There are many of us who prefer to opt for a freelancing career, rather than being in a regular 9-to-5 job. While there are many who are happy with their freelancing jobs, yet, you will come across many unhappy freelancers too, who return back to their cubicles after a few stints of freelancing. There are many who are into temporary freelancing jobs and then get back to a full-time job. Why does this happen? The reason is, not all are cut out to be a freelancer.
For those who want to pursue a successful freelancing career, with no regrets at all and no second thought of going back to a regular job, then you should avoid making these mistakes at the very beginning of your freelancing career. You need to do a little bit of advanced planning to avoid these mistakes as a new freelancer.
Top 6 Mistakes to Avoid as a New Freelancer
Mistake 1: Starting your freelancing career without savings
At the initial stage of your freelancing job, you may not get regular works. At the same time, you will usually earn less than a regular job. So, experts say that before starting a freelancing business or a work from home job, you must have at least 6 months’ worth of living expenses in savings. If you want to start your own business, you need to have enough start-up cash. Most youngsters make this graving mistake of giving up their jobs and opting for a freelancing career without having enough savings.
Mistake 2: Starting your freelancing career without a definite goal
What do you want out of your freelance career? Why do want to leave your present job? Are you in a position to handle an independent career without any boss? Is it money or flexibility that is drawing you to a freelancing job. You should be clear with your goal and vision. You cannot run into the bandwagon of freelancers just for the heck of it. Define your goals first and then proceed gradually.
Mistake 3: Not signing the contract
You must have got your first freelancing project through a known source. But, even then, it is advisable to follow a professional approach and have a written agreement with your client/employer. There are many hidden benefits associated with signing a contract and you never know when it comes to be of help to you. Contracts are there to define expectations on both sides, keep honest people honest, and you do not get surprises down the road.
Mistake 4: Not following a proper system
Yes, it’s true that freelancing gives you the flexibility to work as per your convenience. You can take as many projects as per your capability with different clients. It so happens that you get your payments from different quarters at different times. Plus, you have your own expenses as well related to your work. It is always better to keep a track of your payments, invoices, bills, and receipts. A mere managing of an excel sheet is enough for this. But, many freelancers make the mistake of not following a proper system.
Mistake 5: Getting in touch with wrong clients
Another mistake that new freelancers do is that with the hope of earning more and getting more projects, they take up projects from any clients that approach them. And in many cases, they end up doing work without any payment. The rule is to go slow initially. With time and experience, you will definitely be able to recognize the signs of a good or a bad client in the future.
Mistake 6: Not charging appropriately
Setting rates for your freelancing jobs can be complicated. Most freelancers at the initial phase make two glaring mistakes: either they charge too high and end up losing their clients, or else they charge too less and become frustrated and financially weak. The rule is to do a proper research first, and then quote a price. Either you can charge on an hourly basis or as a project basis. Once you gain experience, don’t hesitate to revise your price. Negotiate properly when you take new freelancing jobs.