If you are a freelancer struggling to expand your client base, get your proposals accepted or your e mails opened by the right people, you may be making some common mistakes that some freelancers have fallen into at some stage in their career. Here are 3 common mistakes freelancers make:

You Don’t Have a Financial or Sales Plan
A plan helps you to focus, analyse yourself how much money you need and where it is going to come from. A financial plan will tell you how much money you need to earn each month to pay your bills, as well as how much you need to earn to pay your taxes. To achieve this financial plan you will need to figure out where your sales are coming from, how many clients you need and the hourly rate you need to charge. Whether you are just starting out or have been a freelancer for a while now, if you haven’t done so, take the time to sit down and work out a very simple financial plan and sales plan.

Not Quoting Correctly
It’s exciting when you come across a potential new client but when they ask for a price for your services don’t be tempted to rush in with a price off the top of your head. Walk away and take the time to think about the job, what is truly involved and where potential problems may arise. Send out a professional quote for your clients acceptance which clearly states what work is covered, the time scales needed and your required payment terms, requesting staged payments wherever possible. Consider whether a fixed price or hourly arrangement will work better for you and don’t forget to consider any admin time you need to cover as part of the job in addition to your normal service. Unfortunately there are some unscrupulous business people out there who will try to take advantage of freelancers by trying to get them to carry out work not agreed in the original scope or are slow payers, so always cover your back.

Spending too long on Freelance Websites
There are thousands of freelancers across the world signed up online to freelance websites. The concept behind them is great and its really simple to sign up so freelancers should have a profile set up with them. However they are competitive and general feeling seems to be that potential customers are looking for freelancers to fulfil work at a rock bottom price which may not cover the hourly rate you need. Don’t spend hours sitting at your computer bidding for work, take some time out to network, meet new people and cold call potential clients – there is no substitute for meeting someone face to face and selling yourself directly.