I know majority of my readers are doing freelancing or planning to start freelancing and some are going very well with it, however i have highlighted some major issues and 15 common freelancing mistakes which are actually a ‘NO’ go for any freelancer who is doing work online.
15 Common Freelancing Mistakes
You are not able to determine your value
Either You are charging way too high (or) way too low, please note that pricing should not be your competitive edge in all your proposals, your real edge should be your quality or an added bonus which others are not offering.
You don’t set terms and agreements with your client and then regret later on
Sometimes, You are in so hurry to win a client but you forget to set terms and agreements which eventually leads you to mis-understandings with the clients and some times refunds or negative reviews and a loss of a big Potential customer (Remember i emphasise on how important is to maintain relations?).
You don’t know the procedure of converting un-happy clients into a happy one.
Now this one is something difficult for most of the newbies but believe me, your main aim should be to satisfy every customer, because every potential consumer should be important to you.
So you got late while delivering the project? or you weren’t able to meet the client expectations? now what to do? this might be the question you have in your mind so what’s the possible solution?
Possible Solutions Can Include
- Working Few Extra Hours
- Offering Additional Services
- Specific Refund or Reduced Payment.
Although you may lose but this investment is worth while and going to come back to you in the form of a happy review and a long term customer. 🙂
You forget your old customers and haven’t connected with them
Do you know it’s more then 7x times cheaper to retain an old customer then always finding a new customer for your business? So don’t forget them, keep in contact with them with new offers, referral offers or maybe you can provide them other services via outsourcing.
You don’t educate your clients
Few days ago, I went to an IT event and here I was guiding a person who was searching on how to write SEO based articles and I was telling to him that your priority should be User experience and search engine will automatically love your client, but then he said what about the client? error! Isn’t it our duty to educate our clients and let them know that user experience is the no.1 ranking factor which Google considers?
Yes it’s our duty to educate them, teach them.
You spend everything you earn.
This one might be a little personal but that’s the reality, a bitter truth. You need to save and invest. By Saving i mean, you need to save for bad times, Imagine if you have to go a month or two without any work? You need to be prepared for un-expected events.
The second thing I will focus will be on you need to invest in your freelancing business as well, like start paying for memberships at freelancing sites (higher plans, more bids & better placements) or maybe you can hire people under yourself.. think.. opportunities are endless!
You don’t think communication is important
Do you know how much communication is important? I believe it’s very important to update your customer with each stage of your project and you must take him/her into confidence so that he is assured
- And lack of communication may lead to mis-understandings, conflicts and can lead to project cancellation.
- He gets a completion date idea/estimation.
- Project is being going on the way he wants.
- You are working on Project.
Typo’s are fine.
Now the project is being awarded to you but you think it’s fine to go with typo’s and spelling mistakes are fine as long as the other person is understanding your messages?
It’s completely wrong, remember your first impression is last impression (in most cases) but you have to compete those expectations every time and just like the way presentation is important, your communication style is similarly much important, you can’t ignore on it, the more better you are with your writing style, the better impression you can put.
You take on too much work.
Because you want to win every project, it doesn’t mean you can actually ‘deliver’ that, and that too with top notch quality. (Quality>Quantity). So stop being greedy and don’t over load yourself when you know you can’t manage.
Another good way to deal this issue is to hire trainee’s under your name and ask them to do the work on behalf of you. (Converting your Freelancer Name into a Brand).
You over-promise but don’t do over deliver
I know you want to win the client through every possible way and some how you do over promise for delivering those things as well which wasn’t in contract, I know it sounds alright to make a customer feel special by giving them add ons without any cost, but there is a difference between committing and delivering, the thing i’m highlighting here is, if you do over promise then make sure to do deliver that as well, otherwise it’s going to hurt you negatively.
You have stopped learning because you are too busy.
I know you have been getting a lot of work from some time and you are all busy, but is this an excuse to stop learning new skills or even advancements in your own field? a big ‘NO’, you can never say ‘NO’ to learning, because if you do, the chances of your demise is on it’s way.
I can’t stress enough on how important time management should be, I link productivity with Time Management. Some good tools which can help you can be found in mobile apps so that you can schedule your routine but believe me, time management is a key.
Diversify, Never rely on a single client.
Like it’s been said, never put all your eggs in one basket, why rely on a single client? Diversification is very necessary, like what if a client suddenly moves to another supplier? do you have any back up plan to deal with? That’s why I suggest everyone to search for new clients, make new relations and get involved with multiple oppurtunities.
You don’t ask for testimonials either
Do you know that asking for testimonials and customer reviews can increase your business as much as up to 500%? The reason because is that people look for reviews or recommendations before opting for some one service so now keep asking for testimonials or reviews from your customers to show to the world on how you made there company a better one!
You haven’t updated your portfolio since you made it
Oh its been an year that you are successfully working on your freelancing carrier and you have done various projects but don’t you think it’s time to update your profile with new work samples, skills (you newly learned) and other things? so new customers get a better idea about you which eventually will leads you to lower pre-sales questions and higher hirings. 🙂
I hope you have enjoyed reading it and if you are looking for a Personal 1on1 coaching with me on freelancing, then you can reach me.
Great article. Precious words for Freelancers to be successful in their career. Customer care and user experience are the keys for fruitful freelance business.
You mentioned an IT event in “You don’t educate your clients” Point…I was there too and I remember your conversations, Really thought provoking and clear guidelines.
Thank You and glad to have your comment on my blog. 🙂
Dear Ali bhai… no doubt what you have written is perfect.. but my experience of freelancing does not support the fact
“Do you know it’s more then 7x times cheaper to retain an old customer then always finding a new customer for your business?”
Although it is a researched fact but in case of freelancing.. Clients are looking for more cheap or more value thing other than you.. they rather prefer to experience new guys.. So the dynamics are bit different. Making a sales pitch to existing one is easy but i have not experienced significant results. However, this only prevails in my case.. so it is not necessary that this thing happens to all.
And i strongly agree with the word “Diversify” .. it’s my experienced way to success!!
I appreciate your opinion, in my niche however the case is a little different, here trust and relation plays an important role and I believe it plays an important role in most of the niches, however things work differently for everyone, so thats why, I respect your stance. 🙂
and Thanks again for your value able opinion. 🙂
Brilliant advice from the guru. Diversification and constant upgrading of skills is a must in this dynamically changing market. Thanks for taking time out to update us. Keep the faith!
Thank You Paul for your value able opinion, i appreciate. 🙂
Salam, you wrote amazing points, being a freelancer learning is hard for me, but appreciate your efforts that’ll make me able to take some extra time for extra learning experience.
w.salam, Thank You For Appreciation! I’m glad that you find my content useful. 🙂