Make These Mistakes and Wreck Your Freelance Writing Career

A study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to 12%spike in productivity while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effect”

Research has shown that Mistakes help one learn better but some are better off not made I insist. As lucrative as freelance writing is some habits can nosedive your career in the twinkle of an eye if not taken care of promptly. It takes much more to keep a client than what’s required to acquire one.

According to Freelancers Union and Upwork’s Freelancing in America 2016 study, there are nearly 55 million people currently working as freelancers. This goes to show that you’ve got tons of competitors. Below are some of the mistakes that will surely assist you with throwing your opportunities at your competitors free of charge and how to avoid them.

1. Not identifying your areas of proficiency

I turn down lots of writing offers by either telling the clients that “I am not interested in the work described or the job is not a good fit for my skills” and I do not feel ashamed about about it because I know what I am good at.

Failing to identifying your areas of proficiency is the most expensive mistake any freelance writer can make. You must identify, master and continuously improve yourself on your areas of expertise. If you fail to discover yourself you will eventually bid on all types of writing projects that you are not a good fit for. This ultimately reduces your productivity, ushers in frustration and may earn you negative feedbacks from clients which is totally not needed at any point in your freelancing career. Here’s a piece that can assist you with discovering where you fit in as a freelance writer.

2. Missing deadlines

If there’s something client’s value most I would say it’s reliability- it’s great to know you’re covered. Prompt delivery of work is important to clients. Not meeting deadlines gives clients the impression that you are not reliable. As a freelancer, meeting deadlines gives you a sense of achievement and makes work much more enjoyable. Imagine checking your task manager in the morning and seeing plenty of overdue tasks. That’s a very depressing way to start your day and I doubt you can give your best when unhappy. A study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12%spike in productivity while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive. As the research team put it, “We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity. Positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings.”

3. Not paying attention to details

The devil they say is in the details- quite true. A client wants to get satisfaction for every cent spent and that’s not too much to ask. As a freelancer, paying attention to details is very important if you really want repeat orders from clients. Mostly, a trial is all you get to convince a client that you’re worth his time and the pay and you very well know what blowing off that chance will translate to. My client once said to me “ You get the job done the way I want it, I pay you and give you a bonus. If you don’t, I pay you and we remain friends”. True to his words he paid me, gave me a bonus and hired me again!

Your satisfied clients may also recommend you to their colleagues or friends. Never underestimate the power of word of mouth.

4. Not following up promptly

Nothing screams “unprofessional” more than an extremely slow response to clients e-mail and messages. It’s terrible not to respond at all. Responding to all enquiries may be difficult and you may eventually miss some but make sure you hardly miss any. You must be very responsive with communications with clients. I mean that’s very important because it gives the client sense of security .You do not need to wait for your clients to reply; when you think it’s time to receive from them, it’s best to send a professional reminder.

5. Not charging what you’re worth

Of course freelancing isn’t free and you should never be reluctant to charge for the value you provide.This is a mistake most freelancers make and what they fail to realise is that it’s difficult to raise the prices as they progress in their freelancing career. As a freelance writer you should know that client’s will always pay you what you’re worth as long as they keep getting value for what’s spent every time they hire you.

6. Not requesting for feedback

For me, not asking for feedback is as good as not taking the whole pay for the job. Feedbacks serve as review for freelancers and what convinces a prospective client about your competence if not for feedbacks from previous clients whom you’ve worked with independently and on different projects.

Research conducted by Rice University Professor Dr. Paul Dholakia and Dr. Vicki Morwitz and published in the Harvard Business Review found that the act of just asking for customer feedback–in and of itself–is enough to help keep customers satisfied and coming back for more.

Always ask for feedback from clients. Feedbacks sell you more than you can imagine and it also helps you improve yourself.

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