5 Common Mistakes In Freelancing

5 Common Mistakes In Freelancing

Freelancing has always been attached to a carefree lifestyle where an individual is able to work at his/her own pace while relaxing at the poolside with a laptop typing away.

However, if you can ask professional freelancer about a day in their life, most likely you will be met with comments like “It is tough” or “I work until the early parts of the morning”. Therefore, if there is one thing to understand about freelancing, it is not for the faint at heart.

If you are a freelancer, you may have made tons of mistakes. This is quite normal. You are human. You are subject to error from time to time. Mistakes are the inevitable path towards success.

So what are some of the biggest blunders many freelancers make in their career?

1. Not Understanding Your Worth

So many freelancers do not recognize their ability. They do not see that they are far more worth receiving discounted jobs with stingy clients. In the beginning of your freelancing career, it may be appealing to apply for jobs that offer low rates and help clients to save. It is up to you whether or not you wish to work for these companies. Believe it or not, there are individuals that will spend top dollars for a job well done.

For example, if you design websites, many clients are willing to pay thousands just to know that they are receiving the best quality service. They realize that if they spend more money the results will be well worth it. If you have ever wrestled with an incorrect sense of worth, here are some things to consider:

  • Do your services require academic education?
  • Are you willing to invest time and money to develop your skills?
  • Are you a great communicator?
  • How much experience have you acquired?
  • Are your skills in high demand? Is your niche competitive?
  • Do you meet your deadlines?
  • Have you built credibility?

So at this point, you may wonder how to price the content that you are providing.

Consider these key factors:

  • Electric costs to complete this task
  • Software purchases
  • Internet costs
  • Supplies like paper or ink
  • Food
  • Rent/Mortgage payments
  • How much it costs you to get paid? – Certain online payment systems take out a fraction of your paycheck. It is also important to note that if you are using any freelance writing websites, they will charge you a small percentage of your earnings.

2. Not Knowing When to Say ‘No’

It is perfectly fine to turn down a client. If there is a job that you honestly believe you are not able to deliver to the best of your ability, it is okay to tell your client so. So many freelancers make the mistake in accepting every task given to them even when they know that they are unable to meet the deadline posted. They undervalue themselves at the mercy of fearful thoughts of losing their faithful client.

However, it is important to remember that clients are mere human beings. They are business professionals that offer services to other individuals. In fact, clients are afraid of freelancers. They are afraid of not receiving the best quality work. Do not allow yourself to be afraid. Most people will understand and value you for your honesty.

3. Talking Too Much Too Soon

As a freelancer, you may feel the need to explain every minor detail before accepting the contract. However, this will do more harm than good in the long run. The reason for this is, most clients do not know what work goes into building a website or writing an article.

All that they are concerned about is seeing their attractive new website running or a well-written document. They do not know how long it takes to create a design or what is needed in order to produce a quality article. Avoid giving too much information concerning how you get the work done.

Your client may not be well versed in coding or creative writing. If they were, chances are they would not spend the extra money depending on your services. Keep the details of your work under wraps so that you do not give information that clients can take and use to find someone else with cheaper rates.

4. Not Knowing When Something Is Not Working

There are so many freelancers that get involved in blogging, article writing, social media marketing, and event planning. The biggest mistake these individuals make is that they feel the need to throw their name everywhere.

These are the people who totally rely on paid online advertisements and heavy social media updates. However, these methods may not prove to be effective. Just because one freelancer thrives on Facebook ads does not mean that same strategy will work for you.

5. Trying To Be A Superhero

You may be the best freelancer known to man but if you are taking on more than what you can handle, you are not being wise. How does one get into this predicament?

This begins by seeking clients and accepting a writing job where you are supposed to create content for the client. However, eventually, you find yourself handling other tasks such as creating websites, answering emails, answering phone calls, and ending world hunger.

Most freelancers may not see the slow spin out of control because they are caught in the workload. Inevitably they find themselves in a state of burnout after such stress. If you are doing this all alone, you are your own boss.

However, there is one thing you can do to avoid an unnecessary upset in your freelancing career and that is hiring other freelancers. This will help free up a lot more of your time so that you can invest your time in other activities like finding new clients.

 

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4 Reasons to Ditch the Traditional Resume

4 Reasons to Ditch the Traditional Resume
Photo Credit – Pexels.com

We all know the traditional resume. Almost all of us have taken a class or two to teach just just how to create a resume worth sending out and we’re usually told not to get too creative or carried away with what we put on this one-sheet piece of paper.

But is this still true?

