As freelancers, we’re always hearing questions from people who don’t quite understand what we do and how it all works. We understand the concept of freelancing isn’t always easy to wrap your head around. How do you make money? Isn’t it hard working with multiple clients? When do you sleep? If someone has worked in a corporate environment their entire careers, they’re going to have a hard time grasping the concept.

We don’t blame them, but that doesn’t mean that the questions don’t get annoying. It’s our job to educate them, sure, but why not have a little fun while doing so? Here are the top questions you’re most likely to get asked as a freelancer and how to respond.

1) What does freelancing mean, exactly?

You try to explain it as best as you can, but this is always their reaction:

Your reaction:

You wonder why they are so interested anyways. You don’t ask them the ins and outs of being a dentist, now do you? No, no you don’t. But at the day, you settle with something to the effect of: “I produce good work and make people happy.”

2) So you’re your own boss?

And you try to explain that you’re also your own HR director, sales team, accountant, legal department, social media manager, copywriter, editor, etc. but they just don’t get it.

3) You must have so much more time on your hands, right?

Because in reality, you’re handling a dozen accounts and projects at once:

Your gut reaction might be to say “would you have a ton of time on your hands if you were doing your job for five different people?” But instead you bite your tongue and respond with something like, “you know, I’m super busy, but sure, I still find time to do laundry and see my friends.”

4) Don’t you miss working in an office environment?

When in reality, it sometimes gets to you:

But rarely do you miss the office politics or the commute:

5) But aren’t you distracted at home?

Sure you watch Food Network while answering emails and sometimes you haul your laptop to the beach to “get work done” because you can, but you would rather have that over a bunch of coworkers coming to your cubicle every four seconds to ask you a question.

6) How do you make enough money?

Finally a good question. You explain the different types of payments you could  receive, such as monthly stipends, hourly rates, bi-weekly payments, etc. When they give you a confused look you stop and simplify it in a way they may understand:

But you know this is the picture they have in mind when you tell them you get paid to Tweet and Facebook for clients:

When in all reality, it’s more like:

Because one of your clients neglected to pay you for two months and your other client that pays you hourly didn’t need your assistance with copyediting this month.

7) What about benefits?

You mean the best benefit ever?!

Along with the ability to travel, work from home, attend conferences/events, not deal with office distractions, no commuting, and more time for your family/friends.

But if they mean having health insurance, 401K plan, vacation and sick days, then you ain’t got that.

8) How do you balance work and life? Don’t the lines blur?

Because you actually love what you do and don’t mind the blurred lines.

After hours of questions and explaining, this is your expression when they finally begin to understand what freelancing actually means:

What annoying questions do you get asked as a freelancer? Share them in the comments below, and we’ll send you the appropriate gif response. 😉

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Lisa Crocco
Lisa Crocco is a public relations freelancer who can be found wandering the aisles of local bookstores or the streets of a new city. When not reading or traveling she tends to write about both of those hobbies, among other topics.