There’s so much to love about life as a freelancer. But if you’re not mindful of your attitude, your freelancing success can quickly come crashing down.
As such, this article introduces seven things that could contribute to the demise of your freelancing career and offers some simple yet effective solutions that will keep you on the right track.
As you become more successful, it’s so important that you don’t let complacency set in. Complacency is when you start to take things for granted and forget what made you successful in the first place. A freelancer builds their reputation on the following:
- Great communication.
- Good value.
- Timely delivery.
- Exceptional quality.
If you notice your standards dropping in relation to any of these critical aspects, you might be falling foul to complacency. The good news is that you can do something about it.
Resetting and going back to the drawing board is an excellent way to combat complacency, and sometimes a bad experience with a client is the wake-up call that freelancers need to combat the slipping of standards.
While many of us would love to be rich beyond our wildest dreams, financial gain should not be the sole motivation for your freelancing career. Of course, you need to pay your bills, but if you become too money-minded, it can cause your freelancing career to come crashing down.
Successful freelancers look after their regular clients by offering them discounts and are willing to do small tasks for free as and when they’re asked for a favour. If you make everything about money and charge clients for every second of your time, they will almost certainly look elsewhere.
A good idea here is to work out what you need to earn monthly and set your prices accordingly, providing they’re in line with the market average for your service. Charging exorbitant fees just for the sake of it is not a great long-term freelancing strategy.
Lack of Planning
Lots of freelancers started their careers as a side hustle and then don’t necessarily expect things to take off as they do! This is great, but you need to shift your focus from side hustler to full-time freelancer. While you don’t need a detailed ten-year strategic plan, ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly/annual income targets?
- Where would I like to be twelve months from now?
- What are my growth objectives? Do I need to undertake further study in my field?
- Can I extend my service offer to my current clients?
Planning is not about predicting the future or preparing for every eventuality. It’s about knowing where you’re trying to get to and how you will go about it. The famous saying goes, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Even the most straightforward plans can help you achieve freelancing success.
Every freelancer needs a system. Whether you utilize innovative project management tools like Trello or are happy to rely on a good old-fashioned notebook, you need to develop a system for managing your workload.
If you’re disorganized, it’s easy to miss deadlines and forget to fulfil pledges you’ve made to your clients. Naturally, this will cause you to lose clients, and your reviews and feedback score on Radial Hub will suffer as a result.
To successfully deliver projects in the long term, you need to get your house in order. Therefore, prioritize the organization of your workload and develop a system for managing your clients. No matter how primitive, it will help you on your way to freelancing success.
Lack of Commitment
Your attitude and commitment to your work will define your success as a freelancer. Clients aren’t interested in working with gigsters who are uncommitted and unenthusiastic about their projects.
The good news is that you’re in complete control of your level of commitment. The best freelancers give their all to every single project they deliver, which is reflected in their prominence and ratings.
If someone is paying for your time, your full attention, commitment, and effort are the very least you can offer them. Even if the final outcome isn’t quite what they were expecting, you have no excuse for a less than committed delivery.
There is likely to come a time in your freelancing career when you stagnate. For example, maybe your earnings have plateaued, and you feel like you can’t really take things any further.
This is a crucial juncture, as your response to stagnation is vital. You can either continue things as they are, which will almost certainly result in complacency, or you can take positive action to do something about it.
If you feel like you’re stagnating as a freelancer, consider the following:
- Can I start a new side hustle to complement my current projects?
- Do I know any freelancers who might be interested in a collaboration?
- Can I redefine my service offer and amend the pricing structure?
- Are there any courses I can complete to add to my skill set and offer new services in the future?
As a freelancer, you have the freedom and creative license to adapt your service offer as you please. The more you adapt and evolve, the less likely you are to stagnate.
Poor Internet Connection
The six points we’ve made up until now are all concerned with your attitude and delivery as a freelancer, but the seventh is very much a practical one!
Almost every freelancer in the world is reliant on access to the internet for their success. If you can’t get online, you can’t find and deliver projects. This, very simply, equals no money!
If you live in an area prone to internet outages or don’t get a great signal at home, look to work from co-working spaces, public libraries, or coffee shops.
Being unavailable to your clients due to poor internet will almost certainly cause them to look elsewhere, so you need to be online and available during your office hours!
Attitude and Professionalism Are Key to Freelancing Success.
Other than an internet connection, the points mentioned above all deal with your attitude and service delivery. Ultimately, this means that you’re in control of your freelancing success. Regularly considering your attitude and reviewing your standards will prevent complacency from seeping in and ensure that you continue delivering the highest quality work to your clients.