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Freelancing? Don’t Fall Into These Traps


Working virtually is associated with numerous benefits ranging from financial freedom to flexible working hours. If you build your brand and clientele, work-from-home jobs as a management consultant will generate thousands of dollars per month.  Having said this, several individuals find it difficult to established themselves as successful online professionals due to the following pitfalls:

  1. Lack of concentration

There are so many distractions  when you work online – especially if you are working from home. Social media can be ranked among the top most distractions; you can easily get distracted with a chat alert or other notifications.  Your home is your castle, filled with your television, your hobbies, family, visiting friends, and so on. Since you are not restricted with any ‘company rules and regulations’ (you work on your own), you may end up wasting your precious time against your ambition of becoming a successful online professional.

  • The solution

If you really want to enjoy the luxury of being at home and earn good revenue, set a code of ethics and rules of discipline for your own benefit. You can disable all the social networks during your work hours. Use a social media managing app to restrict the alerts you get during your work hours. Additionally,  you can designate your working area to avoid potential distractions from your family members, visitors, or even pets. You may consider setting up a home office and creating a daily routine that enables you to thrive in your new lifestyle.

  1. Lack of planning

The success of working online depends on how smart you work, not just how hard you work.  It depends on your ability to prioritize your projects and your non-work responsibilities. Realize your capacity pretty well before you undertake projects.  If you don’t have a good idea about the deadlines and your competence, you may end up consistently overpromising and underdelivering.  Such complications may encourage clients to leave negative feedbacks in your portfolio, which can be the kiss-of-death for a freelance professional.  Also, consistently working on rush projects may reduce the quality of the end result.

  • The Solution

Know your strengths and weaknesses –  and your limitations.  Never accept work beyond your capacity.  Set and follow a printed schedule or use an organizer app to track your deadlines and the progress of your work.  At the end of the day, even the most laser-sharp professionals have moments where they are at the mercy of Murphy’s Law.  Communicate proactively to your client, and do not procrastinate.

  1. Lack of learning and growth

When you are employed full-time with a company, the company allots funds to send you to conferences and training.  When you are on your own, the onus of continued growth falls on your shoulders.  While experience is the best teacher, it is easy to fall into trap of working without setting aside time to learn about the latest advancements, white papers, and ‘buzz’ in your area of expertise.  If you are not aware of the latest trends, your presentations and deliverables may start looking outdated

  • The solution

The most cost effective, relatively easiest solution is to keep track of the latest news and developments, white papers, and trade magazines in your chosen field.  Signing up for niche groups online, subscribing to certain magazines, and joining local groups are all viable options. Also, build a good network with the relevant professionals in your niche and track what they read. Extract their experience, how-to-work tips and learn their ways of approaching and retaining clientele. Take time to update your knowledge about your specialized field and be ready to offer the latest possible solution for your customers. There are not many sure things in life, but investing in yourself and your education is one of them.

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About The Author

I graduated from a top 20 university (Emory) with a dual degree in English and Business. I have pursued a thriving business career with just over a decade of experience in marketing strategy, branding, and communications. I have worked with Fortune 100 companies’ billion dollar accounts, empowering them to create their most enduring brand stories. However, my most challenging accounts have been the boutique-sized accounts, where the money had to work hard for the client. I have also forayed into teaching high school English. I know when to be pithy and to the point. Conversely, I know how to weave a web of words like a work of art so that it ensconces the reader like a cocoon.


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