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Overcoming The Challenges Of Freelancing: An Ultimate Guide

Updated: Mar 29

This complete guide will give you expert insights and guidance on everything freelancing. This ultimate guide is for you if you're thinking of becoming a gig worker, starting a side hustle, or researching your options.


 

An Article from Our American Contributor

 

There are a lot of challenges that freelancers have to face during their work life. According to Techjury, there are almost 1.57 billion freelancers in the world. Out of this 47% global workforce, almost all of them face different issues and challenges. These challenges are finding new projects, time management, retaining customers, etc.

challenges faced by gig workers and freelancers

You may want to take a look at the following articles to learn more about legal protections available to Independent Contractors, Gig workers and freelancers in Ontario:


Let's have a look at some most common challenges faced by freelancers and how you can overcome them:


1. Time Management Tips for Freelancers / Gig Workers


Time Management Tips for Freelancers / Gig Workers

As a freelancer, managing your time effectively can be challenging. According to a study by the Freelancers Union, 46% of freelancers say that their biggest challenge is finding a balance between work and personal life. In addition, 42% of freelancers report that they struggle with time management, which can lead to missed deadlines, lost opportunities, and burnout.


To help you overcome these challenges, we've compiled some time management tips for freelancers. These tips can help you maximize your productivity, improve your work-life balance, and achieve your goals.


Set Specific Goals


Set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for your work. Write them down and refer to them regularly. This will help you stay focused and motivated.


Create a Schedule

Gig works should Create a Schedule

Create a daily or weekly schedule that includes specific work hours. Set aside time for breaks, exercise, and other personal activities. This will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.


Prioritize Your Tasks


Identify the most important tasks that need to be completed and prioritize them. Use a task management tool to keep track of your to-do list and deadlines. This will help you stay on top of your workload.


Minimize Distractions


Minimize distractions during your work hours by turning off notifications, closing unnecessary tabs, and working in a quiet and comfortable space. This will help you stay focused and avoid burnout.


Take Breaks


Gig workers should Take Breaks

Take regular breaks to recharge and avoid burnout. Taking short breaks can help improve your productivity and focus.


Automate Repetitive Tasks


Use tools or software to automate repetitive tasks such as invoicing, accounting, and social media scheduling. This will help you save time and streamline your workflow.


Delegate Tasks

gig workers should Delegate Tasks

If you have a lot of work, consider delegating some tasks to others. You can hire other freelancers or virtual assistants to help with non-core tasks. This will help you focus on your core strengths and increase your productivity.


Track Your Time


Use time-tracking tools to monitor the time you spend on each task. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your productivity and stay on top of your deadlines.


By implementing these time management tips, freelancers can better manage their time, increase their productivity, and achieve their goals. As a result, they can enjoy a better work-life balance, reduce stress, and improve their overall well-being.

 

Click here to contact HTW Law - Employment Lawyer for assistance and legal consultation.

contact htw law - employment lawyer for wrongful dismissal help
 

2. Tips for Finding Suitable Gigs and Jobs


Tips for Finding Suitable Gigs and Jobs

As a freelancer, finding suitable jobs that match your skills and talent can be a challenging task. According to a survey by FreelancerMap, 56% of freelancers say that finding new projects is their biggest challenge. In addition, 31% of freelancers report that they struggle to find high-quality clients who are willing to pay them fairly.

To help you overcome these challenges, we've compiled some tips for finding suitable jobs as a freelancer. These tips can help you identify your core strengths, showcase your talents, and attract high-quality clients.


Identify Your Niche


Identify your niche or core strengths, and focus on jobs that align with your skills and talent. This will help you stand out from the competition and attract clients who are looking for your specific expertise.


Build a Strong Online Presence


Build a strong online presence through your website, social media, and other online platforms. Showcase your work, your skills, and your personality. This will help you attract high-quality clients who are looking for a reliable and trustworthy freelancer.


Network with Other Freelancers


Gig workers should Network with Other Freelancers

Join online communities, attend events and network with other freelancers and gig workers in your industry. This will help you build relationships, learn new skills, and find new job opportunities.


