Freelancing isn’t a cakewalk. The probabilities of earning top dollars from #1 week are very faint and almost impossible. Those glittery memes featuring cool Freelancers enjoying Pina Colada on the Hawaiian beach, working on their laptops; earning in millions – Well, that’s far from reality.
Here are the top 6 mistakes that most freelancers/ start-up agencies make –
Never Quit Your Regular Jobs
A regular job offers a certain guarantee. Yes, I agree that office work, especially under snobbish bosses might not be thoroughly enjoyable. However, the regular pay-checks fairly compensate for the dissatisfactions. From personal experience, the first few years of Freelancing is highly uncertain and unrewarding. It usually takes a mammoth effort, persuasion and volleys of good luck to land the first major clients.
Never Settle for Cheap “Affordable” Writers
The key to customer satisfaction and repeat jobs is consistent high-quality deliveries. The competition is fierce and half-baked sloppy work is catastrophic. It wouldn’t take long for a client to dump your agencies and settle for someone better. Remember, most of the western clients wouldn’t mind paying some extra bucks if the content quality is top-notch. So if the project budgets are tight, go ahead and ask for a bonus. But be certain of onboarding good writers capable of delivering amazing work.
Always Review the Work before Delivery
This is one of my personal mistakes. It is not always possible to onboard all your best writers into one project. Especially when you have a bunch of ongoing projects. So it becomes absolutely essential to review every work before you deliver. Remember, it’s your business after all. So you are answerable to the customer. A part-time writer working on your project has very low stakes.
Never Work without Escrow, Unless you are 100% Sure
Unless you are 100% sure of your working-relationship with a long-existing client, I would consider it absolutely suicidal to undertake offline contracts without Escrow funds. Payment guarantee is critically important when working with first-time clients. I have personally been through 3-4 situations where the client stopped responding on Skype or Emails. I had a series of unpaid invoices stacked up. I ended up paying my team from my own pockets. Freelancing project platforms such as UpWork and PeoplePerHour might impose a whopping 20% charge on your earnings, but they ensure you don’t lose the remaining 80%. The 20% is a sliding rate that reduces with increasing contract value.
Don’t Start Quoting High Rates on Day #1
In all likelihood, you would need to work at exorbitantly low rates for months. Just to bag a few small clients who wouldn’t mind leaving behind a good testimonial or review. It would typically take many months, to build a moderately impressive profile. A credible profile has some caliber to compete with the thousands of established freelancers. Meanwhile, your regular job acts as the perfect cushion to rightly balance the scales.
Never Stop Onboarding New Clients
Never take a “break” from looking for new clients. Unlike huge corporations with long-term partnership contracts, freelancing largely involves small/ medium clients. Most of these clients are typically start-ups with restricted budgets. Therefore, the lifespan of a freelancing project could be relatively small and potentially abrupt. Onboarding a new client takes an average of 20-30 days, which including bidding, discussions, engagement, and onboarding. We tend to ignore customer acquisition when we have our plates full. That’s a mistake and impacts your business continuity when the work influx gradually slows down.