5 Freelancer Mistakes That’ll Cost You The Gig

07 Jun 2015

According to a recent survey among freelancers regarding their most effective ways to find freelance work the #1 resource to acquire clients and jobs are freelancing websites (38%). No wonder: freelancing websites provide web workers with a compressed and easy-to-operate tool to present themselves and to find matching job opportunities.

Shouldn’t be a problem to get a gig as a freelancer you might think. But indeed from time to time there are still freelancers complaining about the fact that they don’t get any jobs via freelancing websites. How is this possible? Based on her daily work for the international freelancer job board www.freelancermap.com Doreen Schollmeier has detected the 5 most common mistakes that cost freelancers the gig when working with freelancing websites. Do you find yourself?

5 Possible Reasons Why Clients Don’t Want to Hire You

#1 Your freelancer profile is working against you!

To stand out from competitors in a worldwide online business, you as a freelancer need to provide a great presentation of yourself, your skills and your motivation. Don’t just fill out your profile without asking yourself how you wish to be perceived by prospective clients. An incomplete, outdated or loveless completed freelancer profile is a no-go!

If you are unsure about what to write in your profile than simply take a look around! Many freelancers in the network will have good profiles with skills similar to yours – be inspired, research other freelancers and create an appealing profile that will catch the attention of clients worldwide. Make sure that your profile is well written, without any spelling or grammar mistakes and contains the following facts:

  • Your profession
  • Your key skills
  • Examples of work or client references
  • Your spoken languages
  • Your location (and willingness to travel)
  • Your potential working time
  • Your rates
  • A picture of you

Please note: In general end clients as well as recruiters always lack time. With a thought-out and well-designed profile you can help them to find all relevant information about you without big efforts. Show them that you are the perfect match!

#2 You pretend to be good at everything!

With their requirements, recruiters and end clients sometimes seem to seek for the “all-in-one”-freelancer. And of course this puts increasing pressure on freelancers, trying to offer all possible skills that could be relevant for clients out there. But hand on heart – nobody can be good at everything!

“I can do it better, I can do it faster, I can do it all!” What sounds like an unbeatable offer in reality is a major step away from the job, because hardly anyone believes this quote. A freelancer profile which pretends to be good in everything doesn’t look trustful or promising. And freelancing is about trust! Therefore I think it is advisable for you as a freelancer to focus on the area you really are an expert in. Find your niche and convince the clients!

#3 You’re waiting for work to come to you!

Indeed it is happening quiet often that freelancers ask me why they don’t generate as many client contacts via our freelancer portal as expected. Most of the time the answer is quite simple: “Why do you wait for the clients to call instead of contacting them on your own?”

Of course you will get some great job offers via freelancing websites when presenting yourself with an appealing profile. But why are you waiting for clients to find you? Take things into your own hands instead of waiting for others. Actively review the latest job offers on freelancing websites and apply for the ones you think you match. With this proactive approach you will assure that your profile is seen by the highest possible amount of prospective clients. And of course this will lead to better chances of being hired!

#4 Your low rates are making you look unqualified!

A pretty well known but still happening mistake among freelancers is to sell services for the lowest possible rate. And of course somehow I do understand the train of thought that clients would hire a developer or designer for low costs to save money, but to be honest – don’t think like that! A low rate always implements limited experience or low quality, because to the client’s opinion there must be a reason why your services don’t cost much. Don’t let it look like you are desperately seeking for a job! Be confident with your skills and come up with a clear and fair pricing policy. And hand on heart – do you really want to work for a client whose major intention is to save money instead of getting the job done well? I suppose not.

#5 You’re difficult to reach!

In a fast moving world like the freelancing online business, decisions and contracts are often made quickly. Do not miss interesting job opportunities by letting people wait for your response. Check your mails and profiles continuously to ensure a prompt reply. If it takes you too long to get back to the clients, they might already have gone with someone else.

But I’m not only talking about slow response time. In a world where everyone is trying to secure their private data, it might get difficult for people to reach you. Make sure that prospective clients can contact you by mail, phone or whatever option you like. I have seen a lot of freelancing profiles which looked amazingly promising, but I simply wasn’t able to get in touch without having to research for minutes and minutes. A client might rapidly lose interest in you and go for someone else…


Freelancing is not for everyone!

Especially for freelance newbies it can be tough to get their first real and paid gig. Freelancing websites can help youngsters as well as established professionals to make contact with prospective clients worldwide. You only need to know how…

About the author:

Since 5 years Doreen Schollmeier is dealing with the international freelancing and outsourcing market and knows both sides of the coin. After working as a project manager for an India based company until 2012, supporting the company to find clients worldwide, she nowadays helps freelancers worldwide to find jobs and clients via freelancermap.com


Tanveer Ahmad

I am a freelance graphic designer & passionate reader of entrepreneurship magazines.

  • http://www.genuinejobs.com/ Genuine Jobs

    Completely agree, freelancing isn’t for everyone. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it and earning money from it but that’s not the way it goes.

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