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Posted on13 September 2012

9 mistakes that freelancers make

From talking to our freelance translators we have come across 9 mistakes that freelancers often make. Here we outline them with some advice so that you don’t fall into the same traps.

1 – Not managing your time
When you are working from home it is far too easy to find something else far more interesting to do. It’s amazing how urgent the washing becomes! This is a mistake that is often made. Once you have planned your day you should stick to it where possible, otherwise work can build up, and you end up putting unnecessary pressure on yourself. You should be in charge of your work flow, not the other way around.

There are lots of handy time management apps you can try – why not look at the Pomodoro Technique? 

2 – Not managing your clients
We all want to do what we can do please our clients, after all they do pay the bills! However they can often change deadlines and interrupt your workflow with further requests. This can be managed by setting out guidelines at the beginning of a project that you are both happy with. It is important to let them know what you need from them by when in order to meet your deadline.

3 – Not setting fees correctly
You need to get this right from the outset! It is often difficult or even impossible to negotiate a new rate half way through a project. If you don’t get it right you end up losing out.

4 – Not looking for work when you are busy
At least 10% of your time should be spent looking for work. It is tempting to get engrossed in your work and not think about what is coming up.

5 – Not networking
You never know who will be there and it counts as part of your 10% of looking for work when you are busy. Look for local Jellys to attend, or co-working groups.

6 – Not keeping up with new technology
Technology changes so quickly it is important to keep up. When companies don’t have in-house skills they outsource them. Look at to see what CPD they are offering.

7 – Not social networking
Twitter and LinkedIn can lead to lots of new opportunities. It is well worth keeping on top of this! Are you following Atlas Translations on LinkedIn? You’ll also find many of our staff there.

8 – Taking it too hard when you have lost a major client
Most freelancers spend 60% of their time working for the same client. When something happens it is easy to get despondent but if you have been keeping up with your new business then you don’t have to worry quite so much!

9 – Being too picky
It would be nice to pick and choose the projects that you work on but the reality is you probably do not have that luxury.

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