7 Reasons Older Freelancers Are an Asset to Your Business

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Today, Kelli Clevenger joins us to share why it’s never too late to ditch your 9-5 and start a new freelance writing career. After all, age is just a number, especially in the freelancing world. Thanks for joining us Kelli!

Did you know the average age of a freelancer is 32? That means that if you enter the labor market between 18 and 24, you would have about 8-14 years of experience. Does that statistic make you think you’re too old to freelance? If you’re nodding “yes,” then I have news to brighten your day.

It might change your mind and ignite your career.

I’ve been freelancing just over a year, and I’m no spring chicken; I’m 54. I had the same negative thoughts as you:

  • I’m too old.
  • I don’t have the right experience.
  • I’m not a computer guru.
  • No one will hire me.

I was shakin’ in my boots. But, I did it. I jumped in feet first.

And I’m glad I did. 

I had lots to learn and still do. After self-publishing my first eBook, I turned to article writing. I knew nothing. Zilch.

I took classes, read books and watched tutorials. I lapped up everything I could. I still do.

Does this sound like you too?

Then, keep reading, because older freelancers are an asset to any business. We have lots to offer and can produce effective, efficient work. If you’re still worried, then feast your eyes on these seven reasons we’re awesome.

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1. Experience

Experience equals knowledge and wisdom. Right?

The older you are, the more experience you have. Work experience, life experience. More hobbies and maybe even a bucket list. Children and grandchildren.

Whatever you’ve experienced in your life is fair game as a writer. Start a list. You’ll be surprised at how much experience you DO have. All of it can lead to more ideas, more visions, better descriptions and entertaining tales.

2. Contacts

As a freelancer, you’ll need contacts and lots of them. The older you are, the more contacts you’ll have.

Not only can you contact the folks you know, but those folks have contacts, too. Think network and build yours. The more resources you have, the better.

With social media, it’s easier than ever. Work on your foundation and build from there.

3. Free Time

If you’re older, you might be retired. Lucky you.

That free time can be used to build your new freelance career. You have more time to learn and more time to practice.

It also means more time for clients. That can boost your confidence and turn into opportunities. Just use your time wisely.

4. More Ideas

Every idea can be turned into an article, a book, an essay or even a poem. Pay attention to your surroundings, the news, magazines, your family and your friends.

Through exposure, ideas will mount; think about your past, slant ideas in unusual ways, then hit your keyboard and get to work. Ideas come from your past and your present surroundings. Don’t forget to keep a journal.

5. Desire to Learn

You might have a bucket list. You might be back in school. You might take online classes.

Whatever your path, older freelancers crave knowledge and enjoy learning. Anything gained can boost your career.

So head to the library, your local college or on a historical trip. Knowledge equals income. Never stop learning.

6. Dependability

In most cases, older folks are traditional. They believe in hard work, punctuality and making deadlines.

They enjoy communication and keeping in contact. That’s a huge plus for clients. Knowing you’ll make the deadline (or beat it) will often turn into repeat work. Yes, really!

7. Fewer Distractions

Most older freelancers will have fewer distractions. Children are grown and grandchildren might live in another city. Some are widows or widowers. Each person is different, but most have fewer distractions.

That’s a plus for freelancers. Your work is your focus.

There’s one more thing to add. 

Most clients will never know your age.

It’s not likely that you’ll meet face-to-face. Brush up on computer skills. Learn to write in conversational tones; update old-fashioned salutations and closings.

I bet no one will ever ask your age. Their main concern is good writing, good spelling and grammar, and dependability. Scout’s honor.

Trust me, age is just a number. And it might even make you a better freelancer.

What do YOU think? Is older better? Or do we all have something unique to bring to the table? Chime in in the comments!

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Kelli Clevenger is a freelance writer for hire from the North Carolina foothills. With a diverse background, Kelli specializes in florals and weddings, the pet industry, health, and fitness and nutrition. She has a degree in sociology that fuels her interest in social issues. She lives on a small farm with her husband, puppy, bossy cats, and senior horses. You’re likely to find her on her laptop, wearing a pink ball cap, and drinking lime seltzer water.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore via Compfight cc

30 thoughts on “7 Reasons Older Freelancers Are an Asset to Your Business”

  1. Thanks for the great post! Very unusual point of view. They usually say that the more young you are the better it is, but tried to prove quite the contrary. It seems that it is never too late to start freelancing. No matter how old are you, you always have to say something to your audience.
    Though, old freelancers are not friends with techniques and their blogs will look not so pleasant (maybe), if we speak about blogging.

