There’s no question that working for yourself can be extremely rewarding. You have complete freedom to work wherever you like, whether that be in a home office or a coworking space. The freedom to choose to be a freelancer is one of the draws that attract web designers to their work. There’s nothing like working for yourself.
However, the lifestyle can also have some downsides. While you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck all day long, the freedom that comes with your work can cause problems. And if you’re not careful, it’s possible to develop some bad habits that can hurt you both personally and professionally.
Bad habits start slowly and innocently enough, but if they’re allowed to continue, bad habits can cause plenty of havoc. In this article, we’ll take a look at some freelance bad habits to avoid and how to fix them.
1. Being Unresponsive to Clients
Lack of communication is a sure way to kill off relationships with clients and others. As a web designer, communication is one of the main keys to your business. Clients soon grow tired of not getting a response from their web designer. The result is that they find someone else to manage their website. The result for you is loss of business.
Sure, occasionally, an email or phone call may be forgotten. You had every intention of responding right away, but work got you sidetracked, and you forgot to respond. That’s OK; however, if this becomes a habit and you leave clients waiting for a response, you’re harming their business. And they will move on to another web designer who’s ready to communicate.
How do you fix this problem? It starts by creating a schedule and setting aside time each day to respond to emails and return phone calls. Sure, it’s not easy and may take some discipline at first. But over time, you’ll form a new habit that does your business good and adds a major benefit for your clients.
2. Cutting Corners to Save Time
The next bad habit as a freelancer is cutting corners to save time. There will be times when you’re extremely busy, and you’re behind the desk all day without a break. That happens to everyone at times. It may even cause you to feel stressed in times like that. You may even get distracted and forget some of the smaller details of your work. These details may involve things that make a high-quality website functional.
The worst part is that you may make more work for yourself when the mistakes come to light. What’s worse is that some of those errors may not turn up for months. It can happen.
How can you fix this situation? It can be difficult, but it’s best to give each task the proper amount of time it needs. Yes, it’s tempting to rush through things when you’re busy. But when you take the time to ensure the work’s done right, you won’t have errors coming back to haunt you months later.
3. Failing to Keep Up with Finances
Designers don’t always make very good accountants. However, when you have a business, it’s important to keep track of what you earn and what goes out. Otherwise, you may find yourself in trouble when tax time comes along.
Of course, taking care of finances is more than tracking income and expenses. It also has to do with keeping accurate records of who owes you money. You won’t get paid if invoices aren’t sent out.
It takes discipline and time to get used to tracking finances. It’s not everyone’s favourite thing to do, either. But what happens if you don’t mark paid invoices right away? You probably think you’ll remember, so it’s not a problem. But over time, your memory doesn’t serve and you forget what’s been paid. Ouch!
How can you fix this issue? First, you need to develop a process for recording all financial records. You have the freedom to do it in a way that works for you and is comfortable. But avoid putting things off until the last minute. You may be so busy that later never comes.
4. Surrounding Yourself with Distractions
Another advantage of freelancing is that you can set up a customised work environment. You can have things just the way you want them. However, be careful with this.
It’s easy to fall into the habit of having the TV on as you work. Listening to sports may help you focus; however, it may also cause a huge distraction.
Remember, web designers need to develop good focus. Focus is essential. Watching those find details of building a website can mean the difference between creating a high-quality site that works or one that’s filled with small problems that are hard to find.
How to fix this problem? Set up your workspace so you can concentrate. It’s OK to have entertainment options but make sure they’re not distractions.
5. Thinking You’re Not Good Enough
As a freelance web designer, you know there are plenty of talented designers in the business. Some of them do stunning work. When you see this, it can make you feel as if you don’t have the talent and skills necessary to be successful in this business.
When you start thinking like this, you may unwittingly begin to stay at your current level and not strive to improve. For instance, you may see a project that looks enticing, but you don’t bid on it. You’re worried that the project may be way beyond your skill level. The problem is that when you think like that it can become an attitude that holds you back.
How can you fix this problem? Start by understanding that what you may be experiencing is imposter syndrome. To get out of this, do something that makes you feel good about yourself. Try learning a new skill or start a side project you love. These are ways to give yourself the boost in confidence that can help you succeed as a web designer and improve your skills at the same time.
Summing It Up
As you go through your freelance journey, remember that bad habits can strike at any time. There’s no need to panic. It happens to us all at some point. The key is to use these times to learn and improve your skills.
There are ups and downs in all businesses; however, the best web designers are those that work to improve a little each day. Perfection is not necessary; you just need to focus on avoiding these bad habits and working to improve your skills and mindset!