Being a freelancer is extremely rewarding, but it can also be scary. After all, it’s a big step! It’s normal to feel this way, but you’ll find that freelancing is a great opportunity to build trust with prospective clients and gain new skills in business, marketing, and design.
Here are some of the most common mistakes that I see freelancers making right out of the gate, so you can steer clear!
Undercharging for services
Undercharging for services happens to all of us at one point or another. Freelancing can be very profitable for anyone who has marketable skills. However, one of the most challenging aspects of going solo is learning how to price your services.
Undercharging for services causes freelancer’s overhead costs to increase, which can lead to long-run losses. Freelancers need to have an hourly rate in mind as they accept a job and be prepared to defend that rate. By understanding the various costs of running your business and factoring in those costs into your prices, you can maintain profitability.
Don’t make the transition from full-time to freelancing before you’re ready
Before you quit your job and take the leap into the world of freelancing, there are a few things that need to be considered. One is whether or not you have properly prepared.
Freelance work comes with many challenges that can be lessened through proper preparation. A good freelancer will have the attitude, mindset, and financial ability to make a transition into freelancing smoothly.
Taking on Work You Can’t Do
Taking on work you can’t do will only lead to failure. No one wants to feel like a fraud, but freelancing is about filling in the gaps that other people can’t cover. What are your weaknesses? What does it take to win? What do you need to do to be successful?
Take a hard look at what you really want out of being a freelancer, so you don’t waste time on work you don’t have the skills for or that won’t help grow your business.
Lack of Clarification
One common mistake made by new freelancers is not clarifying the terms before starting a project. If you encounter a client who’s uncertain about the main points of your project, ask them to clarify or have a freelance contract.
Listening politely while they speak allows you to understand what they expect from your work before you begin. That way, any unforeseen changes or additions aren’t stressful, and the scope of work isn’t too big or small.
Getting Angry at Clients
The biggest mistake a freelancer can make is getting angry at their clients. The job of a freelance writer is to keep their clients happy and coming back to them for more work. If freelancers get frustrated or annoyed when they don’t receive a project, they may find themselves without work in no time.
Having difficult clients from time to time is inevitable, and it’s for this reason that you ensure you have two things at your disposal: professional indemnity insurance to protect you from unfair claims and a calm head to prevent you from lashing out.
Freelancing can be incredibly rewarding, and it’s also one of the most stressful jobs out there. Every day, you’re faced with a flood of new tasks, clients, business matters, solving conflicts, and critical deadlines.
Finding a way to balance all of this while avoiding these mistakes, keeping your sanity, and making good money is a daily challenge and the best way to be your own boss.
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