Ever wonder what are the top freelancer mistakes that restrict talented freelancers like you get quality jobs and potential clients?
Freelancing is one of the best and the easiest source of earning a healthy income while you relax at your home. I started my freelance career as a writer which ultimately became the main source of income for me. Somehow, most of the freelancers especially from Pakistan underestimate themselves in terms of skills and fight over prices on different platforms such as freelancer and Upwork etc. They really need to stop undervaluing themselves and the skill that they possess.
We have unmatched talent and don’t know how to best use it. There are so many Pakistani freelancers including companies and individuals who have a good market grasp and they never compromise on the quality and the price. So you should not do it as well.
During the period of 6 years spent on Elance, which also includes those years where I have been training freelancers. I have observed that the 7 fatal freelancer mistakes that stop you from making a decent income. These are:
#1: Poor Marketing
Alongside your education, experience and skills, you definitely need one more important skill if you really want to succeed.
Elance CEO Fabio Rosatti says that successful freelancers are those who have a business mindset, and I can’t agree more. If you use freelancer just to pass time then it’s not going to become a sustainable business. If you want to build a successful freelance business then you must have the right mindset and right strategy to achieve it.
You need to clarify yourself that the reason of your bid and proposal should never be winning the project. You must first build the trust with the help of your proposal. If clients do not have the faith in you, they will never give you the project.
#2: Unclear Value Proposition
There are freelancers who understate themselves and do not understand what influence their work can create for their clients. You need to understand and distinguish why a potential client would hire you.
For example, if my job is to create content for clients. I must understand the value my content can bring to their audience. That way their conversions and engagement will increase. If you are a web developer, your worth is not that you can construct a responsive word press website. There are a lot of individuals who can do that. Your worth is how beautifully you perceive the clients end goals and how it is going to get more visitors.
#3: Working for Everyone (and therefore no one)
I usually see freelancers bid on every project. If they don’t get a positive response they complain that they didn’t get any job. They are doing a common mistake of being a jack of all trades and master of none.
First impression is the last impression; show your client what your skillsets are before you go for more clients. It is essential that you figure out your ideal client, whether in terms of project management, communication, business principles, capability to pay and more. There are so many clients you will enjoy your work with. These clients are among the best and they can pay you what you deserve.
#4: Low-Balling / Competing Solely on Price
It’s a famous delusion to price yourself according to area you belong to. Pricing has anything to do with where you live. Don’t try to justify cost rather explain the value you are offering. Instead of lowering down prices, successful freelancers value and price themselves according to what they are delivering to the client.
People get surprised when they get to know a client pays $200 for creating a single blog. That is absolutely true because know the value they are getting and the traffic this authentic content will bring them.
#5: Generic Proposals
Most proposals on freelancing platforms are generic copy-paste ones. They never work. You need a little more effort to gain the project. Refine your proposals by reading the job description carefully and address their problem in your proposal. This will reward you with client trust because people are only interested in their problems and they pay for viable solutions.
Don’t run after more and more projects by placing random bids rather focus on few good ones and take time creating a great pitch that will prompt the client to get back to you. Clients mostly read the first few lines of a proposal and make a quick decision to go further or not. If you are not talking about their project in the first lines, they are gone. They will never even try to read further.
#6: Zero Personality
We should keep this in mind that the other person is human being as well. We tend to forget that client approaches everything with a human psychology similar as ours, and experiences same problems with understanding and value like we do. Try to make an effort to create a connection instead of placing bids like a bot.
Usually there are cues in their job description that point towards their problems and desired solutions. That’s what you need to focus on, and tell them how you feel about their project and what motivates you to bid on it.
#7: Winning Jobs vs. Winning Clients
I have a 54% repeat clientele this is a major secret to my success because I don’t have to hunt for new clients and projects each time. My circle auto runs due to long run contracts and clients who value a professional relationship. If you manage to win over clients with quality work and great service, you won’t have to worry about bidding and trying to convince new ones every time. The best thing this is they pay you high and they are easy to work with because the liaison has already been built among each other. Give your 100 percent to your work so that clients become referrals. As per Walt Disney,
Whatever you do, do it well. Do it so well that when people see you do it, they will want to come back and see you do it again, and they will want to bring others and show them how well you do what you do.”
― Walter E. Disney