Before you’ve delved into the life of a freelancer it might seem like an easy career path, although it does have the potential to be, if something goes wrong it can easily turn into a freelance nightmares. The benefit of being a freelancer is having full control over your schedule and when you want to work. This is a guide on how you can avoid common problems that freelancers can potentially deal with.
9 Ways to Avoid Common Freelance Nightmares
1. Create a Business Plan
You’re not creating this to present it to anyone and it’s not to help find investors, it’s created to help keep you on track and creates goals for you to achieve.
You don’t have to have big ambitions when you’re just starting up but this will help you avoid becoming complacent and sluggish in your freelancing. Goals can be the likes of profit, recognition the amount you write to help your portfolio.
2. Have a Website
If you seek the advice from any freelancer, they’ll tell you that being credible and trustworthy is one of the most important aspects of being a freelancer.
Having a website for potential clients to view will prove your professionalism to freelancing and writing, even as a startup it’s good to have a site as a ready backbone for your business.
3. Social Media
Social media channels are essentially different avenues for you to advertise your work for free. Freelancers are required all around the world and using social media makes you easier to find.
Twitter, for example, is a low maintenance platform to use and gives clients access to your work and personality making it easier for them to approach you.
Making a note of all your outgoings will help in setting up your freelancing career. Knowing your outgoings will help identify what prices you need to charge to keep yourself afloat.
When beginning, your prices will need to be very competitive to help create your portfolio, after, with a high-quality portfolio your prices can naturally increase.
Knowing the hours you’re putting into a client and charging them correctly will control your workload. If a price has been set for an agreed amount of work, you’ll need to avoid letting them add in extra work for the same price, as this is time you should be putting in for another client for additional income.
5. Positive Client Relationships
Satisfaction and gratitude are feelings you want at the end of a transaction with a client, you will hope to work with them again and keep a good working relationship.
With some clients, they might be negative and don’t treat you well, if you don’t enjoy working with someone, don’t. freelancing is about enjoying your workload and the people you partner with, working with unpleasant people may happen from time to time but avoid bad clients whenever possible to keep your morale up towards your passion.
The previous suggestions are tame issues for freelancers if they become a problem, not being insured can potentially ruin your career if an issue arises.
If you’ve previously worked for a large company whilst employed you have professional liability insurance that they pay for, this isn’t the case for freelancers, unfortunately. Having professional indemnity insurance is essential for the safety of your career, the insurance will provide you with knowledge and support if a client was to ever sue you for whatever reason they thought necessary.
Business insurance is also a good idea, this will protect your tangible work products that you use whilst working. If your laptop or phone was damaged or stolen you’d have access to the funds to replace them and continue working. Insurance offers you peace of mind that if any issues arise during a tough period, support is waiting to help you get back on your feet.
7. Enjoy Your Workload
Working hard for a client will always give you more satisfaction than an easy payout, finding a balance between the two will help you enjoy your career and lifestyle more.
If you constantly overburdening yourself with hard work it will eventually create stress that doesn’t give you positive feeling toward you freelancing career.
Finding time unwind and appreciate the work you’ve completed will help in enjoying your lifestyle. It’s not uncommon for a freelancer to work extra hours to meet a deadline for a client, but balancing it out with a day off will be a great incentive for future endeavours.
For a creative freelance writer, finances can be a boring part of the career path. However, making sure you stay up to date with your finances is essential to avoid getting into trouble with the taxman. Downloading good quality accounting software will really help you with your financing and you should do it from the start. It can be downloaded for free from some companies and will avoid you having to backtrack through your finances as your business grows. Remember, working for yourself also means you a solely responsible for declaring your income.
9. Content Farms
A controversial topic in the freelancing world is content farms, they are an easy place to start up your freelancing career but this comes with poor terms. Content farms offer a quick revenue stream for cash but demand a high amount of work and won’t likely demonstrate your unique writing style. Any writer overtime freelancing for a content farm will soon realise that the work is repetitive, the pay is low and there is little or no recognition for the hard work put in. hopefully, this is enough to help steer you away from trying them, but if you are struggling with work it is easy and quick cash.
Using this guide will help you avoid common freelance nightmares some freelancers have had to deal with, which should give you more time to work on progressing onto your next goal. A final piece of advice would be to take gradual steps into the freelancing world, keep employment and a steady income from elsewhere until you gave the client base and confidence to take it up as your full-time career.
Author: Richard Meadow