10 Critical Mistakes That Set Me Back 10 Years in Freelancing

10 Critical Mistakes That Set Me Back 10 Years in Freelancing

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Here are the shifts I made to finally grow my business. Photo by Hannah Wei on Unsplash For 10 years, I’ve been an unsuccessful freelancer. That doesn’t mean I was a failure. I landed a few big projects, and I’ve been able to keep getting new clients over the years. But for the majority of that time, I hit a plateau. I wasn’t increasing the number of new clients and I wasn’t increasing my overall revenue. I just chugged along. 10 years ago, I started freelancing in graphic design. It morphed into web design. Now I do mostly web design and social media marketing, but I am shifting to a bigger focus on strategy consulting. Through all those years, I made critical mistakes that kept my business from really taking off. I’m not a successful freelancer now. But in the last 2 years, I’ve finally started making changes that I’ve been putting off for the past decade. I’m actually experiencing growth — more clients and higher-paying clients. These changes are things I should’ve done early on. Though my experience is in the marketing industry, these principles can apply to any type of freelancer. If I had known more about the pitfalls of freelancing early on, I could have experienced success in my business sooner and not wasted so much time. So if you’re new in your freelancing career or are currently on a plateau, this advice could alter the path of your business for the better. 1. I Offered Every Type of Service That Was Requested I should’ve become an expert in a few services Initially, my primary services were graphic design and websites. But people started asking me to do other things that I had little experience in. I didn’t have very many clients in the beginning, so I said yes. Over the years, I grew to add services in email marketing, social media, SEO, custom coding, blogging, photography, video editing, SEO, CPC ads, and a lot of other miscellaneous digital services. It’s not bad if I was building a full-fledged agency with experts on my team. But I was doing it all on my own and learning on my own. I learned to do everything, so I became somewhat of a jack of all trades. But we know the second half of that statement — I was a master of none. I wasn’t really an expert in anything, so I couldn’t really be known or referred to as the go-to person in any field. I also added each new service I did to my website, which diluted my messaging and unique proposition. Instead of saying I could build you really amazing websites, I gradually watered it down to saying I could help your brand online, which doesn’t mean anything. I should’ve selected maybe 2–3 related core services and focused only on that. I should’ve become an expert in doing that so I could build a reputation of being the best in the field. I should’ve limited my […]

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