When you start out as a freelance writer, you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. All you know is that you are a good writer and you need to find clients who can benefit from your skills. However, when looking for clients, you are likely to make a few mistakes.
These are some of the most common mistakes freelancers make in their early years.
1. Take every task that comes your way.
It’s okay to turn down some projects.
Don’t get stuck taking on every project that comes your way. This can be overwhelming because you already have a full workload.
Anything that involves something you really don’t know how to do, unless it’s a really simple skill to add to your portfolio, can drain your energy.
Projects from clients who don’t really know what they want or refuse to pay up front are a Red flag.
The projects of family or close friends are always complicated. It’s hard to say no, but sometimes it’s best so that feelings don’t get hurt and relationships don’t get strained.
Anything that comes up when you have a solid reserve. If you really want the project, ask if the schedule is flexible, but don’t agree to anything that you can’t meet deadlines for. Don’t be greedy, you will lose it. 🙂
2. Excessive promising and insufficient delivery.
You want to be accommodating and easy to work with, but you don’t want to have a reputation for falling short.
Do not promise anything that you are not sure you can deliver. Happens all the time. Be flexible in conversations with clients.
Hear what is needed and anything unsafe, but say “That sounds good, but I’ll have to think about how to make it work.”
Then you have a few options to find out if you can do it, how to quote a price for the service, and even have an outlet if you just don’t think the request is viable.
3. Work without strategy.
If you are simply working without regard for what is coming next, then you could be hit hard. Freelancers need to develop a business plan and strategy.
Remember that you are now an entrepreneur, and your work needs deserved seriousness.
How long do you want to write for that platform? Where do you want to be in five years? How much do you expect from your customers? It will be difficult to get there if you don’t even know where you are going.
4. Betting too much on current customers
As a freelancer, you should bear in mind that any client can disappear any day. It’s a little heartbreaking, but it’s true.
It’s simple, diversify your customer base and make sure you have good working relationships with your current clients. Do you have a plan on how to replace a client in case the terms of work change?
5. Underestimating your work
Most freelancers seriously underestimate their time and work. For that reason, some do projects for free or very low cost, this tells your client your to worth and they can take advantage of it by paying you peanuts.
Set prices that make sense in your market and are in line with the services you offer and stick with them. Be confident in your work and always start negotiating with the highest prices. To start charging more, you need to critically assess your value and start charging what you deserve.