I became a freelancer by need.It was in the year 2013 and I really need to earn extra income. Then I was drifted to the world of freelancing. I was a total newbie and didn’t know what to do.
I don’t have an exact idea as to what level of life you have right now. You probably have a full-time job and just wanted to earn some extra bucks online Or you might be somebody who hates sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours and wanted to make a career change.
Whichever is the case, freelancing is for you. It is indeed a viable source of income. I can testify that.
But here’s the caveat. Not everybody who ventured into freelancing has earned a stable income that can provide for their family’s needs. I know people who have started their freelancing career 5 or 6 years ago but still did not earn anything.
It is because not all who have ventured into freelancing has a clear understanding of what is it really about. Like me, I was totally blind when I started my freelancing career. But in spite of my mistakes, I knew how to learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Whereas, they failed to consider and evaluate their mistakes and learn from them. Or probably, they have their own ideas about freelancing – ideas that don’t really work and they are still holding on it. They did not learn to unlearn themselves. And finally, they know their mistakes, but they are afraid or just tired to start over again.
That is why I am writing here from my experiences the 5 greatest lies in freelancing- ideas that most freelancing ‘gurus’ didn’t tell you. I cannot say to myself that I am the best in this field, nor the most experienced freelancer. But I will be sharing with you the most important things that I have learned in my 4 years in this chosen field. These principles that I am writing are 5 of my biggest mistakes that I have made in my entire career and I really learned priceless lessons from them.So, here we go.
Lie #1: Freelancing is a race to the bottom
It’s really humiliating to accept, but this was my thinking when I started my freelancing career. I thought that anyone who offers the lowest price gets the job.
But I was totally wrong.
After all, clients are not looking for someone who can give the cheapest service. They are people like you and me who want to succeed and don’t want to settle for anything less. They want the best and they don’t care if they are spending more if they can get what they really want. What’s the use of saving money from services they can’t actually use?
Based on my experience, good clients are those who are looking for quality service, not those who want to save the most money from lowest bidders.
So what does it imply and what can you do about it?
Instead of lowering your prices, it’s time to evaluate yourself and know your worth. It’s very tempting, especially for first-time contracts to accept a contract from clients at very low prices.
One of my first contracts was priced at $1 an hour. And it was one of the worst experience that I had in my entire freelancing career. Besides the fact that the client is so arrogant, he is so demanding of my time and not considering that I also have a family to attend to. He demands everything and thought that by paying a dollar an hour will enable him to control me all the time.
That was disgusting. So I gave up after 2 months learning the hard way. I evaluated myself and learned that it’s not worth if I accept jobs at that price. I paid 10% for Upwork at that time and still need to pay for my internet and electric bills, so I got 30 to 50 cents per hour on average! That was ridiculous!
So I started considering my worth.
I know that my strength is in creating content and marketing strategies. So focused on this field. I took online courses, both free and paid courses to enhance my skills. Some of the websites that I have enrolled are Hubspot Academy, Coursera, and Udemy.
This is the game changer. After enhancing my skills and learning more from my chosen field of expertise, I was able to grow my worth 6 to 8 times!
If you haven’t tried this yet, then it’s time to make a change. Change your mindset. Do not think that freelancing is a race to the bottom where the lowest bidder wins. Instead, it is where the one who gives the most value can get it.
Start implementing this principle and this will change your career. From being the ‘hunter’ who keeps on chasing clients and pitching them with lowest offers, you will become the ‘hunted’ where clients beg you to do their job.
Lie #2: Freelancing is an easy way to earn money
I have a feeling that you were also thinking this way. Advertisements and freelancing websites try to bombard our minds with ideas on how easy it is to get clients and earn money.
Some people think that after registering to freelancing websites, clients will just knock at your door and the money will flow.
But actually, it’s not. There is always a cost to freelancing and you must be willing to pay. You need to spend time building a great profile. Freelancing websites like Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, Peopleperhour, and others provide you with a profile page where clients can see what it’s all about you – your skills, expertise, experiences, portfolio and everything you want to showcase.
Take advantage of this by creating the best profile you can make. This can be achieved by creating a short and powerful and description of yourself. Try to be specific about your skills and expertise and mention how clients can benefit from them. Make your description short, concise and specific.
Spend time to take tests and build your portfolio. These are great options for you to prove your credibility and expertise in your chosen. If you don’t have a portfolio yet, take online courses that will give you certifications. A badge will be displayed on your freelancer profile and this will give you a good start.
Clients are people like us. They don’t want to read long and superficial descriptions. These will give them a signal that the freelancer doesn’t know what he can offer to them.
Lie #3: To get a job, apply as many as possible
This is one of the ridiculous mistakes that I made when I started freelancing. I consider every job posted as an opportunity that I need to grab. So I applied each of them that I think I can do.
In order not to get tempted to creating this mistake, you should have a very clear understanding of your skillset, expertise, and what you can offer to them. And only apply for jobs that are relevant to your skills.
When I started applying for jobs that are relevant to my skills, I noticed that I get fewer rejections and got more invitations from clients each week.
Focus is your ally here and you must learn to harness its power.
Lie #4: You must follow or comply everything the client wants to get a project and become successful
Most freelancing ‘gurus’ advise that to land a job, you must comply everything the client wants, even if it’s against your will.
This is one of the biggest lies in freelancing you probably didn’t know until you’re reading this. We are not robots who can take everything and can work without getting bored or tired.
I received many offers from clients and I turned them down. Reason? It was because they were offered at very low prices and they are not worth my time.
Also, I received good offers but still turned them down because the client wanted me to work 11 pm to 6 pm of my time!
Remember, if it doesn’t fit your schedule or your preferences, then the job is not for you. Avoid arrogant clients who are thinking that they own you. It’s a threat to your health and well-being if you work with them.
Remember, that there are many good clients out there.
Lie #5: Just don’t give up
There’s an old saying that quitters never win and winners never quit. Well, this is true but not at certain times.
When you are holding to something, ask yourself if is it really worth to hold on?
I was working for a dollar an hour in the past and I only got an average of 30 to 50 cents an hour. If I was holding on to it, what will be the result?
Real winners are not blind. They knew when to hold on to something and when to give up. They knew their worth and believe in themselves. They are not afraid of losing something in order to get something better.
Now you have it, the 5 greatest lies in freelancing. I learned this principle after I’ve made so many mistakes in my freelancing career.
My goal is for you to earn some extra income for you and your family through freelancing. The above mentioned principles will not come into being if you will never implement them in your career.
I believe that the best way to learn is to teach, and an idea can be more meaningful once it’s shared. There can be no greater joy than hearing your success story.
I wish you success and prosperity in your freelancing career.