If you are a seasoned freelancer, you can surely relate to the current topic of discussion. If you are a first timer, you must learn about the obvious mistakes made by many before you, in order to avoid making them for yourself. The truth is, even though all the relevant information pertaining to freelancing is available on web sites and tutorials, there is one thing that individuals can’t avoid, which is human error.
You might feel that you are in complete control of your faculties and can take the freelancing domain by storm. However, slip-ups are inevitable and admitting to your mistakes is the only key to success. Admittance is the only fool-proof way to improvement. Some mistakes can be highly insignificant; others can cost you clients, money, and eventually, credibility.
Here are some common errors that you must know about:
The rate issue
When working from home, you need to charge enough for your work in order to attract relevant clients. Also, you must never let the client dictate your rates for you. They have no inkling about the extent of hard work that goes into completing a piece of work. All they care about is getting the work done as economically as possible. Set your own rate, always. Do not get excited about the price that they offer.
Continuing with this school of thought, you must always set your lowest acceptable rate. This will ensure that the clients do not take you for a ride, or worse, under pay you for all the hard work and toil. Furthermore, charging per hour is never a smooth move. Some projects may take ages to complete, others might finish in half the time. Charge per project. Period.
Last but not the least, increase or renew your rates after every 6 months. You want to progress, financially, right?
Dealing with clients
Feeling weak in the knees every time you have to say “no” to a client will never take you places. Instead of doing boring work for money, you could find interesting work that pays handsomely rather than racking your brains over a project that you detest. Have a screening process in place. Do not say yes to just about anybody. Screening clients is very important to avoid getting scammed.
You will come across clients who may not be very happy with your work. Dealing with criticism is an important part of this job profile as it happens a lot. You must know how to handle an unhappy client for the sake of your reputation. Moreover, your client may not be right at times. In such situations, offer alternatives to problems rather than acquiescing to terms blindly.
How you interact with prospective clients must never be taken lightly. Typos and grammatical mistakes in emails are disastrous. Nothing spells worse than a poorly constructed dialogue with umpteen numbers of errors. Read and re-read your emails before dispatch. Also, sending a follow-up email does not make you pushy.
Some freelancers have a habit of sharing too much information with their clients. Refrain from doing so. Instead of chattering unnecessarily, use smart negotiation tricks to get what you really want. Stay assertive in this line of work. Do not let the client talk you into doing things that you don’t want to do. Last but not the least, reply to emails promptly. There is no point in waiting for Christmas.
If you have too much work, do not take on additional projects for the money. Outsourcing your work is important as it affects quality and quantity. Never promise to give results that you positively cannot guarantee. Understating here is good, as wooing a client is more important than giving him an anti-climax. Furthermore, do not be a victim of scope creep.
Working for clients is one thing, but working for you is equally important too. Remember to master a skill during the entire process of freelancing, or else establishing your name in the market might become difficult. This comes to show how important giving yourself some time is. If you are busy 24X7 with client work, how will you find time for some personal skill building?
Working as a freelancer is no mean feat. It requires insane amounts of patience, dedication, sincerity, and hard work. Finding an appropriate freelance job is not difficult. There are numerous online portals that offer lucrative job opportunities in the field of freelancing. Just remember to be alert and safeguard yourself against possible scams. Do not make the aforementioned mistakes as well!