Use Freelance Job Boards


Use freelance job boards such as Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr to find suitable jobs that match your skills and talent. Make sure to optimize your profile and proposals to stand out from the competition.


Cold Pitch to Potential Clients


Identify potential clients who are a good fit for your skills and talent, and send them a personalized pitch. Make sure to highlight your strengths and show how you can add value to their business.

Cold Pitch - an important step for gig workers to find clients and gigs

Ask for Referrals


Ask your current clients for referrals to other potential clients who may be a good fit for your skills and talent. This can help you expand your network and find new job opportunities.


By following these tips, freelancers can find suitable jobs that match their skills and talent, attract high-quality clients, and build a successful freelance career.



3. Tips for Marketing Your Skills and Talent


Tips for Marketing Your Skills and Talent

As a freelancer / gig worker, it's essential to market your skills and talent effectively to attract clients and grow your business. According to a survey by PayPal and Intuit, 53% of freelancers say that marketing is a major challenge in their business.


To help you overcome this challenge, we've compiled some tips to market your skills and talent effectively as a freelancer / gig worker. These tips can help you reach new clients, stand out from the competition, and build a strong reputation in your industry.


Define Your Unique Selling Proposition


Define your unique selling proposition (USP) to differentiate yourself from the competition. Identify what sets you apart from other freelancers and gig workers, and use this as your marketing message to attract clients who are looking for your specific expertise.


Create a Portfolio


gig workers should Create a Portfolio

Create a portfolio that showcases your best work and highlights your skills and talent. Use this portfolio to demonstrate your capabilities to potential clients and build trust with them.


Build a Strong Online Presence


Build a strong online presence through your website, social media, and other online platforms. Use these platforms to share your work, engage with potential clients, and build your brand.


Ask Colleagues To Market You


Network with other freelancers in your industry and collaborate on projects. This can help you expand your reach and attract new clients through word-of-mouth referrals.


Offer Free Samples or Trials


gig workers should Offer Free Samples or Trials

Offer free samples or trials of your work to potential clients to demonstrate your skills and build trust. This can help you attract new clients and build a loyal customer base.


Participate in Online Communities


Participate in online communities related to your industry, such as forums, social media groups, and online events. This can help you connect with potential clients and showcase your expertise.


These tips can help freelancers to effectively market their skills and talent, attract new clients, and grow their businesses.

 

Click here to contact HTW Law - Employment Lawyer for assistance and legal consultation.

 

4. Tips for Negotiating Rates and Getting Paid


Tips for Negotiating Rates and Getting Paid

According to a survey by PayPal and Intuit, 44% of freelancers say that negotiating payment terms and rates is a significant challenge in their business. However, effective negotiation and payment processes are crucial to building a sustainable freelancing career.


To help freelancers overcome these challenges, we've compiled some tips for negotiating rates and ensuring timely payments. These tips can help freelancers establish fair payment terms with clients and streamline their payment processes.


Research Industry Standard Rates


Before negotiating rates with clients, research industry standard rates to ensure that you are offering a fair and competitive rate. Websites such as Glassdoor and Payscale can help you determine the average rates for your services in your location.


Highlight Your Value


When negotiating rates, focus on the value you provide to the client rather than the time it takes to complete the work. Highlight your skills, expertise, and experience to justify your rates.


Set Clear Payment Terms

Set clear payment terms in your contract, including the payment amount, due date, and method of payment. This can help you avoid confusion and ensure timely payments.


Request an Upfront Deposit


Request an upfront deposit from clients to cover your initial expenses and confirm their commitment to the project. This can help you avoid payment issues later on.


Follow Up on Late Payments


If a client is late on a payment, follow up with a polite email or phone call to remind them of the payment due date. If the payment is significantly overdue, consider imposing late payment fees or ceasing work until payment is received.


Use Online Payment Platforms


Use online payment platforms such as PayPal, Stripe, or Wise to streamline your payment processes and avoid payment delays or disputes.


