Table of Contents
- 7 Mistakes You Should Avoid Making As a Freelancer
- Key Takeaways
Freelancing is one of the most trending topics of discussion today. Thousands of people across the globe forgo their regular 9-to-5 jobs and jump into the gig economy. But do you know that so many of them ultimately wind up back at their cubicles? Well, they make some freelancing mistakes that maraud their dream of being their own boss. Today, we will find out about these mistakes, so you can avoid them and grow your business.
Freelancing is not easy. So why do people opt for this career move? Well, only because freelancing offers control, flexibility, and financial independence. As per statistics, the global freelance economy is projected to reach $455 billion by 2023.
7 Mistakes You Should Avoid Making As a Freelancer
Working as a freelancer requires creativity, self-motivation, and a lot of dedication. And despite these, several individuals fail to launch a successful freelancing career. Here, we will talk about some freelancing tricks that we bet you didn’t know. With these tricks, you can avoid common freelancing pitfalls and establish a flourishing career.
1. Not having adequate funds
One of the greatest risks associated with freelancing is having an unstable income. For the most part, you may not be able to depend on a regular project or client. Thus, you can never know the exact pay you will receive at the end of the month. And in such a scenario, having spare funds that you can use on your rainy days is crucial.
At any given point in time, you must have adequate savings to cover you for at least a month without work. And for this, you must work extra hard during the busy times to earn some additional money. Ideally, you must have other savings as well. This will keep you well-covered during lean times.
2. Not standing up for yourself
The business world can be ruthless, especially to newbie freelancers. There is a lot of exploitation in this industry, with regular instances of clients ghosting freelancers or paying them meager rates. And this is why every freelancer must know how to stand up for themselves.
Unlike a corporation, freelancers are extremely vulnerable to exploitation, owing to a lack of legal protection. With issues such as wage theft, delays in payment, non-payment of dues, it has become imperative for freelancers to take a stand.
So, don’t be afraid if you feel that you are being mistreated by your clients. One of the best freelancing tricks is to always sign a contract before working with any new client or company. Having everything in writing, even if it’s just an email, can help avoid hassles later on.
3. Not making new clients
Another one of the common freelancing mistakes that a lot of professionals make is to stop looking for new clients when business is good. As discussed above, freelancing does not guarantee a steady flow of work. There could be busy times followed by an extremely lean period, where it gets difficult to score even a single project. And if you wait until all work has dried up to begin searching for new clients, you will make panicked decisions.
To give you a better picture, panicked decisions may look like poor work, insensitive clients, bad pay, constant feeling of self-doubt, and irritation. So to avoid all this, you must have a robust marketing strategy in place. It is advisable to select any two primary marketing channels and invest time in them every day. This will help you make new clients on the go and maintain a consistent workflow as much as possible.
4. Undermining the importance of scheduling
One of the most significant qualities that differentiate a successful freelancer from a failed one is discipline. As a freelancer, you get to choose your own working hours. But to launch a thriving career, you need to work on a fixed schedule. Working at the same hours every day is the key to success.
But most freelancers make the mistake of not staying consistent. Because there is no one to tell them to work, it is easy to skip a day or a deadline. But the consequences of this aren’t felt until weeks later, when your income begins to dry up. So, it is important to have a proper and fixed working schedule. This will help you avoid the snooze button and create a daily routine that will save your paycheck from the days when you just cannot bring yourself to work.
5. Not getting an accountant
Not opting for the services of a professional accountant is another one of the common freelancing mistakes that many make. As a self-employed professional, you have to take care of everything on your own. And in such a case, it is best to not get bogged down by taxes and accounting, and leave it to an expert, so you can focus on your core work.
An accountant complies with all filing obligations and ensures that you stay up to date with changing tax legislations. They specialize in giving you specific advice and support to ensure that your business finances are handled appropriately. In addition, a good accountant offers guidance that can help you maximize your business profits. By identifying what can be claimed as expenses, they give expert advice on making your business more lucrative. And many times, it can be as simple as claiming an allowance for using your residence as your workplace.
6. Not having a dedicated workspace
Most people fantasize about working from the comfort of their homes, and in a majority of cases, it involves working from the bed. But this is a disastrous combination. Even as a
freelancer, it is important to have a designated workspace. And this should include a proper desk, like one you would have at an office.
If you can afford it, it is best to have an actual home office. But for newbie freelancers, a designated corner of their home will also work. Working at a desk improves productivity and output. It also helps keep physical ailments such as back and neck problems at bay.
7. Failing to network
One of the significant freelancing tricks to grow your business is to focus on networking.
Networking plays a crucial role, as it helps freelancers build a credible network with other contacts, which provides a huge advantage in the long run. It strengthens your presence in the freelance industry and builds awareness around your work. And all this helps attract new clients and work opportunities.
Apart from bringing you more business, networking also helps you build your knowledge and skill-set. It helps you know what is trending in the industry. Staying updated on the happenings in your industry is the most practical way to hone your skills.
- Freelancing is not always easy. But with a little advanced planning, you can easily avoid common freelancing mistakes and set yourself up for success.
- Freelancing is often associated with inconsistent and unstable income. Thus, it is important to save up for lean periods.
- You must stay away from exploitative clients. It is best to proceed with new clients only after signing a written contract.
- To truly succeed as a freelancer, having a fixed working schedule is important. Also, you must work at a designated workspace to ensure higher productivity.
- Regularly networking within the industry is the best way to build credibility as well as procure new clients.
- Opt for the expert services of a professional accountant to file your taxes and maximize profitability.
Most newbie freelancers think of freelancing as a leisurely way to earn money, waking up late and working all day in their pajamas. They only look at the convenient side of things and fail to acknowledge the risks that come with it. As a result, they end up making several freelancing mistakes that often spell disaster for their career.
So before you dive into freelancing, you must have a realistic idea of what to expect. It certainly offers immense flexibility and freedom, but all those perks come with a cost. So, in the end, it all depends on how well you manage your work and make the most of your freelance career.
Here are some mistakes that freelancers must avoid for a thriving career.
1. Not creating funds for rainy days
2. Not knowing how to price your services
3. Not finding new clients
4. Not hiring an accountant
5. Not having a proper schedule and workspace
6. Not focusing on networking
Freelancers barely fail due to a lack of skills. They fail because of the absence of business acumen and discipline needed to launch a successful freelance career.
Here are some quick tips to succeed in freelancing.
1. Always sign a contract.
2. Be sure to get a deposit upfront.
3. Maintain a proper working schedule.
4. Use the latest tools and technologies.
5. Focus on networking to land new clients.
Here are the top tips for beginners.
1. Find a marketable skill and hone it.
2. Create a portfolio.
3. Build a good reputation.
4. Try part-time freelancing.
5. Charge the right price.
The most in-demand freelance skills include graphic design, writing, website development, software development, blockchain and cryptocurrency, data analytics, and social media management.
No. With the right skills and good communication abilities, you can easily succeed at launching a thriving freelance career.