Most freelancers do not charge enough
It’s very easy to fall into the trap of cutting your prices to win work, especially if you’re new to freelancing. But this is an expensive mistake. Same with offering discounts for customers you want to win over or have repeat business with, when there is not contract backing it up, of course. Often clients will value your work based on your rate - which is hardly synonymous with how a self employed person or freelancer would value themselves. So, if you cost less than other freelancers, they may assume your work is not as professional. It’s also very difficult to drastically raise your rates later on, so starting out low may condemn you to a career of poor rates. It’s not good for your self-esteem and job satisfaction to charge too little either. If you’re constantly working for too little, it’s easy to become resentful and hate the work you’re doing. You may rush your work to try to make projects more cost-effective for you or take on too many projects to ensure you earn enough.
Much better to establish a fair rate and confidently quote this rate to clients. If they value quality work then they will pay. If they just want a cheap job, then maybe they aren’t the type of clients you want to attract anyway.
Not having the right tools for the job
Ever try to make a custom table with a non-electric drill? Well, I once knew of a freelance woodworker who did this for months. It did not help his health, it took a long time, but he was adamant he could beat the expense of the electric drill. His work was beautiful of course, but, he really did not have the right tools for the job. He even was able to take on 3x more clients. So before you launch a career as a freelancer, you need to invest in the right tools for your job. At its most basic, this will probably include a laptop and phone.
And don’t simply assume that your old laptop will do. A crashed programme in the middle of a work project can be an expensive accident. And a slow or virus-infected laptop can cost you precious work time – especially if it decides to play up on a deadline. The heart races even at the thought.
So before you embark on any freelance projects, make sure you have all the equipment you need, and that it’s in good working order. Maybe consider getting your laptop serviced, make sure your printer is functioning and has ink and paper, and check you have all the relevant software you need to open your clients’ documents. (It’s also worth investing in some kind of backup device or system and regularly protecting your work and files.) You may also want to investigate other apps and software that will help you to work smarter and juggle your responsibilities better – automating processes, setting up alerts for important emails, and enabling you to work on the move if you need to. This could be you are a designer and your laptop is too slow much like the Drill, it’s about what MORE you can do not about doing things for no reason.