Top 5 Mistakes Inexperienced Freelancers Make


It’s okay to learn from mistakes, but it’s even better to learn from the mistakes of others. In self-employment, every mistake can affect your income, so you have to learn about the pitfalls from the beginning. Here are 5 beginner mistakes and how to avoid them.

Not Budgeting

In hiring, people clearly understand when and how much money they will get. They can calmly plan their budget for several months ahead. In self-employment, everything is more complicated: in the first month, you can earn $10,000, in the second – $4,000, and in the third – $6,000. At the same time, the usual expenses will remain the same: you have to pay for groceries, gasoline, children’s schooling, and the rest.

Without a clear budget structure, a person isn’t prepared for unforeseen circumstances. For example, if he is unable to work for half a month, he will receive about half of his income – and he will have to cut back on some things.

To avoid this, you need to plan your budget. There is a simple way to distribute income: 50% for needs like utilities and groceries, 30% for yourself, like the gym, movies, or new clothes, and 20% for savings. It’s the savings that will save you if you have a bad month. If all months are successful, you can invest some of the money from the piggy bank in your business. For example, the courier can buy comfortable sneakers or a new bike, and the cab driver can buy a more powerful smartphone.

Not Planning a Schedule

When a person just starts to build their own schedule, it can be difficult for them to maintain a balance between rest and work – they want to spend more time on family and favorite things, and less on work.

Without a clear distinction between work time and rest time, a person begins to work worse – this affects the quality of work and, therefore, the income. However, you should never forget about some pleasant activities, like playing Hell Spin casino games or going out with friends. It will help avoid burnout. 

Plan the schedule a month in advance. Think through which days you will work and when you will rest – and make a schedule. For example, if your goal is $6,000 for the month and your income for 5 hours of work is $300, you can work 20 days a month. The remaining 11 days off are time that can be allocated to whatever you want.

Quitting Your Full-time Job Right Away

Many people start their careers and then decide to try working for themselves. In this case, even if you desire to start something new, you should not rush – you may regret it.

There are two risks. First, the new job may not be suitable, and there is no way back. Secondly, self-employment does not immediately bring a stable income – you need time to settle in and gain a foothold.

The best option is to start with a part-time job. For example, if you want to become a cab driver or courier, you can try your hand at short shifts on the weekends or after work. If you don’t like it, you can safely abandon this venture and look for something else.

Not Paying Attention to Ratings and Reviews

Listing sites, services, and marketplaces usually have ratings and reviews about products and services. These are very important to your potential customers: people trust other people’s experiences. That is why reviews have a direct impact on income: the more positive ratings, the more people will contact you – and vice versa.

Bad reviews bring in fewer customers, which means less revenue. If you do nothing with bad reviews, over time you will lose your reputation and won’t be able to take more orders and increase their value.

Study how ratings work, or how reviews work in your field, and find out how to influence them. For example, if you’ve fixed a customer’s computer, it’s a good idea to gently ask them to leave a review on the classifieds site. Well, the real key to success is to do quality work so that people recommend you to friends and acquaintances themselves.

Not Adhering to Business Etiquette

An important standard of service – politeness and etiquette. This is a sign of professionalism and a chance to get more tips. For example, you shouldn’t address the client as “you” or otherwise violate his personal boundaries.

Even if you know your business well, poor service will affect the client’s impression – hence the poor marks and low ratings

Find out what the rules of business etiquette are in your field and follow them. Remember: the passenger in a cab, the addressee in a delivery, or the customer in a freelance exchange is your client, who pays not only for the service, but also for its quality.