By following these tips, freelancers and gig workers can negotiate fair rates and establish clear payment terms with clients, ensuring timely and secure payments for their work.



5. Legal Protection for Freelancers / Gig Workers in USA


Legal Protection for Freelancers / Gig Workers in USA

According to a study by the Freelancers Union in coordination with coursework helper, 71% of freelancers have had trouble getting paid, and 54% have had trouble with a client refusing to pay for work. To protect themselves and their business, freelancers should be aware of their legal rights and the laws that apply to their work.


Freelance Isn't Free Act


The Freelance Isn't Free Act is a law that provides legal protection for freelancers in New York City. The law requires clients to provide freelancers with a written contract, including the payment amount, due date, and method of payment. It also establishes penalties for clients who fail to pay freelancers on time.


Independent Contractor Laws

Independent Contractor Laws that protects gig workers and freelancers

Freelancers and gig workers are customarily classified as independent contractors, which means they are not employees and are not entitled to certain employment benefits. However, there are state and federal laws that provide legal protection for independent contractors, including the right to organize and unionize.


Copyright Law


Copyright law protects the creative work of freelancers, including writing, photography, and design. Freelancers can register their work with the U.S. Copyright Office to establish legal proof of ownership and protect against infringement.


Small Claims Court

Small Claims Court in USA for gig workers

If a client refuses to pay for work, freelancers can take legal action in small claims court. Small claims court is a low-cost and efficient way to resolve disputes over small amounts of money, typically up to $10,000 in many states including, but not limited to, California and Nevada.


Some Worthy Resources for Legal Protection of Freelancers in the USA:

  1. Freelancers Union: The Freelancers Union provides resources and advocacy for freelancers, including legal advice and support.

  2. National Federation of Independent Business: The National Federation of Independent Business provides legal support and advocacy for small business owners and independent contractors.

  3. U.S. Copyright Office: The U.S. Copyright Office provides information and resources for registering creative work and protecting intellectual property.

By being aware of legal protection laws for freelancers / gig workers and utilizing resources and support, freelancers can protect themselves and their businesses from legal issues and disputes.


6. Legal Protection Laws for Freelancers In Ontario



Let's have a look at some protection laws and facilities for freelancers in Ontario. Gig workers and freelance workers in Ontario have legal protections as well that are specific to the province.


You may want to take a look at employment contract related blog post at this link:



Employee Misclassification


In Ontario, employers are required to classify their workers correctly as either employees or independent contractors. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor can result in the employer being required to pay back wages, benefits, and taxes, as well as penalties and interest.


Misclassification happens more often than you may expect. It is sometimes the result of poor contract drafting. If the parties intend to form an independent contractor agreement, it is strongly advised that the contract be drafted by an experienced employment lawyer. A law firm like HTW Law - Employment Lawyer can help.


Click here to contact HTW Law - Employment Lawyer for assistance and legal consultation.


Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)

WSIB for gig workers and freelancers

In Ontario, most employers are required to have workers' compensation coverage through the WSIB. This coverage provides benefits to workers who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.


Companies attempt in Contracting out work and WSIB obligations DON'T always work.


An independent operator/contractor must have mandatory WSIB coverage; nevertheless, in the event of an accident, WSIB may decide that the company is accountable for the individual / contractor and consider him or her an employee.


To reduce an employer’s exposure to WSIB costs/penalties, he or she is encouraged to clarify the status of the independent operator with WSIB before retaining the contractor by having both the employer company and the independent operator complete a WSIB questionnaire form, both signing it and forwarding it to WSIB for a judgement.


Click here to view an article by Canadian Federation Of Independent Business (CFIB) to learn more.


Ontario Human Rights Code

HRTO protects all workers including gig workers and freelancers

The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits discrimination based on a worker's race, gender, age, disability, and other factors. This means that gig and freelance workers are entitled to the same protections as other workers in Ontario.


