With the advent of modern technology and internet, more and more millennials are ditching the regular 9-to-5 jobs and choosing to be freelancers. In fact, studies suggest that more than 45 percent of millennials value the flexibility that freelancing offers over money. However, being a freelancer isn't a cakewalk either! Millennials often make some common mistakes when starting as a freelancer that may lead them to face certain unforeseen setbacks.
Here are four such common mistakes that you should watch out for while freelancing:
If you are starting off as a freelancer, there are ample opportunities out there for you to cash in on. The fields in which you can work are also varied. Thus, it is very important that you choose your work wisely from a field that you are adept in.
Take up freelance assignments in areas that you are good at. For instance, if have a knack for designing, pick up some graphic design assignments, or if you are a good writer, you can write blogs for a client. If you work on something that you are not good at, you will not only take more time to finish the project but also be unable to produce expected results.
If your assignment involves multiple things, say writing and designing, ask someone to help you with the bits you are not comfortable with. This way, your project won't be affected and you'll be able to deliver quality work on time.
As a freelancer, you have the choice of taking up projects as per your schedule. You can do it at any time of the day '“ be it business hours, late at night, or even early morning. Irrespective of when you choose to work, you must be careful to not take up more than you can handle.
All your freelance work will come with a deadline. So if you feel that you already have a lot on your plate for a specific time period, do not take up any more work. Committing to some project and not being able to deliver it will only affect your merit as a freelancer.
In case you have already taken up something and realize that you can't complete it within the stipulated time frame, request your client for some more time.
It is always good to know your worth. Quote your client a price which justifies your level of expertise and skills. However, it is recommended to do some market research and learn what your contemporaries are charging for a fair competition.
For example, a freelance writer in India earns an average of Rs 2,28,000 in a year. You need to make sure that your rates are on similar lines. If you charge too much, chances are that your client will hire someone who charges less even though the quality of your work is better.
Do not keep your rates too low to attract clients either. If you start off at a significantly low rate, it will become difficult to increase it later on.
As a freelancer, you will have to be prepared for unexpected setbacks on various levels. You might be earning in thousands one month, and in the next, you might make nothing. You can't always be sure of what your income for the month will be; so if you are solely dependent on this, it is better you have a backup fund. Business might be slow on certain days, but you shouldn't let that demoralize you.
Delay in payment and non-payment of dues are also quite common in the freelance world. According to a survey, almost 58 percent of freelancers in Southeast Asia have not been paid for freelance work at some point. You might have to keep following up with your clients to get your payments cleared.
A career in freelancing can be challenging at first, but with experience, you are bound to become better and tackle any difficulties that you face with ease. But no matter how many times you fall, nothing must stop you from working on your own terms and making a successful career as a freelancer.
Soham Thacker is the Co-founder of Fixpocket.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)