Whether you write, take photographs or design websites, going freelance is an exciting prospect. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in your passion and get paid to do something you enjoy. The freedom to choose which jobs you take on and when you work is another big draw to becoming freelance. But working for yourself can also be nerve-wracking and slightly overwhelming too.
If you’re interested starting a career as a freelancer but feel under-prepared, here are some mistakes to avoid to help you.
Choosing how much to charge your clients can difficult when you’re just getting started. Charging too much can put people off from working with you. But on the other hand, undercharging can stop your business from growing and progressing. You may also find that you aren’t appealing to the right kind of clients. To help you avoid this, reach out to other freelancers within your industry to see how much they charge. This should give you a better understanding of how much clients are willing to pay for similar services. How much you charge is subjective, and it’s not possible to please everyone who approaches you. Be realistic about your expertise and experience and finding the right amount to charge should be too difficult.
Being unable to say no
Saying no to work is something that many freelancers have difficulty with. They think that they need to accept every piece of work that is sent their way to stay afloat. But agreeing to everything can leave you feeling stressed and the pay may not always be as much as you would like. Rather than saying yes to every job opportunity, look for work that pays well and is of interest you. It’s always better to take on a few pieces you can complete to a high standard than taking on loads and rushing them.
Not separating your personal and professional life
Many freelancers choose to do the majority of their work from home. While there is nothing wrong with doing this, it can make it difficult to find a balance between your personal and professional life. You might find yourself working all hours of the day or spending too much time with your family rather than working. Thankfully there are things you can do to separate the two. You can buy a virtual business address rather than giving out your personal one. Having a personal phone and one for business use is a brilliant idea and helps you feel more in control. Setting boundaries with your family and clients on your working hours is also a must. Finding a balance between your work and home life is something you need to prepare for, ideally before going freelance.
By avoiding these big and common mistakes, you are more likely to make a positive start to your freelance career. But don’t expect to make no mistakes at all. Working for yourself in a constant learning process and making mistakes is a vital aspect of that. So accept that you will make mistakes, just make sure they don’t have adverse effects on your business.