You have now tested the waters with both feet. It can be tempting and exhausting if you really don’t know what you want and how to work with limited time. These are some critical mistakes which Kenyan freelancers and any other freelancer should avoid:
1. Taking every task that comes your way.
It’s OK to turn down some projects.
Don’t get stuck taking on every project that comes your way. This can be overwhelming because you already have a full work load.
Anything that involves something you don’t really know how to do, unless it’s a really simple skill to add to your portfolio, can suck away your energy.
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Projects from clients that don’t actually know what they want or balk at paying from the start are a definite red flag.
Projects from family members or close friends are always tricky. It’s hard to say no, but sometimes it is the best thing so that feelings don’t get hurt and relationships are not strained.
Anything that comes along when you are booked solid. If you really want the project, ask if the timeline is flexible, but don’t take on anything that you can’t meet deadlines for. Don’t be greedy, you will loose it. 🙂
2. Over-promising and Under-delivering.
You want to be accommodating and easy to work with, but you don’t want to get a reputation for falling short.
Don’t promise anything that you are not sure you can deliver. It happens all the time. Be flexible when in conversations with clients.
Listen to what is needed and for anything that is not a sure but say “that sounds good, but I’ll need to think about how to make that work.”
Then you have some options for whether you can do it, how to quote a price for the service and even have a way out if you just don’t think the request is workable.
3. Working without a strategy.
If you are just working along with no regard to what comes next, then you could be in for a rude shock. Freelancers need to develop a business plan and strategy.
Remember that you are now an entrepreneur, and you work needs deserved seriousness.
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How long do you want to write for that platform? Where do you want to be in five years? What amount do you expect from your clients? It’ll be hard to get there if you don’t even know where you are going.
4. Betting Too Much on Current Clients
As a freelancer, you have to bear in mind that any client could disappear any day. It’s kinda heart breaking but it’s true.
It’s simple, diversify your client base and ensure that you have good working relationships with your current clients. Do you have a plan for how to replace a client in case the terms of working changes?
5. Undervaluing Your Work
Most freelancers severely undervalue their time and work. For that reason, some do projects for free or at very low-cost this tells your client your worth and they may take advantage of it by paying you peanuts.
Establish pricing that makes sense in your market and is in line with the services you offer and stick to it. Be confident in your work and always a start bargaining from the highest prices. To start charging more, you need to critically assess your worth and start charging what you deserve.
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