You might want to take a look at this page to learn more about workplace harassment and discrimination, along with the legal protections available to you:



You may also want to take a look at workplace harassment and workplace discrimination related blog post at this link:



If you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, DON’T take it for granted. Open up and let a harassment lawyer or a workplace discrimination lawyer assists you. A law firm like HTW Law - Employment Lawyer can help.


Click here to contact HTW Law - Employment Lawyer for assistance and legal consultation.



Pay Equity and Equal Pay For Equal Work

employment standards act

The Pay Equity Act in Ontario requires that all employers ensure that their employees are paid equally for work of equal value, regardless of their gender.


The Employment Standards Act's "Equal Pay for Equal Work" provisions require that men and women be paid equally while doing the same or substantially the same work.


Please click here to view the Pay Equity Office's comprehensive comparison of the two.


Case law and Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act, 2022

Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act, 2022 protects gig workers and freelancers

As mentioned above, companies often attempt to contract out their legal obligations under Employment related legislation. Independent contractors are frequently found to be misclassified, denied of their employment law benefits reserved for employees. Misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor may oblige an employer to pay back wages, benefits, and taxes, plus fines and interest.


You might want to take a look at this blog post regarding misclassification and relevant case law in depth:



The Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act, 2022, passed into law on April 11, 2022, also provides some legal protections to freelancers and gig workers. This Act aims to regulate gig workers and freelancers who use apps to get jobs like transportation or food delivery for companies such as Uber, Door Dash, and Instacart. They are typically independent contractors who are not covered by the Employment Standards Act (ESA).


The Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act, 2022 creates rights for digital platform workers (such as right to minimum wage, Right to notice of removal, etc...), establishes policies, procedures, and regulations for record-keeping, director accountability, complaints and enforcement, collections, and offences and prosecutions.


The Act will take effect on a date to be determined by proclamation of the Lieutenant Governor.


Click here to learn more about the Digital Platform Workers' Rights Act 2022.


It is important for gig and freelance workers in Ontario to be aware of these legal protections and to know their rights as workers.


However, employment law related to misclassification and Independent Workers' Rights are highly technical and often fairly complicated. You are well advised to consult with an experienced employment lawyer. A law firm like HTW Law - Employment Lawyer can help.


Click here to contact HTW Law - Employment Lawyer for assistance and legal consultation.

7. Other Legal Considerations

Legal issues can be a major concern for freelancers and gig workers who work independently without the protection of an employer. One important aspect to consider is the structure of the business (i.e. business formation), whether it should be a sole proprietor, LLC, or corporation.


Freelancers and gig workers should also ensure they have proper contracts in place with clients, outlining the scope of work, payment terms, and intellectual property rights.


It's also crucial to understand tax obligations and ensure compliance with local, provincial / state, and federal laws. Additionally, it's important to protect personal assets by obtaining liability insurance. Freelancers and gig workers should stay informed about legal changes that may impact their business and seek the advice of a lawyer if necessary. By addressing these legal considerations, freelancers and gig workers can protect themselves and their businesses.


You don't have to fight the battle alone. Speaking with an employment lawyer who is familiar with the laws and regulations governing gig workers, digital platform workers, and freelancers will go a long way. If you are in doubt, it's essential that you reach out for help as soon as possible right away.


Click here to contact HTW Law - Employment Lawyer for assistance and legal consultation.

contact htw law - employment lawyer for wrongful dismissal help
 

8. While Summing It Up…


Freelancing can be an exciting and rewarding career path, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. As a freelancer / gig worker, you may struggle with time management, finding suitable jobs, and effectively marketing your skills and talent. However, with the right strategies and tools, you can overcome these challenges and build a successful freelance career.


I hope this post has provided you with meaningful insights into how you overcome freelancing challenges. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments sections below.



 

Author Bio:


Melissa Calvert is currently working as assistant researcher at crowdwriter.com. She was previously associated with a reputed firm as an SEO Analyst. Melissa likes to travel, and she often travels solo to explore different cultures of various places. In her leisure time, you will find her reading books and browsing technological advancements.



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