No one ever wants to be a failure in anything even when you’re just starting your online freelancing career. I’ve come across many newbies in the online freelancing world who ask the same question, “ How do I make it in online freelancing?” The answers I offer them depend on which stage they are at in their journey. But, if you’re just starting out, it’s best that you start on the right footing and avoid these seven mistakes that will end up killing your online freelancing career.
1.Thinking it is easy money
To be successful, the first and most powerful tool that you’re going to need is a prepared mind. Most people get into online work believing that is easy and they just need a couple of clicks and money floods their account. This is why there are so many online scams because when getting into the online freelancing world, most people don’t fully comprehend what they’re getting themselves into.
Freelancing is hard work. It requires patience, proper training and persistence. By getting into this line of work with the expectation of making quick and easy money you’ve already set yourself up for failure. Most potential online freelancing professional with such a mindset will quit on the first challenge they face. There’s no question that working online has some obvious advantages which is why it is attracting a lot of interest. If you’re not certain on the direction your online career should take or how you can get started, you can read this post on online freelancing and everything you need to know to get started.
2. Grabbing anything and everything
While starting, it sounds like an awesome idea for your online freelancing to career to learn as many things as possible. Theoretically, it sounds like the perfect plan but in real sense, it is a really BAD plan. Why?
It is simple. Like any other occupation, online work is highly specialized with different terms and requirements in each different field. By deciding to learn everything, you’re not only spending too much time learning but also greatly affecting your ability to become a professional in any of the trades. To be successful, you need to pair your skills with the most practical job and give it your all.
Not only will this approach help you cut down on the amount of training needed but it will also help you better appeal to clients and build your business faster. It is a great idea to learn other complementary skills to enhance your delivery but these should not derail you from your main goal.
3. Being too lazy to research
One of the biggest problem facing the online freelancing career right now is FACEBOOK GROUPS. Don’t get me wrong, the mess is not in the groups but rather in how budding freelancers are using them. Most freelancers entirely depend on the advice of professionals on these groups. It is not a bad idea. But, you should know, just as a mother does not speak ill of his children, the same way a professional will not speak ill of his profession. The advice offered in these groups is very essential for your career but, you should take it upon yourself to collect more objective information by reading blogs, searching on Google and other platforms. This is more so important when you’re trying hard to find the best niche to specialize in.
4. Taking Short cuts
This is where most of you will crush or build your online freelancing career. Even though you want to limit the amount of time taken to learn before you can start making money, it should never be at the expense of being able to provide quality work. There are rarely any clients who are looking for newbies for their work. So the more you’re able to cut across as a professional, the higher your chances of getting hired and you’ll also be able to retain your clients longer and make more money from them.
There are quite a number of shortcuts that most people take. The first and the most common is believing that you don’t need a trainer. On a previous post; Your Blueprint to Becoming a Top Notch Writer, the benefits of getting trained and the role of a trainer have been explicitly covered.
Trainers are a great resource and while you may have to part with a price, the knowledge, wisdom and experience that they impart in you is invaluable. Additionally, some of the best trainers will also offer some hand-holding for some time as you to learn the ropes and offer reliable advice whenever you’re stuck. It is always a good idea to make sure that you look for a good trainer before you get your online freelancing career started. Lucky for you, the number of reliable trainers is rising by the day.
The other short-cut commonly used relates to account opening. You want to make money so bad but you figure since you can’t pass the quality assurance testsand the best alternative is to either pay someone to do the test for you or, buy a ready account. This is not only WRONG and UNPROFESSIONAL but also a waste of your time and money. If you can’t handle the tests required to open a writing or any other freelancing account, there is a fair chance that you can’t deliver the quality of work that they’re looking for. You can go around the system but you will end up losing money because you can’t deliver quality work.
Online work is about reputation. It is about your clients being able to know that they can rely on you to provide quality work for them repeatedly. When starting, if you’re all about the money, you’re always thinking of new ways you can get more work done in less time and earn more money. It is perfectly fine to want to make more out of your time. It is the methods that people use to achieve this are the problems.
Spinning, copying and pasting work, using third party softwares to do the work and other solutions are very common among freelancing who are starting. The unfortunate part is, you lose clients very fast and your well of work runs dry. My advice here is simple. Take the path that assures you of the best results in the long run. Don’t take short cuts especially if you don’t understand them.
This is the mother of all freelance career failures and can even bring down the best minds. Online freelancing great because you’re not supervised but, it also happens to have a lot of distractions. It gets even worse since most of the online work is time sensitive and you’re expected to deliver on time.
It is easy for you to get tangled up in an interesting Facebook thread or other activities. Sometimes, you may even decide to engage in other activities and leave the work for later. As a young and upcoming freelancer, you need to battle procrastination from the get-go. The earlier you establish reliable and strict working times, the easier and more successful the path online freelancing career is going to be for you.
One of the best ways that I have been able to get around this is by renting a secluded place away from home where I go to work from. No distractions. Just me and my work.
6. Become a drama queen
The truth is, we all feel that sting when we are corrected. That need to vindicate and redeem ourselves. No one really likes it. In the world of online freelancing, you’re going to have a lot of correcting and blaming done to you. Some of it might not even make sense. But, you should always remember that the client is king and since he is paying for it, it is important to adhere to the instructions.
You will also find clients that will reject your work, sometimes they are rude and you will also find editors that fill your content and work with comments and suggestions. It is important to remain calm and collected and above all address each challenge with respect. Never snap at a client. You should always be humble even when you know the client is probably wrong, find a respectable way to make the point. Making a fuss out of every correction and complaint directed to you will kill your freelancing career before it even hits the shelf.
7. Missing the professional standard
You might be starting out but, there are certain standards that clients demand from you even in your young career. They expect you to deliver quality content, fully proofread and on time. For the period that you’re working on the project, you should be very communicative and respond to the client’s messages. Anything short of this will see clients avoiding working with you like a plague.
Make sure you deliver your work on time and always do research where its due. Even if you’re still learning, starting to nurture the right approach to working online is essential and very important.
So, why I’m I telling you this?
I want you to prosper. I want you to make money and make a name for yourself and other local freelancers as well. There are many misconceptions about online freelancing and confusing statement. By avoiding these career cancers, you can develop a successful career for yourself the right way and reap the benefits that come with online freelancing.
As always, the comments section is always open. Share your thoughts and the biggest freelancing mistakes you have made for others to learn from them. Thank you!