6 Freelance Problems You Can Easily Avoid

If you’re thinking of starting freelancing, you should know it won’t all be smooth sailing.

Although we vouch that freelance living is the future, and is one of the most satisfying career ventures you can take – it, of course, comes with its own set of challenges.

Here are 6 of the main freelance problems, even expert freelancers make – and more importantly, here’s how to avoid them.

Problem 1: Variable Workloads

You can’t predict when work will come in. Even if you put loads of time and energy into chasing work, there are bound to be dry spells.

There’s also the other end of the spectrum – at times, you might be totally overloaded with work and find yourself working into the early hours of the morning!

This problem goes hand in hand with no.2 which is…

Problem 2: Fluctuating Income

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When the work’s good, you’ll probably be rolling in it. But when it’s bad…Well, ramen and ketchup for every meal might suddenly start looking plausible.

The key to solving both these problems? Plan ahead and create a budget.

Problem 3: Long hours

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Contrary to popular belief, freelancing doesn’t mean drawing for an hour a day and then spending the rest of the time watching Netflix and eating brunch.

More often than not, setting your own hours means setting long hours, especially if you’ve got a deadline coming up for a big project.

Problem 4: Work-Life Balance

graphic showing A pair of scales showing work-life balance, where work is taking over life.

Long hours can also result in work taking over life.

What’s worse here is that friends and family can be less than sympathetic. 

They’ll think you can just drop everything and do what they want because you “set your own hours.” 

Explain that – like them – you need to get a certain amount of work done and unlike them, you’re not guaranteed a paycheck every month.

Problem 5: Lots of admin…

graphic with folders toppling over eachother

No one likes admin. But when you’re freelancing you’ll have to do your own taxes, draw up contracts with clients and keep track of your expenses all by yourself.

At times you might find yourself missing having a boss to do that!

Problem 6: Chasing up payments

graphic showing bag of money

Clients can be strangely reluctant to hand over hard cash. 

This means you end up wasting valuable time trying to coax them into paying up, which is both stressful and very, very annoying. Check out our article on how to solve this problem.

Ready to get hired? At Twine, we have dozens of top-quality jobs being posted each and every day. From design to marketing, development to copywriting – there’s a job ready for your skills. Join the marketplace of creative talent here.


Becca is the Marketing Executive at Twine. She loves literature, music, film and make-up. She spends a lot of time complaining about the mismatched angles of her winged eyeliner and stalking drag queens on Instagram. Otherwise, she’s helping Joe by writing blog posts and keeping Twine’s social media running.