Everybody makes mistakes is what the guy in the unemployment line said. As a freelancer it is just that simple one mistake could lose you a contract or cause you to not get paid for a lot of hard work. As a freelancer you have no safety net. Being your own boss means that you have to take sole responsibility for your failures as well as nay successes you achieve. Mistakes will make you flounder and they can damage your business. Here are of the biggest mistakes freelancers make, you can avoid many of them.
The biggest mistake is being dishonest. Do not accept projects that you know you are not qualified for. another way of being dishonest is purposefully lead a client to think a job will take longer than it actually does. You will get found out and clients are people too, they talk, blog and leave complaints.
cockiness, often a freelancer will go on Facebook or twitter to brag about their prowess in the field. Remember your clients read tweets and have Facebook pages.
There are legitimate reasons that you may a miss a deadline, but remember they are set for a reason. Missing deadlines is sure way to get a bad reputation.
Lack of effective communication. Keeping an open line of communication with a client is essential. Be friendly, even if there is a problem there is a good and bad way to approach the client.
Many freelancers make the mistake of seeming to eager to move on. The project is important to the client and they want to feel that whoever they hire will treat their project with respect and give it their all.
Failure to care, this can be seen in your work. Take a little time to go beyond what is called for your client will not only appreciate the effort but give you return business.
Not listening to a customer is a very bad sign. When a client doesn’t seem to have a clear grasp of something and what they are asking for will harm the end product tactfully make suggestions but in the end the customer is always right.
Taking on too much. The end goal of course is making a profit but if you take on too many projects at one time they all suffer and so does your reputation.
Charging too little is as bad as charging too much. Look around to se what others are charging for similar work and make you rates somewhere in the middle.
Working on a project that you do not fully understand. A client would rather answer your questions than for to send them work that they can’t use. Do not get huffy over negative feedback, this type of feed back will help you to refine your methodology so that you fully realize the clients vision.
Not listening or following directions.
Failure to thrive, let satisfied clients know of your other talents to open the way for more jobs.
relying on a set number of clients is never good. What if one suddenly stops needing your services, you are left with a gap in your income. Have clients with large and small projects so you can always be covered. Never stop trying to win new clients.
working on a project that goes against a core value. If the project is something you are opposed to your value system will often color your performance.
Forgetting that they are clients. Many new freelancers make the mistake of thinking of a client as if they are their friends. Keeping business separate from personal life is the only way to handle business.
Being negative is a sure way to lose clients, no matter how bad your day is or things are never let it show. Clients aren’t interested in your problems they are hiring you to get a job done.
Laziness, many start off with fir and zeal only to take on too much too soon and burn out. This leads to laziness and apathy.
Keeping bad clients, and yes, there are those. If the client pays late all the time, or are just difficult to please you will be stymied in your efforts to progress. It is better to let a bad client go and find a new one to replace them than to suffer through it.
Doing work for free. This is never a good idea whether you are trying to win a client or doing a favor for a friend. If they can get you to do it for free once they will never want to pay for it.
Forgetting that there is more to life than freelancing.