Most Common Mistakes New Freelancers make and How to Avoid Them

Sumera Aslam

Are you a newbie in the world of freelancing and thriving hard to successfully establish your career in this field? If yes, then you have to know about the most common mistakes almost every new freelancer makes and how to avoid them. Mistakes are actually part of the learning curve and you would not be able to enjoy the success if mistakes aren’t there. Freelancing is not about getting bulk of money all at once nor it’s an easy job. Rather, it’s a continuous process to develop and polish your skills. I still remember the time when I used to be a layman but desperately wanted to make some achievements as a freelancer. Also, I had some substandard views regarding freelancing in Pakistan and its authenticity. The reason being that, I heard about so many people that they had to face scammers and fraudulent activities but not the potential buyers. There was also an insecurity about getting paid and payment methods. But thanks to Chief Minister’s e-Rozgaar program, after getting enrolled there, the hardworking trainers cleared all the misconceptions in my mind and helped me to kick start my career, by directing towards the right way to do these things. It’s Only because of their efforts that I was able to earn more than 600$ within 68 days and also achieved level one on Fiverr (a freelancing Platform). Now that I am not a new seller anymore, I feel that some new freelancers are not getting the desired results even if they are working hard. That is why I curated this guide to make them aware of the most common mistakes they are making and how to avoid them. So, let’s get started!


It’s the biggest mistakes some of us do as a newbie. No doubt freelancing is a ‘work from home’ type of job but that doesn’t mean it’s that much easy. Taking it lightly will definitely lead to failure because you have to establish it like your new business by putting in a lot of effort. Your 24/7 availability is a MUST! It’s not like winning a lottery that you dived in, earned thousands of dollars and spending the rest of your life doing nothing. Things do not work that way, you have to be consistent and be ready to accept failures as Einstein said, “a person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” So, always try to learn from the mistakes and do not repeat them.


Unexpected things happen in the world of freelancing and there is a possibility that someday, you can earn more than usual but that doesn’t mean, you can immediately spend all of that money. Of course, you are free to do the things you like but its recommended to put a small amount aside every month just in case of need. Think of it as your retirement plan because there is uncertainty in this field and you cannot expect what will happen next. Same as a business, where people earn huge profits but the loses are also there. Remember that your habit of spending too much may lead you to quit this career. So, spend wisely and there must be some funds kept aside for those ‘rainy days’.


The best thing about freelancing is, you can set your own rates and working hours but problem arises when you fail to maintain a work-life balance. It’s really important not take too much work that you cannot handle. I had such an experience when I took an order to write 10 articles within a week while there were another two orders pending in the queue. I thought to test my capabilities and how far I can go. That wasn’t a good experienced at all because though I succeeded to deliver the work on time but had to work all day long and was extremely exhausted in the end by producing low quality work. So, always maintain a work-life balance and don’t let the work take over your life.

I know it sounds terrifying to refuse new buyers hence losing a client for a lifetime but it’s better to say NO rather than providing low quality work. Either way, the client will not come back so why to spoil your reputation as a freelancer by providing that service which is not up to the mark due to shortage of time?


This is another most common mistake made by new freelancers. They do not trust their skills and hence failed to charge enough. Do not let the buyers exploit you. As the main goal of every business is to maximize profit, so is the goal of freelancing. Don’t be shy in demanding what your right is, because you are not doing charity work rather making a living out of it. Don’t let the buyer set the price of your service, it is a thing that you need to do yourself. Another harm which you will be doing to this market is spoiling the standard rates. People who are already working for years will face difficulty which is not a good gift from your side to the people working in your industry.

So be confident in your capabilities and ask for the rate which is worthy of your service. Charging less will lead to the slower growth of your career and you may be left behind in this competitive industry!


This happens when there arises a communication gap between you and your buyer. Try to communicate well by letting them know about all of your skills. For example, if you are developing a WordPress website for a customer and you can also design a logo, then must try to encourage them to hire you for that job as well. This can be done by communicating in the right way. Don’t stop at a single static point because freelancing is all about change and learning something new each day. It will be a huge mistake if you leave the opportunity to grow organically due to poor communication.