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5 Signs that freelancing is not working for you and how to fix it

I must confess that I have experienced times during my freelancing journey where I felt like I was not cut out for freelancing. This may come as a surprise but I want to be 100 percent authentic and honest with you.

 

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But feeling like you’re not cut out for freelancing is completely different from actually not being cut out for freelancing. As I persisted through my dream to live a freedom-based laptop lifestyle, I learned the difference.

Life as a freelancer is attractive, flexible and you get to be your own boss, determine your rates and set your schedule. But what happens when it doesn’t turn out as planned. Should you quit? I have been freelancing for years and have been there. I know how you feel.

Here are 5 clear signs that freelancing is not working for you and how you can fix it.

 

You don’t enjoy what you’re doing

When you started freelancing you actually loved what you did. It wasn’t always about the money. New projects got you excited. You were always open for a challenge. But it’s been 6 months now and you start dreading another project. What ever happened?

The answer is simple. You grew comfortable with where you are. And the best way to shake the feeling of dread is to do something new. Try different styles, different approaches, and different methods. Sometimes changing where you work can make a huge difference. Take your laptop to a nearby café and get busy. Introduce something fresh in your work life.

 

You don’t have a good work-life balance

Have your weekends disappeared? Do you work late into the night every day? When was the last time you actually made time for yourself?

When working at your 9-to-5, it was easy to know when work ended. After work, all you had was free time to do whatever you wished. Weekends were off-limits. But as a freelancer, you may have the entire 24 hours dedicated to work and this can make you lose all sense of personal life.

Set clearly defined working hours and stick with them. If you want weekends off, then set your work schedule in a way that you can have weekends solely to yourself.

 

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You’re overwhelmed with changes in the industry

Establishing yourself as an expert in your industry takes work. But things change pretty quickly. It comes to a point where you start feeling left out on all the latest trends and innovations in the industry. It’s overwhelming and you end up on a plateau with your knowledge and skills.

I struggled with this feeling for a while but during one of my quiet moments it hit me – the reason I was overwhelmed was because I was busy going under in the industry instead of going deeper.

Start off where you’re at and dig deep to find more. Improve on what you know, rather than going after every new thing. Don’t rush it. Take it step-by-step and most of all enjoy the process.

 

You’re worn out

It’s great to have new clients but if your income depends on acquiring new clients everyday then it can get really stressful. Its’ a horrible feeling to be weighed down by a lot of work.

What helped me was to create passive income streams. Passive income streams help to boost your income while you spend your time doing things you enjoy.

Of course, as a freelancer, you define your income. But chasing after clients who will pay you a low rate can wear you out fast. What will help is for you to raise your rates and go after quality high paying clients who will value your work. You can raise your rates and work for fewer people and still make a comfortable income while you have better working hours.

 

The loneliness is getting to you

Being a freelancer is a lonely journey. Although you have the potential to earn more, have flexible hours and actually do what you love, you have to do most of it alone.

To beat the loneliness, go for meet ups and meet other freelancers. Collaborate with other freelancers on a project or course. Join a mastermind. Get connected with people in your industry and invite them over for coffee. You’ll be surprised at how many freelancers are in your area.

 

Are you freelancing? Is it working for you?

 

 

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Why More Women are Quitting Their Jobs to Run Their Own Business

The journey to independence for women has been a very long one. If you go through history, women had to fight to have a place as members of the work force. It was a huge struggle as women were relegated to the background. According to societal norms, the only job women could do at that time was to be housewives.

Fast forward to the 21st century, women are taking up more roles in the work force. They are not only trained to practice their profession, they also head key positions. From the civil service to corporate institutions, women are no longer an unfamiliar sight.

 

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But now there is a new trend springing up. More women are transitioning from being employees to being business owners. I am privileged to be among them. I left my 9-to-5 to focus on my own business.

A lot of people wonder why there are more women quitting their jobs to run businesses of their own. I thought it will be a good idea to compile a list of key reasons why they do so.

 

Participating in the rat race doesn’t cut it anymore

Having a 9-to-5 jobs creates the illusion of stability and an avenue to practice your profession. You’re assured of a regular job with a good salary and a pension when you retire. But the truth is that working at a 9-to-5 job is anything BUT stable.

