Bad Freelancing Advice You Should Avoid

Look up the web and you’ll find a sea of advice on freelancing (across all genres) and not all of that advice is good.

Thanks to the ease of putting up information (and consuming it), it’s easy for almost anyone to write up anything they like.

If thousands of freelancers do something, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing to do.

A lot of freelancing advice you see on the web is all right. Some of that advice is terrible. Your job is to take stock of your own situation and carefully wade through that advice taking each snippet of advice with a pinch of salt.

We did some of that muck wading for you. Here are at least X instances of bad freelancing advice and what you should be doing instead:

Freelancing isn’t stable or reliable

From the time you decide to do freelancing and all along the time you actually do it, you’d hear this from your family friends, acquaintances, and even fellow freelancers. There is a hint of truth in the “unreliable” and “unstable” part.

However, you can make freelancing as stable as you like and make it a reliable source of income.

All you need to do is to hustle enough to make sure this happens. Build a pipeline of clients; keep those conversations going with potential clients, and work on developing a system to get projects regularly. Read more on how to handle uncertainty.

When a set number of projects flow in, thanks to your regular marketing, freelancing cannot be unreliable or unstable.

Freelancing is a business

Yes, freelancing is a business — a one-person, mostly service led, zero-inventory business. However, it could also feel like a fancy job if you just kept at it without doing anything else.

While it’s up to you as to what you want to do really, freelancing is mostly a one-person business. If you want to call it “business”, freelancing doesn’t technically fit the bill because:

• You are the technician, offering services for cash. • Scaling up this “business” is hard. • You are trading your time and skills for cash. So, you only have a few productive hours a day.

Real businesses can scale up. They have built-in leverage. While freelancing is a business, it’s not the “real” business.

You should note that.

It’s too late to do freelancing

It’s never too late to do freelancing. It’s true that there are thousands of freelancers all over the world and there’s stiff competition. But the cake is too big and you are sure to make a tidy living off the little pie you get.

New businesses sprout up everyday, clients move from one freelancer to another, and some freelancers go out of business. Also, a majority of freelancers aren’t as good as you are. So, almost always you have an edge over your competition.

What are some of those pieces of bad advice you got? Or the “good ones” that you realized were bad for you? Tell us about it.


Bad Freelancing Advice Freelancing Advice

Originally published at on August 3, 2015.