The digital world is changing the way we do business, which also means it is changing the way we apply to jobs. Through online job postings and the ability to apply online, we’re able to apply to jobs in cities we don’t live in and to companies we’ve never even heard of.

While this opens new doors to opportunities we probably wouldn’t have without the internet, it also means that we’re fighting with hundreds – possibly thousands – of other applicants. With a boring, black and white, “traditional” resume, you’re going to struggle to stand out.

If you want to catch the attention of the Hiring Manager, you’re going to need to do something that will set you apart.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider ditching your resume, as well as some ideas on how you can replace it.

1. There Are Better Ways to Showcase Your Skills

When you’re trying to describe yourself on one piece of paper, you’re not given much room to really show what you are capable of. Instead, you’re pressured to come up with the right words to describe why you’re the perfect fit for that job. Unless you’re a master wordsmith, you may be skipped over for a job you’re a perfect match for just because you couldn’t come up with the right words.

By choosing a different resume option, you can get creative about showcasing who you are and where your talents lie. If you’re in a creative field, you could create an online profile or website. If you’re a writer, a blog is a great way to show what you’re capable of.

2. Resumes Make It Difficult to Find the Right Job Match

As more applicants apply to jobs, companies have taken to streamlining the process of reading through resumes by using a tracking system. While these systems are designed to separate the qualified applicants from those who shouldn’t move on to the interview process, it usually does this by connecting keywords or numbers.

This means that through a classic resume application, you’re not moving forward based on how well you fit the company’s needs – you’re moving forward based on how well your resume matched the keywords they were looking for. This pushed completely respectable and qualified applicants into the reject pile while allowing applicants who may not meet the standards move forward.

A new kind of resume can make it easier for both applicants and hiring managers to find the right fit for the open position. Instead of basing connections on keywords and algorithms, they can once again use human judgment and understanding to find who is the most qualified.

3. Traditional Resumes Allow for Discrimination and Bias

When you submit your resume, you usually only send basic information about yourself in each section. This includes your name, your location, and the years you worked or graduated from school. While this is all important information for getting hired, it also allows the individual to make assumptions about you before you even meet them.

The age that you graduated and the years that you spent working tell your potential employee your age. Your name may give some indication of your race and gender. While this is all information they will find out during the interview process, their biased opinions could cause them to put your resume in the “reject” pile even if you are qualified.

By ditching the traditional resume and using a new updated way to apply, you’re able to better represent exactly who you are. You’re no longer relying on a paper with strict standards and guidelines to show that you fit the needs of the job.

4. Resumes Waste Time

As we’ve already mentioned, the application process is extremely diluted. There are hundreds of individuals applying for the same job as you, ranging from those believing it is their dream job all the way down to people perfectly happy in their current positions but they just want to see what happens. This means that with each job you apply to, you need to tweak your resume to stand on for that specific job.

This often ends in you spending hours trying to tailor your resume to perfectly match the job posting, hoping that you’re locating all the right keywords. If you’re applying to numerous jobs, you could easily eat up all your free time just restructuring your resume. And the worst part about it is that once you submit the resume, a computer will scan it and potentially throw it in the trash before anyone actually reads your hard work.

With a more modern approach to resumes, you can create an overarching picture of who you are and what your skills are or you can create specific pages, videos, or other content for that specific company. With these pieces of content attached to your application, an actual human will need to review it.

If you’re struggling to get attention from companies with your traditional resume, know that you’re not alone – trust me. Working for an recruitment agency means I am meeting and reviewing candidates all the time. Using a one sheet, black and white piece of paper is outdated and impractical for both applicants and hiring managers.

To stand out from the crowd, don’t be afraid to do something to stand out from the crowd. Think of what your skills are and put them to use to ensure they come across when applying to a job. Whether that is through designing a killer resume, creating a personal website, or filming a video to use to apply, make it all about you.

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3 Important Tips I Received When I Started My Writing Career

3 Important Tips I Received When I Started My Writing Career

Probably everyone who starts writing wants to do it well: otherwise, why even bother?

However, it’s nearly impossible to start your writing career like a pro if you have no prior experience. Mistakes have to be made and lessons have to be learned.

However, this doesn’t mean that you are going to have the toughest start possible: it’ll be easier for you if you prepare well, do your research and learn what can help you become a successful writer.

When I started my writing career, I did my research well. I also questioned other writers a lot to make sure that writing is really my thing and to prepare myself for what is going to come.

