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Freelancing Flaws That Could Harm Your Career Choice

16 May 2017 No Comment

Freelancing is becoming one of the most popular ways to generate income online from home. It’s easy to start, there’s very little money investment involved, and it’s something you can do while improving your own skills. It goes without saying that freelancing has been made easy and accessible thanks to the internet, and it’s offered many people a career choice that wasn’t possible in the past.

But while freelancing can become one of the most lucrative career paths you can embark on, it’s also one that can easily slip you up and cause you to waste a lot of time, money and effort. So to give you some help, here are a couple of freelancing flaws that you should avoid as best as you can.

Not Chasing Payments

As a freelancer, you don’t receive a salary from anyone. You need to learn how to invoice and you need to chase people for your payment. A lot of people take freelancers for granted and don’t pay until weeks or even months after a project or job has been completed. You want to avoid working with clients that pay late and you want to learn how to invoice properly so that you can get paid on time. There are many free templates for invoicing on the internet if you want a simple way to send invoices. If you don’t mind spending a bit of extra money every month, you can use online accounting software to help you automatically generate invoices for your clients and send them through the system. This reduces errors, speeds up your finance management, and ensures you get paid on time.

No Finance Management

When you work as a freelancer, you need to keep in mind that you’re self-employed. This means you’ll have to manage your finances on your own unless you’re wealthy and busy enough to hire a personal finance manager. This includes paying your taxes on your own instead of through your employer, making sure you save money for periods of little work and managing your necessary freelancing expenses such as your computer, supplies and so on.

 

Working for Free

A mistake that many beginning freelancers make is that they spend way too much time working for free. Working for a few weeks with zero pay is fine to gain experience or build up a portfolio, but if you’re working for free for over a month then you need to stop undervaluing your skills. If people are constantly using you for free work then clearly you have the skills to make a living from freelancing. Don’t listen to the lies of people who say you can build up a brand when working under another company—that’s a load of rubbish. If you want to build a brand, work on marketing your skills and building up a personal name for yourself, don’t work for free under someone else’s name.

Not Having Work Hours

Many new freelancers make the mistake of not setting work hours for themselves. This is usually because they’re too focused on the freedom they get working self-employed and they don’t realise that even freelancers need to dedicate time each day to their work. If possible, try to keep your working hours the same as your regular job. Wake up around 8 AM and prepare yourself, then work on projects and assignments until 4 PM or so and stop for the day. You can always shift this time and work evenings if you prefer or even at night, but it’s best to get into a routine and not use your freedom as an excuse to work sporadically through the day.

Avoiding Life

On the opposite spectrum, a lot of people use freelancing as a means to get consistent work through an entire day. They could probably work from morning till night and not feel strange at all, but that isn’t good for your body or mind. Don’t avoid your life. Hang out with friends, relax with family and remember to go outside. Many people that work from home neglect leaving their house because they can just work indoors at all times, but this is a mistake that can cost you a lot of motivation and enthusiasm.

Not Looking For Work

Freelancers tend to forget about lining up work. There can be periods where you’ll get plenty of offers for work or you’ll be in constant contact with several clients, but that doesn’t mean you should turn down projects just because your hands are full. A successful freelancer understands the importance of getting regular work and being able to get clients even during quiet times. If you’re not actively pitching ideas or searching for new clients to work with, then you’ll eventually dry up the well and find it difficult to make a living.

Forgetting To Communicate

Freelancers often forget to communicate with their clients. If you’re doing design work or anything creative, then it’s essential for you to keep in touch with your clients so that you know their exact specifications for the work they need to be done. You can fix mistakes in your work, build a relationship for more consistent work and even allow them to amend their request for some last minute changes. If you aren’t communicating with your clients, then you won’t become a successful freelancer.

Giving Up

Giving up is the last point we’ll talk about. Becoming a freelancer isn’t a smooth path to success. There are lots of challenges involved and you might find yourself thinking why you even bothered in the first place. If you feel like giving up, then keep in mind that once you get your foot in the freelancing door, you’re going to have a much easier time finding work, networking with clients and making a living. Don’t give up. Even if you’re going through a rough patch where clients are turning you down and your pitches are being ignored, there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel because your skills are unlikely to ever fade out from demand.

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