Whether you are new to freelancing or have been doing it for quite some time, the following are some things you should avoid.
1. Taking on too much, too soon. Today is your first day as the soon to be best freelancer in the world. The first thing you do is take on every job order you can get. Hold your horses right there because while success in your freelance career is directly proportional to the amount of work you do and amount of time you spend, you have to think long term and avoid burnout. Freelancing is like any other career. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Take time to find your rhythm then progress on a steady, gradual pace.
2. Cramming. Your time is flexible right? You have time to do personal errands today which got you so tired. Maybe you should just work on your projects later tonight. Scratch that. Tomorrow mid-morning is better. Before you know it, the time you thought it would take you to work on your project is actually much, much longer. And now you are pressed for time. Avoid this and learn to prioritize. Get your projects done ASAP so you can have time for other things, perhaps even more projects.
3. Not protecting yourself in black and white. You agreed to work on a project for a client referred by a friend. You shrugged off the paperwork and now find yourself stuck with a nightmare client who demands more than what you are willing to do for the agreed price. The lesson: write everything in black and white for all your projects, across all clients.
4. Not communicating. Do not waste your time working on a particular direction only to find out your client wants the exact opposite. If something is unclear, clarify. If you are at a crossroad and do not have power to make decisions, inquire. If something unexpected comes up, update. In any relationship, be it professional or personal, a healthy communication is always a must. Keep the lines open for input and feedback.
Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net