Freelance Advice 101: Avoid These Typical Freelancer Mistakes

Are you looking for a dynamic job role and tired of fixed working hours? Then freelancing is the best way for that. However, as much rosy, it sounds with the freedom and flexibility. It is common to make mistakes, but it is important how we learn from them, and this is what this post will be all about. Freelancing is full of difficulties and challenges, and we agree to that completely.

However, in order to ease your burden, we are going to share some freelance advice that you can use and also be careful regarding such mistakes.

Top Tips for Freelancers to Avoid Typical Freelancer Mistakes

1. Too Afraid to Promote

According to various studies conducted, it is seen that certain newbie freelancers feel shy to campaign their work or business, so here is a piece of freelance advice; without promoting yourself, you won’t get the required number of clients the business won’t be successful.

We suggest you take all doubts out of yourself and do not take any rejection personally. With regular and effective practice, you would be able to promote yourself as well as your business in a better way. Also, it is important that your pitch should be more about how your business can help rather than what you are about.

2. Confused About the Rate of Charging

Though we understand it is a challenging thing. However, it would be one of our tips for freelancers that try and watch out for the rate. If you charge a hefty amount, you won’t be able to close deals, and if you charge too less it will become difficult to make a good amount of profit, and it would give the impression that your products are cheap and of low quality.

We will suggest you check what rates other freelancers are offering and then compare accordingly. Also, it is important for you to check their websites and platforms to see their prices and quality. For example, you should start by looking at their lowest price and then move up to their highest prices, to make a comprehensive overview.

Another way can be to find out what prices are on the market is to ask different freelancers in your field, especially those who offer services that are complementary to your services, as most freelancers who are directly competing with you will not reveal their prices to you. Also, there are certain freelancers who list their price range on their website, which you can also check.

By using a proper charging rate and some techniques you can be sure to write a winning job estimate.

Freelance advice - use adequate rates for your services

3. Generalization Without Specializing

This is one of the common mistakes performed by most freelancers as they try to specialize in everything, thereby ending up in generalizations. However, a very important piece of freelance advice from us is that do not take every project you are offered when you are settled.

Most people, after becoming a freelancer, are tempted to take up every project they are offered, thereby becoming someone who knows everything however not a master in anything. If you do take up various projects in different domains, you won’t have the opportunity to specialize in a single thing that you are really good at.

Clients try to look for certain special elements with the person they are hiring and if your work experience doesn’t list their preferred skills and elements, without any specialization in any domain, in most cases, they would feel you are an unprofessional as well as a novice person.

4. Not Using a Software Management/Accounting System

When you are just beginning with very few projects, it will be quite easy to do all your transactions, invoices and expenses. However, when the business starts to grow, you will see that it will be really a hard time to manage everything.

So, for this, it is a piece of freelance advice that you should use a software tool that is tailored to the needs of freelancers and small business owners such as Billdu small business tools to streamline your common administrative activities like invoice creation, expense tracking, appointments, communication etc. With such an app for freelancers, you can easily have all your finances in one place, thereby giving you a proper overview of your invoices and expenses.

A software tool also helps to provide you with daily, weekly, monthly and yearly statements. Also, with a software tool, you can easily schedule your appointments and set automatic payment reminders for your clients.

Another advantage of using a software tool is that you don’t need to research your invoice or communication templates as they will be already included in your system with up-to-date regulations. One of the best software tools is Billdu which you can definitely check out in order to make your life easier.

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5. Not Enough Network

One of the very important tips for freelancers is that when you start freelancing, you need to enhance your networking. You have to meet various people throughout the day, spread details about your work and the products/ services that you are planning to offer. You also meet people who are not your direct clients as they can be an indirect channel for recommendation purposes. Taking into account these small business owners networking tips can impact your business growth.

In order to meet many people, you can look up business groups like LinkedIn and other similar platforms. Also, try searching about live networking in your domain of business like meet-ups, after-work events, conferences.

Well, we agree it is awkward to introduce yourself every time to strangers. However, you will get used to it. It would be our advice that you try to start asking about their business which will help to break the ice and learn more about how they are operating their business and also learn how you can present your own business.

Working with a relevant, powerful network is one of the biggest long-term investment you will make in your freelancing career.

6. Charging Low Fees for Every Project

We understand that when you enter the freelancing business, you have to charge lower rates to your first clients in order to create a stronger portfolio. However, when it becomes a repetitive thing even after a number of projects, then it becomes a mistake. It is one of our significant tips for freelancers: do not settle at low prices.

