• Advice

How to fail at freelancing

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

So you’ve decided to become a freelancer -- well done! You’ve just become your own boss. I hope you’re feeling ready!

Here’s how to make sure you fail.

Firstly, don’t make any plans before quitting your job as this will only slow you down, especially if that pesky logic sets in. Just flounce out of your office with no thought of a business plan. Maybe have a few beers on the way home while bragging on Facebook about your imminent success. Don’t trust all those other freelancers that have fallen before you -- they are lying when they say it’s a tough market.

Secondly, be confident that your skill and your skill alone is going to make you money. You don’t need to worry about finding clients because they’ll find you! Forget all this rubbish about networking and having a strong reputation… that’s for chumps.

You’re awesome and no one else out there is already doing a better job than you can. And you don’t even need to research it -- you just know how superior you are without checking out your competitors. You rock.

Moving forward, make sure you ditch that dreary office mentality. You’re free now! Simply forget all that professionalism nonsense and start work whenever you feel like it. If you wanted to get up at the crack of dawn you’d have stayed in your 9-5, right?

Make sure you don’t get started until 10-11ish, so that you can be sure that all the work is taken by people who know that freelancing jobs are usually delegated first thing. Someone probably made that up… just enjoy your lie in.

Now that you’re all settled, make sure you get lazy about making meaningful contact with people. There’s no one breathing down your neck any more, so you can just haphazardly email people instead of having actual dynamic conversations with them on the phone or Skype. Worried they’ll forget about you?

Simply ping them an email now and then to remind them of how awesome and freelance you are now. That won’t go straight into their junkmail folder at all.

As for finding work, don’t stress! Forget LinkedIn, it’s too complicated. Also, the fact that one in four professionals is now a freelancer shouldn’t scare you at all.

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Don’t level the playing field by researching and utilizing the same platforms they are. They must be lying. It’s all a fad. Perhaps, place another free ad or maybe just open your window and yell out your hourly rate. That’ll work.

About that hourly rate...the more you can charge the better so never base your fee on your clients’ budget or your qualifications. That sounds complicated. Just say the highest number you can think of and hope they’ll go for it. And if they don’t? Put them on that list of people to spam with that weekly email -- they’ll cave eventually.

But most importantly -- remember that no reliability is best. A deadline is more like a guideline after all and, unlike the office, your clients will totally understand that you had to nap or that it was a particularly nice day for a walk.

Sloppy organization makes it more exciting for the client and they’ll want to use you and your stress-inducing approach again and again.

Well done, fledgling freelancer. You’re going to do….just fine??

E J Rosetta is (usually) an LGBT Columnist and coffee addict living in Hampshire with her spoiled cat, Hendricks. More ramblings can be found at or via Twitter @EJRosetta