In any business or entrepreneurship, the desire of the Entrepreneur or service provider is to make profit. Better put, it is assumed that if you are in business, you want to make profit and not make losses and as a Freelancer, the expectation is the same or is expected to be the same but sometimes, the perception of same goes for you and whatever service is being provided.
So, how do you know if you are making profit or loss as a Freelancer?
Well, the first thing to worry about is not the question “Am I making profit or loss?” The first question to ask yourself is, “Am I running a business or not?” Yes, it is important to ask yourself that because no one is liable to run a profit or loss account/evaluation if a business is not involved. Moreover, there are situations where people tend to offer services they don’t charge for and by definite standards, anything called business is a transaction that requires an exchange of service or goods for a payment that can either be measured in quantity or in quality.
Therefore, are you running a business or not?
To evaluate if you are making profit or loss, you have to decide if what you do is a business or not. Of course, the fact that your business is not money-driven/motivated doesn’t mean it can’t be a business.
Most of the time as a creative freelancer, people want to enjoy your service(s) without paying for it because of the issue of whether you are running a business or simply doing a hobby. Suffice it to say that, Photography, Writing, Art, etc. are easily perceived to be hobbies and not businesses so much that clients most of the time expect that Freelancers in these arm of creatives and more provide their services for the love of it only and shouldn’t really care about getting paid and in situations where you are being paid, you are expected to settle for whatever you are given and not complain.
In other words, people are quick to play on your intelligence as a creative freelancer and play the card of the passion you have for it and the fulfilment you derive from doing what you do to shortchange you from seeing what you do as a business. However, creative freelancers have the right to make and earn a living using our talents. Most of the time, clients may not make it easy for you but sometimes, you gotta put your feet down and demand what you deserve.
The truth is you need to realize that in as much as a thing is a passion doesn’t mean it can’t put food on your table. Nothing else will make way for you if it’s not something you are passionate about and good at. Even the Bible states that a man’s gift is certain to make way for him but it can’t make way for itself unless you activate it and put it in a situation where it has to.
So, what do you do?
The basic thing to do is change your projection. What does that mean? It means, this is not the time for you to demand unrealistic expectations from people at the expense of opportunities that could come your way but this is the time you get to put a brand on your services. You’re a service provider and an outfit and it’s very okay to start treating it as one. If you don’t treat it as one, no one will treat it as such for you.
See, it is very okay to write or freelance for a while for the exposure and not charge anything if that is the opportunity you have coming your way, but as time goes on, it’s more than okay to charge and stop trying to look humble at your own expense.
Also, it is important to note that, profit at times may not come in finances, it may come in kind too but the basis is your ability to answer the questions below positively or negatively determines if you are making profit or loss.
1. Do you give the right vibe? – Sometimes, clients will ride on the vibe you give them. More like, people work with the vibe they get. So, is your vibe telling people you run a business or not? Or is it saying I’m doing a hobby? Also, the commitment we give to anything is one of the quick ways we give a vibe about what we do. So, it’s very important to take note.
2. Do you make more money than you spend? – This is very key in evaluating your profit or loss.
3. Are you too under-pricing of yourself that you think you’re not good enough to charge accordingly like some other people do for the same value or a better value you seem to offer?
4. Do you gain something at the end of every work done – collaborations especially?
5. Do you feel valued or do you feel like you were taken advantaged of after providing your service?
6. Do you feel more motivated or do you feel like quitting?
Finally, freelancing is more than the content you provide. The totality of the service you provide is hinged on your time, energy, sacrifice, creative and more. Therefore, if the answer to these questions or some of these questions falls on the negative side for you, don’t feel bad. Don’t dwell on it. It’s never too late for a rebrand.