Costly but Common Mistakes that Freelancers Make

 In VA Work Tips and Best Practices


Most people make mistakes when they are just starting out to make money online by freelancing, or working as a virtual employee. It happens frequently and is completely understable; after all, remote work is not as commonplace as it should be. But some of these mistakes aren’t simple rookie mistakes. No, some of them can actually cost you a substantial amount of time, money, and effort. And these are things that many of us can’t really afford to lose.

To help you avoid these common pitfalls, here’s a handy list of some costly but common mistakes that many freelancers make.

  • Not investing in the proper tools and equipment.

It’s tempting to buy the cheapest laptop, camera, or any other equipment you need when you’re just starting out. But settling for whatever’s just enough to get you going won’t help you push yourself to work harder and get more clients. When your equipment limits your work, whether in terms of productivity or quality, then it’s a bad investment.

  • Taking on more than you can handle.

When you’re new to virtual assistance, you might be tempted to accept every single job that comes your way. After all, money is money right? Wrong. You’ll realize along the way that there are some jobs that are not worth your time and effort, and there are clients that you would be willing to exert extra effort for because they pay well and give jobs regularly. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Choose your clients and jobs wisely to better allocate your time and resources.


  • Not giving your client what they asked for.

Yes, as the expert, you’re entitled to give your opinions to your clients when you’re discussing the project. However, that doesn’t give you the right to change the final output according to what you think is best for your client. In most cases, not giving the client what they asked for will result in additional changes to your work, possibly unpaid, or worse, termination of the contract and loss of the client’s trust and endorsement.


  • Thinking that your income is your profit.

Your income and your profit are two different things. You have to remember that you’re paying for overheads now and that you don’t have a fixed monthly income (unless you’re lucky enough to find a regular, long-term monthly client), so you should always subtract these costs when computing your profit. The key thing to remember is to always put aside a portion of your income for savings and another portion for regular office costs and taxes. To help you get a better picture of your finances, it would be helpful to do some sort of monitoring or tracking for your cash flow as well.

  • Not learning new things.

It’s easy to be complacent once you’ve built a steady stream of clients, so be careful to not fall into this trap. Learn new things and expand your knowledge. This will allow you to explore new opportunities and increase both your income and experience.

These are just a few of the common but costly mistakes that freelancers make. It’s okay to make a few mistakes every now and then. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes and avoid repeating them in the future.

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