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12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

12 Biggest Mistakes Freelance Designers Make

In this world, no one is perfect. Each and every one is different in respect to their skills. And so we all make mistakes. It’s a part of life. Life is not possible without making mistakes. Mistakes not only bring out our weaknesses but also makes us stronger. So today here you will be reading some biggest freelance design mistakes.

These are some crucial mistakes every freelance designer should avoid. This will help you make your job easier and gain more success as a freelance designer.

The following 12 mistakes can have a big impact on your Freelancing career as these are some qualities your client wants from you.

1. No Planning

Without planning all your work will become a mess and you will not be able to make your client happy.

When you are having full information about the client’s needs, then it is better to write them on a paper and then work on it. This will prevent you from forgetting what is more important and you will also be keeping up with the client’s requirements. Always try to note the information on a paper and then work accordingly. This way you can work more on what’s important.

2. Not Communicating With Clients

Communication is an important aspect in freelancing. And when you are a freelance designer, then it is very important. Make sure you are in touch with your clients and inform them about the progress of your work.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

This way your client will be updated of your work progress and if anything goes wrong, he can give you some extra time to finish your job.

Communication will not only help you complete your job effectively but it will also establish a good relationship with your client. And this is a plus point as later he can come back to you for the good job you did or even bring you more clients.

3. Not Meeting the Requirements

This is why I think planning is the first priority. When a client hires you he expects you to deliver the work the way he/she wanted. If you submit the work which does not meets the requirements, then you are on the wrong side of the tracks.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

Whether you think the way the client wanted is right or wrong, you should do what the client needs. You can definitely propose some changes or you can even inform the client that I made some changes.

And this is also one of the reasons to why communication is necessary. You can inform the client beforehand about the changes you made.

To meet the requirements, many freelance designers follow this technique –

  1. Make a list of the client’s requirements.

  2. Think yourself about the changes you can make.

  3. Propose the changes to the client.

  4. If he does not accepts it, then stick to his requirements.

  5. Always keep checking in between your work whether you are meeting the requirement.

If you follow these steps then it will become easy for you to meet the client’s requirements.

4. Ignoring the Deadline

A deadline is set because the client needs the work to be done before a particular date. And ignoring the deadline is one of the biggest mistakes.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

Try to submit your work within the set deadline. If not then request your client for a new deadline. This will upset your client but it is better than not replying to the client after the deadline and submitting the work very late.

Deadline is something which if ignored can leave a bad impression.

5. Not Taking a Break

Do you continuously work on a project to complete it? Well this is a good point but you must take small breaks. Working continuously will lower down your concentration and you will not be able to work efficiently on your project.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

Just take small naps when working instead of working for hours.

6. Borrowing Designs

This is a bad practice in Freelancing. Borrowing designs can become a nightmare when the client recognizes the work. Instead try creating your own unique designs.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

This will also improve your skills as a designer and will also not ruin your reputation as a designer.

7. Too Many Fonts

Always stick to the K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid) principle. Too many fonts will not only make your work look messy but also amateurish.

Design like a professional and try to use less fonts and also simple fonts. Many graphic designers use these professional fonts.

8. Bad Color Combinations

Color combinations play a vital role in design. Simple colors work well but using bad color combinations can ruin your design.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

Check out this post by Neil Patel where he mentioned the color psychology briefly.

9. Not Following the Trends

Always keep yourself updated with the latest trends and also latest events. Keep your software updated and never hesitate to try new trends.

10. Ignoring Small Jobs and Payments

Imagine a client approaches you but has a small budget. What will you do?

If you will ignore the job then it is bad. These small jobs will only make you better. Always think of these jobs as opportunities where you can learn new things and experiment something new which you cannot do with big clients.

These small paying jobs are really helpful and you should never ignore them.

11. No Marketing

Today there is a lot of competition. And the interest in freelancing has gradually increased. With such a big competition and no marketing, you will stay at the same place while others gain success.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

Engage in marketing; discuss the current trends with other designers. Make your circle as big as you can. Try to help others instead of just getting help.

This way you will build your social media presence.

12. Not Being Confident

Confidence is the key to success.

Never be afraid that your client will not like your work. Also never fear to show your designs to other designers in communities. There will be people who will criticize you but this will help you overcome your mistakes.

12 Biggest Freelance Design Mistakes

The best place to overcome fear is Reddit. Submit your work in a design critiques subreddit. Many people will insult you and your design; they will also question your skills. This will definitely feel humiliating but this way you can accept criticism.

You will feel bad and low but you will also realize that this is making you much stronger and then in future you will never be afraid to sign big contracts with companies.

Over to You

So it is up to you. If you keep making these mistakes then your freelancing career will sink down like a boat. But if you avoid making these freelance design mistakes, then you will see the changes and become more successful. At last, one question which you all need to answer is,

Which mistakes made you realize that you are on the wrong side?

About the author

Ahfaz Ahmed

Ahfaz Ahmed is a young entrepreneur who loves to write on various topics related to Graphic and Web Design. He has worked on many blogs and also works as a Freelancer. Apart from blogging, he is also a graphic designer and a web developer.


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  • Great article! I found myself nodding my head the whole entire time. I also like the point that smaller jobs can help to stretch your skill-set, knowledge and creative muscle. I have, as of late, tended to stay away from them because of the clients wanting more for less. But I guess as long as you set parameters in your contract and communicate with them, both parties know what to expect going forward and no one is disappointed.

    Thanks for the info!

    • You are exactly right Lizette. People tend to avoid small jobs for no good reason. After all they are just good opportunities to experiment new things which can either result in good or bad. But in this way one can also know what things work good for clients and what not. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Hi Ahfaz, Great article! All very good points, the only thing I would say about the small jobs point is that it’s good to find a balance, a little while ago I took on quite alot of small jobs for exactly the reasons you give but I found that firstly they took up more time then expected, didn’t pay well and left me tired and with not enough time to work on the bigger more important jobs, it’s all about balancing the projects isn’t… Very inspiring article though Ahfaz, Thank you!

    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for sharing your experience with us. You are right. Finding a balance is very important. A person should accept a small job only if it gives enough time and not leaves the person tired. I hope your experience will help others in future.


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