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Freelance Web Design Crimes You Should Never Commit


In order to succeed and to be very successful as a freelancer weather you are a freelancer pursuing a career within design or maybe even web design, these are some crucial mistakes which are worth avoiding.

Not Pricing Design service correctly


It’s essential when setting up a design business or starting out as a freelance designer that a good pricing structure is setup. Most designers starting out pursuing a freelance career make this common mistake of overvaluing their design service which they offer charging big prices the same as what big commercial design agency’s may charge. Another pricing mistake made is working for peanuts some designers when starting out work for free or undervalue their design service by offering very cheap prices in order to land a design contract.

Only being good at designing

To survive as a freelancer your need be a jack of all trades you need to be an all rounder. You can’t just be good at designing and expect to have long and successful design career, because the reality is the complete opposite for the simple fact that freelancing there are several other skills you must be good at. In order to succeed you need skills such as project management, finance, time management etc in order to succeed you need to be strong in all of these areas or at least be knowledgeable.

Not being focused

focus Most freelancers peruse their freelance design career in from home office therefore some freelancers may find difficult to focus on their work because have other house hold tasks which need to be completed at the same time such as cleaning your house or maybe you have a young family which you have to look after.

Not giving the client what he really wants

If the client asks for a logo why give him a logo and a website don’t make more work for yourself just to impress a client or make more work for yourself because you are not clear upon what the client wanted exactly. Clarify if there’s something which a client requested and you’re not exactly certain about. Time for freelancers is like gold you cannot afford to waste time which could be spent working on another project.

Working 24/7


It’s typical that you will come across a project which will need more of your time and attention working on or alternative you juggling several projects at same time, which means a lot of your time will rapidly eaten up. Most freelancers approached in order to get the work done is to work constantly in order to complete the work which can lead to a burnout period where you are physically unable to continue working at the pace your currently working at because your exhausted and tired from working so hard. Working when you’re tired and mentally drained means you’re not working to your full potential, instead your sacrificing the quality of the work and potentially not getting payed because the client wasn’t in impressed with the quality of the work.

Treating your freelance lifestyle like a rock star


Waking up late and finishing early sounds like a great lifestyle but not the Wright lifestyle for any freelancer to be living. A as solid routine and schedule is essential in order to succeed and being capable of getting work done in order to pay the bills or provide for your family. Remember late starts and early finishes will have an effect on your productivity you’re a freelancer not a rock start time is vital and you can’t afford to waste it.

Wrapping up..

It’s always great to learn from other peoples mistakes so you don’t make the same mistakes which others may have made. I’m sure every freelance at some point has made these mistakes within their freelancing career these are crimes which no freelancer who wants to maintain or have a successful freelancing career should commit.

Time to confess to freelance crimes you’ve committed

Let’s hear your thoughts on the article and why not confess to a freelance crime which you may have committed in the comments below.

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23 thoughts on “Freelance Web Design Crimes You Should Never Commit

  1. i think i committed them all, i guess now im grown up out of it and im solid designer now!

    dont forget… when you good at something, don’t do it for free!!!


  2. Great roundup – I agree that if you want to be successful as a freelancer you have to continually be expanding your skill set and treating your work like a business, not a work from home job.

  3. I agree with Dragan, At some point I have committed all of these and more.

    You mention at the top about having cheap prices in order to land a contract! I think the biggest crime to commit is to undervalue yourself. Yeah maybe having a lower price will get you the heads up but then it shows in your work.

    Its better to decide together on a price that allows their budget and your time and effort! – if you’re getting paid the right amount, your less likely to fob it off or leave it until last minute!

    Plus your basically just allowing clients to shit all over you and soon, because they’re getting cheap labour from you they will abuse it!

    Dragan: when you say don’t do anything for free I have to disagree – depending on your position of course. For example when I first started out and needed to boost my portfolio, So I approached local bars and nightclubs and offered a flyer design for free! that got me some exposure and built a rapport with the nightclub owner.

