The gig economy has grown over the past few years, leading many professionals to leave their traditional jobs and start freelancing to earn an income. With this shift, freelancers’ work is taken more seriously now than ever. Freelancers can have many contract proposals, but before you jump in and look at all the possibilities for freelancing, you may wonder whether freelancing is a sustainable career path.
Many experts and current freelancers agree that freelancing is a sustainable career path for self-motivated individuals; it can also be enjoyable and profitable if you know how to reach the right clients. Whether you choose to do this to supplement your income and reach your financial goals, as a way to make money between full-time jobs, or you want to turn freelancing into your full-time job, freelancing is an excellent opportunity.
Freelancing as a Viable and Sustainable Career Path
According to a survey done by Entrepreneur.com, five out of six freelancers can reach their income goals within two years of starting. Of those freelancers, the 42% who achieved their goals within the first year were twice as likely to earn more than $75,000 a year, which is a full-time earning income. This income makes freelance work lucrative and sustainable.
Freelancers can often get long-term clients to help them receive a steady income, but frequent promotions can bring in lucrative, short-term projects as well. Once you build enough clients, you can sustain the work for a long time. But you must be proactive. Having a plan in mind to handle all the work and ensuring that you constantly work on customer interactions can help your business become sustainable and grow.
Freelancers Commit Growth
Most freelancers don’t jump into this with the idea they can make a little money over the short term. They do it to help them succeed in the long term. In fact, WiseBrand’s data shows us that 54% of freelancers do not want to return to full-time work once they jump into freelancing.
These freelancers are professionals. They often have worked in the industry they plan to freelance in before they go solo. They know the ropes and how to reach more customers too. They will take the time to market themselves, getting their services and name out to clients. They often spend up to $100 each month on different marketing initiatives. What is surprising is that 86% of freelancers do their own marketing.
The numbers show that investing in marketing as a freelancer pays for itself. You can choose to do some of the marketing on your own or hire a professional to help make sure your services are available to those who need them.
Seasoned Freelancers are Happy
Freelancers tend to be happier and more satisfied with their work compared to their counterparts who work for someone else. While millennials are breaking the ground by using marketing on social media to help launch a new career, older freelancers, or those older than 35, are far less likely to return to full-time work compared to their younger peers. In addition, studies show that 57% are satisfied with the work/life balance that freelance work brings them.
Another aspect worthy of notice is how respondents to the survey chose to label themselves. This helps us see their self-image and the career paths they want to choose. Half of the respondents determined they were self-employed, 19% call themselves small-business owners, 12% like the term freelancer, and another 19% identified themselves as entrepreneurs. Respondents enjoy the work and are proud to tell others about their work too.
For those who do not appreciate their current work/life balance at the office, freelancing can provide some of the necessary solutions. It takes time, and you need to know good time management skills to make it happen, but for those professionals who go down the path and enjoy it, this can be a great career.
Lots of Great Opportunities
The gig economy is going to continue. In fact, in the United States, 3.2 million full-time independent contractors are estimated to claim more than $100,000 in annual income each year. There are another 12.9 million who work part-time as freelancers and still more who work both full and part-time but make less than $100,000. This provides a number of lucrative career opportunities for all professionals.
No matter the field you choose to pursue as a freelancer, there are many great opportunities for you to enjoy. You can choose your hours, decide how much to charge for the work, and make lasting connections that turn into a full-time income. And when you utilize your good skills with some fantastic marketing, you will find that this can be a lucrative career choice for any professional.
The work structure throughout America is evolving, and the demand for these independent workers with the right skills will only increase. At the same time, companies look to become more flexible and agile. Not only do freelancers appreciate a chance to work from home and choose their hours, many companies see the benefit of hiring independent contractors as well, making this a fantastic opportunity for both sides.
The Bottom Line
Freelancing can be a sustainable career, but only if you go into it with a plan and are ready to market yourself and your services well. The gig economy is growing like wildfire, and many professionals enjoy the freedom and increase in income they can earn when they choose to work as an entrepreneur rather than for someone else. In fact, many freelancers have higher job satisfaction with this career choice than any other, and many choose to stick with it long-term.
Both freelancers and companies see the benefits of this independent work, which helps to make it a lucrative way to earn money, whether you do it part-time or full-time. Having a good plan and seeing this as a viable way to make money can help turn it into your desired full-time income earner.