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Guide: These are the Tasks which Freelancers Hate Doing
The thing with freelancing is that it is a business. You might be a graphic designer, writer, or web developer by trade, but since you’re in business there are always boring but essential tasks, you know, like organizing overwhelming to-do lists or filing disgusting taxes. However, these tasks are so important that you must perform them well to succeed in your business.
This article exists as a guide helpful tips to not only tackle those boring tasks, but also make them feel very interesting to you. You’ve earned absolute freedom (and maybe a longer life) by entering the realm of freelancing, so let this tips further saving you from boring and difficult tasks, let’s do it!back to menu ↑
1. To-do lists
To-do lists are essential for making our working days productive. They tell us what we need to accomplish in a day, help us divide our tasks into manageable chunks, and make us feel productive when we cross out items from it. That is of course the best scenario. What really happens with to-do lists is they just keep growing. When was the last time you managed to check off every item on your to-do list?
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The ever-expanding to-do lists overwhelm us and make us feel incompetent and unproductive. The more items that are added to the list, the more panicked we are. Instead of working steadily through the tasks on the list, we finish up Delay.
To make lists work for you, try to limit the number of things you put them on. At the end or the beginning of the day, list the five most important things you have to do and nothing more, no matter how tempted you are.
All it takes to feel productive is check off an item. Suddenly, you have 4 tasks to do instead of 5. Do another and you have 3. Before you know it, all the items on your list have been crossed out and you’re done for today! How’s that to make you feel productive?back to menu ↑
As freelancers, we live (and die) by deadlines. We know that a missed deadline has the power to make or break a customer relationship. So yes, deadlines keep us working, but that’s why we hate them. One missed deadlines and you could end up up spend months repairing your relationship with a customer.
Admittedly, a missed deadline is not the end of the world if you handle it properly and if you miss it for a valid reason. But make it a habit or do it more than once and you’ll struggle to keep customers.
A simple one trick to avoid missing deadlines is always give yourself a few extra days. Suppose you can submit a project before Tuesday, but instead of committing on Tuesday, you tell your client that you will submit the work on Thursday. This little one trick takes care of all your procrastination problems and any freelance calamities (computer crash, cold and flu etc) that may happen to you.back to menu ↑
Paying your own taxes is the most hated and dreaded job for freelancers. The whole idea of storing your receipts, bills, customer payments, expenses, etc. is enough to give you a headache. Then there’s the filing of 1099s and all the other paperwork.
Even if you are the king or queen of the organization, taxes can make you question your system. You finish up postpone it until the very last minute and then rush to get your papers in order.
Here’s what you can do to make your taxes easier: hire someone to do it for you. If you don’t want that, it’s best to get one tax program made for companies that will walk you through every step and even calculate your taxes for you.
The silver lining to doing your taxes is the tax write-offs. Did you know you can get a charge for buying stock photos?back to menu ↑
In freelancing, being passionate about your job or good at what you do is not enough. What’s good about your talent if you don’t have any clients? And you can’t get customers unless you market your business. Freelancers must be their own cheerleaders if they hope to find work.
The good news is that marketing doesn’t have to be sleazy. In today’s age of social media, you just have to do it being present and helping people. Sign up for Twitter and Facebook. Befriend people in your niche or the clients you would like to work with and then interact with them. You don’t have to tell them you are a freelancer, your social media profile does.
Strategic talk about your work on these channels and help as many people as possible and provide value. Showcase your work through them and just communicate. It will soon come out about what you do and how great you are.
Do not believe me? In the past year I found more works on Twitter than on my website. How’s that for non-sleazy marketing?back to menu ↑
Whether it follows up for (potential) customers the activity is time consuming and undesirable. You would rather just get more work to do. After all, that’s what you do best. But if you want more business deals, follow-up is necessary. If you have just completed a project for a client, a follow-up e-mail can get you more work, a testimonial or even a referral. With potential customers, it can bring you a new customer.
The evil bit about following-up is that if you don’t do it at the right time, you’ve lost your chance. To follow up too early and it looks like you’re rushing the customer / prospect and they don’t like that. Wait too long and they may forget about you or worse, finish up hire someone else.
To get the hassle out of the follow-up, come up with a simple system. Determine what you think is the right time after which you have to follow-up thereafter Mark it up in your calendar. The next, set some follow-upup emails to use as templates – one for your current customers and one for potential customers.
Now every time you meet up with a potential customer or complete a project with a customer, mark the next up date in your calendar and use your follow-up on that dayup email template to send a followup e-mail. The bad quotient of tracking up just went down.back to menu ↑
6. Cold calls
There’s a reason it’s called cold calling – they give freelancers a cold. If you’ve ever made an unsolicited phone call, you know what I’m talking about. The idea of calling someone you don’t know – worse, who doesn’t know you – is enough to make the best of us break out in a sweat. You finish up feeling like a dowdy salesman.
Well, the trick cold calls are over don’t consider it an unsolicited call. Think of it as an introduction. Suppose you call up a company, introduce yourself and ask something simple like ‘Do you work with freelancers? Then I will gladly send you my details’. That doesn’t sound bad, does it? You introduce yourself and then make a non-intrusive pitch.
What’s even better than thinking of cold calls as introductory calls: not to make them at all. Serious. Make email your best friend. Send unsolicited emails to any company you want to partner with. Examine them and find the right person to send an LOI (Letter of Introduction) with all relevant information.
Doesn’t sound so bad now, does it? There is always a way to make things easier.back to menu ↑
However, the point is that it has to be done do your best to do your best. It’s always good to remind ourselves that we freelance because we have faith in our strength and discipline. So keep this in mind, change your mindset to a more positive one, put in some effort and practice tips given above, then you are on the road to successful freelancing.
What other freelance tasks do you think are bad but necessary to do? What is the task you would never do again if you were given half the chance? Let us know your freelance nightmare so we can discuss how to tackle it!back to menu ↑
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