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How do you enjoy autonomy/freedom working as a freelancer on platforms?


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I wonder how freelancers enjoy autonomy/freedom while working on platforms. It looks like freelancers on platforms have to be always watchful and concerned about maintaining perfect scores (e.g., great reviews, minimum response time, minimum cancellation rate, on-time delivery etc.). Doesn't it feel like a constant pressure? Does this experience vary across the levels of skills/power of freelancers? For instance, is it like more skilled sellers are less worried about all the metrics as they may have multiple earnings sources and are likely to be less dependent on a single platform?

What determine platform freelancers' autonomy/freedom? When do they enjoy it?    

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Having done both, I can tell you that freelancing definitely affords more autonomy than traditional 9 to 5 Jobs. But then, in order to succeed and make a full-time living as a Freelancer, you need to wear a lot of hats.  You should have the ability to put yourself on a schedule, constantly keep yourself updated, learn how to communicate effectively with clients, etc. I don't think the more skilled freelancers worry less about metrics because everyone gets difficult clients, periods when algo is not in your favour etc but you just need to know how to deal with it. It matters how you respond to a negative review, how you learn new things on your field - Essentially how well you bounce back.

Also, I feel like in a traditional job setting, you're a cog in the wheel. That could get a little discouraging when you don't know what you're working towards 8 hours a day, everyday. But as a freelancer, you know exactly what you're supposed to do. I cannot tell you how freeing that is. 🙃

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With autonomy comes responsibility. It's simple to have a regular job. You show up on schedule, do the assigned work, leave again, and the pay comes in regularly and reliably. Freelancing or running your own business requires, I believe, a lot more work and strategizing, especially at the beginning. I've been doing this for 20+ years and have earned more freedom over time. I do not work only on platforms. I personally don't think it's a good idea to focus on them for the long-term. Diversification leads to more freedom.

Enjoying it? I think the type of people who are able to succeed with self-employment enjoy the autonomy itself. At this point, I have time and income to pursue more interesting things, too.

Edited by melanielm
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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes I really do enjoy it, since 12 years now, the digital nomad type (only need laptop + wifi to work) but there have been ups and downs. Be available, present and unique. Ban out parasitic (potential) competitors. Just like any other job you have to keep doing your best. Are you as productive as during your 9-5 job? Did you got up at 5am, workout/yoga, got dressed and sit at your desk at 9? Did you do breakfast-lunch-dinner? The main important one: branding, visibility and always give value so that people will remember you and return to you and refer others. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Working as a freelancer on platforms like Fiverr can indeed be a mixed bag in terms of autonomy and freedom. Let's break down some key points to consider:

Pressure for Maintaining Metrics: You're correct in noting that freelancers often face pressure to maintain high scores and meet specific metrics. This is because platforms use these metrics as a way to ensure quality and reliability for their customers. It can feel like a constant pressure, especially for newer freelancers who are trying to establish themselves.

Variation Across Skill Levels: The experience does vary across different skill levels. More established and skilled freelancers may have a built-up client base and a strong reputation, allowing them to have more flexibility. They might have multiple income streams and be less reliant on a single platform. This can provide a greater sense of autonomy and freedom.

Diversification of Income: Freelancers who have diversified their income sources beyond a single platform tend to have more autonomy. This could include having clients outside of the platform, selling services directly through their own website, or offering other products or services related to their skills.

Building a Brand: Establishing a personal brand can also contribute to autonomy. Freelancers who have a strong brand identity and a loyal client base may have more flexibility in setting their own terms and pricing.

Choosing Projects: As a freelancer gains experience and reputation, they may have more control over the types of projects they take on. They can be selective and focus on projects that align with their interests and expertise.

Time Management: One of the benefits of freelancing is the ability to set your own schedule. However, this can also be a challenge if you struggle with time management. Effective time management skills are crucial for maintaining a balance between work and personal life.

Market Demand and Specialization: The demand for a particular skillset can greatly impact a freelancer's autonomy. Those with highly specialized skills that are in high demand may have more control over their rates, terms, and the projects they choose to take on.

Client Relationships: Building strong relationships with clients can lead to more trust and flexibility in working arrangements. This can result in longer-term projects, repeat business, and even referrals.

In summary, while freelancers do face pressure to maintain certain metrics, there are ways to achieve a greater degree of autonomy. This often comes with experience, diversification of income streams, and building a strong personal brand. It's also important to strike a balance between meeting platform requirements and setting your own terms to ensure a fulfilling freelance career.

Edited by mehran_hussain
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