    • Thank you, Olena! I believe we’re never too old to learn and share. I believe blogging is also something anyone can learn. We have lots to offer. Thanks for the comments and thank you to Gina for posting!

  2. Pretty encouraging post! Nevertheless I disagree with you. People should do something in what they are skilled. It is too late to start something in old age, especially something requiring mental activity. As psychologists say, old-aged people perceive and storage information very hard.

    • Thank you for your comment, Berry. I believe that older people can write about what they are skilled in and offer lots of experience. I believe older people can always learn to write better and for different formats, even when writing in areas they have experience in. I don’t want to ever stop learning and growing. Thanks for your post.

    • At 55, I took eighteen months of coursework and earned a certificate in Healthcare Informatics. Now at 59, I’m pursuing writing and research as a career.

      Nobody told me I’d have to stop learning due to diminished mental activity. I’ll have to warn my 95 year old mother who has recently taught herself to Skype. She still writes short stories for publications. Age is not an impassable thoroughfare; it’s simply a more carefully navigated path.

      • Fran, what an inspiring post! Congratulations to you and your mom! Thank you for sharing; good luck to you and your mom! And thanks to Gina for letting us share all of this; hopefully it will help others out there.

    • Sorry, I wholeheartedly disagree with you, Berry. Yes, people should do something they’re good at, but sometimes in life we don’t get to dive into those strengths right away. Why put aside your dreams because of your age?

      I’ve taught people over 50 English as a second language, a feat that is notoriously hard to achieve. I honestly found them much easier to teach than teenagers because they were prepared to make an extra effort and didn’t have the idea that if it didn’t work out now, they could pursue it later.

      • Thank you for your comments, Mary. I sincerely agree with you; age is only a number, not a deterrent. I applaud you for your teaching efforts and wish you the best of luck!

  3. I agree with this 100%, and I need to because I’m in exactly this position. I have quit my fulltime job but there is no way I’m ready for retirement yet, in fact I still want to travel the world and earn a living while doing it.
    And yes, I think I have a lot to offer. I read a lot of blogs full of advice from the perspective of someone in their twenties or thirties, but is their advice relevant to older people? I can offer that different perspective and encourage older people that whatever they want to do, it is NEVER too late!

    • Thank you, Dee! I agree!! Folks are living longer, too. Many crave knowledge and want to share their knowledge and experience. Great outlook! Good luck to you!

  4. These are great points. It’s never too late, and if one is willing and eager to learn, they are already ahead of the crowd. The digital world is not confined to the young only!

    • Good point, Marjie! If we are willing to learn, we can grow right along with it, while sharing our expertise. Thank you for your comments!

  5. I think anyone can be a great freelancer at any age. I started freelancing when I was 17. Now I’m 21. For the most part, clients don’t ask how old I am, and if they do, I haven’t known it to influence their decision to hire me. They just say, “Wow, you’re really young. Okay, let’s get to work.”

    That being said, I agree with you. It’s never to late to start your freelancing career, and I think older people with more experience have a LOT to offer clients. For instance, I’ve seen older people try to get into freelance writing and say things like, “I don’t have any writing experience. I don’t know if I can do this!” Yet they have 15 years experience as a financial adviser (or something like that). Do you know how valuable that experience can be if you write for financial websites? There’s no reason you should be starting at the bottom with your rates with that experience, either.

    And maybe they don’t want to write about the industry they came from, and that’s okay. You can still leverage your experience in other ways to take new approaches to old topics.

    I don’t think young or old is advantageous over the other, but I think each does attract a different type of client and both can be equally successful.

    • Thanks for the comments, Alicia! That’s a great point about being very young, too. I believe freelancers of all ages can offer many things. If we are willing to continue learning, then I think the field is wide open. It just takes a willingness to get out there and do it. Good luck with your career and thanks for the comments!

  6. I so agree with you, Kelli! Of course, freelancing is for anyone at any age and depending on how hard you want to work at it…you reap what you sow. It probably does really help though that you are not pulled in that many directions any more as when you are younger.
    As you said, kids might have left the house, you know what you stand for and are less anxious about just being yourself (on top of the scary part of being a freelancer), people get older and are more active both physically and mentally longer, so….to me it makes perfect sense.
    It would definitely be a value proposition point for potential clients, I think.
    Thanks for a great ‘left field’ article ;o)

    • Thank you for you kind words, Mariken! I’m happy you agree, and yes, we do reap what we sow. I heard once that we never stop learning and growing until we are no longer on earth. I believe that’s true if you keep putting forth the effort. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  7. Hi Kelli,

    Firstly, hats off for getting past the initial fear and immersing yourself in writing.

