Five Freelancing Projects to Embrace and Five to Avoid

Have you ever regretted taking a freelancing project?

If you’re an experienced freelancer, you probably already know that there are freelancing projects out there that should be avoided. The sad fact is that there are some bad freelancing projects out there.

Happily, there are also some wonderful freelancing projects that any freelancer would benefit from accepting. In this post, I’ll list five examples of the wonderful type of freelancing project and five examples of freelancing projects you are better off without.

Projects to Embrace

There are some really great freelancing opportunities out there–projects that nearly any freelancer would be happy to take on. Here are five examples of freelancing projects you may want to embrace:

  1. A project with someone you admire. Do you have mentor or someone whose work you admire? Many freelancers do. If you get the chance to work with someone that you look up to, it can be a wonderful opportunity to learn and grow as a freelancer. Don’t forget to ask for a testimonial when you are done.
  2. A long-term project with decent pay. The best thing about long-term projects is that you don’t have to find as many of them to meet your income goal. A long-term project can last several weeks or several months. It can be an excellent opportunity to build a relationship with the client.
  3. A project that expands or grows your expertise. You can take all of the classes you want, but hands-on experience is usually the best way to learn a new skill. A project that allows you to develop a new skill can benefit your freelancing business in the long run. Be sure to allow extra time for learning.
  4. A project doing what you love most. Most of us have certain tasks in our field that we enjoy doing more than other tasks. If you are lucky enough to find a project that lets you focus on something that you really enjoy and pays you to do it, jump on the opportunity.
  5. A project that pays extremely well. A high-paying project can make up for a number of faults. The project may be difficult, for a picky client, or just boring–but if pays well, you may find that the financial security it offers is worth the inconveniences that come along with it.

Of course, just as there are great freelancing projects there are also freelancing projects that you should avoid.

Projects to Avoid

Here are five types of freelancing projects to avoid.

  1. A project with a troublesome client. Sometimes a client can be so difficult to work with that no amount of money makes their project worth tackling. If the client has already engaged a high number of freelancers and was not satisfied with any of them, it can be a sign that they are too difficult to work with.
  2. A project that never ends. Some clients constantly request revisions long after the project should be over. Endless rounds of changes can eat into your profit. If a client doesn’t know what he or she wants, avoid them. Better yet, specify the number of revisions you will allow in your contract.
  3. The vanishing project. At first, this project seems like your ideal project–great client, great work, and great pay. However, the project never seems to get off the ground. When you ask, it’s always going to start “soon.” Eventually the “client” stops answering your questions.
  4. The rush project. While many freelancers love rush projects because they can charge more, there are also many risks with a rush project. Because of the hurry, the chance of a miscommunication is greater as is the chance of you making a mistake. Personally, I try to avoid rush projects.
  5. The impossible project. If you’ve been freelancing for a while, you’ve probably already received a number of impossible requests from clients. The impossible project may require you to make an unreasonable guarantee (such as ensuring a specific number of sales from a web page you design) or include a request to do something that technology doesn’t allow. Avoid taking an impossible project.

Your Turn

I’ve shared five great types of projects that you may wish to embrace. I’ve also listed five types of awful freelancing projects that you should avoid.

Of course, choosing freelancing projects is highly personal. One freelancer’s ideal project may be another freelancer’s nightmare.

Can you think of any other types of projects freelancers should embrace or avoid? Describe them in the comments.

Have you taken on any of the types of projects that I’ve described here? Share your experiences in the comments.

Image by chintermeyer