Inefficiencies that are killing your freelance business

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To be successful as a freelancer you have to be smart about how you conduct business.

Talent is a wonderful thing. But being the world’s greatest creative doesn’t ensure success.

New freelancers quickly learn that you are your own business manager, marketing department, and accounting department all wrapped up into one.

Without procedures in place to handle the multiple tasks you have to deal with on a daily basis, you won’t be able to keep up with it all.

Sidenote: Once you finish, read how 4 freelancers built recurring revenue models that changed their business. You'll love it.

So what’s a freelancer to do?

Check out the following suggestions to help rid yourself of bad habits and become more efficient.


screen-shot-2016-10-19-at-4-20-42-pmThis article is brought to you by our partners at AND CO. With a sleek app and a real-life human on your side, AND CO is all you need to take the headache out of billing as a freelancer. Our partnership has not affected the value or content of this article. Learn more at and.co


Doing it all yourself

In the beginning, you will be doing everything yourself. You won’t be able to afford to hire anyone at first (unless you have significant savings).

Start by asking questions. The Millo Mastermind group is a great place to ask about anything connected to your freelance business. From finding the best software to what to do about a client, you’ll find answers to your most pressing questions from freelancers just like you.

Join 35,000+ people just like you who get our free newsletter.

As your business grows, it’s smart to hire someone to help you with tasks that you don’t care for or aren’t good at. You also may want to partner with other freelancers to help you with projects that are too large for you to handle on your own or have components that are outside your area of expertise.

Not having systems in place

Since you’re a one-man or one-woman show, you need to set up systems to help you get things done fast.

Email autoresponders are a great way to give potential clients all the information they need to know about working with you.

Scheduling systems and calendars allow prospects to book appointments without having to send emails back and forth.

Automate everything you can. Even social media updates can be scheduled in advance to avoid having to spend too much time away from project work.

Underbidding your work

The number one problem that all freelancers experience is underbidding themselves.

Your time is valuable. Don’t trade dollars for time. Charge your clients per project, and be very specific about what’s included in the price.

Even if you’re not working for an hourly rate, keep track of your time so you know how long tasks take and can adjust prices if needed.

Chasing client payments every month

Be diligent about billing your clients as soon as you receive the project. Depending on the price of the project, it’s wise to request at least half of the project fee upfront.

If you’re looking for an efficient system that tracks projects from proposal to payment, maybe you should give AND CO a try.

Not only will you have a powerful software system to help you manage proposals and payments, you’ll get a real person to guide you every step of the way.

Conclusion

Setting up a freelance business can be overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone.

By asking for help, tracking your time, and using a payment system like AND CO, you’ll find it easier to get things done.

What systems have you set up that save you a ton of time in your business? Tell us about it in the comments!

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About Sharon McElwee

Sharon McElwee helps creative businesses with blogging, email, copywriting and social media. She loves to partner with designers on web and print projects. You make beautiful things; don’t let them get ruined by ugly copy. Connect with her on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. Yes! So true! Developing your own systems are critical and underbidding is the worst! Thanks for this.

  2. Great post!

  3. Hi Sharon- I am a graphic designer out of Miami and I am often looking for a great copywriter. Are you interested?!

  4. That’s not a useful article! It’s an advertisement for and co.

  5. Sherwin Estrada says:

    Straight to the point – ouch!!! But I needed that, so thanks for sharing. 🙂

  6. Thanks For Share this informative post Sharon McElwee, Creativity is really considered as greatest asset for a freelancer, simply we can say that creativity is a tool which helps us to push near to success or achieve our goals. But sometimes creativity push us to meet mistakes in life. You have explored great informative things and it provides us good opportunity to learn something from this post.

  7. Thanks For Sharing this Article, really helpful Creativity is really considered as greatest asset for a freelancer, simply we can say that creativity is a tool which helps us to push near to success or achieve our goals. But sometimes creativity push us to meet mistakes in life. You have explored great informative things and it provides us good opportunity to learn something from this post.