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 freelancers 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 to success.
So what are some of the biggest blunders many freelancers make in their careers?
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
- 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 clients.
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 the 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.