You could be fired at any time. Your salary may not be enough to pay all your bills and you could end up living on your credit card. The office politics causes both emotional and mental agony. Even if everything about working at a 9-to-5 were rosy, it doesn’t give you fulfillment.

Smart women know that in order to truly experience a good life, they need to take matters into their own hands and be their own bosses.

 

 

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You’re more in control

If there is anything working as an employee doesn’t offer, it would be living life on your own terms. As an employee, you are constantly taking orders from a superior. Unlike a 9-to-5, running your own business guarantees flexible working hours and you are able to work towards what you want to receive every month.

Female entrepreneurs know that taking care of a family comes with a lot of responsibilities and no matter how generous your employer is there are some things he or she will not be willing to waive for you.

 

Freedom to pursue your passion

Let’s face it. You can actually count the number of people who are happy with their cubicle lifestyle. I remember when I was working at my 9-to-5, more than half of my colleagues sulked to work. Starting from Monday, everyone was looking forward to Friday so that they could enjoy the weekend. I can never forget the days my work caused me so much strain and sadness.

When I finally called it quits and started my own business, I established a business that brought me fulfillment. I was able to do something that I am passionate about.

 

That is exactly what female entrepreneurs get to enjoy when they run their own businesses. They do what they love and business is never a drag because they are passionate about what they are doing.

6 Ways to Build Brand Awareness for Your Small Business

Have you ever thought of ways to build brand awareness for your small business? Regardless of whether you own a brick and mortar business or an online based business, you need to promote your brand.

When your target audience recognizes your brand and acknowledges your brand as the go to for their specific need then you have been able to create brand awareness.  Brand awareness is what will make your business name stand out from the rest.

If you’ve been struggling to get your brand recognized by your target audience, you will find these 6 ways to build your brand awareness tips useful.

 

Build brand awareness with a unique personality

This to me is the first thing that you need to get straight. Most small business owners think that if they “copy” their competitors they will be able to leverage on the existing market. The truth is that people get tired of seeing the same thing over and over.

What will make your business stand out is when you do something unique and when you have a distinct personality that people can relate with. Decide on how you want your target audience to remember you. Once you’re clear on this, all the activities that you do to channel your brand awareness will be very powerful.

 

Put your story out there

Sharing your story and brand message is an effective way to put your brand out there. People relate with stories easily and at an emotional level. The aim behind sharing your story is to create a connection with your target audience.

You can tell the story about how you started your business or your client experiences. The best place to share your story is on social media or to guest post in industry related blogs.

 

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You can also put your name and your story out there by taking it everywhere you go. A good way to do this is to have your brand name/message printed on T-shirts. The great thing about this strategy is that there are now companies like Printsome, who offer quality bulk T-shirt printing services. This is fab way to raise brand awareness.

 

Set up a referral programme

Referral programme is an effective way to use word-of-mouth to spread the awareness of your brand. It works by creating an incentive for your clients for referring your product or service to their friends. When their friends/readers pay for the product or service you offer, they are immediately given a gift which may be in form of a discount.

 

Engaging in local partnership

Partnering with a parallel or complimentary local business is another good way to increase your brand awareness. You can leverage on the existing brand awareness of a local business to build your own brand awareness. Find out how your product can be used as a way to compliment another local business. For example, if all you sell is lipstick you can partner with a local business that specializes in selling eyeliners to create a combined package that people can buy.

 

Influencer marketing

Influencers with a large and engaged follower base can help increase your brand awareness. You can reach out to influencers to help you put in a good word for your business and the products or services that you offer.

When it comes to making use of influencers, make sure that they have good engagement rate and that they are targeting almost the same audience you are appealing to. I offer blogger outreach services alongside blogging, so do check out my portfolio page for more information.

 

Invest in ads

To get the word out quickly, investing in ads is the best option. With a little investment you can have your brand name out there. You need to make sure that the copy on the ad is compelling enough to get your target audience’s attention.

Facebook ads are quite effective as almost everyone is on Facebook. The Facebook ad targeting is so sophisticated that you can easily laser in to your ideal clients. I would be writing a post on my experience with Facebook ads in a few weeks, so do watch this space.

 

How do you build brand awareness for your business?

 

*Collaborative post.

 

 

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