In order to grow, you should be paid at the market price. Even if you accept lower payment at the beginning after gaining significant experience, you cannot accept payment lower than the market rate. It is very important to know the worth of your services and ask for the rate you actually deserve from your clients.

Tips for freelancers - Avoid low project fees

7. Accepting any Project

It is a common mistake done by most professionals is that they accept any project that comes their way. Now, this is a piece of freelance advice to all that not only you should not accept projects that pay you less, but you should also avoid clients that you don’t feel comfortable working with.

If a client doesn’t treat you with respect and understand your terms and conditions, it is important that you step away from such work which goes against your principles. If you continue a partnership with such a person, it will reduce your confidence and not do good to your work portfolio.

8. Working Without Having a Signed Contract

Whenever you start working with a client, it is important that you know everything about the client. We would like to share these tips for freelancers that under any circumstances do not start any work without a properly signed contract which will list all the details of terms and condition of the work as well the amount and mode of payment.

There are many disputes which arise between freelancers and their clients because of previously agreed oral terms and conditions. However, if one has written, it can be easily solved. You can also use digital signature software so that you and your partner can directly sign the document electronically without any need for scanning or printing a document. This results in the contract becoming secure as well as legally binding.

Tips for freelancers - Do not work without written contract

9. Lack of Proper Management of Projects

Most new freelancers do not have the experience to manage a project and go through projects without a structured plan aimlessly. Hence it becomes difficult for you to keep with deadlines. It is a piece of important freelance advice to not make the same mistake.

Have a plan for every single project with a proper plan and the processes that are involved, thereby making sure on how you can make sure that you are on a proper routine. A well-defined project plan is crucial for freelancers as it provides structure, clarity, and helps in effectively managing time, resources, and client expectations.

10. Being Overboard

Sometimes it does happen that when you are working by yourself, you try to go work much more and toil day and night. We understand your passion, and hence it is one of our tips for freelancers that it is not a good strategy as if you don’t pay attention to your health, it will eventually affect the output you are producing.

So, it is better you take an adequate break from your work and do not overwork yourself. Also, remember to relax on weekends and take holidays when necessary.

Tips for freelancers - Work life balance

11. Not Managing Your Fluctuating Income

One of the biggest challenges of freelancing is unpredictable income. Well, according to market estimates, the average pay for freelancers are not bad however, if your expenses rise and there is a fall in paycheque, that is where the problem starts. So, this is a piece of freelance advice where we would suggest that try creating a savings account and pay yourself for your monthly expenses from that account.

This will also help you to check if you are going overboard with your expenses. We would request all freelancers to use this tip as it is important that you take care of your finances really well for a long term financing career.

12. Not Using Scalable Business Practices

When you are a freelancer, you have a lot of responsibility for yourself. One of the common mistakes that we find is that freelancers put a lot of energy into marketing and business practices that do not scale. Following are some tips for freelancers in order to use some scalable business practice.

  1. Freelance Tips for Scalable Business: Using an Email List

It takes quite an effort to send newsletters individually to a lot of people. Try using an email list for it. However, contrary to the popular perception email list is not just about sending a number of emails but is also about sending value-packed emails. If you choose an email route, start sending email to five people. If they like it, you can send it to a greater number of people.

  1. Freelance Tips for Scalable Business: Outsourcing Repetitive Tasks

Accounting, assistant work, graphic design is quite a repetitive task. However, you do not need to be bogged down with such miscellaneous administrative tasks. For this, we suggest that once your business has settled, try to outsource this type of work, well we know that it is hard as you may not have the necessary trust, but it will be worth it.

  1. Freelance Tips for Scalable Business: Using Automation Tools

If it is difficult for you to outsource your work, then you can also use automation tools for invoicing and expenses tracking, which can also make things easier for you by organizing several miscellaneous tasks and ensuring you do not waste your time on such activities.

  1. Freelance Tips for Scalable Business: Repurposing Your Content 

Also, for your marketing efforts, we suggest that you repurpose your content for new channels rather than doing it from scratch. This is a huge time saver as you can always borrow from some of your previous work.

With this, you can easily scale your work, thereby reducing your time on such activities and putting it in your core tasks. Analyze your daily work processes, then outsource tasks that you feel are routine. Once this is done, you will easily know how to scale your business.

Freelance Advice: Summing Up

These are some of the freelancing advice that you can take care of while beginning your journey. If you just started freelancing, you are bound to get confused, and there are a lot of things in your head. This is common and does not freak out. We assure you that by using these tips, your burden to a lot of extent would be reduced. It is common to make mistakes; however, it is important that we learn from them and accordingly correct them.

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