In whatever kind of job you have, there are always certain things that you might not be totally aware of. You just do it without noticing that you have actually done a great mistake that could affect your work. That is why it is always important for you to look into what you are doing to do away with things that might harm your business and your brand as well. For freelance graphic designer, there could be instances that certain design mistakes are committed or overlooked while in the process of working. Oftentimes, these mistakes are left unnoticed not until somebody tells them that they have done wrong.

Well, today, we will unveil some freelancing mistakes that are commonly overlooked. This can help you be aware of these things and change them into the right one. This can also be a big help in leading your freelancing design career to the road of success. Here are the things you should take note of:

1. Lacking self-confidence.

Lacking self-confidence
Image: shutterstock

This would happen most of the time when freelancer is just new in the field. But that is wrong. You have to be confident in your work because if not, you will not have the courage to look for clients. You might even be afraid to showcase your works in an online portfolio. So, be confident so that you will succeed in freelancing.

2. Not charging enough.

Not charging enough
Image: shutterstock

You might not be aware that you are already charging more than enough or charging too little. Bear in mind that clients look for graphic designers thinking that they will save a lot from it. But it doesn’t mean that you should charge a lot lower. Just charge enough. Be sure also that the quality of work that you will give them is worthy of your price.

3. Poor communication to clients.

Poor communication to clients
Image: shutterstock

You should regularly communicate with your client either by email or by phone. This way, your client will know certain updates of the work and they will also know that you are really working on the project. Do not be afraid to send them emails. They actually appreciate it and they will trust you more if you do that.

4. Neglecting small clients.

Neglecting small clients
Image: shutterstock

If you think small jobs won’t do you any good, you are wrong. It is actually good to work on this because for sure, small jobs will be huge jobs soon. So, do your best for the project. When they are expanding and you have performed well, there is a great chance that you will still be hired for the project.

5. Charging projects hourly.

Charging projects hourly
Image: shutterstock

Some design freelancers charge a per hour basis. This is totally wrong because as designers, you are supposed to charge per project and not per hour. You should not rush in making your designs. It would also be a hassle to keep on checking how much time you still have just to finish a project. Freelance designers should charge per project.

6. Not asking for down payment.

Not asking for down payment
Image: shutterstock

A design job is a lot different from other freelance jobs. It would be wise for you to get a down payment for your work. Before you start with a project, make it clear to the client that a down payment is a must. This will ensure you that you will be paid no matter what happens. You would not like to deal with non-paying clients, for sure.

7. Always conforming to the client.

Always conforming to the client
Image: shutterstock

For sure you want to impress your client but it doesn’t mean that you have to say yes to everything he says. Sometimes, the client might be asking too much which is no longer in the contract. Remind him that you have agreed on the design already and certain inclusions for the project. Instead of conforming to that, you have to stand on what you have agreed already. This way, your client will respect you.

8. Not setting deadlines.

Not setting deadlines
Image: shutterstock

This is sometimes overlooked especially if there are so many details in a project. You have to take note of this to make sure you will be able to finish the design on time for the client’s use. Do not forget to include this in the contract. Also, it would be wise if you set a deadline for yourself earlier than that of the client’s so that you still have time to polish things.

9. Failure to have a contract.

Failure to have a contract
Image: shutterstock

It is a must for designers, even those who work online to have a contract. Never start working without this. Both you and your client should be able to agree on important details of the project. Do not forget to state the price and the delivery date of the project. You also have to state the number of revisions you will do for it.

10. Being lazy to work.

Being lazy to work
Image: shutterstock

There are really designers who work freelance that spends time doing other things than working. They think that just because they are their own boss that they can already linger and just leave the work undone since there is still enough time. That shouldn’t be your mentality. As long as there is a project, work on it. Do not waste time. After doing all the work, that is the time you can do other things like playing online games.

It’s Your Turn Now

Are you guilty of any of these freelancing mistakes? Well, if you are, it is about time for you to change it. Do you have something else in mind that you can add to our list? You might have thought of another freelancing mistake that every freelancer should be aware of. Feel free to share your thoughts to us.

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.


  1. I couldn’t agree with you more… very insightful. It would be great if you added links to some resources as to where you might find examples of some freelance contracts. I have been successfully using invoicing and just being very specific in the details before starting a project and generally make a rule not to start without either a signed invoice or a deposit check as acceptance to the project. Not exactly the best way, but it works well for me. But some projects it would greatly benefit me to have had a contract instead… but finding one or writing one that doesn’t scare the pants off the customer, thinking he’s about to commit to something he can’t turn back from, is cause to lose the project.

  2. Hy, what about working on multiple projects as a freelancer, do you think that also is a problem ? I mean accepting multiple projects and working on them “on the same time” .

    1. Sure! Working on a multiple projects is more than OK, Just time manage! 🙂

  3. Working on a multiple projects is okay if you can manage your time and you may set your goals to meet the deadline. You should assess yourself first before you commit!

  4. Yes I agree on you! lacking of confidence will show even in submitting cover letter when you send an application. During the interview it will be shown when you answered the employer’s questions!

  5. Great insights! It is a good guidelines when you will be planning to work as a freelance. I agree to have a contract because it will show the scope of your job as well as the limitations.

  6. I agree with most of this, but charging by the hour is the way to go. When you charge by the hour you protect yourself and your client from over charging and exploitation. Agree on an hourly rate that make both of you comfortable and go with that. (Of course, to do this, you need self confidence and strong communication skills.)

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