There are a lot of articles and recommendations on how to attract new clients and raise sales. Most of those articles explain how to optimize your business and website and how to make your offer look more attractive and appealing. In this article I will share a few personal examples from working with freelancers. I think that by eliminating the mistakes, which I will point out, you will be able to raise sales and pave the way to starting and managing a business.

1. Be honest

I was burned a few times by believing everything that was listed in the experience and skills sections. A lot of freelancers think that by including as many skills as possible, even those that they are not familiar with, will help them to get a client. And to some extent this is true! However, what’s left at the end of the day?

- we lose the client
- we receive a negative review
- we might lose all of the potential clients from this website
- we also lose everyone who could’ve been referred to us
our income drops
- we lose time
- we create problems for our client
- we lose our nerves and nerves of our clients.
- we can get penalized
- we lose trust

Personally, I could go on with this list, but I think I was able to get my point across.

A lot of times people don’t want to earn money, they want to hit the jackpot. However, this is a failing strategy, especially in freelancing. If you are lacking skills or have insufficient knowledge to finish a job, just don’t take it.

Give thought to which consequences the client might have to deal with, when you approach your job with the following in mind “Well, I understand the topic to some extent.”

Also, you shouldn’t overprice your services if you can’t live up to your claims. It is much better to list your real skills so the client will know what to expect.

Gain experience and polish your skills, this way you will able to work your way up into the big league. Don’t place yourself there right away and create enormous number of accounts down the line.

Be honest and don’t rush!

2. Don’t push

In my experience with freelancers I came across two types of situations when I was put under pressure at the end of almost every deal that I was closing with someone.

This one time, I was having a conversation with a freelancer and started to complain about how hard it is to find the right person to handle work. And he replied that often this is clients’ fault, because they fail to communicate their needs. Maybe he was right. Sometimes clients don’t know exactly what they want. However, this is the part where you as a freelancer can use your professionalism to help your client. I will talk about this later in this post.

At that moment when he told me that low quality result is mostly clients’ fault, I had already my share of freelancers’ misses. So after analyzing the most problematic spots in forming a task, I was able to create pretty coherent technical tasks.

We talked a bit more with the designer and came to an agreement.

And yes, I did send him examples of websites that I liked and added a detailed description to the instructions.

When I received the design I thought that he was mocking me. It is absurd and unthinkable to produce such low-quality work in 2015. Except that he had pretty good samples in his portfolio. Altogether I was left a bit disappointed.


At the time when we were almost done working together and it doesn’t matter successfully or not, this is what I got from him:

1. He mentioned his financial problems and a large family that he needs to feed.
2. It was required to leave him a five star review and comment.

Please don’t get me wrong, I understand that everyone is going through their own difficulties. Perhaps, it is better to work more thoroughly and then it wouldn’t be necessary to pressure your clients, because they will voluntary leave good reviews with a smile on their faces.

3. Be a professional

I will start by pointing out that often customers won’t have all of the necessary information to accurately describe what they want.

So maybe it is more reasonable to stop putting the responsibility on the customers for bad quality work and try to help instead. Before confirming an order try to ask questions, which will enable the customers to give you more detailed answers. And try to spend around 15 minutes getting the required details or to clarify something. In the end you will be able to save everyone’s time.

Prepare a list of questions and details that you will always need to get from your client so you will be able to successfully complete any task. And if anyone didn’t provide some of the information, then ask them to spare a few minutes and ask. Better yet, prepare a questionnaire and then send it to your clients by e-mail. To top it off you can also help them fill it out if needed.

Often when I receive e-mails from freelancers, the format is not given enough attention:

- subject line: “RE: Brief“
- salutation: “Dear Client”
- name of the file “Brief (8).doc“

All of these details could be insignificant per se, but personally I think that they show your attitude towards work.

There is no reason to not make the subject line understandable and add the name of the order to it. Maybe I, as a customer, receive hundreds of similar e-mails daily. For example, if the timeframe was discussed previously, then write them or send a note through Google Calendar. Make sure that the brief does not contain information about your previous customer.

In my book, these little things will make a good first impression and make you look like a professional.

4. Be communicative

Some freelancers have the habit of being a little bit late with one task or another. This is okay in general. I am not taking into account signed agreements though, where a missed deadline might result in sanctions. Here I will look at a task like writing a 300-word text.


In my opinion, it is better to let your customer know that you won’t be able to meet a deadline.

It is important to reply to such questions as “How is the order going? Will you be able to finish it on time?” and not go offline instead. Feedback is very important and it doesn’t matter whether it is positive or negative.

5. Do not aim for numbers

A lot of freelancers pick up a lot of orders, which they can’t manage. This leads to unmet deadlines and poor quality of work.

You should be a bit pragmatic and try to earn authority from a small audience and progress gradually from there. For freelancers it takes a lot of effort to earn authority, which takes years of hard work and it can be destroyed in an instant. Try not to hurry and instead think in advance. Here are couple of tips, which you can take into account:

- If you notice that you are unable to manage all of the orders by yourself, then team up with someone. By giving your partner a portion of the income, you will able to earn more in the long run;
- Turn down couple of orders or say that your schedule is full for the next few months. This might create a boom around you thus allowing you to raise prices;
- Try to maintain a work schedule and realistically determine your chances of completing a new task.

Remember that quality will always be rewarded!

Author's Bio: 

Digital marketing specialist and blogger more than 5 years. Main areas are content marketing, SEO, digital marketing, project management and more. Owner of several online projects. One of them is the blog for marketers and freelancers Tip My Business. And online freelance exchange for business, technical and academic writers - Writers Per Hour.