5 min read

How to Build a Long-Term Freelance Career

How to Build a Long-Term Freelance Career

The future is clearly leaning towards freelancing. About 1.57 billion in the world are freelance and projections show that by 2027, freelancers will make up the majority of the U.S. workforce. Translation: if you’re not already on the freelancing train, hop on board! There’s room for everyone.

The growth of freelance businesses across the world presents an ideal moment for you to determine how to expand your freelance business and make it work long-term. While there’s a lot to unpack here, the key to achieving this goal lies in assembling the right team.

Depending on your business model, you might find yourself constantly searching for new clients and finding ways to promote your business, ultimately leading to you spending hours of time on activities like emails, calls, and administrative tasks.

The more your business grows, the less you have for actually creating, which is why bringing new team members on board can be so valuable. We’re going to dive into the process of expanding your freelance business with the assistance of a remote workforce and how to navigate this without losing your integrity or your sanity. 

Is a Thriving Freelance Business Sustainable Long-Term?

Even if bringing new freelancers on board to work with you is the key to keeping your business running smoothly, freelance businesses face a unique challenge in achieving this expansion while still maintaining the same level of quality and keeping costs to a minimum.

Scaling your freelance business means preparing it for growth without completely blowing your budget or increasing costs to a point where you’re not gaining enough revenue. If you know the intricacies of creating a successful business, you might wonder if it’s really possible to scale your freelance business without completely rocking the boat.

Regardless of size, any business can be scaled if you capitalize on the right opportunities and make informed decisions. True, hiring the right team members to help you is essential, but it’s only one component of the process. Here are some essential questions to consider before creating or adding to your freelance team:

  • How will you go about hiring?
  • How many people do you plan on adding to your team?
  • Do you have a clear set of values for your business?
  • How will you train the freelancer you bring on board?

You probably won’t have answers to these questions right away, but there are some clarifications you may need before moving forward. 

What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Team

While a “drinking from the fire hose” situation might work for some, it’s wise to have a plan for your freelance business before you start adding other freelancers to the mix. Here are some things to consider before you start the hiring process:

  1. How will your team collaborate?
    You have the option to hire full-time, part-time, or on a project basis. You can establish a "work-for-hire" agreement or a "contract to hire" agreement. Keep in mind that different countries will have different legal structures for freelancers, so it’s a good idea to research these structures if you plan on hiring international freelancers.
  2. Be realistic and start small
    Even if your business experiences sudden growth due to a viral TikTok video, it doesn't mean you need to immediately hire ten or more people. Start with one person you can trust and  delegate responsibilities to them. Once you’re able to free up some of your time and the business is doing well, expand the team if necessary.
  3. Set a limit for hires
    Hiring a maximum of three individuals can significantly reduce your workload and allow you to focus on efficient management and gaining new projects. While it may seem like the more people you hire, the easier it will be, there’s a lot involved in managing multiple employees. Not to mention you should also evaluate the financial impact of this expansion on your business. Is the time saved worth the investment?
  4. Be flexible and prepare for changes
    As you transition from working solely for yourself to managing a team, you'll likely set aside more time for marketing and client acquisition, while your team handles the project side of things. You also might end up with more legal and financial responsibilities than you expected, which will lead to less time for you simply creating.
  5. Don’t fight the process
    Scaling your business can lead to a ton of advantages, including growth, but it also leads to an increase in your responsibilities. You’ll have to take care of tasks like managing invoices, keeping up with current legislation, and handling payroll. Scaling your freelance business also means scaling the infrastructure required to support it.

New call-to-action

Pros and Cons of Scaling Your Freelance Business

The details about what it means to scale your business are a lot to take in. Let’s take a quick look at the overall pros and cons of scaling your business:

Pros of Scaling:

  • Growth means greater income
  • More freedom and flexibility
  • Ability to take time off

Cons of Scaling:

  • More responsibilities on your plate
  • Change in your role and responsibilities
  • Growing pains are bound to come up
  • Dealing with competitors 

Only you can determine whether the pros of scaling your business outweigh the cons. But if you find yourself in a position where your skills are in demand but you can’t keep up with the work, it may be time to delegate some tasks to someone else.

Saving Your Sanity While Your Business Grows

There’s no doubt about it–growing your business means dealing with a lot of changes. While the inevitable growing pains might be difficult to deal with, there are ways to hold onto your values and save your sanity during the growing process. Here are some strategies for making the most of the process:

Specialize in Your Niche

Becoming an expert in a profitable niche can open up endless opportunities for your freelance business. Individuals searching for specific products often turn to smaller, specialized businesses where they can receive expert guidance. Instead of casting a wider net as your business grows, take this time to really focus on a more targeted audience.

Avoid Overworking

A common mistake among freelancers is overworking to the point of burnout. Freelancers are seen as being more prone to burnout and while taking on more projects may lead to higher monthly income, it loses its purpose if you lack the energy to accomplish it or enjoy it. If you’re experiencing burnout, take a step back to reassess your priorities.

Set Clear Sales Goals

After identifying your niche and identifying your services, set some goals for yourself and your future team. Financial and sales goals are essential when scaling your freelance business. Consider the following questions before expanding your team:

  • How many clients can I manage at once?
  • Is rapid growth sustainable for my business?
  • How much support will I need to handle the increased workload?
  • Can I support a full-time employee even during slower months?

Delegate Tasks and Expand Your Skill Set

Freelancers often find it challenging to delegate tasks they can do themselves. However, refusing to delegate tasks that someone else could do will lead to burnout for you and frustration for your team members. Instead of hoarding all the important tasks for yourself, identify your unique skills and save your time for the things no one else can do. You can also set aside time to develop new skills to add more services that align with your audience's needs.

Building a Long-Term Freelance Career With Hire a Writer

Every day, more and more people across the world start freelance businesses. It’s not surprising how many people are leaning towards self-employment considering the many benefits of this kind of life. While it offers a lot of flexibility, growing a freelance business also comes with a lot of challenges, including knowing when it’s time to hire some help.

If your freelance business is taking off and you have more work than you can handle, we know a writer or two. At Hire a Writer, we offer content writing, SEO services, branding, email marketing, and more. We also offer training programs if you already have writers on your team but need someone to show them the ropes. No matter what services you need, definitely subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out on any writing tips!

Analyze Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

3 min read

Analyze Your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

In the realm of business strategy, the SWOT analysis has long been a trusted tool for companies seeking to assess their current standing and...

Read More
Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) for Freelancers

Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) for Freelancers

As a freelancer, you might encounter situations where you're requested to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Read More
Ultimate Guide to Freelance Payment Terms: Protect Your Cash Flow and Business

Ultimate Guide to Freelance Payment Terms: Protect Your Cash Flow and Business

Freelancing offers flexibility, but with that freedom comes the responsibility of managing finances efficiently. A well-defined contract with clear...

Read More