News Reel & Blog

Written by Flora Kimberley on 16th July 2019

When leaving the grind of a 9-5 job to become a Freelance worker there are many things to consider. When you initially switch over, it can be easy to make mistakes or forget things because of the drastic change to your work life. Here is a list of the most common mistakes made by new freelancers and the best way to avoid them...

1. Have a Financial Buffer

Going freelance takes planning. It’s practical to save about three months of income for emergencies before taking the plunge. The best way to manage this initially is to put aside a percentage of pay checks in the lead up to going Freelance, to cover your initial expenses or unexpected costs associated.

2. Be Aware of the Legal Side

You don’t need to be a lawyer or have a law degree to become a freelancer, but it is important to understand the basics such as independent contractor and nondisclosure agreements. Be aware of the legal side, this can include a conventional statement of work, invoice or contract.

3. Charging the Right Fee

It can be a difficult negotiating the price for your services. What is a fair price? Consider whether there is a market demand for your service, length of contract, level of skill or software required etc. Reaching out to your peers can help you to place a reasonable monetary value of your services. A specialist freelance agency (such as Searchlight Freelance) can help as well, based on your experience and the current market pricing scale.

4. Shying Away From Leadership

As a freelancer, you are accountable for updating your skills, marketing yourself, speaking to potential clients and fulfilling your commitments punctually. Negotiate this by embracing these duties and organise yourself so that this doesn’t overwhelm you. Think like an entrepreneur rather than an employee.

5. Contracts (or lack of!)

This seems like an obvious one, but it’s important to receive a signed contract prior to starting work. It can be nerve-wracking asking a new client for paperwork, but regardless of the scale of the project, a contract or a statement of work is totally necessary and having something in writing can protect your business in the long run.

6. Overcommitting Yourself

As a Freelancer, it can be tricky to distinguish work-life balance. Read our blog discussing the best ways to avoid burning out as a freelancer.

If you are considering going freelance or just want to have a chat about your options, email our freelance division at freelance@searchlight.com.

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