Even the best freelancers can make mistakes with their business, but that doesn’t mean you should give up trying to freelance altogether! Instead, it’s important to learn from the mistakes of others and make sure you don’t repeat them yourself. Here are seven of the worst freelance mistakes and how to avoid them so that you can succeed in your freelance career without problems.
7 Worst Freelance Mistakes Avoid Them
1) You think it’s all about the money
Being good at what you do is important, but so is being a decent human being. Especially in an industry like freelancing where reputation can make or break you. You won’t last long if clients see you as someone who doesn’t keep their word, deliver poor quality work, or are just plain mean-spirited. But that’s not all – freelancers who keep a healthy work-life balance will also fare better than those who work too hard for too little pay. Make sure your business is about more than money.
2) You don’t ask enough questions
In business, it’s easy to think that you know everything. You’re probably a smart guy or gal and have been doing your thing for years, so why would you ask questions? Unfortunately, if you don’t make time to ask people about their challenges and how they overcame them, then you can miss out on great opportunities. And more importantly, without knowing what others are doing well—and what they aren’t—you run a higher risk of making mistakes because you didn’t know better. Even worse than not asking is getting defensive when asked a question. Don’t be rude, but don’t let anyone tell you how to do something just because he or she knows more than you do.
3) Don’t pass on upselling
It’s easy to resist upselling when you don’t think a client will buy it, but that can hurt your bottom line. If you have an idea for a product or service that goes along with what you do, offer it up. Even if clients don’t end up taking you up on it, they might remember and be inclined to use your services in the future—and they may tell their friends about how great you are. In other words, if you turn down a profitable opportunity today, there’s no guarantee someone else won’t make money off of it tomorrow. Why risk losing out?
4) Settle for bad clients
Bad clients are a freelancer’s worst nightmare. But many of us have to work with them, whether because we don’t charge enough for our services or because we need to take on as much work as possible just to stay afloat. And if you hire badly, you can find yourself in a situation where your client list is full of bad clients, making it harder and harder to get new ones.
5) Low ball your rate
Low-balling your rate is a mistake many freelancers make, but it’s also one of the easiest to avoid. You know that you’re offering an amazing product or service; if you didn’t think it was great, you wouldn’t have signed up to provide it.
That means there is a market for what you’re doing. If you believe in your work, don’t cheapen yourself by taking on jobs for half of what your worth; instead, educate clients about how much value they are receiving from working with someone with your skillset. And if you come across as confident and knowledgable about why you deserve more money, then chances are good that clients will pay up—especially once they see results!
6) Do sloppy work because you are in a rush
Quality is one of your biggest assets, whether you’re a freelancer or an employee. When you work quickly and do sloppy work, it reflects poorly on you. You may be tempted to rush through projects if time is money, but doing so will ensure that potential clients will think twice about hiring you—because they know what they are going to get: bad work with even worse follow-through.
Before taking on a new client, ask yourself if you can give them quality work within their deadlines—and stick to that schedule. If not, look for another project where there isn’t as much pressure for quick turnaround. Allowing personal feelings to get in the way of business: As we discussed earlier, being passionate about your career is a good thing.
But when passion becomes clouded by personal feelings toward others involved in business transactions, things can go downhill fast. It’s important to keep emotions out of business deals because being objective is crucial when making decisions regarding finances and contracts.
7) Don’t charge more than you are worth
If you are just starting out, you might be tempted to charge a low price or settle for too little money because you’re afraid of losing clients. Don’t fall into that trap! You have to charge enough to feel confident and secure in your work; otherwise, you won’t finish what you start and likely burn out pretty quickly. Even if some potential clients aren’t ready to pay your rates right away, don’t discount yourself. Many people see a lower price as an opportunity instead of a deterrent.
When freelance writing first started to become more popular, many people who had no idea what they were doing made mistakes. If you plan on making a career out of freelance writing, it’s important that you avoid these 7 worst mistakes. The last thing you want is to look back on your new career and realize that you could have done better. Set up a solid foundation from day one.
Start by learning how to become a better writer and then move onto mastering sales techniques and time management skills. When all else fails, go above and beyond for your clients in order to build your reputation as an outstanding freelancer who really cares about his or her work. Hopefully these tips help jump-start your freelance career!