The list of mistakes made by Pakistani Freelancers is rather long. Let me begin this post by saying that being a freelancer does not mean you work online. A freelancer is someone who is self-employed. They decide their own work-hours, who they work with, and how much they wish to get paid.
The internet just makes this easier to accomplish and connects you with clients from across the world.
Pakistan is a country of more than 200 million people and in a country this big, you’re going to run into a lot of talent. Mistakes are bound to happen too! There’s a lot of hardworking people here who bust their asses off and work 9 hours a day, earning barely enough money to cover their household expenses.
All of the these people are freelancers.
- Wedding photographers and planners
- Cake designers and bakers
- Artists and painters
- Musicians and voice actors
- Creative writers and columnists
Notice how I didn’t mention making websites, programming or any online jobs? Because freelancing is about more than just jobs on the internet. You can be a freelancer without any computer skills whatsoever.
Let me get to the point now.
Negotiating your prices
Setting a price for your services is one of the first things that every freelancer needs to learn. At first everyone offers their services for a low premium but changes over time. As you gain experience and become confident in your ability, it’s time to raise your prices.
But by how much? This is where new freelancers struggle the most. Knowing how much you can charge your clients is something that requires knowledge of your competitors’ prices. You need to find a sweet-spot! One where your clients would still be interested in your content, and be willing to pay the increased price.
The way I did it personally was by communicating with my best clients. They were honest with me and told me that they wouldn’t mind if I increased my affiliate writing prices. So I did, from $15 per piece to $25.
Setting a payment schedule
This is only a problem for projects that have a high budget. Clients can often be unsure about paying the entire cost upfront. They’d much rather see some results before paying the full price, so they don’t. As for projects with smaller budgets, most freelancers collect payments upfront and then work on the project itself.
Let’s talk about large budgets. For large budgets, most freelancers give their clients a payment schedule. Payments are split up into two or more parts. No one has to worry about a client having second thoughts about investing the entire amount at the same time.
The most common method of collecting multiple payments for a single job is by splitting the job into two or more halves, based on the amount of work you need to do. Either 30% or 50% of the total payment should be paid in advance, and the remaining can be paid once half of the work is finished. If for some reason the client is having second thoughts, at least you’ve been paid for the work you’ve already done.
Not knowing your limits
This is something that doesn’t have anything to do with your clients, it’s all about you. Freelancers often oversell their services, or offer services they’re not able to perform. Remember that at the end of the day, your clients need high quality work, at an affordable rate.
If you’re not able to provide the high quality work that they desire, there’s no reason for them to come back to you. Most buyers on freelance websites are there for their businesses, they don’t have enough time to do their own tasks, so they hire others to do it for them.
Take me for example, I hire freelancers all the time to write articles for me, I’m perfectly capable of writing articles for myself, I just don’t have the time to do it. So if I hire someone from Lahore to write a “How to” article for me, and then I have to spend an hour fixing what they’ve written, I’m not going to order from them again.
Setting impossible goals
If you’re starting today and hope to earn thousands of dollars by the end of the month, you’re going to have a bad time. You’re probably not even going to get a single order in a month, and it isn’t even your fault.
For websites like Fiverr, it’s very important to know that buyers are really cynical of new sellers. It’s very common to go weeks without any orders when you’re starting up, so if you want some orders you’ll have to do some self promotion.
Make sure you get in touch with buyers who don’t leave reviews. Remind them that their reviews are very important to you. If they left a negative review or anything below five stars, ask them if you can revise your work. More often than not, they’ll be willing to reconsider their rating once you’ve fully satisfied them.
And above everything else, set goals you can actually reach. Your first goal should be simple, “get an order” – Worry about everything else later and focus all of your efforts into getting your first order.