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Communicate Levant | Advertising, marketing, public relations and media in the Arab world and beyond

By Jennifer Kanaan: 8 realities you will face when moving from agency to freelance

Jennifer Kenaan (2)

Opinion

By Jennifer Kanaan: 8 realities you will face when moving from agency to freelance

So you have been considering making the move from a hectic 9-5 job (right?! more like 9-11 job) from any of the country’s agencies to a more flexible freelancing job.

When you asked your friends and colleagues what they thought, you were bombarded with a projection of their insecurities such as: “How will you be able to make ends meet?”“How can you live without the security of a salary at the end of the month?” “What will you do if you do not get any clients?”And some more bla bla bla.

So, let me give it to your straight; no projections, just simple facts! After all, I went through exactly the same thing.

Let’s start by listing the earth-shattering realities you will have to face and accept when you become a freelancer:

  1. YOU WILL END UP WORKING MORE, NOT LESS

This is the golden rule! Once you accept this fact, you have more chances at actually succeed­ing. Think about it! At the agency, there were tasks that were someone else’s responsibility but that affect your work and deadlines, right? Well, as a freelancer, you will have to do all of these, including client servicing, and meetings.

  1. YOU WILL BECOME A ONE MAN/WOMAN AGENCY

This is an extension of the first point but just to emphasize the fact that you will even have to do the billing, the invoicing, and follow up to collect the payment.

  1. YOUR GUILTY FEELING IS YOUR ONLY ALARM

And sometimes it will keep beeping even when you have nothing to feel guilty for. Try to take up new activities to help you disconnect from work.

  1. YOU WILL START SAYING YES TO ANYONE AND EVERYONE

The reality is that your standards will be low in the beginning because you will need to get the ball rolling. But, and most importantly, don’t keep these clients past their expiration date. Once you have better clients, you will have to let them go!

  1. YOU WILL FIND YOURSELF HUNTING FOR CLIENTS

And that’s ok! This is exactly what used to happen in the agency you worked at, and it is normal in this industry. Just, don’t cross the harassment/stalking level.

  1. YOU WILL FORGET ABOUT THE CONCEPT OF WEEKENDS AND DAYS OFF

One of the main reasons why people hire free­lancers is that their response rate is usually faster than agencies. And if you are a junior freelancer, this is exactly your niche.

  1. YOU MIGHT HAVE TO LOWER YOUR PRICES TO START

But, be careful because people automatically associate low prices with bad quality of work and lack of experience. At the end of the day, it is the same quality you have been providing at the agency. Keep this in mind.

  1. LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, YOU WILL NEED A POINT OF NO RETURN

I call it ‘point of no return’ but basically it is where you draw the line – something you will not compromise on. For me, it was always re­spect. No matter how badly I needed the job or the money, lack of respect from a client was always a deal breaker.

Do you now feel more ready to take that decision?! I feel you, I guess you will never be fully ready; you just have to trust your gut. After moving to freelancing some four years ago, I know I will not go back to a full time job.

At least, not in the near future!

 

After working with Eastline Marketing for five years, Jennifer Kanaan is now a freelance digital marketing consultant with a side passion for nutrition and health. She launched her blog “New Trends in Nutrition” approximately seven years ago and discovered a passion for online marketing. She now consults big clients and agencies while insisting on keeping herself unattached to anyone. She also mentors and trains startups while working on her own ideas and concepts.

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