7 Freelancer Mistakes You’re Making Right Now
Freelancing is a great way to build a career and earn some extra income. However, it’s not always easy to know what your next steps should be. If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, here are some common freelancer mistakes we see newbies make:
Common Freelancer Mistakes
Failing to set boundaries.
When you’re working on a project, it’s important to set boundaries. For example:
- Set boundaries for yourself. You need to know how much time you can spend working on a project and when it’s time for a break. If your client asks for an estimate, this should be the point at which they will receive one (if not sooner).
- Establish clear communication with your clients so that they understand what their expectations are going into the relationship with you—and then stick with them! Clients who have expectations that aren’t met won’t be happy clients in the long run—and neither will any future projects!
You also need to establish clear communication with your co-workers and family members about what kind of work-life balance is right for each person based on age, work schedule, etc.
Not treating your work like a business.
This is probably the most important thing you can do to improve your freelancing career because it will help you avoid many of the mistakes we’ll talk about in this article.
A good way to think about this is: if you were running your own company, would there be any reason why someone wouldn’t want to hire someone like yourself?
The answer is no! So if someone doesn’t want to hire you as an employee at some point in time in their life, then why wouldn’t they also be interested in hiring someone like yourself who’s already established on their own terms?
Being a jack of all trades.
The problem with trying to be a jack of all trades is that you end up doing everything poorly. Your time and effort will be spread out across many projects, which means you’ll never get better at any one thing. This can cause burnout and make it hard for your business to grow.
Instead, think about what skills are most important for your client’s needs, then focus on honing in on those specific areas. You don’t need to know everything about every topic; instead, find people who specialize in those areas so they can help guide you along the way!
Forgetting about taxes.
As a freelancer, you’re probably used to doing things on your own. But when it comes time to file taxes and pay those pesky bills, it’s important that you know how the system works.
Taxes are a pain—and they can get even harder if you don’t keep track of your income and expenses. Here are some tips for making sure everything is in order:
- Keep track of all income from clients (including invoices and payment terms). If there’s an issue with a client’s payment schedule, ask them why before filing a complaint with their bank or credit card company.
- Make sure all withholdings are correct; this will help ensure that every cent goes where it needs to go!
Believing you have to say yes to every opportunity.
If you’re a freelancer, chances are that you’ve been asked to do some pretty cool things. You probably want to say yes as much as possible, because it seems like an easy way to make money and help people out. But this can be dangerous!
You should be careful about taking on too much work without knowing what your limits are. It’s important not only for your sanity but also for the sake of other people who depend on our services (or at least don’t want them).
If someone asks us for something we’re not prepared or comfortable with doing—say, writing an entire website from scratch—we will always say no unless there’s some kind of clear benefit from doing so:
Never turning off.
When you’re an entrepreneur, it’s easy to fall into the trap of working 24/7. After all, there are always more clients and projects that need our attention. We often forget about taking time off or even just doing something for ourselves!
This can be harmful because it can lead to burnout and fatigue—and not just for you but also for your team. They may feel like they’re on call all day every day, which isn’t fair to them or their families either.
Competing for the lowest rates.
You may think that you’re going to get paid more if your client is a large company, but this isn’t always true.
In fact, one of the biggest mistakes freelancers make is competing for the lowest rates possible. In order to survive in this business model (and get paid), you have to be able to make enough money so that even if everything goes wrong and one client drops off the face of the earth tomorrow, your other clients will still pay up.
That means creating an income stream that can handle any unforeseen circumstances—like losing a client who suddenly has too many projects going on at once and can’t take care of yours anymore—without having any dead weight dragging down your bank account or causing serious financial problems down the road.
If all else fails and it seems like no one wants what they’ve ordered from me anymore (which happens sometimes), then simply stop working until someone comes along who does want what I offer; otherwise my finances will continue suffering because I’m not making enough money per hour worked just yet.
Also read: Bank Charges in Nigeria: Quick Guide on Types and Uses
You are a professional and your freelance work is a serious professional endeavor!
You are a professional, and your freelance work is a serious professional endeavor. You need to take your business seriously, treat it like a business, set boundaries, and be prepared for taxes.
We hope that by now you are a lot more confident in your freelance career. The good news is that all of the mistakes we’ve mentioned above are easy to avoid if you just keep these tips in mind: setting boundaries, treating your work like a business and taking care of taxes.
By doing so, you can make sure that your freelance job never feels like it’s going begging for money or time.