    I must also state that its the rock-star lifestyle that is most attractive about being a freelancer.

    these are obviously my own views :)

    P.S can you spot the spelling mistake: “Waking up late and finishing early sounds like a great lifestyle but not the Wright lifestyle for any freelancer to be living.” ?

    Yup its ‘right’, not ‘Wright’

  4. The working 24/7 part hits hard for me at the moment because I’ve been doing it for some time now. There’s always something to learn or a personal side project to work on.

    Thanks for reminding me to take a break every now and then. ;)

  5. Like Dragan, committed them all. Likewise have learned from mistakes and run a tidy little operation now. Although, still work silly hours, but hey, that’s life running your own business.

    Nice article by the by.

  6. Dont undersell yourself.
    When pricing a project, remember that it will take you twice the time you think it will and dont be afraid to ask for more money than you would pay; thats why its called mark up. The product should cost more to the customer than you think its worth, because your talent is worth more to them than it is to you. They dont have your skills and thus should pay more for it.

  7. Biggest mistake I made in the past was coordinating the details with my printer. Designs had to be printed on a vinyl banner, but due to lack of communication they only printed on one side of a lamp-post banner. Thankfully it was corrected within a day.

  8. All these points look quite obvious, but you can’t help eventually commiting some of these crimes, even when you know they’re not right. The most difficult thing for me it’s time management.

  9. Very good advice! I have committed everything except “Only being good at designing,”

    I currently am not a full-time freelancer, but would like to be one someday. I have bookmarked this link, thanks! :)

  10. Thou shalt not use images found on flickr (or elsewhere) for use on a client’s website, even creative commons images. Just as you deserve to be paid a living wage, so do the photographers capable of providing quality images your client needs.

  11. I’ve definitely gone through a burnout period or two, after some crazy long days for several months on big development projects.

    Time management is crucial to be sure.

    Sometimes it’s better to use a courier service to take things across town to a client, than to make the trip yourself. A simple 15 minute trip across town to drop something off for a client almost always turns into an hour. So unless it’s a meeting, save your essential time for work.

  12. Over committing yourself. I’ve been guilty far too many times of taking on more work than I could handle, and then *every* client suffers, and even worse, your reputation takes a beating that can be hard to recover from.

    Also, not outsourcing as necessary. I’m a programmer mostly, and while I can do design work or server administration, it’s best to pay someone else, take a small bit of a markup for profit, and focusing on what I do best, rather than struggle through tasks that I end up overcharging for since I can’t do it as fast as a “professional”

  13. We learn from our mistakes, this was a post that reminded me of some occurrences that occurred in past. I used to over-deliver, but to find over-delivering is considered crime is new to me.
    Thanks mate, also sorry for my English, I have just learned it from here and there, as it’s not my mother’s tongue.

  14. call me a convict for trying to over-impress my clients. the thing is, it comes back to bite you when the project stretches a little longer than you expected and you lose money as a result of that.

    keep it simple. give client what (s)he wants.

  15. I would add another one:

    Not following through.

    Make sure you stay in touch with your clients, not only socially or to peruse for more work, but to do some quality control on the results of your work.
    Don’t hide and cross your fingers everything went perfect or wait until you get contacted to correct mistakes.
    Take the initiative and reach out to your clients, ask then how the experience from the solutions you provided them have improved their business, if they’ve been easy to use, effective and if there has been a return to their investment in your work.
    Long standing work relationships are productive for both you and your client. You will certainly get more work handed for you, and your clients will trust more and more in your judgement and know-how.
    They will feel you really care about their business and will see you more as a partner than as the weird expensive geek that knows how to do stuff they can’t do themselves.

  16. I think the article would’ve been more impressive if it didn’t have so many grammatical errors and typos. Don’t get me wrong, there is sound advice found here, but it doesn’t make an impression that I need to really value what someone is saying, when it’s not even written correctly.

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