Monday, June 20, 2011

5 mistakes of first time freelancers

If you’ve been freelancing for some time now, you’ll for sure have come across one of these mistakes.
If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, make sure you take notes and avoid these mistakes at all costs. They’ll costly to your business and they’re not good for your personal life either – yes, your business life and personal life will melt together when you become a freelancer, so get used to it.

Low balling your prices

You want a lot of work so you decide to put your prices at half of the normal rates in your industry. The results? You get a ton of people writing you and you feel great. Work is flowing in and you’re loving every minute of it; but then something happens.
You get swamped and realize that the amount of work you’re doing is worth much more than the pricing you’ve set for yourself. But now you can’t raise the rates because you’re already locked into all of this work.
Don’t make this mistake and set yourself up for headaches that you don’t need. Pick a price point that will be beneficial to you and allow you to keep the lights on.

Taking on too much work

Building on the first mistake, taking on too much work will break your back. Sure, you’ll be able to hustle for a while (Hell, we even recommend hustling & have tips on hustling) but after a while the jobs will blend together and you’ll slip up on someone’s work, which will cause problems for your business.
You should always market your business but make sure you’re not over committing to too many jobs at once. Knock the work out as it comes and don’t let a day slip by & you will be O.K. to market your business and grow your client list.

Neglecting your marketing

The best time to market your freelance business is when you’re your busiest. Yes, when you’ve got so much work you can’t take it anymore, you must market your business. By neglecting your marketing, you’re drying up the flow of work that comes in, which will bite you on the ass when you’ve completed all of your current work and are left scrambling to find more.
So take an hour or two per day to market your business. Write job leads, spend time marketing on social media sites & submit proposals for jobs. This will keep you in the loop and will allow the work flow to keep coming in.

Forgetting the follow up

Your previous clients can be some of the best clients to have because they’re more than likely going to feel great giving you more work, yet so many freelancers finish jobs and then forget about the client. Their name slips your mind & before long you forgot you even did their work.
Make sure you’re keeping in touch with previous clients to ensure they know you’re ready to work with them again if they’re in need of any more work to be done.
You also need to keep up with potential job leads. Just because you respond to their email once doesn’t mean they are going to hire you. Wait a few days and touch base with them. It might be just the reminder they need to pull the trigger and hire you.

Are you networking?

Most freelancers look at someone who does the same job they do as competition, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Freelancers might have an overflow of work that they need to pass along to someone else, so by friending them and having conversations with them, you’re much more likely to be the person they pass the work along to.
Plus, freelancers are worldwide, so the odds of someone stepping on your turf are slim to none online.
Another benefit of networking is that you will learn a lot more about the business and how to handle things by talking with others who are in the same boat as you, no matter how much of a One Man Army you may be. Source: