Freelancing is usually associated with working from home, choosing your work hours, and traveling from time to time. Many freelancers have achieved such benefits and continue to enjoy the fruits of their work. But to be successful, you have to be wary of some freelancing mistakes that can keep you away from your goals.
We know that freelance work doesn’t have to be a full-time thing. You can use your free time to do some tasks for clients while on another job, or do it when you need to raise extra cash for some reason. The problem comes in when you don’t achieve what you want from freelancing because of something avoidable.
Below are some of the top mistakes to avoid if you want to become a successful freelancer.
Limiting Your Work Hours
As a freelancer, you have no one bossing you around on what to do and when. But this doesn’t mean you have to avoid work for the better part of the day. If you’re not established enough, you can’t find success working 1 hour a day while your competitors are doing it for 5 hours.
While starting freelancing from scratch, it’s crucial to treat your work like any other business. Wake up early, handle your clients’ work on time, and only rest when it’s time to do so. Once you start thinking like an entrepreneur, everything works in your favor.
Poor Communication with Clients
Many clients always strive to give you all the details before you start working on their tasks. But it’s human nature to forget mentioning something once in a while. Also, not everyone is a great communicator, and one of your clients might fall under this category.
It’s your responsibility to inquire as much as you can and not assume things. This approach saves you the time you would waste revising your work because it didn’t meet the client’s expectations. Be sure to hit the spot with your first submission.
It’s best to have several means of communicating with clients while paying attention to time zone differences and holidays. Your clients will appreciate working with you!
Working for Low Pay
It can be hard to land high-paying clients when you’re a beginner. You have no social proof, such as samples, previous clients, and portfolio. But it’s still possible to find freelance jobs online using strategies such as Facebook groups, job boards, and cold emails.
With each day of doing freelance work, you gain more experience. That’s why you should never go back to what you used to charge five months or one year ago. Be quick to decline jobs with low pay so that you get more time to find bigger projects that help you attain your freelancing goals.
Not Following up or Asking for More
So, you contacted a particular client for a job and didn’t get any response. What are you supposed to do next? The best course of action is sending another email or message to check whether they saw your first proposal and know their thoughts.
Most clients are busy people running businesses. If you follow up, they’re likely to reply and offer you the job you applied for or give you “closure.”
You can do the same with your past clients. If they loved your services, they can easily offer more tasks, send you leads, or even recommend you on social platforms.
Poor Management of Finances
It always feels great to receive your freelancing earnings. Your mind may tell you to go on a spending spree to finish off the week in style. However, this isn’t the best practice if you look far ahead.
You should make a budget that helps you track your earnings and expenses. If you have any debts, settle them and start saving more money. Learn to invest in skill acquisition and improvement because that’s how you become a better freelancer.
Let’s say you’re a freelance writer. You can spend a portion of your earnings on learning transcription or a new strategy to find more writing jobs online.
Too Much Focus on Work
Focusing on freelancing too much can quickly blind you from seeing other opportunities in life. It’s good to have a schedule to improve all the other areas of your life. These include doing workouts for better health, having more family time, or caring for your pets.
A good number of projects require you to work during odd hours. But it’s important to limit such instances. You can also rearrange your to-do list to handle anything you missed because of freelance work.
It’s also good to alert your clients on the days and times you aren’t available to work.
Giving up too Soon
Giving up is probably the most common freelancing mistake. Many new freelancers end up hopeless because they can’t attract clients, get negative reviews, or don’t earn as much as they presumed at the start.
If you can’t find freelance jobs with one strategy, execute another one, or ask for guidance. Always find the reasons behind all the negative reviews you get. As for little earnings, invest them in your skills to become better and get higher pay.
You have to believe in change and work towards improvement. Learn from your mistakes and pledge not to repeat them in the future. Be happy when you achieve any success, regardless of its level of significance.
If you’re a freelancer who finds it hard to be successful, chances are you’re making one of the listed freelancing mistakes.
For anyone who hasn’t started yet, these tips are for you too. You get a chance to start on the right foot!
While it’s true that not everyone is cut out for freelancing, it’s best to figure out your mistakes before trying out something else.
About the author
Mike Stuzzi is an Internet entrepreneur and blogger at The Money Galileo. He loves writing about money and wealth. During his free time, you’ll find him watching business shows or caring for his pets.
Caisey Ryans says
Only a disciplined and purposeful person can definitely be a freelancer. A successful freelancer, I mean.
This is the same full-time job where you are your own boss. And it requires a lot of responsibility and attention. And it also requires a certain amount of courage.
Thank you, this is a really useful article for all beginner freelancers.
Mike Stuzzi says
Awesome! Thanks Caisey!