An ever increasing number of people are turning to freelancing with each passing year. If you are embarking on professional life as a freelancer, you likely have established some solid objectives. What you may not have closely focused on are mistakes that are made by new freelancers with some regularity. Indeed, there are five common mistakes routinely made by freelancer newbies.
Treat Income Like Profit
One of the most common mistakes by new freelancers is treating income like profit. A new freelancer likely had a job before embarking on freelancing. That may be your situation as well. As a result, you are used to receiving a regular paycheck at specific times.
As a freelancer, you are responsible for taxes and a myriad over overhead or operation expenses. You must make sure that you set aside money each month to cover these expenses in advance of allocating money to yourself as your “pay.” If you don’t engage in this practice, you can end up with a freelancing business in debt, and ultimately financially dysfunctional.
Although the amount of money set aside for expenses depends on the type of freelancing business you launch. With that said, a good estimate is to put aside about 30 percent of your income each month for taxes and other expenses.
If you utilize a payment service like PayPal to receive payments from your clients, you might want to consider using it to coordinate your own “pay.” For example, you might want to consider paying yourself a salary or wage twice a month via your payment service account. In other words, you can pay yourself twice a month via PayPal or a similar service.
Let Clients Set Price
Another major mistake that a new freelancer oftentimes is make is letting clients set the prices or fees for services. Although it is true that deciding what to charge in the way of fees can be challenging at the outset, you cannot let your clients take advantage of your status as a new freelancer.
In your own like, you do not go to service providers and name the price for their professional services. In the same way, your own clients should not be in the position to set your fees. You are a professional service provider and need to be treated as such.
As part your efforts in advance of launching your freelance business, establish a fee schedule. Over time, you will be able to determine how and when your initial fees need to be adjusted, one way or another. In addition, you can reach out to other freelancers who provide services in your area. They likely will be willing to assist you in determining your fees for services.
Delegate Routine Tasks
Many new freelancers fail to delegate routine tasks that do not require their professional expertise. For example, tasks like bookkeeping and accounting can be delegated to a professional. You do not need to waste your valuable time engaged in tasks that can be undertaken by someone else.
Other types of tasks that can be delegated in many cases include invoicing, taxes, and managing social media. (Social media can be vital to a freelancer. However, you run the risk of squandering an unnecessary amount of time on social media.)
Spread Yourself Too Thin
Yet another common mistake associated with a new freelancer is becoming spread too thin. By this it is meant that you offer too broad an array of services. Your initial inclination in starting a freelance endeavor is that you will be better served by offering your clients a wide spectrum of services.
You enhance your prospects for freelancing success by focusing your services. Develop a specific niche of a particular service, or a few services, through which you ultimately can be recognized as an expert.
Say Yes to Everything
On a related note, another mistake a new freelancer makes is to accept every offer or request for assistance received. Not all proposed jobs, gigs, or projects are the same. You must be selective about the projects you select. You must learn to say “no.” Saying no and setting boundaries are vital to freelancing success in the short and long term.
Make sure that projects you select from prospective clients are a good fit as far as your interests and abilities are concerned. You will also want to select projects that you will have a better chance of enjoying. Nothing is worse than being a new freelancer faced with projects you do not like to undertake.
Jessica Kane is a professional blogger who writes for Faxage a leading company that provides Internet fax service for individuals and businesses.