Why Successful WordPress Freelancers Don’t Say YES to Every Project

by Mansoor Ahmed Khan  June 21, 2017

Hello again, I am Matt, the freelance WordPress developer with dreams of building my own agency.

To accomplish my dream, I developed an action plan and then learned how to successfully bid on freelance WordPress projects. I perfected the art of writing convincing pitches that greatly improved my odd of winning the projects.

 Why-You-Should-Not-Say-Yes-to-Every-Project

Here is a brief overview of my journey so far:

At this point, I fell prey to a classic pitfall that has destroyed many freelance careers. Once the projects start flowing, most of the freelancers become greedy and start accepting every project that comes their way. This happened to me as well when I successfully acquired projects after projects. Soon I had too many projects and too little time.

Now, I have learned my lesson.

In my opinion, here is why freelancers say YES to every project that comes their way.

  • They do not like to turn down what appears to be easy money.
  • Similarly, they do not like the feeling of turning clients away.

I Don’t Say Yes to Every Project and Here’s Why:

I Don't Say Yes to Every Project and Here's Why

Over time, I have realized that accepting every freelance project that presents itself is actually counterproductive. Here are three main reasons why:

  1. Too many projects compromise the quality of work.
  2. I cannot do every WordPress related project. I have a narrow skill set that precludes a range of WordPress related projects.
  3. Sometimes, the project’s payout is not worth the time spent on the job.

Once the projects start coming in, it is easy to forget that my WordPress related skills are rather specialized. In my mad rush to rake up as many projects as possible, I forget that there are other related projects available, such as WordPress project management, affiliate marketing and content production that are beyond my skill set. Accepting these skills will only result in loss of my personal credibility and reputation.

Don’t Lose Sight of Work-Life Balance

Don’t Lose Sight of Work-Life Balance

This is another very important way in which freelancers destroy their careers. Like every other thing in life, the proper balance between personal and professional lives is essential for success. As I accepted more and more projects, my personal life suffered for the want of time. Even when I was home, my mind was busy with the projects.

In order to maintain proper work-life balance, I realized that I had to turn down the projects that I was not excited about. These were the projects that could potentially drag down my career.

Select the Right WordPress Projects

Select the Right WordPress Projects

Here are several points that every freelancer should remember about maintaining work-life balance and accepting projects.

Not every project is worth your time. Sometimes, the project appears very simple. Only when you accept it and start to dive down, you realize that there are many associated tasks that need your extra time. These are the projects that poison your WordPress freelance career.

It is OK to turn down projects. However, always give an honest reason why you are turning down the project. Clients actually respect a freelancer who rejects a project because of lack of skills or time. Just tell them that you do not have the required skills and that you would not be able to deliver on time. This honesty will massively increase your credibility as a freelancer who puts the clients’ interest before monetary compensation.

When accepting a project ask yourself, “Am I really the best person for this job?” an honest evaluation of this question will show that in many cases, the answer is NO. Even when you think you could pull it off, chances are that you will face last minute issues that would compromise the integrity of the project.

In some cases, developers think that they could complete projects that fall outside their specialty. A common scenario is when WordPress developers take on custom PHP projects. Even if you could complete the project on time, chances are that you will compromise on quality and lose sight of what you specialize in.

Always check your current projects to make sure that you could deliver the project on time. Juggling a number of projects is not easy and it is easy to lose sight of what is important.

The next part of this Freelance Developer to Agency series is WordPress Project Management And Agile Methodology For Freelance Developers.

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About Mansoor Ahmed Khan

Mansoor Ahmed Khan is a WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways.

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