I know that you totally agree with me that freelancing is thrilling, action-packed and totally exciting. It is because of the freedom and flexibility that comes with it. There are common mistakes and I’ve listed 11 Common Mistakes in Freelancing.
Below is the list:
1. Pride / Ego – Since freelancing could be self-taught some freelancers forget to consult with others on the same field. Even I had the same mistake I learned WordPress through what we call youtube university.
I offered the service yet I don’t even know how to input CSS coding. I checked google how to and in the end, I didn’t understand and as a result, I made an incorrect project.
Remember that Consulting is free from social media groups. You just need to ASK.
2. Unplanned / No Strategy – Remember that becoming a freelancer is same as starting your own business. It is like working but you don’t know what will happen next. It would be best to plan ahead and forecast to minimize risk. As a freelancer, it would be best if you control the entire situation.
3. Random Client – To avoid scam you need to at least check your potential client. There is no need for hardcore investigation but know their online presence you can check their profile through LinkedIn or Upwork or in Freelancer.Com.
In Upwork you can see clients who verified their payment method and how much they’ve used so far. You can also check the review of their previous hired freelancer.
4. At Ease / Trusting Employers – A number 1 rule in freelancing to always get a written contract. With a contract, the client is required to pay you or has a legal obligation to pay you.
The contract will also act as a direction for your scope of work when you’ll get paid, when do you submit your work. Once you received the contract please review and raise question right after you read them not after you signed it.
5. Inconsistent with your Rates – There is a tendency for us freelancer to give discounts out of nowhere. I am also guilty about this as sometimes I provide free service to test if I can resolve an immediate concern. Then it came to my mind how can I rate or know my own worth.
First create a list of how to determine your worth (make sure it is related to a skill or expertise you could offer) for example what are the skills I am really good at, the experiences I had, the school I attended to and etc.
6. Neglecting the Reality– Freelancing is like a business and you should prepare for a worst-case scenario. Currently, there is no LAW in the Philippines that required an online freelancer to file their taxes. Although there is a way to file your income tax in the bureau of internal revenue. It is better to record all of your expenses (with receipts) and the income you generated. Compute for possible income tax using the BIR Tax Calculator and do not forget to save the money that you prepared on a different bank account.
7. Yes to All! – You are not Bruce Almighty that you can answer Yes to all of your client request without limitation. That is why you have a contract with the client to ensure that you are limited to a scope of work. Yes, we can give extra mile for the service but make sure it is within your scope, for example, you are contracted to create and design their website but you are not contracted to create articles for them. You can plot their articles but it is not your task to write it. Also, know when to say NO to a client because unlikely they will have a negative impression of you. You can say yes to tasks as long they will pay extra or pay you by the hour worked.
8. Being Talkative – This usually happens in presentation/negotiation. If you talk too much the client will ask a lot more question about you and the things you do and how you do it.
To avoid this scenario you should…
– Think if it is important. If Yes then Speak.
– Don’t Speak to fill in the Gaps.
– Be Smart and use the right word.
– Be aware of how much time you used on your answers.
– Not speaking out of Anxiety.
– Not speak to impress.
Some tricky clients would write down your techniques and before you know it they already tried it ( a common mistake). Be careful what you share with your client and know when to move the conversation elsewhere.
9. No Freelance Upsell – you’re happy, you get paid for completing a project and move to different tasks but you forgot to ask for referral and recommendation ( the common mistake). After doing a good project ask your client to rate you and give you a recommendation either through LinkedIn or Upwork. Another case is that you can actually upsell your other services to the client like for example you created and designed their website. You can say I can maintain your site after this for a reasonable amount.
10. Staying with Current Clients – There will always come a time that the client will disappear. Some freelancers stay focused on current client and fail to look for other clients and forget to update their profile every time they finished a project.
Yes, I agree that it is good to focus on current clients. You just need to make sure that before the deadline you already have another client unless you’re committed. I know you won’t be certified in each project you’ve done. Remember to update profile because you still remember what are the skills you’ve learned and what are the software knowledge you acquired.
11. No expectation has been set – This is common just to get the JOB. You may be over-promising on what you can do for a project. You said a lot of what you can do and yet it is under delivered. It is important to set the client’s expectation from the beginning. Especially, what possible date you can deliver the complete phase of your project.
To avoid these common mistakes you need to think first if you’ve done it. It would be easier for you to avoid it. Next is to check what is really important in your line of freelancing. You can also print it to remind you every day. This is for all of us to avoid.