Getting Too Comfortable? 5 biggest mistakes new freelancers make

Women sitting on a sofa working on laptop

Hey Newbies! Are you working hard to successfully set up your career in the field of freelancing? Then you have come to the right place!

You have probably heard, maybe from your friends, that you should sell your ideas or your skills. Suppose you have a talent, we find  9 out of 10 people telling us ‘hey why don’t you make a living out of it’. Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? Right!

As good as that sounds, we end up making silly mistakes just for the sake of it. Often it leads newbie freelancers to success but sometimes, straight into the pitfall. There is no denying the fact that mistakes are a part of the learning curve and it makes you enjoy your success even more! You look back and realize that you have come a long way and it feels good, undoubtedly.  

As fancy as ‘freelancing’ may sound, but it is not an easy job, it’s not just about cashing your skills but polishing them as you grow! We have seen many freelancers making a career out of it, but some are not getting the desired results, even when they are working their head off!

Are you one of them? If yes. Learn about the biggest mistakes new freelancers make and how to avoid them. So, let’s get started.

Thinking that Freelancing is ‘Chill’. Uh, No?

The notion is flawed. Freelancing is not ‘chill’. We usually think about it in terms of ‘working from home’. Yes. It is basically that but it doesn’t make it any easier. You have to establish it like any new business by putting in a lot of effort, so taking it lightly means failure. Full-time job or not, you are still responsible for your work more than ever and also, delivering it on time.

Many a time, freelance was considered something you do on the side to make some extra cash. But things don’t work like that anymore. For some, it’s just extra cash but for the rest, freelancing is a career, a 24/7 job. So, it’s not ‘doing nothing’, it’s doing the work you love from anywhere you want.

Charging Random rates, because it feels right?

The dreaded money talks. No one likes it! We get it. But picking a random number because you think it feels right is a no-no. At the beginning of your career, it may be tempting to take what you can get and it may also help you land some gigs but in reality, you are undervaluing your talents.

So, rather than just setting random rates, high or low, have a proper pricing strategy and a structured approach. Now the question is, How much should you charge?  Do some research, ask your peers who are already working in this field, or why don’t you just simply google it.

A piece of advice: charge ethically!


Women thinking about money

Work will not find you, you find work!

Now, this is one of the most common mistakes, we see new freelancers making often. After landing a few projects and some money in our bank accounts. We tend to take it easy and assume that work will find us since we have built a good reputation. But, no it doesn’t always work that way.

You have to establish your own online presence. It’s crucial that you take some time out and set aside a few hours to actively market yourself in order to secure some clients.

Being too greedy to say ‘NO’

We see money, we go crazy. In short, money drives people insane! But as a new freelancer, you should learn to say, NO and try not to pile up your plate with accepting more than you can handle. You want to challenge yourself, fair enough! But be realistic in your approach and maintain a manageable workload.

In order to save yourself from losing valuable clients, only take projects you think you can do, deliver high-quality work and on-time. Say No, if you can not deliver the expectations, no matter how good it may sound. It will save your potential client sometime. Do less but better and try not to be too greedy about it.


man thinking about different things

 ‘I got carried away and overspent’

It seems really fancy when you start a new job and get paid for the first time! You have a complete list of things you might wanna buy or do. Maybe it’s a movie you have been planning to go see for some time or want to buy a cardigan you like so much, followed by a long list. It’s easier to get carried away and exceed your usual budget. And it does make sense since you have worked hard for it!

We won’t stop you from doing that, but before you do that. Just have a retirement plan and save a small chunk every month. Freelancing comes with uncertainties. You can never be sure how much you’ll make every month or how many projects will you get. So be sure to have some savings to get you through rainy days.

The bottom line is…

There are many mistakes you will make when you’ll kick start your freelancing career and that’s normal. But you learn from your mistakes, once you do that, you will be off to a good start and more! Good luck.

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