Freelancing isn’t a cake walk which it might seem to those who have not been introduced to the challenges it brings with itself. But, it is not that tricky as well. When I started as a freelancer, I had no idea where it would take me.
Working for a fixed income and getting up every day at the same time was rather boring. The corporate world never touched me. I believed in a life that is not about battling with time but rather enjoying the work.
When I left my job, I was very nervous and wasn’t sure where to start from. With a little research, I started creating profiles with different freelancing websites. Trust me, it is not that easy. Profiles take a lot of thinking. The usual questions that fill you with terror are:
Would clients pay for this skill?
Will I be visible among these experienced freelancers?
Should I be listing my strengths, won’t that be too much of a show off?
These are just few of them. The list goes on. I remember, it took me 10 days to figure out what I wanted to do with my career. I loved writing, but never knew that it was possible to make it an earning option.
If you fear making Freelancers Mistake, it is nothing unusual. We all are scared of things that we are not equipped with. But, we should never let these fears defeat our courage. I did the same. I kept digging about the ways these sites benefit individuals.
And, I found my mystery of success. As a freelance writer, I have seen many odds and have come so far stepping on them. I have been there, where you are stuck today as a struggling freelancer and I can connect with the agony which every passing day works hard to make worse.
Isn’t it easy to sail when we know where the ocean whirlpool lies? Hence, through this article, I would like to underline the Freelancers Mistake that we make as a freelancer.
1. Never getting used to the Working Hours
Those working for corporate firms have a set clock in their brains. Working after 5 PM seems foolish and waking late makes it all dull. However, we keep forgetting the mantra. The reason we planned to switch as a freelancer in the first place was the flexibility of working hours.
As a freelance, you are doing the job as a marketing personnel while advertising your services to the clients, the CEO while making decisions about the work and charges you accept and an employee responsible for the deliverables.
Hence, you can play with the 9-5 schedule and make it fit as per the client’s need. What if you want to earn in foreign currencies? Do you expect your client to match their time with your time zone? You will have to make the changes if you are looking to find the right job for you.
However, at the same time, you should stay away from pushing yourself too much. In short, do not stretch more. Limit the working hours and take weekends off, not preferably Saturdays and Sundays.
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2. Accepting Whatever Comes your way
Everyone follows certain values while working. You must make a list of those values while working as a freelancer. Who would like to be treated as a puppet? Would you want to deal with clients who keep negotiating? Understand what you want from your clients and make the bids accordingly.
Do not be allured by everything that comes your way. Learn to make choices and stick with your terms in every circumstance. If your goals differ from your client’s, it would only put you through stress and frustration, making the experience even to tougher.
Know who your ideal clients are and never compromise on that part. Those who are ready to respect your work, would be always prompt in paying as well.
3. Not Managing your Income
Remember, you are working for a variable income every month. The flexibility to spend as much as you desire with a fixed income should not be the case. You do not know what you will be the income the next month or you would be given a next date for the upcoming invoice clearance.
So, never depend on your current month’s income. Keep a month’s income stored for backup. Because, you would be taking care of the registrations, taxes and other fees related to freelancing, you should make a balance of 70-30.
Reserve 30% of your income for these expenses and enjoy the rest of it, or you will end up broke. Many freelancers could not simplify the rule and keep wondering why they never had enough while they were earning just fine with freelancing.
4. Stop Adding to your Skill Sets
We become so engrossed with our routine as a freelancer that we stop visualizing the possibilities beyond our skill set. There are jobs from various arrays on the freelance portals. Most of them need beginners to do the job where you will fit easily. But, won’t you like promotion as you seek in a corporate setting?
You must add to your skills. If you like designing websites, learn more tools and their applications. Becoming an expert from a beginner will open the opportunities with higher earning prospects. Experts earn more for less number of projects and beginners usually depend on the number of jobs to meet the ends.
This difference will only be possible if you keep working on your skills and know what you want to do as a freelancer.
5. Not knowing the Future Plans
You do not want to be where you are today for your entire life. You started as a freelancer, but you must decide where you want this career to take you. Business strategy is vital for taking decisions about the step in your career.
Don’t you want to be the boss of your career graph? Decide where you would like to reach in next one year or may be 5 years. Having an idea of what you are working for, makes it easy to stay on the right path.
6. Not Knowing What You Can Deliver
There are many instances when you fail to meet the expectations of the clients. Either you lose your project, or you work extra hours to make sure the work is not affected. In both the cases, it is you who lose.
But, if this is happening too often, you must look out for an answer. When you work your terms out with your client, do you always have ‘YES’ as an answer? If you can relate to this, you are making the biggest Freelancers Mistake.
Keeping the expectations clear will relieve you from a lot of unnecessary pressure. You may be thinking in the back of your mind that you would end up losing the client if you say NO. But, anyway you would be losing the job if you do not perform as per the expectation.
If you are not sure about something, do not promise. This will put you through juggling between projects and you will miss the deadlines of each one in the row.
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7. Keeping Questions to Oneself
Have you ever wondered why you end up providing the solution that was never asked for? Communication is a great tool to avoid misconceptions and confusions. Who would not want to make the most of the opportunity offered but what if you understand it completely wrong?
Never run away from asking your clients the questions that are bothering you before making your own assumptions. If you feel you need a word on certain matters, be communicative and ask your clients right away.
Making goals clear will avoid unnecessary work later. Clarify every detail. Sitting across the continents should not be a bar between you and your client.
8. Inconsistent Invoice Generation
Apart from the work quality, the other thing that can severely affect the relationship with your clients is the inconsistency in invoice generation. If you do not know when and why you are charging your client, you are putting both parties in a fight.
While the client will get frustrated with the unreasonable invoices, you may lose on some payments because of the unplanned bill management.
Once, you come up with a billing plan, you will find it easier to convey the invoices to the client. Being on the same page with your clients, when it comes to financial matters is always a relief.
I know there are many questions that would surround you while you plan to start a career as a freelancer. But, if there is a problem, there must be a solution. And, all the mistakes that we are prone to make as a beginner, can be easily reversed too.
Unlike your company where you can meet with unknown consequences for mistakes like these, freelance community gives you plethora of opportunities to correct these Freelancers Mistake. However, the faster you learn, the sooner you succeed.