I was recently invited to the local art school to speak on a panel about the business of freelancing. The students were eagerly asking questions about what the market is like, pricing, sales, branding and more.
About halfway through this workshop, I came to a sudden realization. It is a lot easier for creative to freelance now than it was when I started freelance writing nearly seven years ago.
Back then, freelancing was what you did when you couldn't find a job (which is actually how started), now it's a trend. Here are three reasons why now is the best time to freelance based on my own experience of watching the market shift over the last few years.
The internet has made it easier than ever.
While the internet has been around for a while, it wasn't until the last few years when people started using it to work from anywhere.
Take my business as an example. As long as I have the internet, I can work. I could be working from a coworking space, my bed, any city I choose and any country where I can access the internet.
The internet has also made it easier to cast a wider net for marketing and customers. Small businesses are no longer bound to their local markets. Thanks to the internet, I have freelance writing and content marketing clients all over the country.
There's money in it.
I can personally attest to this. I'm now earning about triple in gross income than I did at my last job. Frankly, I can earn more in a day than I used to earn in a week. Additionally, there's no cap on how much I can earn. The better I get at running my business, the more money I can make.
The market has totally shifted.
Before jumping into freelancing full-time, I was a recruiter for a company that specialized in finding candidates for Fortune 500 companies.
After a couple of years of interviewing people who lost their jobs from one week to the next, I came to the realization that freelancing was actually more secure than a day job. If I lose a client, I haven't lost all my income for the month. On the other hand, if I get fired from a job, I'm screwed.
It was also at that job where I realized the economy had shifted and the winds of change were favoring contract work. I was suddenly getting more interest in my freelancing services not just from mom-and-pop shops who needed content, but also from large corporations.
Fast forward a few years and I'm doing content marketing for companies of the same scope and size as those I used to recruit for.
All of these factors point to the fact that now is the best time to freelance, and I'm not the only one who thinks this. The same survey I mentioned earlier also found that more people than ever are quitting their jobs by choice rather than by circumstance.
Given the shifts we've seen in the economy in recent years, this certainly isn't surprising and it doesn't seem like it's a passing trend.