10 MAJOR Freelance Mistakes to AVOID
Are you struggling with your freelance career? The freelance business can be tough and requires a lot of trial and error. It’s normal to make mistakes. But, where can you find help and guidance for freelancing? Read this blog and embark on a journey to improve your freelance business. I will expose you to 10 common mistakes to avoid as a freelancer. Through learning from these mistakes, you can expand your business and be happier and more balanced yourself.
1. You are a great freelancer, but don’t act superior
Some freelancers can be arrogant. As smart and fierce as you definitely are, your opinion is not always right. For example, a freelance stylist should buy clothes for their client and take into account style and comfort level. It is good to go with your gut and take into consideration your client’s opinion. Even if you believe that you are the best, remember that you still need to prove it to each client. They’ll thank you later.
2. Be Confident in your Freelance Niche
Being arrogant is not attractive, but underselling yourself isn’t ideal either. You need to strike a balance of confidence and humility. Recognize your skills and know your worth. Do not charge minimum wage because you have a niche and should charge more for your services. This is crucial because freelancers need to factor in the cost of traveling, office supplies, children, houses, and retirement. In short, be confident in your skills and firm with your prices. You won’t regret it.
3. Hit your deadlines
A big mistake that freelancers make is not giving themselves a realistic work timeline. Do not give yourself two days to complete a two week project! It is a red flag when clients notice you take long to complete a job. It’s better to be honest with your work pace then make a promise you can’t keep. Freelancers need to prioritize quality and be honest with their clients.
4. Don’t be a slacker
A common mistake that freelancers fall into is doing the bare minimum. A freelancer is a small business owner, and as such you should aim for quality and detail. Doing the bare minimum will not only reflect poorly on you, but it will make your clients look bad, which you definitely don’t want. Don’t be a freelancer if you plan to slack off on your projects (honestly you’d be better off at a 9-5 if you love sitting around with less to do). If you give a client your word, then give the project your all, you’ll feel amazing afterward, and be able to raise your rates sooner with happy clients.
5. Avoid Overwhelming yourself with freelance gigs
Not all instances of cutting corners are due to laziness - sometimes the opposite is true and you’ve just bitten off more than you can chew. Finding yourself doing the bare minimum for your clients may be a sign that you are taking on too many projects. Do not take on too much work if you can’t handle it. If you are busy with four clients then don’t take on new clients. Wait for when work slows down to look for more clients and projects. Client work is like salt: you always want some, but careful adding too much too soon, because you can’t really undo your commitment without potentially damaging a relationship (or having too much sodium in your diet)
6. Don’t leave your clients on read
Lack of communication is a huge mistake new freelancers make. If you feel anxious about communicating, set boundaries and expectations accordingly, but don’t ghost! Stay in contact and clarify project details with your client. Your client wants to be kept in the loop. Sometimes too much communication can be tiresome, and clients can definitely be too demanding and shouldn’t invade your personal life, but do your best to not suddenly go radio silent.Listen and share with your clients to see if you are on the right track.
7. Not all clients are for YOU
As a new freelancer, it is important to take different types of gigs while you’re finding your niche and making a name of yourself. But, some gigs are not for you. Do not take a job solely for the money. Easier said than done, I know. Make sure your work is of interest to you and aligns with your values. If the first session with a client goes wrong and doesn’t seem like a fit, then it’s better to be honest and go your separate ways earlier rather than later
8. Separate Freelancing and Your Personal life
It is healthy to be friendly and engage in harmless small talk with your clients. However if you know too much about their love and relationship status, or personal issues, then you might be putting yourself into a sticky situation. Swerve away from very intimate topics with clients. Ultimately, you should keep relationships professional. They’ll be more sustainable if you do.
9. Freelancing is a business
Freelancers can forget to treat their career as a business. If you act poorly with a client then that reflects negatively on your business and livelihood. You need to make sure you are organized, have a bookkeeping system, and know how to pay taxes as an independent contractor. It is hard to learn everything at once, but be aware of what you need to work on. Freelancing can seem like fun and games at first, but you want to have your back office in order come tax time.
10. Ask for help, Freelancers!
Don’t be one of those freelancers who think that they are too cool for help. Asking for guidance is beneficial for your business. The right mentor can even provide you with leads for new clients. There is no blueprint for starting your freelancing career, but it helps to ask for advice or attend webinars on how to succeed in freelancing through downloading the Noumena app.
Rise with Noumena
If you want to avoid making freelance mistakes, Noumena can help you build your network, access financial products, and receive business advice. In fact, we offer a program called Rise, a training program for beginner freelancers. We pair an inexperienced freelancer with an experienced one to teach the following subjects: business planning, branding + marketing, sales skills, relationship management, technical skills, and project management. The tuition for the program is flexible and you can pay later! Don’t be afraid to ask for help because Noumena is ready to give you the resources to succeed.
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