If you’re reading this, you’re probably a freelancer or have fantasized about a freelance career. There’s no denying that working as a freelancer may be enthralling. What could be better than working from home, setting your own hours, and, most importantly, being your own boss? While you may believe you’ve cracked the hardest biscuit, life has more in store for you.
Of course, having the freedom to choose your customers, vacation dates, and payments has been fantastic. However, there are some drawbacks to being a freelancer or running your own small business. These annoyances will arise from time to time, so be prepared.
To improve your freelancing profession, look into the 30 most typical mistakes made by your fellow freelancers.
Here are some of my suggestions for the most common problems.
Payment is late or non-existent.
Every time bill your clients as soon as a project is completed. You should expect to get paid within 30 days in most cases, so if you haven’t been paid in six weeks, you should be forceful.
Moreover, send a follow-up email inquiring when you may expect payment and attaching your original invoice again. Are you unsure if your invoice is correct or if it appears to be unprofessional?
Use Refrens Free Invoice Generator to create professional invoices in minutes and eliminate the need to send reminders because the software will also send late payment notifications.
Additionally, If you haven’t received a response, phone the client. If you get voicemail and no response, try calling the client’s manager or if the client works for a larger organization, the accounts payable department. Don’t be harsh; simply state that you’re contacting regarding an unpaid invoice and that no one has responded to your earlier inquiry.
You can provide early-pay discounts to encourage individuals to pay on time. This will offer them an extra boost the next time they make a payment.
Having a thorough contract that spells out your and the client’s responsibilities will help you avoid problems down the road.
If a client requests lengthy contract modifications, you may refuse to take on the business. If you can’t simply agree on a project’s scope and payment due date, that’s usually a sign that this client will be demanding – and you may determine whether or not you want this project.
Learn how to make the best freelance proposals that will help you better deliver client responsibilities.
For no apparent reason, Clients are missing deadlines
Obviously, you intend to fulfill your deadlines, but what happens if your client fails to meet theirs? Remember that you can establish deadlines, but all you can do if your customer fails to meet them is spell out the penalties.
If the customer fails to return the materials on time, you may need to set new review deadlines. This is related to my previous point about considering all alternatives when crafting your initial agreement.
As a result, before beginning work, it is recommended that you ask seven particular customer questions.
Going missing (Missing in Action)
You email a contract after one or more chats about a new project. In most cases, you will receive a signed agreement along with an initial payment, or the prospective client may email you with queries concerning the contract, which you will respond to. You begin working after receiving a signed contract and initial payment.
However, you may not hear anything after sending the agreement. This is probably the most aggravating of all client issues.
You think there’s a cause for the change of heart, but you’re baffled as to why individuals can’t simply state the project is canceled or that they’ve recruited someone else.
As a result, your business strategy must include MIA projects, something many novice freelancers fail to achieve.
Rudeness to the extreme
For instance, a book you edited isn’t selling well. The author is clearly frustrated and complains, blaming you for the low sales. He continues to send you threatening emails and voicemails.
Although there isn’t much you can do to change the situation, you normally write a short email explaining the speculative nature of the publishing business and offering some suggestions.
However, you should stop responding if the author continues to harass and berate you. Nothing you say is going to influence the author’s mind. As a last resort, notify an intermediary — a mutual acquaintance who suggested the customer – that the client has stepped outside of bounds.
As a result, you should not respond to the client soon away to combat these problems
4 Problems Of Responding Client Right Away
1. It establishes a norm
It establishes the expectation that you will answer within that timeframe every time. If you can’t or won’t, the client may call, e-mail, or text you to see if you received their original message.
2. It gives the impression that you don’t have any other employment or clientele
Don’t get too excited. Keep your cool. The client may believe you have nothing else going on if you are always available at their beck and call. It makes no difference whether you do or do not. If people believe that, they may ask why you don’t appear to be doing anything else.
3. You are not on call always
You are not on call, waiting to be paged like a doctor unless you are compensated for overtime, rush work, or a day rate to be available during a project.
4. It takes your attention away from your work
Switching gears to answer an e-mail while you’re in a creative genius mode, layout mode, or whatever you’re doing is distracting and unproductive.
Why Freelancer Stop Replying To Client’s Call ?
Getting work done by freelancers can be very challenging at times. The biggest challenge is communication. We all have gone through those days when freelancers don’t reply to emails or calls.
Here are the top reasons we have come across for broken communication.
- He is not free at that moment – Just respect that. He does not work for you only. He has other clients and he has a life. The whole idea of being a freelancers was that he wanted freedom from being available to everyone all the time.
- You Pay less– You are keen on getting things done at last year’s price. If a freelancer is good, he will grow really fast and so will his fees.
- He hasn’t finished the work – And is too ashamed to give you an update. Freelancers stop replying to not feel bad. They fear that you are going to shout on them, and rightly so, so they prefer to get into their cocoon and be unapproachable until the work is finished. There is a higher chance that they haven’t even started working on it. Best is to message them 2 days in advance to remind them of the deadline and drop a message asking them “How far is it done?”, instead of “Is it done?”.
- He has grown past you – Your work is too “small” for them. They can’t tell that you on your face. So they just stop replying. Just like that investor that you have been chasing. This time, it’s not him, it’s you.
Freelancers, like all growing people, seek challenging work and good people to work with. Just money doesn’t cut it all the time.
- He doesn’t know it’s you – He lost his phone and all the contacts. He does not identify you via phone number. An SMS would help but what if he changed his number.
I have dealt with one such freelancer. His phone number was changed. The email was rarely checked. I had to contact one of his newer clients, through the phone number on their domain registration info. And then asked them to ask the freelancer to call. Phew! Some major Sherlock moment.
- Freelancers are bad in people skills – A lot of freelancers do not understand the value of regular communication
- He is a lazy bum – At times you are just dealing with a lazy guy with little goals.
- He has moved to a different country – Yes. A lot freelancers move to a different country for extended periods of time. Either for a client or generally to explore more in life. I know you must be feeling really bad, your regular job doesn’t allow this. Sorry for you.
- He is under stress– A lot of freelancers go through short or long term depression. Depression may not be the correct term to define the condition but you get the idea. Lack of colleagues and therefore lack of people to talk to makes it difficult for them to express themselves. Such conditions make it difficult to talk to anyone or listen to anyone, specially for work with deadlines. Treat your freelancer like a co-worker and you will be able to get more of their time.
Solutions Of Not Responding Right Away
1. Establish clear expectations and boundaries.
Allowing customer requests to govern your day is not a good idea. Set and enforce boundaries if they are. Inform your customers:
- your working hours
- how soon they should expect a response from you
- You may not pick up the phone if they call when you are working on a project, and they should appreciate that you would do the same if you were working on their project.
Then you have to follow your rules!
2. Make a habit change
Remove your hand off the trigger. Any responses you draft should be done outside of work hours. This is possible in Gmail, Thunderbird, and a variety of other email clients. This more automated technique will also ensure that you don’t miss a client’s message if you happen to check it late at night or on the weekend.
Remember that you are in charge of your freelancing business, and you determine the tone and terms.
To summarise, a freelancer should be aware of when and how to respond to client calls. As a result, it’s critical for freelancers to improve their client communication skills in order to have a better rapport with them. Not only should they improve their client communication skills, but they should also work on developing soft skills that will aid them with the client relationship.
Are you a first-time freelancer? Perhaps you’re not sure where to begin when it comes to sending a quotation to a client? To make your work more professional, use the quotation builder at Refrens and send it to your client within minutes.