There are plenty of tips online for freelancers, but what about an article full of things you shouldn’t do. Avoid some of the biggest mistakes and pitfalls by taking the advice listed below.
Do Not Become Your Client’s Plaything
Be willing to tell your clients to get lost if they start expecting more for less. So many freelancers are passive and so eager to please that some clients think they can ask for more while paying less, or they automatically assume that they know best about your work.
Your first action should be to raise your rate by 300%. Your second is to tell them to go stick a banana up their wrong-un. It may sound immature, but try it once with a pompous client and you will see why being a freelancer is the best job in the world.
Don’t Start A Job That Takes More Than A Day Without A Deposit
You are going to get screwed over by a client at some point, and you need to settle your mind to it. It is going to happen, but over time, you will lower the amount of times you are robbed. Taking a deposit is always tricky because the client doesn’t trust you and you don’t trust the client. Nevertheless, if your current task will take longer than a day, then get any amount of deposit. In addition, you should try to split projects into smaller pieces where you can do a bit, get paid, do another bit, and so on.
Do Not Accept Pittance Pay Jobs Because They Always End Badly
Competition is so fierce for online freelancers that you will be shocked what your competitors will do to get a job. There are literally thousands of people out there that are going to beat your rate and your quote. Even if this is the case, do not take lower-paid jobs that offer less than your baseline rate because experience will teach you that they always end badly.
Don’t Forget That You Are In Charge
You are not working in a factory or a shop. You are in charge of your freelance career. If your clients do not like it, you can find other clients. Stay in the mindset that you are in charge and that your acquiescence to any of your client’s demands is done as a favor by you.
Do Not Use Google Blogger For Anything Other Than A Blog
Freelancers, for the love of carrot-flavored farts, stop using Blogger’s free blogs to set up your own website. It always looks tacky, and thanks to you, there are millions of abandoned Blogger blogs floating around. Invest time in starting a real website or quit trying to be a freelancer.
Do Not Post On Social Media If Your Post Is A Blatant Advert
Yes, social media can be used to promote your freelance business, but referrals are far more valuable. Post blatant adverts on social media, and people will flock away from your profile and avoid it at all costs. Try Google+ if you are selling to adults (and not tweens or teens) as Google+ is used more by adults. LinkedIn may also produce some clients for you if you are in the right type of business.
Do Not Forget To Question Every Too-Good-To-Be-True Job
If they want you to work for a high rate and they don’t have a reason why they are offering that rate, then you will never be paid. It is a common scam. Freelancers are so used to working for a pittance that they will do anything for a high rate of pay. Some freelancers have worked for a month on the promise of a big payoff, only to be given the royal screw job.
Do Not Take On Morally Dubious Jobs Because They Are Always Scams
This is another one that experience will teach you. If you are doing something you know is wrong, from setting up a dog-fighting website to building an email list for an essay writing service, you will be burnt. They know you won’t go to the authorities, so they can chew you up and spit you out.
Do Not Ignore The Tax Man Because They Love Coming After Freelancers
The taxman doesn’t just go after corporations. They go after freelancers, from the online web designer to the man with the white van.
Do Not Use A Free Website Creation Kit Without Knowing The Catches
There are plenty of companies that offer free websites, and they all have a catch. Most have a catch that says you get the website free for a while, but when you renew it will cost you a lot of money. Others will lock your content or your domain name into their system so they can charge you whatever they want and you will not be able to move your website or leave them.
Others want you to set up a free website so they can skim the payment details you take from your clients, or steal the email addresses that you collect on your server. Others will run affiliate advertising on your website, which usually makes your website look unprofessional.
Do Not Compete With Your Competitors When Affiliate Advertising
If you use something such as Google Adwords, do not enter a bidding war because you are not going to win. Face the fact that your adverts will not be seen by a lot of people. Your job is to make sure that when they are seen, they do not cost you a lot of money for the click. Once you have learned the system, set a budget and conversion targets and stick with it. Do not try to scale up your affiliate advertising campaign too quickly because it becomes very expensive.
Do Not Spend Your Contingency Fund
All freelancers should have a contingency fund. It is an amount you keep in a savings account for a rainy day. It is going to protect you from bad clients. There is nothing worse than waiting for a client that has no intention of paying. Your contingency fund will also help you feel a little more confident telling a client to get stuffed because they are being unreasonable. If you have your contingency fund, you know you are going to be able to survive until you find a few new clients.