Freelancing Mistakes to Watch Out For
I have worked freelance and in my experience, I have made (and observed) a few freelance mistakes. Mistakes that can cause the loss of clients, and possibly prevent you from succeeding in your field of freelancing. The good news is you do not have to make those mistakes too. You can benefit from my experience by taking note of the following:
- Having the wrong equipment
Many freelancers start out with the equipment that they have on hand. Often a home computer just doesn’t have enough memory or the right software to get the job done. As soon as you can afford it, you should upgrade to a professional quality machine and software.
- Not being serious with the job
Just because you’re self-employed, that doesn’t mean that you can be irresponsible. Your reputation is your most important asset. Doing excellent work and on-time delivery for your clients is the best way to improve your reputation. Be sure to work regular hours and don’t let projects go until the last minute.
- Missing real-life networking
When your friends and family ask you what you do for a living, what do you tell them? Print out some business cards and make sure that all of your friends and relations have a copy. You never know, they might know someone who could use your services.
- Lack of web presence
A freelancer without a web presence (own website and portfolio, Facebook and Twitter profiles) is like a brick-and-mortar store without a sign. If your business lacks a web presence, take steps now to bring it online.
- Falling behind in technology or training
Once you’ve been freelancing for a while you may be tempted to skip the latest training in your field or to let your technology skills grow cold. After all, training is expensive and you’re not sure if you can afford it right now. Don’t give in to this temptation! To remain competitive it’s vital that you keep current.
- Over-extending yourself
Many freelancers commit themselves to too many projects. Overscheduling can be a result of not charging what you are worth (see below) or simply underestimating the amount of time that it takes to get a particular project done. However, packing your schedule too full of projects can lead to missed deadlines (and lost clients).
- Charging too much
Do you really know what your services are worth? What is the going rate for the type of work that you do? When you are just starting out, consider lowering your fees to gain a portfolio. You can gradually increase your rate as you get better at your work and finish faster.
Mistakes give us a chance to learn and improve. If you are making one or more of these mistakes, now you can take steps to correct the situation.
Good luck and more power to your freelancing career!
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