A question that I often see freelancers ask is whether or not they should work with a recruiting agency. Many freelancers see the lower rates and don’t want to accept less than the rate that they earn when they’re out there getting clients for themselves. Yes, you will generally earn a lower rate on the surface than you would if you were finding clients on your own, but there’s some things you should factor in before you swear off recruiting agencies forever.
I felt like I was well prepared when I decided to be a freelancer. I spent a lot of time researching what other freelancers were saying, trying to figure out what was working for them and what wasn’t. I learned to say no to projects I wasn’t a good fit for; to charge what I’m worth; that contracts are a requirement. I was determined to avoid the common pitfalls that new freelancers often fall into.
The client’s deadline is a great way to gauge their commitment level to the project. When I’m discussing an upcoming project with a client, one of the most critical questions I ask is, “When do you need it by?”
I can accept many answers. I can even accept an answer where the client wants it in an unreasonably short amount of time. A red flag to me is when the client doesn’t have a deadline or doesn’t even have a range.
The best answer is, “We need it by _________, because if we don’t get it done by then, _________.”
For some, becoming a freelancer is something that suddenly happens, either out of necessity or spontaneity. But that wasn’t the case for me — I wanted to be a freelancer for nearly three years. I wasn’t ready when I first began thinking about it. I wasn’t ready after a year. Or two. I wasn’t ready a month — or even weeks — before I made the final decision. The thought of quitting my day job to be independent seemed insane. Today I want to share how I finally mustered up the courage to do it.