“There’s so much potential to earn. It’s incredible. If your work is good, and you’re efficient, you can build a fantastic business.“
Full-time freelancing brought both financial and lifestyle benefits to Kaleigh Moore, a communications and public relations professional turned freelance writer. Specializing in blog content for Software as a Service and e-commerce companies, she made the switch for more control and to take on new challenges in her career.
Moore shared, “I wanted the freedom and flexibility to work when, how and with whom I want. I saw freelancing as an opportunity.” Three years later, Moore’s increased her annual income by 50 percent year over year and thrives on learning through research. “I get super nerdy over new tactics and case studies. I find it really interesting.”
As her first piece of advice, Moore cautions against moving immediately from a full-time job to freelance work. Instead, she suggests freelancing on the side for a gradual transition. “This allows you to practice without immediately going all in. It makes for a natural progression,” she says. Moore focused on developing a solid client base and income for six months before leaving her full-time job.
Befriend Other Freelancers for Advice and Referrals
To ease the learning curve and grow your business, Moore recommends making friends with other freelancers. “They’ll refer you, and you can return the favor when your plate is too full, or you’re not a good fit.” Consulting experienced freelancers helped her establish reasonable, yet competitive, prices for her writing services, based on client expectations and industry averages.
“The fact that fellow freelancers were willing to share their prices was extremely helpful for both of us, as it kept me from undercutting them with a much lower rate, helping me put myself at an appropriate, livable income level when I was just getting started,” she says. “So many writers are taking any job at any rate, and in a way, it drives down the value for the service.”
Set Personal Boundaries to Keep Work-Life Balance
It’s easy to lose sight of work-life balance when full-time freelancing, especially if you enjoy your work, like Moore. “I’ve turned off push notifications on my phone and work hard to stick to normal working hours, but it can be tempting to just keep on going and get things done,” she admits. Keeping this in mind, you should create a structure and schedule to balance your professional productivity and personal time.
Moore front-loads her monthly workload to avoid stress and allow for extra bandwidth at the end of the month, saying, “I pace myself, so I’m not constantly stressed or overloaded.” It’s also important to resist the urge to take on all inbound work, and critically evaluate each opportunity. She adds, “I’ve also learned the power of saying no instead of yes to everything.”
Welcome the Ups and Downs Along the Way
Like any career change, switching to full-time freelancing brings both victories and challenges. Moore recalls having many questions when she started — and not many resources for answers. “I learned a lot by trial and error,” she recalls. “This is the reason I work so hard to share what I’ve learned along the way in my newsletter and on my blog.”
Whether you’re considering the switch or already convinced, Moore’s successful transition to freelancing proves the risk can pay off — and pay well. So, start out small, seek others’ advice, fight for balance and enjoy the experience. As Moore shared, “I get to work at my own pace and on projects I truly enjoy. That feels pretty amazing.”