Creating demeanor of a liberal individual, free from the corporate 9-to-5 grind, and witnessing your success as a freelancer probably seems like nothing less than a dream. It seems quite right not to compromise on your 'me time.' From my prior experience, pursuing an entrepreneurial venture alone can give you the freedom to decide "how, when, and where," but when you begin working as a remote freelancer, it's undoubtedly not something you can do with your eyes shut.
Working remotely can sometimes feel isolated and lonely. You are no longer working in your area of expertise and are constantly challenged by the burden of self-satisfaction and self-promotion and also many struggles related to the time management factor.
Well, here I've jotted down the solutions to the top 5 challenges that most of the freelancers face when they start working remotely.
1. The Burden of Self Promotion
Marketing is the structure of any business to keep it growing, and it doesn't come naturally to many freelancers, and since its the pillar point, no business can grow without it. This means that freelance writers, cake decorators, or freelance designers all have to worry about the way they can advertise their services.
The solution if this works for you? Start creating content in any form, be it video, audio (podcast), or written. Content is the key to showcasing your skill and expertise. Moreover, it will allow people to discover you, and will eventually help solidify your expertise. In case you've started producing content, it will help you prove your expertise.
To get it better, you can follow contributors who write about topics you're looking to render your expertise on and reach out on social platforms like Twitter or Instagram. I would advise you to maintain a healthy relationship with a pinch of casual sense with people you reach out on social media platforms. Why?
Well, everyone in the media continuously pitches new stories, but not all those stories are worth covering. If you come up with a new unique idea to any journalist or contractor, they'll be more inclined to speak to you versus constantly reading one cold pitch after another from you.
2. Working in Isolation
While the freedom in remote freelance work may appeal to many, working alone may not. Many of you might feel lonesome working in solitude as human nature requires support and interaction, and constant isolation can wear you down.
Our bodies can only work at an optimal level for approximately 90 minutes at a time so that you can take your laptop and head to the nearest cafe with a refreshing and relaxed vibe for some company. Moreover, co-working spaces are also in the fad these days, and many freelancers and small business owners are often looking to become part of a community.
Another tip - You can set up your own branded corporate conference room on a virtual meeting platform to coordinate with clients. You can rely on platforms such as ClickMeeting, which offers features like screen sharing and whiteboards and enables collaboration and immediate feedback virtually.
3. Dealing with Distractions
Distractions come with the territory when you work remotely from home. You may get an unexpected call or visitor at the door, and neighbors may think they can drop in without notice.
To get rid of this problem, you have to be bold and have a direct discussion with your family or closed ones about disruptions during work hours. It would be best if you are sure to set boundaries. Don't hesitate to place a sign on your front door or office door that reads, "Do not disturb."
Another issue could arise while you're traveling. It might not be very easy for you to manage time and produce as much as you do on usual days. It becomes tough to stay focused on either side. To get rid of such problems, you can choose to work from any of the co-working spaces in the area you're traveling to and get the best work-friendly experience.
Once you'll deal with such distractions and overcome them, you'll be able to focus on your productivity and keep your morale up with rendering the best performance.
4. Struggling with your Calendar
As a freelancer, you have to do tasks that might require you to step out of your comfort zone, and you may be prone to pushing them off once in a while.
This is where you have to deal with the procrastination by sticking to a particular schedule to make sure that you utilize your time well, and your work is completed on time. You can manage your time well with the help of certain tools such as Toggle and ensure you're staying up-to-date as per your to-do task list.
You can also follow the Pomodoro rule for completing tasks. This technique can help you keep you away from the distractions and hyper-focused and help you get things done in short bursts while taking frequent breaks to clean your brain and refocus. I'll show you the glimpse of how the Pomodoro technique works -
Create your list of tasks.
Prioritize the list.
Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes
Work on the task until the timer rings, then keep a check on your sheet of paper.
Take a short break (5 minutes is the best recommended)
After every fourth Pomodoro, take a longer break of near about 20 to 30 minutes.
The target is to complete your tasks in short bursts. Ideally, each task can be done in one to two Pomodoros. In a nutshell, the goal is to hold a limit to how many Pomodoros you do per day. Then, repeat the cycle the next day.
5. Accepting Random Projects
The intent of expanding your services to a larger sphere can leave you in frustration and exhaustion. Accepting every random project and then not being able to produce up to your capabilities is something many freelancers do.
Make it your thumb rule not to accept any random projects as if you do so; you'll be left on the verge of collapsing as many of the clients come up with very unrealistic ideas that you can't fulfill with the best of your skills. It often leaves you in aggravation with last moment requests to the clients to make the delayed payments.
Having a well-defined niche makes it easier to source out prospects. Spend time each day researching companies that fit the profile. Create a list of what specifications you want in the client and then work with people who fit that description. Some of the specifications could be -
They are open-minded and flexible
They treat you as a collaborative partner
They can offer you long term, consistent work
They don't feel the need to control you
They won't mind that you are in a different time zone
They will not try to pay you less because you live in a cheaper country
They will pay you on time, every time
They will be responsive and available to answer your questions
They will give you constructive feedback
Well, these were some of the primary challenges that every Freelancer faces when at their exploration stage of working remotely. If you're facing any of these, you can straight away lookout for the solutions that I've provided you and get hassle-free remote working experience. Also, you can get comprehensive insights into remote work by joining The Remote Work Summit that covers the entire spectrum of discussion on Remote Work and become an expert today.