    I believe it all starts in the mind and if the mind is like a young child willing to
    learn, fail and learn again there is every chance of success irrespective of age.
    As a writer, I often get stuck in coming up with ideas and have to rely on research to do so. But with your treasure house of experience this will surely not be the case.

    As you pointed out, when you’re doing all the right things to deliver good writing the rest all stands as secondary.

    Best of luck and you’ll surely do well.

    • Patricia, I thank you for your kind comments and taking time to post. I do still have fears (lots!), but I figure I will never know unless I get out there and try. I do believe a lot of it has to to with a positive attitude and (like you suggest) using our minds to make positive progress. Thank you for the pat on the back; I wish you the best in your writing career. It’s great that we can all support each other. I appreciate Gina giving us an outlet to do that and for her inspiration. Thank you, Gina!

  8. This is a very reassuring post as I have taken an interest in freelance writing myself earlier this year. Starting early is recommended, but nevertheless learning freelancing is an interesting journey in later years—this is where prior writing experience counts.
    A person is never too old to learn new things and after being a writing enthusiast for many years, learning freelancing seemed like a natural step and what I like the most is that reading about blogging and freelancing has truly occupied my mind this year and I have the same anticipation of the future as when I first started in March.
    This is a good post that shows a person’s age doesn’t enter the equation.

    • Hi Joe- You make some good points. It is definitely a journey, and it’s great to have something to keep our interest and our minds engaged. Thank you for your comments. Good luck with your writing!

  9. Love it! I think what you said about having more contacts is really interesting. It reminded me that I need to continue to grow my personal network. As a freelancer, it’s easy to get sucked into your work and isolate yourself.

    My mom runs her own business and one of the reasons she hardly ever has trouble generating leads is that she knows SO many people! That certainly helps. 🙂

    Thanks for the tips, Kelli, and best of luck with everything.

    • Thank you for the kind comments, Mary! I certainly agree that it’s easy to isolate yourself when you’re a writer. I read a tip from another writer once that said she breaks that cycle by writing somewhere like a coffee shop; she said it generated new ideas and helped her gain new contacts. That could help us when we feel that way.

      Thank you and good luck with your writing!

  10. Thank you so much for the uplifting and encouraging article! I am 48 years old, a stay-at-home mother of a six-year old, and a grandparent of a three-month old grandson. My family is my priority and my passion. I am also very passionate about depression disorders for which, like so many, I am a sufferer. I feel like I have so much to say about the above mentioned topics, but I stopped myself from pursuing the idea of expressing myself on a public basis. Thank you for giving me the boost I needed to start doing something important and creative with freelance writing!

    • Thank you, Maria! And I’m happy to know you feel encouraged! That is a topic that affects many, so I wish you the best in your writing endeavors.

  11. It’s only too late to start something new if you’re not breathing. Why would I want to be content with the same and never learning anything new?
    I’ll be 57 this year and just started my freelancing career earlier this year. I didn’t want to continue my old career anymore. Some of us realize we haven’t been doing the things we have always wanted to, but now have the freedom to make those choices. And as mentioned above, we bring a world of experience with us. I see it opening lots of doors for me.
    I don’t ever want to stop learning or even working for that matter. I just don’t ever want to work for anyone else again. You won’t see me sitting in a rocking chair, or most of my peers. In fact Berry, come look for me on the PCT when I’m 60. Or just read about it while you’re at home in the easy chair. ?

    • Vicky, thanks for the comments; that’s a great point! I actually heard a pastor say once that we only stop growing and being useful when we’re six feet under. I agree with you both! Kudos to you and your writing endeavors! Good luck!

  12. Wow, I loved your article Kelli, thanks so much for the big dose of inspiration! The timing is perfect as here I sit, almost 53, and have been stalled at starting a freelance writing business. I’m still working full time, and have been dreaming and researching and reading my way towards a freelance writing career for WAAY too long, instead of pitching and writing. My grandmother said her fifties were the best time in life…and I think she’s on to something there. I’ve got more time and energy, plus by this age I’ve had some real adventures in life that are definitely worth writing about. It is so refreshing to hear the benefits of starting out “late” and be reminded of how our experience is a huge plus. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Lori! I think I agree with your grandmother; but it’s also what you make of it, and I choose to keep learning and growing. I hope the article gave you some inspiration to get started, and I wish you the best!

  13. Thanks for the reply. You are right, with all those modern helping tools blogging is not that complicated. Maybe I’m under the influences of the stereotypes in my belief that old people are bad learners) hope it is true. I have an example of my granny. I did my best to teach her to watch movies online, but it was impossible)) maybe not all the people the same)

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