The following is a guest post by Annie W, the travel blogger for Dobovo, the Kiev-based accommodation search engine:
As a freelancer and an avid traveler, one of the most common questions I get is: how much do you make? But after that, the next most common question I get is: what is it like? My answer is can be anything from ‘wonderful’ to ‘stressful’. It might even just be me ripping out my hair if it has been a particularly difficult week.
We freelancers often have an unsteady, unpredictable flow of work to do for clients. One month might be painfully slow and the next crazy busy. If you’re going through a time when you don’t have much client work to do, here are 5 highly productive tasks you can do to improve your knowledge & skills and to attract new projects from new and existing clients.
1. Underestimating time & project costs
Skip the frustration by learning from my biggest mistakes as a freelancer
Underestimating time and project costs is easily the biggest mistake I’ve made, and also the biggest mistake freelancers make in general. Why? Because it’s extremely difficult to calculate how long a project will take when you haven’t completed a similar project in the past to use as a reference.
I’ve found that the largest “unknown” factor that consumes much more time than I expected is communication with clients and making countless revisions and minor changes to a project.
I believe the only truly effective way to produce more accurate estimates is to carefully track time on projects now so that in the future, when you have projects similar in scope, you have some real, hard data to use for calculating the estimates.
2. Accepting equity (shares) in startup companies as compensation instead of hourly compensation