It may seem fascinating to become a freelancer, but once you do, it’s not unusual to make mistakes early on and damage your job or relationships with clients. But don’t worry—almost every freelancer makes the same errors, so you are not alone!
Learning from the errors of others is perfectly acceptable for a successful freelancer. A skilled freelancer always makes good strategies to avoid potential mistakes. And this post is worth reading if you want to stay away from errors like those that can mess up your work and ruin your reputation as a freelance seller.
1. Unclear systems and policies
You can stand out as a freelancer by having transparent policies and procedures. Many new freelancers have a tendency to blindly adhere to the rules or procedures that their clients employ. While it might work well, it might also require spending a lot of time studying those rules or procedures.
Your clients will have a better professional view of you if you establish clear standards on things like when and how you invoice, how you accept payments, and what you expect in terms of feedback and turnaround times.
The same is true of systems. Given the variety of systems available for organizing freelancing work, if you try to use the one your customer has, you’ll find that managing such systems takes up much more time than actually completing the work.
2. Time management
One of the fundamental skills that a freelancer needs to have is time management. Regardless of whether you work a desk job or are a student, you should manage your time well. There is always a purpose behind work deadlines. Your client would anticipate a speedy response, but if you can’t produce on time, you risk losing out on future opportunities. The most trustworthy and well-liked freelancers are those that always keep their word. You’ll have a better chance of being employed again by the same clients if you develop discipline and adhere to the deadlines for delivering your job.
3. Failing to plan for a variable income
Unpredictable income is one of the major difficulties of freelancing. The initial issue can be a straightforward lack of funds. But as time goes on and payments grow more consistent, a new issue appears.
Many freelancers increase their expenditures in the second month without even realizing it. They’ll purchase a few new clothes, eat more frequently at restaurants, you name it. Before they know it, another slow month arrives — or something as unforeseen as the COVID-19 epidemic occurs — and they find themselves in financial straits and wondering where all the good times went.
4. Not networking enough
For any freelancer, networking is essential since it enables you to expand your network of contacts. That ultimately provides you a significant professional advantage.
Networking with other freelancers is a partnership, not a contest. To begin with, it will be challenging to locate other freelancers in your industry with comparable levels of experience (s). Because of this, you can assist individuals with less experience and gain knowledge from those with more.
These mutually beneficial connections within your network help to forge deep partnerships, particularly when people offer assistance and counsel without expecting anything in return.
5. Disregarding making a budget
Freelancing is a business too. As a result, you must make sure to create a budget for your business spending. Make a list of every business expense you anticipate incurring, including marketing, legal fees, and work software. To ensure that the income you are bringing in is being used wisely, you should also create a personal budget.
There could be months when your income exceeds your expectations significantly, followed by months when it is insufficient to cover your expenses (but still have bills to pay). You won’t need to scramble if things slow down if you budget for this and set aside cash for those slower months (or the months when a client decides to take their sweet time paying you).
Additionally, it helps you avoid being forced to take on tasks you don’t particularly enjoy merely to maintain your revenue flow.
6. Poor Communication
Your project’s success may be enhanced through effective communication. On the other hand, a lack of clarity as a result of inadequate communication prevents the optimal performance. Keep in mind that communication is the key to successful remote work. Never assume anything when you start a project; instead, wait for your client to provide specific instructions. Be certain of what your client needs by reading the directions.
Check for any ambiguity and seek clarification as soon as possible. An uncertain deliverable is much worse than having explicit communication, even if it takes some time. We can tell you from experience that revisiting your earlier work can be frustrating. Poor communication can waste time and effort and result in changes.
7. Underpricing your services
Beginners typically undervalue their services until they realize how valuable their abilities or services are. As a result, there is a potential that you may initially charge less because the market price is not trending. Always conduct market research before offering your service for sale to prevent encountering this situation. It shouldn’t start off too high or too low. You can experiment with different rates on new clients as you develop and gain expertise. While you shouldn’t be too self-assured to demand high prices, you also shouldn’t demand low prices either