Career

4 Costly Mistakes I Made As A Freelancer

Written by: Susan Hang

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about “the business”, so I thought I’d bring up one of my favorite topics today: mistakes!

As you guys know, I went full-time freelance late October last year, which means my one-year anniversary is coming up. Since we are midway through 2018, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve accomplished and what I can do better. This one thought led me to mull over what I’ve done wrong and how I can avoid it next time. The reality of running a business is that you’re bound to make mistakes. A LOT OF THEM. Unfortunately, the only way to avoid them is to make them.

If you’re new to the start up game or thinking about joining the tribe, I’m going to share 4 costly mistakes I made over the last few months so that you can avoid them too!

4 Costly Mistakes I Made As A Freelancer | Zanita.com 1. Under pricing and under valuing myself.

The biggest mistake I made when I first started was under pricing my services. I had no previous experience pricing anything before… Yes, I’ve negotiated salaries for a set job, but now, my roles were all over the place. I defined my hours and honed in on what I wanted to do . Not only that, but I was working with multiple clients. I started out by charging my former hourly wage until I learned about expenses… I assumed they would be minimal, but they added up quickly yet it was already too late! My reason for this was because I was afraid others wouldn’t see my value. I know now that you set your own value and if they trust you, they will pay!

2. Chasing prospects who aren’t worth it.

I’m so glad that gone are the days of chasing people. First off, I absolutely loathe people who run a business and aren’t professional about it. I’ve had so many false hopes dealing with people who agreed to work with me but then they’d flake out at the last minute. Welcome to the world of blogging btw. Zanita truly spoiled me and painted a picture of a perfect blogging world –  unfortunately, I learned the hard way. It’s an extremely flawed industry and now you know too! I was often left disappointed. I’d follow up three sometimes four times, but I know now that that if someone skips out the first time, they’re not worth my time ever.

3. Avoiding self-promotion.

I swear self-promotion is going to be the death of me. I used to think quality work was sufficient… How naive I was. I have the experience, I have the credentials, I have social proof yet I refused to get my ass on social media and talk about it. (Note: I’m still working through this.) But DO NOT do this. If you don’t promote yourself, no one else will. If you don’t show up, how will anyone know you exist? Remember that if you’re creating bad ass content, but you’re not putting it out there, it has no meaning – no value. ZERO. Self promote and have no shame.

4. Not thinking long-term.

To be a writer and in the business of writing are two very different things! I wanted to be in the business of writing yet I’ve been acting like a writer. I was so busy focusing on tasky things that wouldn’t benefit me in the long run. Sure, I went through waves of long-term strategy and visualizing but so often, I’d just let it fall off the radar. It wasn’t on purpose, but it was just so difficult to upkeep content for others and then find the energy to strategize for myself. The struggle is real! I finally hired a writer, which has taken off the load giving me more time to work on long-term things.

Have any of you found yourself in the same position? I’d love to hear about your mistakes – and don’t forget to follow along for more content like this on LE-JOLIE – just revamped it and would love to hear your thoughts!

 

xo,
Susan
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