Being a freelancer is difficult. We wear many hats. We're entrepreneurs, customer service reps and salespeople in addition to what our titles say we are. Being that many things can lead to trouble if you're not prepared to take on your many duties. Some freelancers may have help in the form of a personal assistant or a marketing specialist. Still, it's good to know which mistakes we commonly make so you can have a good chance of dodging them. Here are some mistakes that can be corrected fairly easily.
1. Failing to effectively portray how you can help or what you do.
I don't mean that you should write a technical document explaining everything you do in a typical day. I mean your potential clients should know, within seconds, what you can offer them. Whether they're visiting your website, looking at your business card or talking to you in person, they should quickly understand who you help and how. If you do something people don't know about, say, AdWords campaign management, you need to think about what you call yourself and how you portray what you do. AdWords is an advertising platform from Google. It's used to place ads on webpages and on Google search result pages. Many potential clients don't know that. If you want to reach those clients, talk about something they know they need. For example, online sales transactions or webpage traffic. AdWords can help them get those things. Explaining how comes later, after you have their attention.
2. Selling poorly.
Freelancers don't have a sales team working for them. They have to find clients on their own. It's important for them to learn how to sell themselves. Experiment with different proposal letters. Find out what makes you different and use it, as long as it doesn't cost you too many contracts. Ask for referrals. If you do a good job, you'll get them.
3. Blending in.
You don't want to blend in as a freelancer. As I said before, make sure the thing or things that differentiate you are always visible or audible. If you can't figure out what makes you different, you should start thinking about it. Then, show it prominently on your website. Are you funny? Let your sense of humor shine through. You don't have to explicitly state "I'm the funny copy writer," as an example. Just make sure that's the impression people get. Are you a data nerd? That's something potential clients might want to know. Make it a part of your slogan or mention it throughout your blog.
There's my take on some things freelancers can easily improve upon. For more ideas, take a look at Inc.com's list of common freelancer mistakes. Best of luck to you!