Make no mistake about it – freelancing in any role is an incredibly insecure way to make a living. You have to be dedicated, disciplined, and often have to devote all of your time just for basic survival.
That said, there are plenty of successful freelancers out there who don’t just survive – they thrive. And while skill, talent, and knowledge will, ultimately, be at the forefront of your success, there are plenty of other things that contribute a huge amount, too.
It’s important to understand these factors to make sure you don’t make some of the common mistakes made by many new freelancers. With this in mind, today, we’re going to go through some of the major points you need to know.
Lack of organizational skills
Organization is critical when you are a freelancer, according to businessinsider.com.au. You will need to have strict control over all your activities to ensure that you don’t waste a second of time. Don’t forget, not only do you have to work on your client’s businesses, but you also need to treat your freelance career as a business, too. And if you are lacking organizational skills, this will be incredibly hard to do. There are plenty of organizational tools you can use, from invoicing software to time and project management programs. Find a range of these tools that match your needs, and you will be able to remain organized every day.
Lack of customers
As we mentioned above, you have to dedicate time to treat your freelance career as a real business. And that includes marketing and finding new clients – imperative if you want to excel in your career. As LdSeoSydney.com.au point out, outsourcing services like SEO to external agencies can help. But, ultimately, as a freelancer, you have to spend time everyday phoning potential clients and finding prospects.
Lack of money
If you don’t get clients, you won’t get paid – it’s that simple. Finding and retaining customers is the only way of getting that necessary cash into the bank. You’ll need to spend time managing your money, too, as well as making sure you are setting the right rates to charge your customers. Working for peanuts might get you customers, but it will also eat into the time you need to source better-paying clients.
Lack of professionalism
While the idea of working from home in your pajamas might be appealing, you have to be aware of the image it gives off to potential clients. If you are in business – and trying to appeal to other firms – there must be an element of professionalism in the way you go about your work. That could mean ensuring you have a proper business address, wearing suitable attire, or even just ensuring you are answering the phone in a professional way.
Lack of companionship
Last – but by no means least – it’s vital to understand that freelancing can be a lonely existence. When you are working on a big project, you can spend entire days not talking to anyone. To keep yourself sane, you need to make sure you are able to spend some time with other people, either at networking events – or maybe even in coworking spaces.