7 Common Freelancing Pitfalls — and How to Avoid Them

Illustration by Tristan Kromopawiro via Dribbble

The luxury of being able to work from the comforts of your home often intrigues people to freelancing. Time flexibility, independence, and freedom are the core reasons why people opt for this. However, freelancing cannot be described as easy.

In fact, it is anything but easy. Contrary to the widely believed perception of freelancing, sending myriads of applications in a day can get kind of cumbersome.

Should You Opt for Freelancing?

If you are someone who wants to pursue freelancing then know that it requires creativity, time management techniques, self-direction, and loads and loads of work.

You’re going to have to be your own boss who will be telling you to manage all your tasks within the deadlines. If you think you can handle pressure with your management skills then it might be the thing for you.

However, there are some things that you need to keep in mind before you begin your freelancing journey. Our SEOBrothers team has enlisted some problems that come with freelancing. Go through the points below and make a mental note of these pitfalls that might give you a heads up on your path to freelancing.

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Illustration by Maggy Cailloux via Dribbble

#1. Anticipating Work

Before you sign up on Upwork, brace yourself for disappointments when you don’t get any responses at all. Freelancer down bug is that you never know when you will get assigned a project.

On the other hand, when your work once sets into motion, then in no time will you find yourself buried under assignments. There’s either way too much work or none at all. There’s rarely an “in-between” situation for freelancers.

If you have been associated with the corporate sector for far too long, then you might not be able to avail the full benefits of freelancing. How to get a project from a freelancer?

As mentioned above, freelancing would require you to be your own boss. You cannot just wait for opportunities, assignments, and projects to come your way. You need to shift your employee mindset to an entrepreneur mindset.

Start thinking the way entrepreneurs do. They assure the delivery of quality work despite all odds and you need to build your strategy on this exactly.

Take charge of your work. Freelancing requires you to be twice as more responsible as an employee. You no longer have the luxury to get your daily. A little extra effort is needed in this regard to keep yourself busy.

As a new freelancer, you should also work with other freelancers that you know of, and learn how to get projects from freelancers.

#2. Accepting any Project

Coach and experienced freelancer Celine Roque stressed how the basis of successful freelancing lies in being specific about your niche. Know who your ideal clients are and accept assignments from only those people who meet your forte.

Many people, in utter desperation of finding work, start to accept projects that they don’t really have command of. This is one of the most common pitfalls for freelancers.

Remember to formulate certain criteria of ideal clients whose businesses are closely aligned with your line of work. Understand your clients, but also keep in view your values.

Let not the luxury of getting projects trick you into settling for less pay than you deserve. Feel free to say NO to projects that are offering a low rate or no pay.

Yes, there are such offers that people get when there are online support communities involved whose advocacy you might be sharing. If this happens frequently, it might distort your perspective of worth.

Isn’t money the reason why you’re here? Know the value of your services and demand the pay you think you deserve.

Not just the new ones, but sometimes experienced freelancers also come to a point where they begin to undervalue themselves.

Like many others, you might also have found yourself offering concessions to clients even if they’re not asking for it first. Why? Because you fear. You fear losing a client you don’t have onboard yet. And this fear comes directly with the fact of undermining yourself.

Freelancers need to be just as confident as people who interact with their clients one-on-one. Working online affects your confidence. Start believing more in yourself and in the skills you possess.

#3. Trusting anybody online

If you’re a naïve kind of person, then you need to put in extra effort to build a stronger and smarter version of yourself in order to avoid getting scammed online.

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There are certain red flags that can tell you why you must NOT work with a particular client.

When it Seems Too Good to Be True

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t. For instance, your client offers very high pay for seemingly easier work. Companies can always charge low for work that’s simple. There’s no reason for them to go overboard and offer more pay unless there’s something fishy.

When a Client Demands Money

As a freelancer, you should always be extra cautious if a client asks you to make a payment. Don’t be tricked if they say that they need to purchase a particular software or tool to do a certain job.

If a client says that he will consider you for your services after you make a payment, then they’re probably scammers. There is no need to cater to any such demands.

Negative Reviews and Empty Profiles

Always check the profile of the employer who’s looking forward to working with you. They need to have a clean online presence with social media profiles and a linked website that authenticates their work. If there is no name and no website link, then take it as a red flag.

When a Client Refuses to Make a Contract or Accept an Agreement

This is obviously a very big red flag if the client refuses to sign a contract. In cases when the client is trustworthy you can skip the contract.

But if it’s a client who you’re dealing with for the very first time and he acts weird by not accepting an agreement, then you should, without any doubts, reject to work with him.

#4. Losing Contacts with Clients

Freelancers who have been working online for a long time have a massive network of clients they’ve worked with previously. This network of clients is quite valuable. One should try not to lose contact with their previous clients. This can prove to be quite damaging for your future endeavors.

Always stay in touch with your old clients to let them recall your services. You never know you might end up getting projects through anyone from their circle.

#5. Forgetting Your Taxes

Get the basics done
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Another reason why you need to shift your employee mindset is because of taxes.

As an employee, you don’t have to worry about your income tax because it gets paid automatically whenever you receive your monthly salary. On the other hand, a freelancer needs to keep a mental note of paying their taxes, most likely after every quarter.

So if you’ve begun your freelance journey, keep in mind the responsibility of paying your self-employment taxes.

#6. Focusing on Quantity Over Quality

It’s natural for freelancers to focus more on the quantity of work than quality. But actually, freelancers benefit by gaining more clients if they produce quality work. You may be taking up one project after the other and in doing so, you start to create monotonous content instead of a creative one.

This way you also negatively impact your skillset. It’s always wise to focus on the quality of the work you deliver. This way not only will you end up with happy clients, but you’ll also learn professionally and improve your skill set.

#7. Let Work Manage Your Life

Don’t be so overburdened with freelancing that this is all that remains in your life. Being too workaholic not only hinders your productivity but also drains your mind and body of positivity and creativity. Let not your work outline your life. Spare some time for yourself. Self-care should always be your priority.

Working round the clock might also affect your health. Even your brain needs to rest in order to work efficiently. Remember, all work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you’ve learned what you should and should not do as a freelancer from this article. Since experience is the best teacher, hence, your journey as a freelancer might teach you things that cannot be learned otherwise.

Stay positive. Do your work with full honesty and enjoy the process! Remember, you can never enjoy something that you don’t love in the first place. Develop a passion for freelancing, benefit from the perks it has to offer, and you’ll certainly love to do what you do.

About the Author!

Alex Lysak is CEO of the https://seobrotherslv.com team. He has more than 10 years of experience in online marketing. He is building a strong iGaming affiliate team and aiming to become number one in this niche worldwide

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