10 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make

Submitted by mumunmumun on 7 August 2013   •  Opinion

Not long ago, we attended the launching of www.freelancer.co.id. It’s the official Indonesian site for www.freelancer.com, a site where freelance jobs and services meet. Although we currently still have day jobs, we’ve done some freelance work, such as pieces for magazines and trip organizing. So, we kinda get what they’re talking about.


Aside to the launch, a few successful freelancers shared some tips and tricks on how to make it in this line of biz. Ten mistakes freelancers make was the main highlight. While goodie bags are awesome at events like this, the knowledge that they shared is worth 10 times a goodie bag (well, it really depends. If there was a kitty cat inside, I think I’d go with the goodie bag).

Here are our takes on the 10 points most freelancers make.
1. Know your customer. Get to know more of your client’s profile. If it’s on an online site, browse about his/her profile and credibility before offering your service.

2. Communicate properly with the customer. You should reduce small talk. Online clients have less time for small talk. Also, keep your communication positive. If you don’t get the job, say thanks for the time anyways.

3. Communicate. Understand the task completely. Don’t hesitate to thoroughly ask about the task until you understand it. Rewrite the task back to the client to make sure you’re both on the same page.

4. Overselling. Make reasonable offers/bids. Don’t promise things that you can’t do.

5. Finalize. Always agree upon the work through a written contract or have things in writing. You need to document all the transactions and agreements that both sides have made.

6. Understand how the system works. If you’re joining an online freelance site, make sure you understand the system within the site. You must also understand the system surrounding the job. Knowing more than the client is better.

7. Do what is told, but do more. A better result will make a happy and loyal client. If you can make the deadline, make the result more than expected.

8. Prioritize reputation over money. Make sure you have your client make a testimony after you’ve successfully completed a job. The money can wait, your reputation can not. Have people see what you’ve done, what you have completed. Mediocre or not, you’ve finished the job.

9. Respect deadlines. Turns out, this is the most important point of all freelancing job. Numerous speakers hailed Amens to this. Better have a mediocre job turned in on time, than have a great job turned in late. Mediocre work can be revised, but the wasting the client’s time after expectin some work done, can not be forgiven.

10. Don’t give up. Just because you didn’t get this one, doesn’t mean you won’t get the next. Some jobs sometimes need certain specification that might work or not work for you. This also means you need to pick the right job for you. Applying fortoo many jobs leads to too many rejections or work overload.

And as an added bonus, there seem to be much emphasis on reading. People have to read clauses carefully. Much time was wasted during Q & A just because people didn’t read much on the website. So read, just like you’ve read this post 🙂

One thing that I really liked about the talk was one of the speaker said the development of a nature also depends on their freelances, ‘cause freelancing is a start of entrepreneurship. So, looking for a future in freelancing?

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