Freelance mistakes can lead an individual to a depressing state, because if he commits these mistakes then it will be more likely for him to not receive any orders and get rejected by clients over and over again.
If the same case is going to with you, then you should check if you are making any of the mistakes that we will discuss in this article.
But don’t be afraid. When we first start out, we all make silly mistakes. That’s how we get better.
Albert Einstein reportedly stated, “A person who has never made a mistake has never attempted anything new.” Of course, we can’t learn new things unless we take risks, and we make mistakes along the way. However, repeating the same error can cost you.
Most freelancers make several mistakes while dealing with clients and frequently wonder why they don’t receive enough work or why they have to track down clients simply to have their expenses paid. Some even quit up too readily after experiencing failure after failure.
I’ve also made a lot of mistakes in my freelancing business. But I also learned to avoid the most potential mistakes by studying the errors of other freelancers. You, too, can do the same.
Here are some of the mistakes you should avoid at all costs if you want to be a great freelancer.
10 worst freelance mistakes list
- Bad Communication Skills
- Offering Discounts
- Overloading yourself
- Free work
- You Don’t Know How to Price Your Services
- There is no “Rainy Day” Fund.
- Believing You Understand Everything
- Avoiding specialization
- Neglect on scalable business methods
- Ignoring your health
Now let’s discuss them all one by one in detail so that you have a better understanding of how to be free from such errors.
1. Bad Communication Skills
Learning how to communicate with customers, compose effective emails, and create killer project proposals are all critical skills that can help you become a better freelancer.
Clients are more comfortable interacting with freelancers. They can tell an amateur from the first communication they get.
The way you approach the customer in an email or phrasing your words might convey important information about your work ethic and experience.
You don’t need to complete courses or have degrees in English literature; simply understanding how to compose a good email or maintain a pleasant discussion with a client is sufficient.
2. Offering Discounts
Clients frequently request discounts, particularly when applying for employment on freelancing marketplaces. And it is up to you to maintain your position during these dialogues.
Of course, there are methods to help your client feel better while still charging the appropriate amount.
The worst thing, though, is how freelancers offer discounts without the client’s request. This is what causes bidding wars on freelance websites such as UpWork and Freelancer.com.
And it’s the very worst imaginable way to end your freelancing job.
Because discounting your services sends a signal to the client that your labor is undervalued. It will also harm your reputation as a freelancer.
The main goal should be to find a client that values the talents that you have.
3. Overloading yourself
I took on a large assignment a few years ago in which I had to provide 20 1500-word essays in 20 days. At the time, I was already working on two other projects, but I was too greedy to pass up this chance. At the time, it took me two days to analyze one article, and I wanted to test whether I could accomplish more this time. And I was completely incorrect.
I completed the assignment on schedule, and the client was pleased with the outcomes. However, I had to work every day to handle all of the tasks, and at the end of the month, I was too tired to continue working. Worse, I couldn’t provide my normal high-quality job at the time.
He never returned to place another order. Most likely due to the low quality of my work. I lost a significant client.
From then on, I resolved not to accept more than I could handle, no matter how appealing it seemed.
The key is that while taking new employment, you must pace yourself. I understand you have bills and rent to pay. However, try not to be overly greedy and consider your career in the long run.
4. Free work
I know how you feel when a client responds to your proposal and says they’ve chosen to award you the project. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? This month’s rent is paid.
But don’t get too enthusiastic since those clients could take advantage of you.
Some clients are attempting to trick you into obtaining what they want and never paying you for it, while others are looking, to be honest, and trustworthy. Requesting free sample work is a typical approach used by certain clients to have their projects completed by a group of freelancers without paying them.
Another option is to abandon the job at the last minute after submitting your work for final approval. Most clients will just ignore you once you have completed the service. What are your plans? Are you going to sue them?
You must plan to deal with these scenarios. First and foremost, never do free samples or labor for free. Also, if possible, attempt to get them to sign your proposal.
If a customer requests that you do a portion of their project, assess the cost of that portion and ask them to pay for your services upfront.
Before beginning work, always require a portion of your total payment from your clients. If you’re utilizing a freelancing site, have the client divide the project into smaller objectives so that you get paid each time you complete a component of the job.
5. You Don’t Know How to Price Your Services
When you accept jobs of different sized, it might be difficult to determine the best price for your service. However, if you don’t find out an appropriate strategy to charge for jobs early on in your career, it will harm your reputation and prevent you from raising your pricing.
According to a Contently report, 38.6% of freelancers earn less than $10,000 per year or $900 per month. Only 19% have earned more than $50,000.
Charging low rates is a common mistake made by freelancers on sites like Upwork and Freelance.com. These websites are designed to lower your expectations and push you to labor for less money. However, if you are confident in your talents and expertise, you should battle for your position and charge your clients fairly.
6. There is no “Rainy Day” Fund.
When you start making more money than you intended, it’s tempting to get carried away and spend more than you planned. What’s the use of working if you can’t spend it on the things you enjoy?
Yes, you are free to spend your money any way you see fit. Just remember to put aside a modest portion of your earnings each month in your bank, just in case. Consider it your retirement plan or your Rainy Day Fund.
There are ups and downs to freelancing. You’ll make $5,000 one month and $100 the next. In this business, you never know what to anticipate. Make a rainy-day fund to cover your expenses during these difficult times.
7. Believing You Understand Everything
Technology is changing at the speed of light. And you must adapt in order to be a more competitive and relevant freelancer in your business.
You may be an outstanding copywriter or SEO analyst, but if you believe you know everything, you will avoid learning new skills. Alternatively, keep up with the newest industry news. You’ll either reach a dead end or someone with far greater talents and lower prices will arrive to replace you.
There’s nothing wrong with picking up a few new talents to enhance your career and abilities. Subscribe to all of the best blogs in your field to remain up to speed on the newest trends.
Every month, I utilize Skillshare to master a new skill. It’s a sound investment that keeps my freelancing career on track. If you cannot afford to pay for premium courses, consider YouTube and Coursera or Digiskills.
8. Avoiding specialization
The battle between generalists and specialists is unlikely to end very soon. But here’s the thing: the world is more interconnected than ever before. People have more options than ever before. The distinction between you and your competition must be significant or you will fail to stand out.
When you eschew specialization, you miss out on a simple way to eliminate practically all of your competition. If you’re regularly competing on projects against 15+ other individuals with comparable credentials, you’ll ultimately have to bid on contracts based on price rather than value.
9. Neglect on scalable business methods
As a freelancer, you bear a great deal of responsibility. One of the most typical mistakes freelancers make is devoting a significant amount of time and effort to marketing and business methods that do not scale.
This implies you spend a lot of time on busy work rather than deep work. The good news is that you can create far simpler and more scalable business procedures with little thought.
- Grow an email list
- Outsource repetitive or ongoing administrative tasks
- Get the right automation tools
- Repurpose existing content
- Time-block around busywork
10. Ignoring your health
Freelancing can lead to extraordinary social isolation. Some freelancers may gradually develop an allergy to sunshine, exercise, and being outside. Consult a parent or close friend if your screen time exceeds 9 hours.
What I’m trying to say is, don’t allow working from home to suffocate your enthusiasm for the world outside of work. Maintaining friendships, doing exercise, and taking breaks from screens are all vital.