In a recent episode of The Agency Show Podcast, our CEO, Yash Shah, had the privilege of hosting Preston Lee, the founder of Millo. At Millo, they specialize in helping freelancers elevate their performance, offering a treasure trove of articles, podcast episodes, guides, courses, and more – all aimed at guiding freelancers towards the path of success.
For those who prefer the written word, fear not – we’ve distilled the wisdom shared by Preston into this article. Let’s explore the four common mistakes that new freelancers frequently make and the strategies to avoid them.
- Say No To Extra Money
At first glance, advising freelancers to “say no to extra money” might seem perplexing. However, let’s delve deeper into this concept. The focus here is on “scope creep” – that is, additional work that clients request beyond the initially agreed-upon scope of the project. Scope creep can manifest in various forms, from demanding more revisions than initially stipulated to requesting extra copies or designs.
Preston’s sage advice is that scope creep can indeed be a boon for your freelance business, but only if managed correctly. Engaging in scope creep without additional compensation can erode your profitability, as you’ll be expending extra effort for the same monetary reward.
Instead of an outright “no” to such requests, consider a different approach. Accept the extra work and openly communicate with your client regarding the project timeline, budget implications, and other essential details. Outline the additional costs and resources required. This way, you’re not simply declining work; you’re enhancing your earnings by appending to the project’s budget. It’s a win-win scenario that benefits both you and your client.
In short, as Preston succinctly puts it, “Don’t say no to scope creep; just say no to doing it for free.”
- Not Focusing on Self-Promotion
Whether you’re freelancing or operating as part of an agency, the cyclical nature of “feast and famine” is inevitable. There will be periods of abundant work, where your plate overflows, followed by lean times when new clients and projects are scarce.
One common pitfall for new freelancers is an overemphasis on securing new clients and generating revenue, often to the detriment of self-promotion. Since freelancers typically juggle all aspects of their business, including client work, sending invoices, and marketing their services, a lopsided focus on one area can result in this feast-famine cycle.
Preston’s sage counsel is to find a way to maintain consistent marketing and promotion efforts. This entails allocating adequate resources and time to marketing, even during the busiest work periods. To accomplish this, consider enlisting additional help or automating repetitive tasks.
One noteworthy tool for streamlining your freelance business processes is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Solutions like iNextCRM offer comprehensive client lifecycle management, from lead generation to proposal creation, invoicing, scheduling, and payment tracking – all consolidated within a single platform.
- Not Charging What You’re Worth
It’s a common practice for freelancers to commence their careers by offering services at lower rates. While this might be a necessity in the early stages, it should not become a permanent fixture.
Preston astutely observes that some freelancers continue to price their services at their initial, entry-level rates even after gaining years of experience. While starting with lower-priced projects can serve as a quick financial fix, it’s essential to recognize the need for growth and evolution.
As you accumulate experience and hone your skills, it’s imperative to adjust your pricing accordingly. While securing low-ticket gigs can provide immediate relief, aspiring to high-ticket projects should be your long-term objective.
Earning high-ticket gigs isn’t a walk in the park; it requires patience, hard work, and a solid reputation. Setting your rates appropriately is equally challenging. Price too high, and you might scare potential clients away; price too low, and you risk overextending yourself without commensurate rewards.
Preston recommends a gradual approach to rate increases. Year after year, consider raising your prices and gauge the market’s response. If you encounter resistance, it’s a sign that you’ve hit an optimal price point.
Don’t shy away from revising your rates and negotiating them for each new freelance project – it’s a vital step towards equitable compensation.
- Not Having Set Processes
As a freelancer, you’re a one-person band, managing every facet of your business – from client onboarding to project execution, proposal submission, invoicing, and payment tracking. Without efficient processes, this can quickly become overwhelming.
Establishing streamlined processes and leveraging automation tools can significantly enhance your productivity and profitability. It frees up valuable time to focus on tasks that cannot be automated, such as client acquisition and relationship management.
“The more processes you can have, the less overworked you’ll feel,” Preston wisely remarks.
Building processes tailored to your freelance business can provide long-term benefits. When you encounter situations similar to those you’ve handled before, having a defined process in place expedites your decision-making and action steps.
For instance, if you engage with multiple clients who require regular meetings, scheduling these appointments manually can consume significant time. However, automation tools like iNextCRM offer features like personalized meeting links. Clients can access your availability and book meetings within your specified hours, streamlining the process.
Embarking on a freelance career can be a thrilling journey. However, avoiding common pitfalls is crucial for long-term success. To summarize, new freelancers should embrace scope creep with compensation, maintain a balanced focus on self-promotion, adjust pricing to reflect their growing expertise, and establish efficient processes for business management.
For a comprehensive CRM solution or business automation service, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or call/WhatsApp us at +91-7506506672. We’re here to support your growth, every step of the way.