Many SEO experts dream of working as a freelancer. They often leave their agency thinking that they will get more freedom and time for themselves. After a while, it turned out that they changed their regular working hours from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm for the system 24/7.
Acquiring new customers is difficult, and the bills have to be paid despite the hard work.
It may have a temporary negative impact on your self-esteem, finances, and overall well-being. However, in the long run, working as an SEO freelancer can be a great experience and turn into a beautiful adventure.
In this article, you’ll find advice on creating a long-term SEO freelance career, getting more clients, making more money, and organising yourself in the new role.
First, let’s investigate why so many people decide to work as freelancers. There are many reasons why they choose to freelance jobs. Some people are bored with the monotony of daily duties and the stress associated with them at work.
Others feel constrained in their current positions, lack promotion opportunities and think they can achieve more by themselves. It is also related to finances. By doing exactly the same job, they can earn much more.
Benefits of SEO freelancer jobs
As with any job, there are advantages and disadvantages to doing it. It is no different in the case of a freelancer job. First, take a look at a few perks.
1. You are fully responsible for your free and working time.
When you work full-time, it can be challenging to leave your job to arrange something urgent. If you do this too often, your boss will not be happy. Working as a freelancer, you can manage your time freely. However, you have to do it very responsibly because you will have obligations to your customers. As a freelancer, you cannot hide in the company, and you are responsible for the work performed directly to the client.
2. You choose the place where you work.
This is undoubtedly one of the most significant advantages of working as a freelancer. Depending on the project, you can choose to work on the task at home or at the client’s site. It is also related to the possibility of remote work. You can live and work almost anywhere globally and carry out projects for clients in Singapore. Of course, sometimes you have to meet with the client, but this can be done using Skype or Zoom.
Of course, not everyone may like it. Some people cannot imagine working anywhere else than in the office. Unfortunately, you have to organise such an office yourself in such a situation. Fortunately, there are public co-working offices, so it’s not that problematic.
3. Freedom in choosing projects
One of the many reasons why people decide to quit full-time jobs is the need to work on pre-imposed projects. Your boss may give you a different task, but this is not always possible. Sometimes you can be lucky and find an exciting project, but we still have no choice with new technologies. After a while, there is boredom and burnout. Then the only thing left is a job change, but you can often hit the gutter from the rain.
When working as a freelancer, you always have the option of rejecting a project that does not suit you. Of course, you won’t always do this. – Sometimes, for financial reasons, and most often at the beginning, it is not worth being picky. However, when your reputation grows and the number of customers, you decide for whom and what you will work.
4. Much better earnings potential
Usually, when you work for a company, your earnings are only a tiny part of what the employer receives for your work. If you are a freelancer, you are basically such a company yourself. You should think so too. So you have the opportunity to negotiate satisfactory earnings from your clients.
Remember that when you run your business, your costs are higher. As an SEO freelancer, you have to pay for your software, fuel for commuting, taxes, and other fees associated with your business. You may also want to secure the benefits you had on your job: a private clinic and insurance.
Of course, high rates are best achieved by working for reputable clients. So, in my opinion, it is worth going in this direction. Of course, at the beginning of your journey, you can offer your services cheaper to gain a reputation and build a portfolio.
Downsides of an SEO freelancer job
Working as an SEO freelancer is not only about the advantages. When choosing this way of earning a living, it is also worth remembering its disadvantages.
1. Your client is also the boss.
It is commonly said that when you work on your own, you are your own and only boss. It’s not exactly like that for freelancers. Virtually every new client is your new boss. You have to fulfil his whims and make sure that he is satisfied with your services.
If you are unsure about cooperation with a new client, better not start it. You have the option not to accept the project. You also have the right to check the client’s reputation and make the final decision.
2. Lack of certain income – financial uncertainty
This is one of the downsides of working with a freelancer. In our full-time job, we still have a lot of stability. The cash flows into the account regularly, and we do not have to worry about it.
Your financial flows are not as regular anymore when you run your business. You can earn a fortune for three months but nothing for the next six months. Some months are better, and some are worse. So you have to be good at your financial management. Put money aside during a better period to help you get through the weaker months. Indeed, it can cause stress that will not suit everyone.
Also, remember that you only earn money when you work. If you suddenly get sick, nobody pays you! So if you are planning a vacation, you need to protect yourself for the time you are on it.
3. You need to be systematic and motivate yourself.
Working as a freelancer requires self-discipline. It is certainly not for you if you do not have this trait. It is crucial for freelancers because it depends on successfully completing the assigned tasks. Even when you have periods without assignments, you should use them for additional training and looking for clients.
It’s good to do some remote work before starting a freelance job. Thanks to this, you can get to know yourself better.
4. You have to look for customers yourself.
This point is somewhat related to the previous one. In addition to self-motivation and organisation, you also need to solicit new customers yourself! When working as a freelancer, you have to show your own creativity and determination.
It’s not like a full-time job that someone assigns you to a project. Also, remember that as a freelancer, you are the boss, analyst, accountant, specialist, project manager and sales representative in one person.
Fortunately, freelancers have special services, such as Upwork and freelancer. Through them, you can search for customers all over the world. However, you also need to get many positive reviews for the process to be smooth and quick.
5. Face-to-face contact with the client
As I mentioned before, you will have to contact clients directly when working as freelancers. It is related to specific skills. If you are a confident, open-minded person who can talk to people, you will have no problems. If you can’t, you have trouble succeeding. Not everything can be settled by email. Face-to-face meetings or video chat meetings are a must.
This is especially true for large-scale projects with a lot of money involved. I cannot imagine a client who would transfer an advance of 30,000 euros without knowing the person entrusted with the task. Even if it had the best feedback and thousands of positive reviews.
It is impossible to list all the benefits and disadvantages of an SEO freelancer. This is because it is a very individual experience. Each freelancer finds himself in this type of work differently, meets other people, and has different clients. Everyone also has different skills, character traits, and life experiences. But that’s what it’s all about. Working as an SEO freelancer should be shaped by you and meet your needs first and foremost.