5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Out As A Freelancer

American

Author: Tatiana Rivers- Tati Rivs Social Media Marketing

Learn From The Mistakes Of Those Before You

If you are just starting out as a freelancer there is a lot to learn. Freelancing can offer a great lifestyle. You are free to make your own schedule, work from home and decide your own pay. Sounds incredible right? Well, it isn’t all that easy. There is a learning curve in the beginning. Landing those first few clients/ enough clients to make a successful career will take trial and error. There will be mistakes, they are the best way to learn. However, it’s even better if you can learn from other people's mistakes and avoid those pitfalls altogether.

We have put together 5 common mistakes that happen all too often (we know this from experience) and they can make things really hard on you in the beginning. If you can learn from these BEFORE you start freelancing, you will be better off for it.

-You are welcome in advance.

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid

1.You Didn’t Establish Your Rate

The typical scenario for a freelancer starting out is to advertise their skills on the very low end to land some clients (any clients). A few months go by and they are still making that same very low amount. The problem with pricing yourself way too low, is that very soon after you will have to climb out of that hole, because that is not sustainable. You may need to tell your clients that your are doubling your rate (maybe even tripling) which they will not like. To avoid this mistake. Make sure you calculate what your rate should actually be. This rate should be well researched. It should be based on your skill level, your competitors rates, industry standards and also what you need to earn to survive. You can offer a temporary discount in the beginning but make sure your clients know it is temporary. Another way to start testing the waters and building your portfolio is to start sidehustling for a cheaper rate while you hold onto a full time job. When you are ready to go full on, restablish yourself with a proper rate.

2. You Didn’t Make A Contract

You always need a contract. Can’t stress this enough. Even if the job seems so small and simple, make a contract. Do not rely on goodwill or what was said over a skype call. Get it in writing and get it signed. Establish the cost of the project, how long it will take, the milestones required and write it all out. There are hundreds of freelance contract templates to be found online. It isn’t hard to make one and it will help keep your clients honest right from the get go. For more on how to make a contract check out our post on Freelance Contracts 101.

3. You Don’t Know How to Collect Money

First time freelancers often start with side projects that fell onto their laps somehow. They take it on as a hobby or a favour to a friend and don't really think about the payments till later. If you are going to make it as a freelancer, it has to be profitable. Collecting money is part of that equation. Before you even take on your first job, plan a way to charge your clients. Whether it’s PayPal, e-transfer or some other way, having a preferred payment method will keep things organized and running smoothly from day one. Don’t forget about invoicing. The government will also want to know how you are collecting money. Having a system that does both like Freshbooks or Paypal, will make this a lot easier on you.

4. You Don’t Manage Your Time

One of the hardest parts of freelancing, in fact it maybe be THE hardest part, is time management. Traditional offices spaces were designed to keep you focused so that you could manage your time more wisely at work. When you work from home (or a coffee shop) it can be tough to stay on track. There are endless distractions. If you don’t stay on track, bye bye freelance business. Really quickly too. The buck stops with you, so you have to be really good at managing your time. Pull out all the stops, use time management apps, a timer and make lists. Most importantly, stay away from the couch, or worse, your bed. For more tips; check out our blog on Staying Productive When Working From Home.

5. You Don’t Promote Your Services

When you are just starting out as a freelancer, you might be a little shy and don’t feel like you have the confidence to promote yourself. Well, part of the process of landing gigs is to promote yourself, so you will need to get over that pretty quickly or you won’t get any jobs. Freelancing is very competitive and it’s only getting more so. Check out How To Advertise Yourself As A Freelancer.

There you have it! We hope this helps you with your freelancing career. Check out some more of our blog posts here.

How To Start Freelancing With No Experience

How To Make Your First Freelance Portfolio

10 In Demand Jobs Perfect For Freelancers

American

Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Nov 01, 2017

Follow Sagegroupy

    Recent Posts

  • How to Interview a Freelancer

    Posted in Business Tips on May 20, 2019

    If your business has never worked with freelancers before, it might be difficult to know what to look for and how to interview them. Do not worry, Sagegroupy is here to help with advice on how to interview a freelancer, what to look for and what questions to ask, so that you can find the best fit for your project.

  • Keep an Eye on these Business and Tech Trends

    Posted in News on May 13, 2019

    Freelancers and business owners alike can benefit from being on top of the latest trends in business, tech and beyond. With all your projects and your business-growth goals, it is hard to keep on top of the latest trends in business and technology. Luckily, Sagegoupy is the freelancer’s friend and we are always here to lend a hand. Just in case you missed it here are some important business and tech trends, and a few things to keep an eye on.

  • Starting a Freelance Business? Avoid These 10 Mistakes.

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on May 06, 2019

    You may already be an expert in your field, but when you move from the traditional workforce to the world of freelance it is easy to make a few newbie mistakes. We’ve rounded-up 10 common mistakes that new freelancers make so that you can avoid making them yourself.

  • How to become a Freelance Content Writer

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners on Apr 26, 2019

    A good content writer should be creative enough to generate new and exciting content on a regular basis, with an eye for detail so that their work error-free and easy to read. If you think that you have what it takes, here are some steps you can take to becoming a freelance content writer.

  • When and How to Hire a Freelancer

    Posted in Business Tips on Apr 19, 2019

    Hiring freelancers can be a great way to ensure that your business has the expertise needed to complete quality projects on time, without any extra costs. Here at Sagegroupy, the freelancer’s friend, we love to share great reasons to hire from our amazing talent pool, this post will explain when you should, and how you can go about, hiring a freelancer.

  • How to Avoid Work-from-Home Scams

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Apr 12, 2019

    As with anything in life, a good general rule to follow is “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. However when you are desperate for money and need to work from home, it can be hard not to fall for a scam. Here at Sagegroupy, the freelancer’s friend, we are always ready to help freelancers succeed and today we are going to make sure that you avoid work from home scams.

  • Before Working with a New Client

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Apr 05, 2019

    All freelancers need to protect themselves when forming relationships with new clients. Here are a few guidelines that can help freelancers assess potential clients.

  • How to become a Freelance Accountant

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Mar 25, 2019

    The gig economy isn’t just for creatives anymore, more and more professionals are turning to freelancing because it fits their needs and lifestyle. Freelance accountants offer an in-demand skill and have the potential to become successful solopreneurs. If you already have the proper credentials and experience as an accountant and are ready to move out of the traditional workforce and into the realm of freelancing, this post will help you do so.

  • Small Businesses Should Hire Freelancers

    Posted in Business Tips on Mar 18, 2019

    How can small business owners ensure that they have the talent they need to complete projects and tasks, without risking money and time in hiring and training new employees? Small business owners can stay in the black by hiring freelancers. Freelancers can provide the specialized talent you need to get things done.

  • 10 Free Tools for Freelancers

    Posted in Freelancing For Beginners on Mar 11, 2019

    When you’re just starting out as a freelancer you might not have a lot of money to throw around, but you still want to maximize your productivity while staying organized. We’ve rounded-up 10 free tools that can help you do just that.


Tags


Comments

Please sign in to comment!