The 7 deadly sins of a freelancer

Freelancing is a convenient career option for people who hate a 9-to-5 job. A freelancer is their own boss and can work from the comfort of their home or any other place-of-preference. Many freelancers earn a higher income than people who are employed full-time as they deal with the clients directly and have lower overhead costs. However, freelancing is a roller-coaster ride and those who have chosen this type of employment may find it difficult to earn a steady income. Many freelancers make mistakes that inhibit their progress in the long run. We’re going to bring to light the freelancer’s 7 deadly sins and suggestions to overcome them.

1. Compromising on productivity

Many freelancers risk a fall in their productivity due to procrastination. Freelancers tend to procrastinate when they have a longer timeline or if they become distracted by their surroundings. Unlike many full-time employees whose incomes are generally not impacted by their productivity, any reduction in efficiency for freelancers leads to a fall in their income. It may become a real challenge to remain productive during holiday months when everyone around you is enjoying a break. Nonetheless, do not procrastinate, follow your regular schedule but include more breaks and take extra days off. In doing this, you won’t feel too left out and you can still enjoy the holidays as well.

2. Missing deadlines

Meeting deadlines is very important for a freelancer. Clients don’t want you to miss a deadline as it can adversely impact their workflow. Frequently missing deadlines will reduce the credibility of a freelancer and may impact their online ratings. Many freelancers make the mistake of taking too many project. This may lead to requesting a deadline extension or even missing them all together. Avoid taking on too many projects at once and try to stick to a schedule. This will help you meet your deadlines and keep your client happy.

3. Failure to take care of your health

Freelancing offers freedom in life but it can also lead to lack of discipline. Not having a daily structure can impact the health of a freelancer. Working long hours, not getting adequate sleep, not maintaining a healthy diet are just a few examples of what a freelancer is known to do. It is very easy to work all hours of the day when you can work from home. To avoid these bad habits, set out a block of hours during the day for work and avoid working past those hours. Take regular breaks and include them in your work schedule. Take time to cook yourself a healthy meal and snack on fruit and vegetables – avoid the junk food.

4. Failure to communicate with clients

Freelancers work remotely, that’s why it is very important to communicate well with clients, regularly contacting them with updates. Client’s like to know the progress of the project so always keep them in the loop. An unhappy client may mean they won’t hire you again or even lead to a contract being pulled early. Do not wait for your clients to come to you asking questions. Instead, act proactively, stay in touch with them regularly, and deliver the work to a high standard.

5. Overpromising

Freelancers need to stick to their core competency and refrain from making empty promises while accepting new projects. Overpromising and under delivering may lead to a low quality outcome. Rather than trying to take on every project that comes their way, concentrate on working on the projects that you know you will excel at.

6. Failure to update skills

In an ever-changing world, freelancers need to learn a new skill. Freelancers should stay on top of industry developments in order to succeed. However, many freelancers fail to work on and expand their skill set to stay on top of the fast-paced industries. This may lead to a freelancer falling behind their peers, limiting their chances of winning a project. Moreover, the more skills you have to offer and the more advanced you are in those skills, the more eligible you are for a higher-paid job. Updating skills and improving the skills you already have should be undertaken constantly by investing time and other resources to stay relevant. Consider investing in workshops and online courses and learn from the professionals.

7. Over and under charging the client

Freelancers should charge their clients reasonably irrespective of their skills and experience. Overcharging is a sure way to lose clients in a hyper-competitive market. There are hundreds of freelancers in any given field competing for clients on every major freelancing website. However, undercharging clients is wrong as well since freelancers might earn less than their true potential. Freelancers should charge the average price quoted by their peers with a similar profile. Quoting the average price will keep their services affordable to a large number of clients and increase the number of projects available.

Read more on becoming a freelancer: 10 questions you should ask yourself before becoming a freelancer

Freelancing requires greater responsibility than a full time job. Many people who dream of becoming freelancers and leave their regular jobs end up suffering from mistakes made. These 7 deadly sins can help both new and experienced freelancers in staying committed to their work and delivering high-quality service to their clients. Excelling in what they do, updating skills regularly, and staying committed to their clients and the project at hand is a sure fire way to success.

Author bio

Ellie Richards is an online Marketing Manager for PhD Writing company Original PhD. She specialises in research, content and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.