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February 25, 2020

Top 5 Freelancing Mistakes to Avoid

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People say that it is easier to learn from mistakes than from successes, but to be honest, I believe that it is much better to learn from other people's mistakes instead of your own. Freelancers all have personal stories to share, and I am about to share mine with you. Hopefully you will find them more than helpful. Here are my top 5 mistakes as a freelancer and why you should avoid them if at all possible.

1. Pricing Too Low

A lot of people still and will do this. After all, money is hard to deal with nowadays. Now, although I am much better when it comes to money now, I still get uncomfortable talking about it sometimes.

However, you deserve to earn good money for a job well done, and great money for an excellent one. So, how can you tell if your price is too low? Well, in a nutshell: if your work is always great, but you never lose bids, then your prices are probably too low.

You should also try not to charge by the hour if you can help it. Charging by the hour usually means that you are just getting penalized for working faster! Plus, several jobs will ask for a lot of expertise and experience while taking hardly any time to do.

2. Committing Too Much

Remember: clients never have the right to take up all of your time, no matter how much they are paying you. Think about it: if you let a client take up all of that time, then you are practically just working at a real job with a real boss all over again instead of having a client-freelancer relationship. You also need to remember that, aside from your job, you have to take time off to network and market yourself in order to bring in more work in the future. In fact, letting a single customer dictate my working hours was probably the worst thing I have ever made in my freelancing career since I had absolutely no work to do afterwards. Ideally, you should have around five contracts overlapping each other, as well as a bit of breathing room, so that even if you lose one client, you won't get set back too much.

3. Not Selling

Money aside, another bad thing about freelancing is having to sell your services. The fact is: a lot of clients know they need help, but some of them won't know exactly what kind of help they actually need. Now, selling doesn't have to be about rip-offs and snake oil - remember that. If you really can help somebody out, just put your services on offer and see how they'll respond. All you have to do is make sure that you make your sales pitch revolve around their needs and emphasize on how they can benefit from you. Also, listen more and talk less.

4. Never Saying "No"

Fear can bring out stupidity in people - that's for sure. In fact, a lot of time went by before I could turn down requests and some were much easier to turn down than others. I still get requests for free work today, but I can say "no" now, even if it is hard to do sometimes. All you need to remember is that bad clients and bad deals can be far more damaging than work loss. So, try not to say "yes" to every single thing that you see in front of you. Just make sure that you stay friendly and nice whenever you say "no".

5. Failing to Follow Up

Without a doubt, happy clients can turn out to be great new sources for work, so try to get testimonials whenever a client praises your work. If you ask, you might even be lucky enough to get recommendations from them.

As with everybody else, I learn more and more about freelancing as more time goes by, but I have a lot of fun with it - even with the mistakes that I make. Learn to laugh from your mistakes, too, and learn from others in your journey, so you can find ultimate success in no time at all. Good luck!

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