I received many useful tips back then, but if I’d have to pick only three of them, I’d choose the following ones:

1. Always write Detailed Plans

It doesn’t matter if you are a criminal novelist or a blogger writing for fashion magazines: a plan is still necessary. It helps you to avoid getting stuck in a middle of a writing process: actually, it’s quite hard to get stuck if you know exactly what you’re going to write next.

Moreover, a plan can help you understand whether the whole idea of your writing piece is well-thought or not. If you write a novel, you need to be sure that every plot twist is revealed by an end of a story. If you write an article, you probably would like to ensure that you’ll cover all the important parts and mention all the necessary details. That’s what plans are good for.

Of course, it’s impossible to come up with an amazing plan right away. The bigger your piece of writing is, the larger and detailed a plan has to be. So if you want to write something really huge and stunning, take some time to think about a plan well.

Spend a day or two writing it, then come back to it to re-read and rewrite it, fixing all the things that seem strange to you. Show your plan to your friends, ask their opinion and maybe change something they consider strange. That’s how a good plan is born.

2. Read A Lot

Yes, you’ve probably heard that tip before, but this doesn’t mean it’s less important. Actually, it is one of the most important tips, as it’s impossible to develop a good writing style without reading tons of good literature. While a writer has to remain original, they also need to seek inspiration in someone else’s works.

Read a lot of books if you want to become a novelist. Read a lot of blogs and articles if you want to become a blogger. Notice the differences between writing genres and try to understand why these genres are different.

Remember some things that you like in someone else’s writing and try to use them in your own way, be it metaphors or plot twists. Of course, don’t copy blindly: this won’t do you any good.

3. Show off Your Work

A writer needs to learn and it’s hard to do without an audience. You need to find people that will help you make your writing better: they will point to mistakes, on bad metaphors, on things you forget to mention, and so on. You can find such people among your friends or start publishing your writing somewhere online. The only important thing here is to learn how to accept their criticism well.

It can be painful for a writer to realize that their writing looks bad. However, you have to embrace the fact that writing is a process and that you are still learning.

Maybe something in your writing seems off now, but as time passes, it’ll change. So try to listen to what critics say and keep searching for ways to improve your work.

I hope these tips will be useful to you. Good luck!

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15 Lifestyle Hacks That Will Improve Your Productivity

With winter approaching, we all will see a decline in productivity that will prevent us from making progress in things we wish we could.

Here are 15 lifestyle hacks and tricks to help you improve your Productivity.

1. Notification Blackout

Getting into a productive state of mind is not always easy, however having a smartphone buzz every few minutes with emails, texts and other notifications can be immensely distracting.

Turning off notifications can help you settle into your work and keep you focused on what needs to be done. Most smartphone have a ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature which hides all notifications for a specified time period; this is a perfect tool to help you settle into your working zone.

2. Avoid Social Media & the News

Social media is a living organism, constantly alive with the status and tweets of millions of people worldwide. Avoiding social media can be difficult as it provides a tempting connection with hundreds of users within seconds. Although funny pictures and entertaining videos seem like a fun use of time, they are the biggest productivity killers online. Cutting out social media will help you focus your mind on progressing on which tasks need to be done.

The same can be said for the news, although the news provides for important information to you than various Facebook pages, it is in fact equally distracting as there are always articles that may peak your interest. Cut out this to and you’ll progress much faster.

 3. Morning Exercise

Studies have shown that exercising early in the morning can be greatly beneficial to your mind and body, thus increasingly how much you are able to do whilst working. Exercising will actually wake you up and energise you, rather than tire you out. A 30-minute jog in the morning can help your work and mood for the next 10 hours.

4. Hydrate

Water is essential to for your health and wellbeing. Like every living thing, our bodies perform best when fully hydrated. Constantly consuming water throughout the day can help your productivity tenfold. All leading essay writing services suggest to students that they take bottles of water into any examinations as they can keep students refreshed and alert.

5. Relax

Relax. Give yourself a break. If you work hard, relaxing and resting can be extremely beneficial. By sitting down, having a cup of tea and watching a little bit of television you can boost your morale and the break allows your concentration to become more focused upon your return to work.

6. Pet-friendly Work Environment

Studies show that pets improve our well-being physically as well as mentally. Although at times they may seem like more of a distraction, by having your dog or cat near, they can give you that mental boost you need to get the job done.

7. Don’t be such a Perfectionist

It is rare that the work we do is 100% perfect. Stop spending countless hours on making changes that will improve your work by 5%, when that time could be better spent relaxing, refocusing or moving onto your next task.

