First time web consultants make a big mistake of accepting every job that come there way. I have made this mistake and there are good chances that every newbie experience the same.
Sometimes, however, the jobs we take end up costing us instead of giving us profits. What we intended as another step in our career only becomes a lesson we shouldn’t have learned the hard way. How do we identify these problematic jobs and what can we do about them?
These are the jobs that are often advertised on craigslist or other listing directories. These jobs try to compensate for the low pay with promises of “exposure” or a percentage of the profits. They also make excuses, which include the following:
Even if a low paying job were legitimate, accepting it has disadvantages. This job will take hours away from your work week, hours that could be better spent on boosting your marketing efforts to get the well-paying jobs. Plus, it will lower your average hourly income overall. Ideally, you should be increasing your rates as the years go by and not the other way around.
As a new consultant it is very important for you to jump into newer areas at least initially. You dont want to do the same job every time. More exposure will help you overtime and will result in better revenues.
Take this kind of job only if you’re low on cash or if you plan to outsource or delegate it, otherwise, you won’t be getting much else apart from the money.
You know those jobs where you have to “audition” by doing a design mock up or a draft and if your client likes it, they’ll pay you. If not, well, that’s too bad. While it’s true that not all people who ask for spec work are out to scam you, it’s not the best way to conduct business – both for the freelancer and the client.
Some jobs seems simple enough when you look at your client’s initial specifications, but once you get deep into the project you realize how big the scope actually is.
It’s hard to identify this kind of job at first. What usually gives it away is when your client tells you “It’s easy!” or “It will only take 10 minutes of your time!” Think about it, if the job were really easy, shouldn’t they be able to do it themselves?
Based on my own experience I must say that be professional and stick to a pre planned and approved project plan. While its normal in software / web development to be bit flexible here and there, be very strict to you approach after 1 or 2 revisions have been made.
You should be putting more energy and time in getting new work rather then working on stuff that is hanging on since last year and you are not getting paid for that. The most important thing is – Learn to say "NO".
I know most new consultants don’t use the word "NO" as they are scared of loosing there clients, but trust me saying "NO" will help both you and the client in the long run.
And at last All the Best and you are always welcome to comment or email me in case you need help.