Freedom, flexibility, the opportunity to be your own boss; freelancing makes good sense for a number of reasons. But that said, whilst there are a number of words you can use to describe freelancing, ‘effortless’ isn’t always the first to spring to mind. There are a number of potential pitfalls that freelancers can fall foul of, from taking on too much work, to undervaluing their services.

Needless to say, these pitfalls are definitely something you are going to want to avoid, so here we’ve put together a quick guide to some of the most common freelancing mistakes – and how to stay well away from them.

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Charging Too Little

As a freelancer, it’s vital that you understand your own value. Many freelancers fall into the trap of undervaluing themselves and charge too little for their services, and this can be a big mistake.

Whilst it can be tempting to offer a lower rate for your services in a bid to draw in potential clients, this can prove to be a double-edged sword. Charging too little for your services could leave you trapped in a cycle of taking on only smaller, lower-paying jobs.

What’s more, this could also make it difficult for you to raise your rates in line with the changing market conditions, as clients will be expecting to be charged a lower rate.

Admittedly, there’s a fine line between overcharging and undercharging, and it can be a little tricky to find a comfortable middle ground between the two. The easiest way to achieve this is to make sure that you do your research and find out exactly what a typical charge is for the services that you’re offering. This will make it much easier to determine how much you should be billing your clients.


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Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

Taking on more work than you can handle is something we are all guilty of at times. But in the world of freelancing this can prove to be a costly mistake.

It can be all too easy to keep saying ‘yes’ to clients, but it’s important to remember that there’s only so much you can do – after all, you’re only human.

Taking on too many projects – or ones that are too big – will leave you feeling burnt-out and overworked. What’s more, this could ultimately have a detrimental effect on the quality of your work as well. That’s why it’s important to know your own limits and work out exactly how much work you can afford to take on. This will enable you to keep on top of your workload, ensuring that you’re able to manage and complete this effectively.


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Not Saying No

Ultimately, being a successful freelancer is all about achieving the right balance. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ to clients. This might not be the easiest thing to say – after all, nobody likes turning down work – but at times it can be necessary.

To make this a little easier, it can be a good idea to work out exactly what types of clients are best for you and the kinds of work that you prefer. This way, you can pick and choose the projects that are most suited to your needs and avoid getting saddled with projects that don’t work for you.


As a freelancer, your time is precious. Trying to juggle too many of your duties yourself can be a dangerous game and could leave you unable to work to the best of your ability. That’s why it’s important to consider seeking a little outside help. Here at ICS we can provide a range of contractor services to help make your life a little easier. Our contractor accountants can help with your accountancy and company structure burdens, leaving you with more time to focus on the ‘actual’ work.

If you would like to know more about our services, then simply contact our friendly team today by giving us a call on 0800 195 3750 and we’ll be happy to help you with your enquiries.