Getting started as a freelancer is time-consuming, and the benefits of self-employment could take a while to kick in fully. On top of that, there are several hurdles to deal with when establishing yourself that can cost you money and future clients. Here are the most common mistakes new freelancers make.
Many freelancers start by working for themselves on the side while still working another job. Once you have 60 or more hours a week dedicated to working, it’s difficult to schedule everything properly. Missing deadlines can result in bad reviews, and you can’t afford those at this stage.
Whenever you can, build in a buffer to protect yourself if you’re working two jobs. Try to avoid negative reviews at all costs.
Lack of Clarification
The fear of bad reviews leaves you open to making many revisions for picky clients. In addition to making agreements about revisions from the beginning, ensure you understand what your client wants. If you misinterpret their directions, they aren’t getting what they paid for, and you may have to start the project over again.
Accepting Work You Can’t Do
Many people take “fake it ‘til you make it” too far. Confidence is one thing, but accepting a project that you are severely unqualified for will only result in a bad experience for you and your client. This isn’t to say that you can’t learn new skills and techniques for new projects, but don’t agree to work with a program you’ve never seen before to create a professional product.
Ignoring Retirement Plans
Retirement plans are only for salaried employees, right? Luckily for you, no! The Solo 401(k) is the retirement plan for you, and it allows you to contribute up to 25 percent of your annual income to it. Even if you love what you do, don’t get stuck doing it into your 80s.
Now that you understand the most common mistakes new freelancers make, you know the pitfalls you need to avoid to grow your professional career and take it to the next level.