How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make

Having been a freeleancer myself in several realms (branding / design, IT / software architecture and engineering, business development and strategy planning, operations) I’ve learned a lot from my own experience dealing with clients of all types. I recently came upon a great Digg post that might help fellow free lancers out there to avoid certain mistakes that could hurt your livelihood and career. A lot of these tips I’ve learned through my own sweat but the writer of the original post puts it altogether so well.

These mistakes can easily be made by design firms and other outsourcing companies as well so this doesn’t just apply to potential freelancers.

A lot of it is common sense but the gist is as follows:

  1. Missing deadlines.
  2. Charging too little.
  3. Lack of preliminary research.
  4. Choosing the wrong clients.
  5. Getting too personal.
  6. Letting off steam.
  7. Not proposing a follow-up idea.
  8. Not having multiple income streams.
  9. Allowing yourself to slack.
  10. Failing to be yourself.

If you’re interested in what you’ve read so far, I recommend you check out the original blog post.

In addition to this post, there are several other good articles at FreeLanceSwitch.com:

  • The Dos And Don’ts Of Selling To Clients

    Do you have loads of clients fighting with each other for the chance to hire you? If so, you can skip this article. If not, you likely spend some time selling yourself to potential clients. So read on, because we’re going to talk about the dos and don’ts of selling.

  • Balancing Employment and Freelance Work

    Not all of us have the guts to freelance full-time right away and you can count this intrepid journalist as one of the cowards.

    As self-employment can be slow to begin, some of us do prefer the security of a steady pay-cheque while making the transition, so here are some of the ways I’ve found to make it work while working for The Man.

  • 10 Essential Habits for Freelance Workers

    The key, I’ve found, is to develop certain habits that will keep you not only disciplined but successful. Simple habits, to be sure, but ones that can go a long way towards taking you from a broke freelancer to a happy and productive one.

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2 Replies to “How to Avoid the 10 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make”

  1. Hi Ginger,

    First up, I didn’t know you visited my blog 🙂 Thx!

    I think you raise a valid point, perhaps you could define your perspective of ‘getting personal’ as I’d like to be clear on what you mean.

    Also you are correct I should have been even more clearer and stated that some of these tips apply to just about anyone who works!

    Ginger, I think one should definitely be them self in all aspects of life, but when it comes to business and your career goals, my experience has been ultimately that each situation is different so you don’t need to consider every situation with the same tone.

    For example, I have a great client right now who I consider friends as well, they trust me implicitly, we are very informal, but we both have goals that we want to achieve for our ventures so to other parties we appear with as much ‘professionalism’ as possible but behind closed doors, we’re ‘chill’ and don’t hold anything back.

    I do feel that in some situations you have to separate friendship (or informality) from business so as to protect or strengthen the goal(s) you are trying to achieve.

    Another food for thought…

    In the end if you are yourself, truthful, respectable and respecting to all, don’t act like a ‘know-it-all’, you perform well and the other party is happy with you, I firmly believe in “what goes around comes around” applies here as well. Any success I have had in my career has benefited from this logic. When my clients or colleagues are content, they praise me or hype me up to others leaving me to continually be humble.

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