance marketplaces: The best of both worlds
Thankfully, a new service has emerged that provides relief from these pain points and gives you the best of both worlds. You can enjoy the freedom of freelancing with the support network typically only found in a full-time job.
Freelance marketplaces, outsourcing companies, outsourcing services, or gig networks are hiring companies that sit between a full-time job and freelancing independently.
Different platforms and networks emerged over the years, offering varying levels of guidance, help, and support. A common thread between all outsourcing companies is their desire to help ease some of the burdens freelancers, and business owners feel.
What are the pain points?
People choose freelance work for various reasons. Normally someone is looking to improve their work-life balance, choose when and where they work, and gain the freedom to take on the jobs they want. Unfortunately, many freelancers quickly realize there are many tiny fires to put out on top of their normal work that detracts from these aspirations.
Some of these fires build slowly over time. Others erupt suddenly, leaving significant long-term consequences on your finances and livelihood.
The worst part about these tasks is that most have little to do with the work you excel at doing.
You chose to freelance because you are passionate about copywriting or graphic design, not because you wanted to juggle human resources, accounting, and account management on top of your creative services.
We researched and talked to our in-house network professionals to discover their most significant problems and issues with freelancing and the differences they experience with outsourcing companies. Here are some of the most common problems the freelancers we spoke with face and how freelance marketplaces help solve them.
Managing unrealistic demands & dealing with difficult clients
Most freelancer issues stem from their clients. You’re at the mercy of your client’s whims as a freelancer. Whether they’re unresponsive, overbearing, or unreliable doesn’t matter. You’re to blame when they’re unhappy.
A freelancer marketplace provides a support buffer between clients and yourself. Ideally, you work on many projects without a single client issue. But when this isn’t possible, the outsourcing company can step in to talk to clients on your behalf.
Gone are the days of sending repeated emails to unresponsive clients, only to have them return and say that you weren’t doing anything on a project. When a company fails to respond, is overly demanding, or is abusive, a freelancer marketplace or outsourcing company that supports its freelancers will have your back.
That way, you spend more time on your excellent services and less time with company management.
Be wary of the salary thief
It’s vital to look for outsourcing companies that actively work on behalf of their freelancers.
Some popular networks exist primarily as listing boards, seeking to maximize the money they make off fees from job matches. These sites are after quick sales and offer little in the way of long-term support for client-related issues. They’ll encourage the company to choose a different freelancer as a solution over maintaining a solid working relationship.
Another issue that plagues freelancers is the dreaded late payment.
Many businesses bully freelancers. Yes, you’re a with experience in your field. But even leading companies use their size and the money you need to demand things go their way in most transactions. You can state in your contract that you expect payment within 30 days of work delivery. But good luck getting a large corporation to comply. Their iron-clad, legal-counsel-guided contracts trump freelancers’ own agreements every time.
As independent contractors across various industries, we’ve personally experienced companies that push payments out as much as six months from delivery. That much delay could have severe repercussions for a new freelancer struggling to make ends meet.
An excellent freelance marketplace handles all the business operations for the freelancer. Most will pay you at regular intervals, making it easier for you to plan your finances. You’ll receive payment in a way that resembles a traditional structure – weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.
Feast & famine
Frequently, when working as a freelancer, work seems to come to extremes–either a drought or a flood. You’ll have months of struggle to find even a solitary job. Then suddenly, you have more company offers than you can manage, forcing you to turn business away.
As a solo freelancer, building up a regular pool of customers takes time. And there’s no guarantee they’ll stay with you once you’ve found them. These peaks and valleys in your work make financial planning difficult, and the cost to your emotional well-being is hefty.
You would think this issue will disappear once you’re an established freelancer. Unfortunately, this rare ability to provide services continues to plague the most successful freelancers.
Get paid regularly and on time
Freelance Marketplaces can help ease this burden. While they can’t guarantee a company will choose you, a well-run platform has a dedicated team committed to placing you with the right project for your skill set. Outsourcing companies facilitate long-term placements by ensuring the best match-up of personalities and work needs.
