Common Freelancing Mistakes

Common Freelancing Mistakes

Freelancing is becoming more and more popular in almost every industry sector. Companies are seeing benefits by charging per project instead of hiring people on the traditional 9-5 daily grind, but as a newbie to the world of freelancing, there are many traps you can fall into that can have very negative effects on your pay, your sanity, your reputation and in fact on your social life, which is probably one of the reasons you decided to move away working standard hours. Here are a few things to look out for when you are starting out to help you establish yourself well economically and professionally.

Taking on too much work

- when you start out, it's very easy just to keep saying yes, but it is very important to know your limitations. It is a good idea to start off by taking only one or two smaller projects until you are confident with taking on more work to tackle simultaneously, as this way, although you will most likely find yourself underworking at the start of your freelancing career, you will not find yourself drowning under your own ambitiousness. Taking on a little bit of work to begin with will also help you to establish just how long each piece of work can potentially take and will help you to plan out your schedule a lot more accurately. If you do take on too much, you can find yourself stressed and overworking which can have a very negative effect on the quality and the quantity of your output.

Lack of planning

- working as a freelancer is similar to running a small self employed business. It is a good idea to have dedicated hours to work. It is a good idea to create a legal entity, to file your taxes, and to maintain thorough and accurate bookkeeping. It is important to recognise this as time for working as well, and sometimes it is worth considering this time when you are charging a client for your services. Stay professional, even when the contracts seem casual, and people will treat you more professionally. In another interpretation, planning will help you utilise your day and minimise your procrastination.

Becoming established

- working as a freelancer often requires very short term contracts, and you can't depend on your clients to provide long term work unless they offer a long term contract. In today's market, new companies are constantly being set up and old companies are often fading out and the market is quickly changing, for better or for worse. Make sure you don't put all your eggs in one basket, that there is a backup plan for those difficult months when the income isn't coming in as solidly as other months, and that you keep an eye on what is happening in your desired industry sector for new and improved opportunities. Sometimes it helps to make your clients people rather than businesses, as even if a person changes industry or company, he or she will have a good connection with you and will seek you out for your services.

Online presence

- these days, almost everything is done online. Make sure you are promoting yourself on freelancing websites. Make sure you have a Facebook page for your business. Make sure you are savvy with all the social networking platforms that will benefit your business. Utilise your personal profiles to advertise for your business, as you never know which old contacts of yours may be looking for your services or who may know people who are. Make a profile on Linked In, so that other professionals can find you. And most of all, maintain all of these and keep them clean, professional, and well updated. Online presence is an excellent form of self advertising, and your name and reputation become like a business that you have to promote.


- everybody needs money to survive, and freelancers are no different. It is easy for companies to pay freelancers too little, but you need to ensure that, while working competitively against other freelancers, that you are not undercharging for your services. Likewise, you don't want to dissuade potential employers by charging too much, so finding the balance is essential for successful continuation of your business.