Meg Stewart

#Writer & content creator, #coach, #author. Software go-to-gal. Farm girl at heart. Founder Freelance Filter, Mom of four, Grammi of 10. Fi

Apr 11, 2022
Published on: Medium
1 min read

You can do it too and it won’t cost a dime!

Photo by on Unsplash

When I first started freelancing, I treated it very much like an employer/employee relationship. It’s no surprise I guess, it’s what I was use to from all my other jobs.

I looked to or waited for my clients to tell me what to do and to make all the decisions. Clients told me what topics/titles to write, how long it should be, what keywords to use, and even when I should have it done and of course how much they would pay me.

This left me feeling exactly like I felt in my brick and mortar jobs — like an employee and at my boss’ beck and call. The only difference was I was working from home and now I had multiple bosses telling me what to do and when to do it.

Honestly, for many years I had less freedom freelancing than when I was employed. I worked harder, for more hours, and I still wasn’t making that much money.

I didn’t get into freelancing to still feel like I was at someone’s beck and call all the time. I did it so I could spend more time with my family, reduce my stress, and have more freedom in my schedule.

So I started working on a long-term business plan that would get me closer to the freedom I wanted. I started with an income goal and it progressed from there. Along the way, I changed my mindset from “employee” to “entrepreneur”. Because I was a business owner, I started making decisions that way.

I made decisions that were best for MY business and fit my plan.

And I accidentally discovered the answer to more freedom was to change my mindset to that of a business owner rather than an employee working at home.

Approaching clients as a business owner not a work from home employee, is the way to find the true freedom in freelancing.

When you start deciding not only the topics, titles, keywords, and content length based on your client’s industry and needs, you can gradually change how you talk to clients. Soon you are setting your rates, you are telling them when you can fit their project into your schedule and when it will be completed and you can build more flexibility into your business.

Before you know it, you will be the one deciding which clients to work with and which ones to let go. The change in mindset does mean you have to take on more responsibility for researching your client’s needs, their industry, what is working.

You have to be the expert they are paying for.

But the research you do is useful for future clients in that industry too, not just that one client.

Plus, the best part, you truly become your own boss. Your work is self-directed. You’re still serving your clients. But you serve them as a business owner providing another business with a service, on mutually agreeable terms, directed by you. Not by a boss.

So the number one way to put the “free” back into freelancing is to change your mindset and then adjust your policies and behavior to reflect the new mindset.

I hope some of what I’ve said helps you find more freedom! Because helping others find that freedom is the whole reason I started Freelance Ladder!

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Meg Stewart has been freelancing for nearly two decades. She’s a multi-passionate skill hoarder and the intersection of freelance writing, technology, and teaching is her sweet spot. Freelance Ladder was founded to help writers get paid and help solopreneurs do business better. Meg and her family, (along with two dogs, two cats, and two leopard geckos), live in Northeast Ohio.