8. Tidy up!

A clean work station brings out the best in your mental ability. An untidy desk can cause feelings of nervousness, unease and anxiety, three things your levels of productivity could do without.

9. Morning Fuel

It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and for good reason, it is. It is a source of fuel for your body and mind and will get your off to a good start in the day.

10. Two minute Rule

If you feel a task will take less than two minutes, do it.

Do not put it off, do not push it back, do it there and then.

Emails, phone calls and confirming appointments take less than two minutes to do. Do not put them off, save yourself the trouble later.

11. Get plenty of Sleep

Sleep is one of the most important areas of our day to day lives we neglect. The average adult needs at least between 7.5 and 9 hours sleep every night. If we do not provide our bodies with this amount rest and recovery, there will be limit potential for productivity the day or days following.

12. Prevent Bad Habits

When it comes down to working, bad habits and distraction will often steer us off-course. Some people can’t stop checking their phone, or keep one eye on the TV. The solution is simple: put the remote further away and hide your phone. These little things can go a long way in helping you get things done.

13. Be Realistic

Demotivation can seriously deflate your productivity, to avoid disappointment in your tasks, set reasonable goals and objectives. Don’t say you’ll do hundreds of tasks if it is not possible. A realistic time-plan will keep you motivated and productive and will let you plan out your entire schedule.

14. The Power of Positivity

Having said that… be positive, challenge yourself. Don’t set ridiculously high expectations if you can’t meet them. But encourage yourself to do an extra task or two a day. This way you’ll be able to increase your productivity whilst also staying positive and ensuring that your work is the best it can be.

15. Don’t Over-plan, Do!

Good intentions mean very little if they are not acted upon. It is all well and good saying you wish to achieve this and that if you only plan to do it. By forcing yourself to act upon your intentions you’ll see that you spend less time planning (…or over-planning) and more time doing.

An assignment writer will plan out his brief quickly before starting his work, this way they spend less time creating a plan or schedule and more time being productive.

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This Is How Your Boss Is Screwing Over Your Career

Feeling underappreciated is a big reason why a lot of people leave their jobs. It’s not about the money or the lack of time off work. It’s about doing something every day that appears to be utterly meaningless to the people around you.

The evidence suggests, however, that humans are more than mere automatons showing up for a paycheck. We’re a social and emotional bunch. And we want to feel as if what we’re doing has some immediate value.

Michael Kerr is a business speaker and author. He’s researched the ingredients of great leadership. He says that a lot of it comes down to expressing simple interest in employees and what they’re doing. Caring for team members is, therefore, important.

Unfortunately, this happy state of affairs doesn’t exist for every company out there. Much of the time, the opposite is true. Here’s how your boss is screwing you over.

You Don’t Get Any Guidance Or Support

Photo Credit - Flickr.com
Photo Credit – Flickr.com

It’s a well-known fact that if you want to advance your career, you need the mentoring and support of your seniors. Unfortunately, that support isn’t always forthcoming. Think about this: does your boss only care about project completion? Or do they look for ways to challenge you and advance your skills?

If it’s the former, it’s likely they see you only as a pawn on the chessboard. You’ve got a function, but you’re not worth all that much to them. The solution in the medium term is to quit your work, especially if your co-workers are getting trained and you aren’t.

Your Boss Is A Bully

Great bosses can read people really well and understand their needs. They know that if they meet their emotional needs, they’ll have a productive and engaged person on their side. Bad bosses don’t know how to do this. And they way they get what they want is through bullying.

Intimidation and bullying are serious issues that may require the involvement of employment lawyers. Chances are if they don’t take your feelings into account, they don’t care about you as a person. Staying in this kind of environment is toxic for your self-esteem and prospects. Get out as soon as you can.

You Only Hear From Your Boss When You Make A Mistake

Ideally, managers would take the time to recognize the good work you do as well as the bad. But unfortunately, some bosses only focus on the negative aspects of what you produce. This makes it you feel as if you can do nothing right, even if the overall quality of your work is good. This is a sure sign that your boss is taking you for granted. They only want one thing out of you, and that’s work.

They Demand You Work During Your Time Off

This Is How Your Boss Is Screwing Over Your Career
Photo Credit – Flickr.com

Most places of work make a point of protecting other colleague’s time off. People need time off to recharge and get on with the important things in life. But some bosses don’t afford their employees this luxury. Instead, they’re on the phone on bank holidays, vacations and weekends. Perhaps the project you’re working on is super important or time-critical. But being disturbed out of hours shouldn’t be a regular part of your life.

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