Why do Most Freelancers Fail? 8 Common Mistakes to Avoid as a Freelancer in 2024

According to a report, 80% of freelancers quit freelancing before completing even 10 years. This is a significant number that we cannot ignore. Now the question is: Is freelancing really that difficult, and why do people quit freelancing so soon? 

Our one simple yet potent answer is not having a skilled hand.

This isn’t the only reason why people quit freelancing; the reasons are endless, and we will find out in this blog along with a solution.

Many people claim to be freelancers but don’t deliver quality work. As a result, when they don’t get clients due to their poor work, they say freelancing is useless and has no future.

There are many other reasons why a person quits freelancing. That’s why we’ll discuss eight common mistakes freelancers make that you should avoid. 

These mistakes can prevent you from becoming a successful freelancer and may eventually lead you to quit freelancing.

8 Common Mistakes You Should Avoid as a New Freelancer

most common mistakes you should avoid as a freelancer

Key takeaways that cannot be denied:

  • Make sure you’re listed on all freelancer marketplaces.
  • Do not consider freelancing as a full-time career until you reach a certain level.
  • Form a team for long-term success.
  • Deliver work that keeps clients coming back.
  • Keep upgrading your skills and systems.

Now, let’s talk about the 8 common mistakes that prevent you from becoming a successful freelancer.

1. Being Desperate

You should stop being desperate for work.

Even when you are just starting out, being desperate actually shows that your worth is not up to the mark and you lack confidence in yourself.

There’s a difference between hard work and desperation, and you have to find that thin line in between.

Because, let’s face it, even if the product is the best in the world or if the service is the best in the world, nobody likes a pushy salesman. So, make sure that you are not making that mistake again because it might be harmful to your reputation as well.

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2. Choosing Wrong Clients

The second mistake is taking on the wrong clients. This can lead to an unpleasant working relationship and even firing.

To avoid this, research potential clients, be selective about who you work with, it’s better to have a few high-paying clients than many low-paying ones, and ensure that the client is a cultural fit for you.

Focus not just on your skill set but also on whether you’ll enjoy working with the client in the long term.

3. Not Paying Attention to Requirements

Next mistake to avoid is not following requirements.

This might sound simple but is often overlooked. Nearly half of applicants don’t follow instructions, according to Wise Brand.

Not following instructions can be as simple as not using the requested format for your skill test or not submitting your work on time. If you miss these little things, you’re more likely to be eliminated before the employer even considers your qualifications.

Clients value freelancers who follow instructions, as it shows professionalism and respect for their requirements.

4. Poor Communication

Not communicating effectively, avoid such things. No matter where you are or who you’re working with, communication is key.

According to Career Cliff, effective communication increases productivity, creates a strong team, enhances company performance, and eliminates unnecessary problems. Employers value strong communication skills, with 73.4% of them looking for candidates with these skills.

You may designate a person who has excellent communication skills. This will make your work go more smoothly, and you will save time doing this.

5. Switching Niches like a Dish

What I see a lot of freelancers doing is switching niches and skills like crazy, and they lack focus. Don’t make the mistake of doing everything at once.

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For example, if you are a copywriter, you might think, “Oh, graphic design looks cool; maybe I should try that.” Stop yourself right there and ask yourself, Are you an expert yet? Do you have enough clients for copywriting?

If the answer is no, work on that skill first and stop trying to do everything you feel attracted to. Stop being a jack of all trades.

If you already have a skill, then become better at it one day at a time instead of learning every single thing at one point, because that is how you will lose focus and eventually fail.

6. Not giving your best

Many freelancers make this mistakes that they do not put enough efforts.

Freelancing is a business as well, and building a business takes a lot of time and effort.

No matter if you are a graphic designer, a video editor, a photographer, a content writer, or a social media manager, do not stop improving your skill. Take some time every week to learn what people are doing in your field, what are the new software updates, what are the new techniques to upskill and improve your work efficiency.

This is as important as finding new clients and getting paid for it because most freelancers fail because they think they are experts and do not think they need to improve their skills. 

So, the golden advice would be to actually spot some of the best YouTube channels and actually follow their work every single week.

For example, I am a website designer myself, and I turn to website learner for any new website updates because that channel has it all, and that is my go-to channel that I actually visit for new updates and new techniques that I should know about.

7. Afraid to Advertise Yourself

Many freelancers are currently making this mistake is that they are actually afraid of telling people that they are open to orders and that they’re actually freelancing. This is a huge, huge mistake. 

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Let me ask you a question: Do at least 10 of your friends know what you’re actually doing or what you want to do? If the answer is no, then you must get out and tell them. 

You have no idea how powerful this strategy is because your friends can actually be watching for your services without even buying them. They might not be your clients, but they can actually refer you to people they already know. 

So, make sure that you are using your friends as your ambassadors for your service.

8. Being Unorganized

The last mistake, but the deadliest one, is being unorganized. 

Since you are self-employed and have tasks left, right, and center, and you have to do every single thing by yourself, from marketing to sales, client work to final submission, it can become a mess, which can hamper your productivity and result in missing deadlines.

So, in order to sustain your existing clients and tap into new ones, make sure you are extremely organized. 

As a self-employed person, you can use Asana as a project management tool so that you have everything in one place and Google Calendar to actually help you set reminders, which will actually help you with submissions and keep track of your work.

More Articles Related to Freelancing You May Find Helpful:

How to Become a Freelance Video Editor and Make Money with No Experience

9 Helpful Tips to Get Your First Order On Fiverr

12 High Demand Gigs On Fiverr with Low Competition

What Are The Best Ways To Make Money With ChatGpt

Conclusion on Freelancing Mistakes

Freelancing is definitely not for everyone, and it’s surely not easy. But if you create good systems and predictable income and also avoid these mistakes, you can surely succeed. If you would like me to add any more freelancer mistakes to our list, please let me know in the comments.

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