Professional freelancer advice that sucks for newbies

Professional freelancer advice that sucks for newbies

There’s always someone who knows better, right? And learning from professionals or people with long-term experience IS amazing! At the same time, very often they have already forgotten how it is to be a newbie and gives advice that SUCKS. So here’s a list of professional freelancer advice that sucks for newbies!


When I started freelancing, I got into Facebook groups and looooved them. It was the place where I got the courage I needed, found the advice I was lacking and read tons of inspirational, realizing how many different approaches to online business there are.

At the same time, very often (more than not), I read advice from people who were in the business for a lot longer than I was and realized that I’m reading something that is not relevant to where I am in my business. I’m still in most of those Facebook groups and now I’m a newbie advocate.

Sometimes it really feels like those professionals are there just to throw around some advice that will suck the hell out of a newbie and will let it die right there. I’m a bit rough here but that’s exactly how it looks like, and how it might feel for someone new in the business.


Professional freelancer advice that sucks for newbies


Professional freelancer advice that sucks for newbies

Advice #1
Get rid of that client

Hahahahah. I’m crying my eyes out for this one. In many of those groups, I see topics like
The client wants too descriptive information about the hours spent and I feel underappreciated about my job. What should I do??” or “They want to lower my rate and I don’t know how to negotiate…

Whatever is the case, the answer from those who have consistent freelance careers will be FIRE YOUR CLIENT. I get it. If you have 10 other clients lined up for you, it’s easy to fire someone for each try to negotiate or each argument you have. I totally get that. I’m very picky with my clients as well.

But here’s the reality as I remember it when I got started. I’d read about tons of ways to get new freelance clients but none of them were really working for me. First of all, I was not only fresh into freelancing but I also had no previous design experience. I also changed my mind a lot, couldn’t decide which method would work for me the best.

Overall, it took me around 6 months to get kind of a consistent job flow where I started to understand that I CAN and HOW I can get my clients. In those first six months, I’d never give up any of my clients, I’d always do all that was possible to just get more experience, get some additional income and save this feeling that I CAN survive as a freelancer! I found out that Upwork is my best bet and that’s exactly what I stuck with. I’ll mention this platform a bit later in this article as well…

Sometimes, firing a client really IS the only way to go. For example, if you have a client who’s not paying – don’t even mind this person (after your initial tries to get the money) and dump them!! But other times it is worth a conversation, it is worth consideration. Let’s say, your client wants to lower your rates, although you’ve been doing an amazing job.

Well. Consider your position! Have you found a way to get new clients NOW? Do you need the money NOW? Are you ready to work a bit more for a lower rate? Really, be mindful of your position. Don’t fire a client just because someone with 5-year experience and consistent client flow says to you that it’s the only way to go.

Yes, if you have other clients lined up or you really know that you can get them – go for it, free some time for more valuable clients. But if you’re not there yet – bare through that! It’s never easy!


Advice #2
Don’t negotiate your rate!!

Oh, dear, if you negotiate your rate, you’re just going to burn in hell. If you value yourself less than your stated rate, you’ll never get out of that pit.


When you’re just starting your freelance career you, most likely, have no idea how to rate yourself. So, after a while of research (maybe including my post about it) you decide, okay – $40/h is the rate I’m going for! You’re lucky enough to get a client or two who are all up for your rate, no negotiation whatsoever.

Until there comes along some very budget-concerned person with a text along the following lines “$40/h is a lot… Would it be possible to negotiate?” or “I love working with you and you’ve given an amazing input. But I’m afraid we’ll have to determine our cooperation unless you can lower your rates…

That’s when professionals say – “NO!! Never lower your rate!! You’re not worth it!!

When, at the end of the day, it’s just a number. Just a number you came up with out of nowhere in the first place… Negotiating for a project you’re interested in is completely normal. As long as you feel good about that lower rate or can still cover your costs, IT’S FINE.

[bctt tweet=”Negotiating for a project you’re interested in is completely normal. ” username=”ievalaicane”]

Besides that, there are always some other ways around this. For example, offer a lower rate with specific conditions that work for you. For example, money is paid-in-advance. There’s a specific scale of the job. Or the rate works only if there are at least XX hours weekly.


Advice #3
Don’t go near Upwork!!!

There are many myths about Upwork and most of them from people who either never got the job there or are way too qualified for the platform and they already have tons of experience.

[bctt tweet=”There are many myths about Upwork and most of them from people who never got the job there.” username=”ievalaicane”]

Let me say you this. Upwork is an amazing way to start freelancing! If you have no experience or if you have a bit of it, also if you want to start NOW and don’t spend tons of time searching for a freelance job. I love and always suggest Upwork!

But professional freelancer advice will always be for you to get out there and stay away. Way too many people just don’t know how to work around the platform, they’ve seen only low-rate jobs or talked with scam accounts. Which has never really happened to me… Also, some of them just got lucky with other jobs from other platforms or companies. Which is amazing! But doesn’t happen to everyone!

Anyhow, the heck with them! Give it a try yourself and then see whether or not it’s worth your time and effort. Of course, if you’ve been into freelancing for 5 years and now decide to go on Upwork, it might be a bit of disappointment regarding the scope of work. But, other than that, it’s an amazing platform to find a job if you know how to search for one.


Advice #4
There’s no success without the investment!

I agree that very often some kind of monetary investment can be beneficial for your business, whether you’re a freelancer, online business owner or working in another niche. At the same time, it is absolutely possible to start freelancing without any kind of monetary investment.

[bctt tweet=”It is absolutely possible to start freelancing without any kind of monetary investment.” username=”ievalaicane”]

Are you obligated to have a website, personalized email or subscription social media scheduling platform to start freelancing? No, no and no! I’m talking from my own experience here – in the first 2-3 months of freelancing I spent around $0 related to my online work. Within the first year, I spent no more than $100 over the whole year – all for my website, domain, and email. Later on, when I had a successful income stream, I started finding ways to invest back in my business. But I never did it because I HAD to.

It’s easy to invest in all kinds of fancy platforms when you have the money for that. And they can upgrade your daily life! But none of that is really crucial.


Thank you for bearing with me through this outrageous post. I hope I gave a bit of hope for you. Although learning from those with experience is crucial, it’s also important to keep your mind straight, to make your own decisions and to understand your own situation. Very often people are against something just because it didn’t work for them. This doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you either!

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  • Leah Sullivan
    September 18, 2017 at 5:07 pm

    Awesome advice here! Loved the point about negotiation, I never thought to reply to a client with “I am prepared to work at this rat if you can promise XX hours per week.” Awesome.

    • Ieva Laicane
      September 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm

      I’m happy you found it useful, Leah! Thanks for stopping by 🙂



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