There are many reasons why people choose to work freelance.
Some do it for the freedom and flexibility that a freelance life can offer. Others do it to pursue their creative passions. And some do it because they want to work alone and for themselves.
If you’re a freelancer, it might be that you can relate to the reasons we have suggested. However, life as a freelancer isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It can be challenging, and more so when the following mistakes have been made.
Mistake #1: Always going it alone
You might prefer working alone as a freelancer, without the distraction of a gossiping co-worker and the interference of a nagging boss. However, this doesn’t mean you have to take on every task yourself. Not only will you run yourself into the ground if you take on every task that befalls you, but you might also make mistakes if you don’t have the support of others.
So, consider hiring help occasionally, be that from another freelancer or a professional firm. This could be from an accountant when you’re doing your taxes or from IT support when you’re trying to fix issues with your computer. Going it alone could make life harder for you so reach out when it is right to do so and benefit from the help you can be given.
Mistake #2: Settling for low pay
It’s common for freelancers to accept low rates of pay when first starting out. They take any client that will have them as they want to build a portfolio to prove their work to others. But many freelancers continue to settle for low pay, even when they have worked a number of years. They do this because they don’t want to source new clients or because they feel unconfident about asking for higher rates of pay. If you’re relating to this, then stop! Not only will you struggle on a lower income but you might start to experience feelings of low self-worth too.
Regularly source new clients, not only from websites such as Fiverr where you won’t be paid very much but by marketing yourself to clients who have the financial ability to pay you more. Find out what people in your freelance position are getting paid elsewhere too, as once you know what your asking price should be, you will be in a better position to ask for a pay increase from new and existing clients.
Mistake #3: Neglecting your health
As a freelancer, your health could be at risk. Why? Well, consider your current lifestyle. Do you work longer hours than you should? Do you remain in a seated position for much of the day? Are you socially isolated from others? Are you beset with worries about finances and your future security? If you answered ‘yes’ to some or all of those questions, both your physical and your mental health could be in jeopardy.
So, take steps to safeguard yourself. Create a work schedule and stick to it. Find ways to exercise at home. Spend time each day talking to another person, above and beyond your clients. And do what you can to manage your freelance stresses. Your health needs to be a priority, for the sake of your freelance business, so do whatever else you can to look after it.
Freelancing can be a joy but there are pitfalls to watch out for. You can overcome some of these by avoiding the mistakes we mentioned. Do what you can then, for both your benefit and the benefit of your business.