Starting your own freelance business is bound to involve some kind of trial and error. When you’re completely unknown, it can be hard to get any clients, and even harder to retain them and keep them happy in the long term. While it’s healthy to learn from experience, there are certain things you’ll want to avoid altogether. Here are a few lessons you don’t want to learn the hard way…
Don’t Be Afraid to Fire Clients
Unless you’re very unlucky, the majority of your clients are going to be polite, professional and punctual when it comes to delivering on their promises. However, generally speaking, there are going to be a few clients who are near impossible to work with. They’ll have unrealistic expectations, won’t want to pay enough or on time, and have confusing, inconsistent methods of communication. The very worst of them will try to emotionally blackmail you into doing more work for free. If you run into these kinds of clients, the sooner you can terminate the contract, the better off you’ll be. Sure, they may be a constant source of work and pay for your services handsomely, but no bad client is worth the kinds of issues they typically create. You can read up on some major red flags at http://blog.creativelive.com/fire-freelance-client/.
Charge What You’re Worth
When a lot of freelancers first start their business, it’s a pretty common tendency for them to charge far less than they’re worth. You’re an unknown professional in a competitive market; what better way to reel the business in than to offer your services for cheap? While I see the logic, if you undersell your services from the word “go” it’s only going to hold you back. It will convey a certain lack of professionalism, and restrict your business’s potential cash flow. You can read more about what you should be charging for digital marketing services here: https://seojet.net/blog/how-much-to-charge-for-seo . When you’re trying to set some kind of system to your pricing, look at some other freelancers in your niche, and use their pricing as a guide. Sometimes, it’s better to simply have the client contact you with the details of what they want done, and give them a bespoke quote. In copywriting, for example, a word count isn’t the sole indicator of how hard the work will be.
Never Stop Learning
Some people start freelancing without knowing the first thing about their chosen field, and some people start when they’re experts. In all likelihood, you’re somewhere in between. However you’d rate your skills, it’s important to get into a mindset where you’re constantly looking for the next piece of knowledge, and striving to expand your existing skills set. No business niche is static, and while you’re reading this there are all kinds of projects in the works which will dictate the standards of your industry in the future. If you want to make sure you’re staying competitive, it’s essential that you go out of your way to learn as much as possible about your freelancing niche, and never stop!