If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. We both know being a freelancer takes a lot of work. Being successful isn’t without overcoming some obstacles. These are the types of issues freelancers face day to day that if they don’t take the initiative in, run the risk of being completely blind sided by clients and prospects – costing them big bucks.
The Top 3 Freelancer Problems
One of the best things about being a freelancer is having the world be your office. You can work at the beach on Monday, a local pub on Tuesday, take Wednesday through Friday off and pick up again on Saturday in your home office. There are no limitations.
But there are risks…
What freelancers often find are clients located in different parts of the world. A normal issue you might face is delayed communication because of timezones. It happens all the time. A client has what they honestly believe is an emergency, reaches out to their freelancers and can’t get a hold of them for a good eight hours. These eight hours are the scariest time in the world for clients.
The reality is you can’t avoid these types of situations from happening. But now that you know they will happen, it’s your responsibility to prevent them.
The best ways to avoid timezone conflicts are by:
- During the hiring process letting the client know the hours you are online.
- Providing the client different ways to contact you if they need you outside those hours.
- Setting up an auto-response message letting the client know you’ll get back to them within the next business day.
You don’t need to be on call 24/7. But as a freelancer, you may need to gently remind your client your hours of operation. Set these expectations up early and it’s less of a headache later on.
2. Being A Jack Of All Trades
The best thing you can do as a freelancer is consistently grow. Learn new skills every chance you get. As a freelancer, you see different projects pop up all the time that allow you to challenge your skill set and discover new solutions. This is very rewarding, but also comes with risks.
You dip your toes in so many different pools you start telling clients you’re a jack of all trades. In most cases, this could backfire. If you have a great relationship with a client and they trust you enough to give you work outside the normal scope of work, you need to deliver. Falling short in a task isn’t an option and can potentially burn bridges.
Remember how I said, in most cases this could backfire — on goLance we do things differently to put control and options back in freelancers hands. We allow freelancers to subcontract. What does that mean? How many times has a client asked you for a referral secretly wishing you could knock the project out of the park? I bet more than once. On
We allow freelancers to subcontract. What does that mean?
How many times has a client asked you for a referral secretly wishing you could knock the project out of the park? I bet more than once. On goLance you can openly say you have a team and can manage the work for the client. They trust you already and this will help bridge more trust while allowing you to bring in more work.
3. Forgetting To Network
You need to get out there. Your livelihood depends on the income you bring in. You need to find ways to network. This isn’t easy. Most freelancers never step foot in a client’s office. For the most part, freelancers are isolated.
What I recommend is the following — BEFORE a contract ends checking in with a client to see how they feel about your work. Bring up the good times and frame the conversation as one that you’re proud to have and pleased with the work you executed.
During your talk, kindly ask for a referral. There’s nothing wrong with asking for a referral, especially if you’ve done a great job with a client. Remember, you don’t want to ask this after a contract is complete because clients are generally in a rush. You may have completed the work for the project, but that doesn’t mean the project is finished on their end.
You want to get ahead of this and gently remind them the work is ending and you’d like to continue to share your solutions with other clients. Let your clients point new business your way. It’s easy, smart marketing and networking.
Being a freelancer is a rewarding life. You set your own hours, your own rates, are your own boss. A freelancer runs a business online. It’s rewarding but isn’t without its pitfalls. The above are the 3 most common mistakes freelancers at every stage face. Like I said above, now that you know they exist, it’s up to you to manage and prevent them.