- Ignoring Your Health
Depending on the type of freelance occupation you engage in, you could find yourself developing work related health disorders. For example, freelance writers can end up sitting for too many hours. Computer programmers are also exposed to this risk. Sitting for long can lead to health problems that range from varicose veins, obesity to cardiovascular issues.
- Not Knowing Your Worth
Know the true worth of your work. Not knowing this can make you charge too little or inordinately too high fees. Assess this by considering factors such as:
- Your training
- Your experience
- The time you will take to create the content (or program if you are a programmer).
- The value you will create for your client.
- The going market rates for similar jobs
- Revealing Too Much Information Upfront
The main concern of any client is to get their work done in the manner they want and within a given time frame. If you reveal too much information on how you will do the job, the time it will take and every other bit of information, you can easily make the client pull back. Either they will do the math and decide you are charging them too much and go looking for cheaper sellers or they can take the information and use it themselves.
For example let’s say you charge a client $5000 to develop a simple program for their business. You have already revealed to them that you will take about 10 hours to do that. Your client will quickly calculate that you are charging them $500 per hour and could conclude that you are an extortionist and take off. Not revealing your exact time to complete the job would probably make a difference.
- Failure to Back Up Their Information
Computers are generally reliable but you can never be sure when something could go wrong. Valuable data can be lost due to a computer crash, infection or data stealing. Always have your information backed up either in a separate storage device or online. Google Drive and Dropbox are among the many online storage services you can use.
- Not Being Themselves
Some freelance workers create the wrong impression about themselves. For example, they know they are solopreneurs but they describe themselves as ‘we’. The client could get the impression that the freelancer is a small business involving more than one person. This could give the client wrong expectations and reflect badly on you when they realize that you are a just one person.
- Working on Speculation
This means entering into an agreement with a company to do some work for them and if they like it, they buy it. While such an arrangement can help you land new clients, you can end up spending a lot of time and never satisfy your client’s needs and never getting paid for it.
- Forgetting Personal Development
Pitching for freelance jobs can take most of your time. During low job season you may feel overwhelmed and become desperate for work. It is advisable to divide your time between looking for work and working to develop your skills, improve your profile and also implement other sources of income. The things you love, family and other people who matter in your life should not be ignored in your effort to look for freelance work.
A few more mistakes to a void as a freelancer
Not Keeping Your Word
Failure to beat a deadline without a solid reason is one of the most serious mistakes a freelancer can ever make. It reflects lack of seriousness and commitment to your work. It is better to under-promise and over-deliver than to promise what you cannot deliver.
Poor Time Management
Differentiate working time and other times (family, leisure and other commitments). Let all know that you should not be disturbed (unless it is a real emergency) when you are working.
Not Choosing a Niche
You can’t be everything to every type of client. In the same way, choose clients wisely and work with only those who value you and your work.
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