Answer to Question – What is that one thing you would like to change if you were starting out on freelancing today?
One of IMTips blog reader Animesh asked a very interesting question about freelancing after reading my post about Freelancing in India. His question was
What is that one thing you would like to change if you were starting out on freelancing today?
When I was replying to the email I actually wrote the email couple of times and before I could finish writing the answer to the question completely each time I realized that something else was more important than the one I am writing about and if I could change that, it would be much better for my freelancing in future. I thought I need to give this question really nice thought before replying and it is then I realized what is one thing that every freelancer should focus on because it is one mistake that probably every freelancer knowingly or unknowingly makes.
The mistake is to understand what your services mean to your client – An Asset or an Expense?
When I started I also encountered few clients who simply viewed my services as an expense, a service they would purchase once or may be twice simply to get the things done quickly and on time. However, there are clients who are with me for a long term business relationship.
As of today 8th Nov 2011, if I look at the list of projects I am working on, I am working for clients who have been sending me work regular work few years now. These are the clients I should have been working for all the time because they have also invested in me and rely on my way of getting things done for them.
I have also wasted lot of time trying to adjust the view of the clients who saw my services as yet another cost. There are very few clients as well where I failed to convince that if you are paying for hourly tasks the time I spend to understand your requirement should also be paid and do you think these clients can be long term clients?
Today I am not working for clients who consider me as an yet another expense but if I were to start today I think I would focus on building long term clients rather than focusing on clients who would pay me more (or even few times the pricing) once or twice.
Share your freelancing mistakes in comments below.
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