When you start a freelance business, there is a great deal to learn. You’ll master your craft through trial and error. There are many mistakes people make when getting started. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes so you can avoid making them and speed up your learning curve.
Charging Too Little
When you first get started, you may feel like you’re living your best life ever. You’re getting paid to do what you love on your own terms. As a result, many new freelancers charge too little for their services.
You may also charge less than you’re worth to secure more clients. This isn’t a good long-term strategy. The sooner you start charging what you’re worth, the better.
There are three important steps that will help you set your rate:
Then, set your rates accordingly. If, at first, you don’t feel confident in your skills, offer more value. As you gain confidence, charging what you’re worth will start to feel more natural to you.
Taking Every Job that Comes Your Way
You’ll be excited to get new clients and line up work. One mistake people make is that they take on every single job offer that comes their way. The result is that you get too busy. Plus, you might end up taking on work or clients that aren't appropriate for you.
When you get started, clearly define what services you offer and what services you don’t. Learn how to set clear boundaries with clients who ask too much. Look at your schedule and determine how much work you can take on at a given time and stick to it.
The first casualty of any freelance business is work-life balance. You’re trying to do everything you can to get your business off the ground. You want to be available to your clients 24/7. The result is that you forget to take time for yourself, and you burn out.
Be sure to put some leisure time and family time into your busy schedule. Define your work time vs. non-work time and stick to it. Turn off notifications and resist the urge to check email during your off hours.
Forgetting to Do Your Marketing
Once your business gets off the ground, you’ll get enough work to fill your schedule. This is great, but it leads many new freelancers to forget an important task – marketing.
Your marketing takes time to build. When the work dries up and you need to get new clients fast, your marketing won’t be in place and you’ll have to start from scratch.
Since it takes time to work up your marketing, start at the beginning and devote a set amount of time each day to building those streams, even when you’re up to your ears in work.
Avoiding long-term planning
This is your business. Like any business owner, you need to think ahead into the future. Where will you be a month from now, a year from now, or ten years from now?
Even when you get busy, don’t forget to devote some time to strategy and long-term planning. You need to know where you’re going so you can grow.
About The Author
Pat Simes is a Business Strategist, blogger and Founder of Innovative Business Solutions and Innovate Academy. She currently resides in the Midwest and is committed to inspiring and empowering entrepreneurs to transform their vision to reality.