It is always a great idea to be a freelancer, especially when you realize that there are numerous opportunities to make good money. The problem only arises when you do not have a strategy in place and put all eggs in one basket. However, even if you make mistakes during your initial days as a freelancer, there are ways you can redeem your time and money. The solutions to the many mistakes that freelancers make are simple and straightforward. Having said that, here are some of the things that will always make it impossible for freelancers to break even.
If you are a freelancer, you will not find any boss looking over your shoulder. While this can be a blessing to many, the lack of time management skills will mess up many things. As far as everything is concerned, beating deadlines is the backbone of freelancing. This means that you will lose many clients if you are unable to beat the given deadline, and it will be impossible for you to get return clients. Hence, your life as a freelancer will be pretty miserable.
It is important to charge projects based on scope of work and time needed to complete the project. As a new freelancer, you’ll be tempted to lower your rates so that you can get your first job. This kind of desperate measures will only lead to more problems. For instance, you will start having problems with your bills at the same time work for long hours. The solution to this is charge acceptable market rates that are worth your time. Remember, in freelancing, time is money and if you have problems with time, then you will lose clients.
It goes without saying that with poor communication skills, you will find it quite difficult to sore high as a freelancer. The best way to go about this problem is ensure that you communicate effectively with your clients. In this case, ask questions on things you don’t understand and also request for clarification when project instructions are unclear. In order to be safe, see to it that you keep your client updated on your progress - it is easier this way than revising the entire project.
As a newbie, it can be difficult to differentiate your revenue flow from your profits. This is due to the fact that revenues are only but cash inflow, of which does not necessarily reflect your profits. In order to get your net, consider deducting expenses. At the end of the day, you’ll be able to chart a roadmap to success. Take note that work flow and cash will vary as a new freelancer before you get to know more about the market you operate in. And as such, make it a point to know how to manage your money as this will come in handy when invoices are delayed.
This is one thing that inexperienced freelancers don’t understand about, especially when they are transitioning from the 9-5 jobs. It is highly recommended to market your skills to potential clients, and convince them that you can add value to their businesses. If you are thinking of setting up shop and clients come running to your site, then better prepare for a rude shock. In freelancing, marketing is an integral part of the whole picture. You must understand your target audience, niche, and many other things in order for you to consistently get business. If you lack any skills, endeavor to learn them as fast possible lest you end up wasting your precious time.
If you treat freelancing as a business, you will start seeing profits trickle in the first few weeks or months. The best thing about this model is that it offers flexibility, but do not abuse the freedom it offers as your business will head to the drains. It is not ideal to replace "you’re a new boss" with the former boss. In other words, ensure that you get you are partners and avoid over demanding clients. Learn to set the right expectation, know when you are most productive, and learn a little bit of delegation. It will not take long before your career picks up and you’re laughing all the way to the bank.
It is easy to get irritated with some of the clients you will come across as a newbie. However, try to remain positive and ensure you respond objectively to emails. It is equally important that you prepare schedule at all times. In this way, you stand a good chance of not burning out. As a word of advice, see to it that you behave professionally from the word go.
Last but not least, do not get comfortable with the clients you have or add clients that you cannot handle. As a newbie, see to it that you strike a balance between work and rest. It is with these solutions you will find working as a freelancer being enjoyable.
I am a freelance web designer, web developer and SEO specialist - one of the “Top Rated” web designers on Upwork. Living a digital nomad lifestyle, I love to explore the outdoors while doing some freelance jobs in between.
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