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5 Freelancing Mistakes That Stop You From Success

Freelancing is a great way to make money and be in control of your own schedule.

Do it right, and freelancing is a great way to make money online.

Do any of these mistakes that stop you from freelancing success and you are on the road to hell.

By now, it should be clear to you that freelancing is not all sunshine and rainbows. Here we'll discuss mistakes you might be making right now that are stopping you from being successful with freelancing:

No goals. No freelancing

Freelancing is a business. You'd never start a business without ever knowing why you started it in the first place, what your ultimate objectives are with your business, and your big "why". There are entrepreneurs who start businesses with a clear exit plan.

So, what's your big "why" with freelancing? What are your goals? Write them down. Clearly. Maybe even visible on a giant poster on the wall.

If you don't know where you're trying to go, how will you know when and if you've arrived? Figure out your end goal. Do it now.

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Do your research

One of the biggest mistakes most freelancers do is jump with a laptop, hands, and feet. Jump right in. Without looking left or right. Not even a simple Google search.

Competition is fierce in freelancing. There are several people looking to make freelancing their primary source of income.

When I first started freelancing, I got myself a client who'd pay me $35 for 125 articles (delivered each week).

That's absolutely ridiculous, even if it was 18 years ago.

Don't do the mistake I made when I started.

Do your research.

Find out how much the usual rates for freelancers in your niche are. Start there.

Don't do "free" Work

I don't care who you are or what your aunt taught you about pricing. Whatever you do, don't ever provide free work for clients.

Even if you were just born now, have no portfolio, or can't even spell "f.r.e.e.l.a.n.c.e" right.

Doing "free" work puts you in an awkward situation. You're providing services without getting paid. That's a pattern that you are setting up for failure.

The truth is, you're not in this for charity. You are a freelancer and your time has value like everyone else's up there at that stage of life.

Pricing Freelancing Services (Like You Don't Matter)

The big question: Freelance Pricing: How much should I charge?

This is the question that will be answered by research and experience as you take jobs from clients (and get paid).

When you are starting out, it's alright to price yourself 20% to 30% less than the ongoing market rate (limit this to maybe 1-3 clients while you are just trying to get your feet wet).

But that's it. Three clients. Three projects. From that point on, you'll increase your freelancing rates as frequently as possible (recommended you do it annually).

Avoid Freelancing Red Flags

This will take a whole series of posts, but we'll try to summarize it here.

When you get that bad feeling about a client or a project or both? Run away.

If a client seems rude, harsh, condescending, or maybe even without a sense of humor? Don't even think about it. Life's too good to work for crappy people.

If your gut tells you that you're not being paid properly? Say goodbye.

When a client pushes for revisions and more work than they promised on the front end? Politely decline, or better yet, walk away.

I could go on all day with this list of mistakes to avoid in freelancing (and I will!), To start with, check out this post by Morgan Overholt on avoiding 8 Types of Clients you should Avoid.

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