Friday, October 30, 2009

5 Freelancing Mistakes You Will Regret

As freelancers we all end up making a couple of mistakes that we eventually learn from. Sometimes we learn the hard way but it's a lesson well learned.

Given below are the 5 mistakes most of us end up making in our freelancing careers:
  1. Charging Low: Anyone who has ever freelanced knows exactly what I'm talking about. While many of us end up accepting slave wages for many projects initially, we must know exactly where to draw the line. Underpricing, up to a certain level is alright, especially when you are an amateur in the field. However charging low gradually will lead the client to believe that your work is of lower quality and that you are desperate. That is why you need to price well and ask for what your work is worth. While building up a clientele is also important, asking for lower charges after a couple of projects will only end up degrading you and your work.
  2. Not Getting it in Writing: Don't ever underestimate the power of writing. And that goes for getting all your terms and condition written down clearly when starting a project with any client. Many a times Freelancers end up taking the client's word for something and end up regretting it when the client either point blankly refuses to have made such a claim or changes their mind after you have completed the project. Getting the need and requirements of your client as your own terms and conditions in writing as well will give you a clear cut idea about the project and will save you from a lot of hassle and disappointments.
  3. Not Being Clear: Another mistake which most freelancers end up making is of not being very clear. When you make a clear agreement with the client you end up saving yourself major future trouble. Be clear about the requirements from both ends (yours and the clients). As client can sometime end up changing their requirements as they go along, make sure that you are very clear and understand everything before starting work on a project.
  4. Being too Proactive: No need to be too proactive when it comes to starting a project after initial contact from a potential client. Serious clients will reach out to you actively and will not hesitate in drawing up a contract. Only the non-serious clients will back out before the project is complete. That can be deflating. That is why make sure that you pay special attention to point# 2 & 3.
  5. Losing Client to a petty Demand: Sometimes it is worth giving a discount. If you have a huge project and your client is making an issue about your charges being too high, make sure that you give the client a good discount, instead of losing a client. Making a client feel special by giving them a good discount will not only be good for your business but will also make the client come back. I know that's what I did... With a couple of initial huge projects I offered my clients a small article or two free. This way they pay you what you ask and quit whining about the cost ;)
Sure it's good to learn from your own mistakes but it's even better to learn from the mistakes made by others and avoid it yourself.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Money Matters - The Freelance Rant

Freelancing can teach you a whole a lot about money matters than any other job. Since it rarely provides with a steady paycheck, freelancing helps promote financial responsibility and a more creditworthy saving and spending.

While maintaining a stable income on the freelancing road is tricky business, still there are many who have made good money treading on this path.

Here are 5 Reasons Why Freelancing = better Money Matters:

>> Cut back on Apparel costs: Since working from home means that you can wear anything (be it lounging around in your PJ's all day) you really need not worry about spending a fortune on clothes, shoes and accessories every month. This not only helps cut back on cost as it allows you to wear casual clothing, which is practical and more more cheaper, but it also lets you save up that money.

>> Save up on Car and Fuel: By not going to an office you save up big time on fuel costs and car maintenance bills. You might even entirely give up on a car altogether (if it works for you). That in turn means no car insurance or registration payments etc.

>> No more Extra Expanses: 9-5 jobs lead to stress which in turn leads you to indulge in stress-revealing trips and expensive vacations. But these are so not needed when you are a freelancer because then you become creating a work schedule around your play time ;)

>> Save up on Office-related Taxes: No more 9-5 means no more office related taxes. Now no one can cut back taxes from your monthly payment.

>> Timely Raise: Working as a freelancer means that you get to give yourself a raise when you deserve one. No need to worry about asking the boss for one or feeling subjected to overload of work with the increase in payment. A good raise every year is what you can easily give to yourself if you are a freelancer.

So there you have it... A few more reasons for why Freelancing is All That!