In your early stages of freelancing, it can be easy to make mistakes. It’s all just part of the game. But learning from these mistakes can help you become a more successful creative freelancer in the long run. To help you learn faster, here are some of the biggest mistakes you’re likely to make…
Taking on the wrong clients
It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of taking on new clients that aren’t right for you or your business. By choosing the wrong clients, you run the risk of becoming unhappy, make less money and work longer hours. Remember, it’s a two-way process when you meet a prospective client for the first time, so make sure they are a good fit for your business.
One of the most difficult decisions when working as a freelancer is deciding how much to charge for your work and time. Really think about how much your work is worth before setting your rates. Make sure you have a good idea of the industry standards and work our how much you need to earn in order to cover your business costs. When quoting, make sure you stick to your rates no matter what.
Overcommitting on work
When you freelance, especially if you work at home, it can be really difficult to switch off from work. Don’t ever let freelancing take over your life! Remember that you need to set aside time to relax and spend time with the people in your life that are important to you. Always prioritise time off and holidays so that you can come back feeling refreshed and recharged. By taking on to much work, you’re not only messing up your work-life balance but you’re not doing your clients any favours, as your work is sure to drop in quality.
Not knowing if you’re making money
It’s way too easy to get so caught up in your work, that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Always take the time to reflect on your business and to determine whether or not it’s growing in profitability.
Not paying tax
Freelance taxes can be complicated, which is why they’re often ignored. This is one of the most dangerous mistakes you can make, as you may find yourself having to pay a hefty penalty down the line, putting your business at risk. Always keep tabs of your tax payments and if you don’t understand what is required, make sure you seek advice from a professional.
Working for free
It’s not easy breaking into the freelance industry, as there is a great deal of competition. As tempting as it may seem, never agree to work for free unless there is a guarantee of worthwhile paying work down the line.
Relying on too few clients
As the age-old saying goes, never put all your eggs in one basket. One of the biggest mistakes that creative freelancers make is relying on one or two short-term clients to cover your costs. There are no guarantees in life and these clients could pay late or pull the project altogether. It’s always best to have a number of clients on the go at any given time, as this lessens the risk involved in your freelance business.