During the hiring process, a service provider will likely ask you how much work you’re willing to take on and will work hard to ensure you maintain that workload. If you tell an outsourcing company you’d like to have six hours of day of web development work, for example, they’ll find jobs to make that a reality. You won’t be pushed too far into either extreme.
Facing constant rejection
Constantly putting yourself out there is difficult.
You must stay on top of your portfolio, create test pieces, and repeatedly re-interview. Many independent contractors feel like they never stop having to sell themselves, even to clients they’ve already landed. Few handle this pressure well. For most, it’s a painful downside to freelancing they endure for years.
One of the most significant benefits of a freelance marketplace is that its platform or agents handle the job placements for you. You apply, get vetted by the platform, and talk with your agent about the types of jobs you want and your skills. Then, you are free to relax and let the service provider handle job placement.
This is where you want to find an outsourcing company that really spends time getting to know its freelancers and clients. Some systems let the clients dig around the services offered independently, unguided by an agent. In these cases, it’s often a race to the bottom. The company will look on a job board for a hire who can do a project at the lowest cost without considering personality fit, long-term work, etc.
An outsourcing company that properly vets freelancers and provides proper support helps ensure you’re free from constant rejection. You’ll have an agent advocate working behind the scenes for you, placing you with clients that are a good fit the first time.
No more scrolling through a million job postings for design jobs, freelance writer gigs, or other projects. You want an outsourcing market that understands your skills and gets you, clients without the hassle.
Lack of social contact from co-workers that help you grow
The freedom to work independently comes with an overlooked flip side. Sure, in the first few months of freelancing, most enjoy a break from the office gossip that plagued their last corporate job. No more worrying about what Susan in accounting is eating for lunch or who’s dating who in the office.
But then the weeks and months pass. Suddenly you’re starved for social contact and actually missing water cooler conversations.
Beyond the day-to-day socialization, another overlooked aspect of working on your own is the lack of push, motivation, and learning you receive from employees in your department. In larger offices, you have other employees at your level to learn from and managers ahead of you who can show you what you need to work on to keep advancing. Freelancers out on their own who lack focus can often stagnate in their careers and stop growing in their work.
Ongoing support and professional development
An outsourcing company with a strong freelancer network can help alleviate these issues. The better agencies will provide ongoing support and access to other peers within your network. This gives you access to other professionals like yourself to get advice, share your struggles, and grow alongside you.
Some outsourcing companies even provide ongoing support through webinars, articles, additional in-network support, and innovative technologies to help you stay on top of the latest industry trends and best practices. This allows you to focus more intently on the task at hand and expand on your expertise, ensuring you continue to advance and grow in your field.
Outsourcing companies hire talent from many different industries to share knowledge and collaborate. A reputable hiring company will have web developers, technical support people, virtual assistants, and those interested in content creation and web design ready to make your acquaintance.
A better way to freelance
Freelancing is taking the nation by storm.
Since 2014, the number of people who work full-time as freelancers in different categories has almost doubled. Freelancers represent over a third of the global workforce, with 36% of people eschewing full-time jobs. The shift is helping freelancer talent get the respect they’ve long deserved.
We’re here for this shift in the workforce. We love seeing people able to do what they love and enjoy the quality of life they want.
Choose Quickly Hire
At Quickly Hire, we believe there’s a better way to freelance. We want to play a significant role in helping anyone transition into the freelance workforce and assist those who have been doing it for years to enjoy more of the benefits with fewer pain points. We believe you should be free to spend more time doing the work you excel at without wasting time on the work you don’t.
Almost everyone on our team has worked as a freelancer and understands the daily struggles working professionals face. Our business practice is built to support professionals like you to make more money, lower costs, and enjoy life.
Have you got what it takes?
Are there any pain points you’ve experienced we’ve missed out on? We’d love to hear from you. Or, if you’re interested in joining our freelance network, please contact us today. We’re currently vetting candidates and would be happy to talk to you more about our platform.