Common freelancing mistakes

Common freelancing mistakes

July 12, 2021
Matt Johnson

If you are just starting out freelancing, it can be easy to make mistakes as your figure things it. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

Undervaluing your time

Undervaluing your time is one of the most common mistakes, and if you’ve spent time in the r/freelance subreddit, it’s a point that comes up quite frequently.

I’ve made this mistake personally as a freelancer. There are a few ways this can impact your work. For one, it starts your relationship with the client on the wrong foot. For another, when you have other clients paying you what you think you are worth, it’s tough to want to do work for a client that doesn’t. This can lead to resentment and perhaps even reduce the quality of your work.

Working for free

You might come across a client who asks you to do a bit of free work. Their reasoning might be that it could be beneficial for your portfolio or that the initial project could lead to more lucrative work down the line.

Each situation is different. But I’d be wary of offering your services for free or on contingency. This is especially true if you don’t know the client well.

Under communicating with clients

Communication is critical between clients and freelancers.

Again, I’ve been on both sides of the table with this issue. As a client, it’s easy to lose track of what freelancers are working on, and lack of communication often gives the feeling they aren’t giving the project their necessary attention. As a freelancer, I think it’s important to continually communicate status reports and ensure your work is on the right track and timelines.

Unclear project parameters and deliverables

Finally, unclear project parameters and deliverables are a common freelancing mistake. If you start off course, it’s easy to continue to drift apart as the project progresses. Or, with unclear parameters, it’s easy for your work to drift into other areas. Before you know it, you are working on things outside the scope of your initial proposal that you aren’t necessarily getting compensated for.

June 9, 2021
Matt Johnson

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