Freelancing is a rather new approach when it comes to our professional careers. It has very little to do with the traditional way of working, where you get hired by one employer, and your whole income is dependent upon them.
When you’re a freelancer, you’re working with a number of clients, but you’re actually employed by no one. This gives you a lot of freedom when it comes to work hours and the amount of work you want to do each day.
However, there are some dangers associated with freelancing. For instance, probably the biggest of them all, struggling to find new clients. However, today I want to present you with a slightly different set of common problems. They are not that obvious, and that’s why they can be really dangerous.
I don’t know why, but many beginner freelancers are afraid to ask their clients for a sufficient amount of money.
Undercharging is a big problem in the freelancing world. Not only for the freelancer who’s doing this, but also for others. Undercharging, in general, has a bad influence on the market itself.
Before you start to work you should set an hourly rate that’s satisfactory to you. Then, whenever making your offer for a contract, start by estimating how many hours it will take to do the work, then multiply it by your hourly rate. Finally, don’t settle for an amount lower than this.
2. Not delivering on schedule
Working on a schedule and minding the deadlines is what’s going to make you successful.
For most clients, it’s actually a lot more important to get their work done on time than to get it done perfectly, but one week later.
Try some time management methodology (like GTD) and some online tools that can help you remain organized and productive (like RTM, Google Docs, FreeMind).
One nice trick to master is to always pitch a deadline that has one extra week on top of the estimated end date. This way you always have some time in case anything happens.
3. Not following up with clients
It’s a well known fact that it’s much easier to sell to a person who already bought something from you in the past. And it’s not only valid in the retail market, but also in freelancing.
Not following up with your existing clients is one of the biggest mistakes freelancers make.
Here’s the thing. If a client is satisfied with your work, there’s a really good chance that they will want you to do some more work for them.
The best part is that you don’t need to explain why you are the guy/gal for the job again. They already know this. You just have to contact them with a simple “hey, it’s me again, got some work?” (well, not exactly this, but you get the point).
4. Not connecting with other freelancers
Here’s a piece of news: You don’t have to be freelancing all on your own. Reaching out to other freelancers in your niche is a great idea. And here’s why.
Basically, other freelancers are doing the same thing that you are doing … they’re trying to connect with clients and build their professional network.
If you reach out to them and build a relationship, they might send some work your way if they’re simply full at the moment. Then you can return the favor later on.
You can also work on a project together and do lots of other things. There are really no downsides to contacting other freelancers in your niche.
That’s it for my list. I hope it will help you get your freelancing business going. Tell me, have you been freelancing for long?
Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a freelance blogger and writer. He’s founder of newInternetOrder.com where he provides online business advice. He focuses on tools (like Market Samurai), methods, and simple tricks that make your job easier.