Freelancing can be a lucrative way to make money as long as you aren’t afraid of dedication and hard work. But like any type of job, there are some common freelancing mistakes that you need to avoid in order to increase your chances for success and avoid pitfalls that could stall your freelancing career. The following are 3 common freelancing mistakes to avoid and what you should do instead to ensure a better freelancing career.
Mistake #1: Avoiding Freelance Websites
Freelancing websites are websites that allow freelancers to set up shop at a third party site dedicated to people looking to buy and sell freelancing services. This common mistake is usually made by people who want to avoid paying fees to the freelancing website, which are typically incorporated into a processing fee when buyer payments are made available to sellers. Yet these fees are absolutely minuscule compared to the benefits that freelance websites provide.
Instead: Sign up for a freelancing service as soon as possible. This will help you increase your exposure, draw in more clients, and set up a solid, secure foundation where current and new clients can contact you for freelance work.
Mistake #2: Working for Exposure
This is a trap that many new freelancers fall into: working for exposure, or working for free in exchange for ‘exposure’ from the other party. This is not only a waste of your time as a freelancer, it can be detrimental to your career as you may gain a reputation for doing things “for free” rather than expecting cash payment.
Instead: Never agree to work for exposure only. If you are interested in someone promoting you, then come to a mutual agreement in a work contract that provides exposure as a supplement to the money you’re receiving for the actual freelance work.
Mistake #3: Setting Too-Low Prices to Attract Clients
This is a rookie mistake that is often made by over-eager beginners who want to stand out from a crowd of experienced sellers with higher prices. And while you may see a jump in clients when you set your prices too low, you are setting yourself up for failure in many, many ways. You will quickly find that you’re spending way more time on client work for relatively little pay, which is a waste of time and energy on your part.
Instead: Set reasonable prices based on your skills, experience, and the complexity of the work involved. When creating your prices, you will need to factor in a few things, including how long the work will take, how much effort and managing the work will take, as well as the quality that your personal skills and experience will add to the work. From there, you can create a more reasonable price that takes these elements into account.
It’s easy to make mistakes when you’re a freelancer, whether you’re a beginner or a veteran to online freelancing. But if you can avoid the above common mistakes, you will have a much higher chance of success as a freelancer than those who fall victim to these common freelancing pitfalls.