We all can make mistakes when we’re starting our business. But, honestly, how can we blame ourselves? It is almost a given. Everybody needs to make mistakes to learn and grow for themselves. I am not saying that you can’t take advice from others before you begin. Inevitably you will make mistakes, but you may as well hit the ground running.
Whether you are launching your freelancer business or just want to freelance as a side hustle, it is important to avoid some of the most common mistakes.
Here are some common mistakes that freelancers make.
1. You don’t have a blog or website.
If you have just started a freelance business and have not created a blog or website for yourself, you are potentially missing hundreds of opportunities. A blog is where you can showcase your work and show your expertise. It makes it easy for your client to make a quick judgment of your work and assess whether you are the right fit for what they desire. 64% of freelancers have found work online. So this is a crucial step to create a successful and smooth-sailing beginning to your freelancing career.
2. You don’t ask for referrals/testimonials.
Referrals and testimonials are what drive your business forward. It is great to network with other freelancers and highlight that you are looking for work so they can refer you to potential clients. However, make sure that you are true to your word and take the referral seriously – otherwise, the word might get out that you are incompetent.
In regard to testimonials: after you’ve completed a job, make sure you ask for a testimonial or review of your work immediately. The greater reviews you have, the more credibility your business will eventually gain.
3. You aren’t on top of your invoicing.
Unorganized invoicing can be very tricky when it comes to crunch time (aka tax time). It is crucial to begin your business with a solid foundation of great habits to drive you forwards. If you aren’t on top of your invoicing and have a in place great system, it’s simple: you won’t get paid. All of that hard work will be in vain! Don’t fret – there are accounting apps that can help, such as “Wave.”
4. You are overconfident.
The worst thing for potential clients is someone too big for their britches. It is ok to be confident, but overconfidence could be detrimental to your career. It could be discouraging if you are too overconfident and take on something you are not ready for, only to fall short. So my suggestion is to slowly build your career from the ground up and take on the big jobs when you are ready and used to the stress a little more.
5. You haven’t decided on a particular niche.
I’d suggest narrowing in on your niche as soon as possible. When you have a niche, it is generally because you find that topic more interesting; therefore, you will gain knowledge quicker. That way, you will be able to produce content faster. You will want to make more because you have a lot of care and understanding in that field.
I’m not saying you can’t have more than one sort of niche – but generally, the most successful freelancers narrow it down.
6. Not asking questions.
You are a beginner; now is the time to ask all of your questions. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask for advice. I always ask my clients for their honest opinion on my work because it helps me produce better content in the long run. I can improve through others’ feedback. That being said, you don’t want to bombard a client with questions. Chances are they are very busy – so make the questions count. Example: What is your company’s reputation, or what are your terms and methods of payment?
7. Overthinking and not believing in yourself.
As a freelancer, you should be happy to embark on this brilliant journey. Yes, you will have some undesirable days, but you will have some great days also. It will be difficult, but it will also be rewarding. Try not to overthink too much. It is imperative to cultivate strong stress management skills and to talk yourself up because you rule!
It can be daunting beginning a freelance business and often tricky. However, your business has the potential to be extremely lucrative with the right attitude and skills. It is the time to make mistakes and discover your own unique way of approaching freelancing. Good luck and remember to enjoy yourself!