When you first start out freelancing, it’s an extremely scary process. How much should you charge? How will people find you? Will someone actually pay you to work?

Those questions and more were all things that constantly ran through my mind in the beginning (and even still a bit now.)

One of the biggest mistakes I made starting out was taking every single bit of work that came my way, regardless of my gut feeling. This resulted in quite a few frustrating projects that went way over the original scope. At the end of each of those projects, I was tired, upset, and questioned if I even wanted to freelance anymore.

Had I just listened to my gut, those negative experiences could have been avoided altogether. However, like anything, trusting your gut instinct is a skill that gets better the more you use it. Every single time I’ve went against that instinct, it’s burned me in some way. Regardless of if you’re a first time freelancer, or a seasoned veteran, always trust your gut.

3.  Listen to your gut when finding clients.

Your instincts will develop over time, and you will come to know how to separate the real deal clients from the tire kickers. Someone who cancels phone calls three different times before finally talking with you on their cell while sitting in traffic is not going to be a good client. I promise you.

Over the course of the last year, I have taken about fifteen meetings from prospective clients and only two of those led to very small amounts of business. Every single ongoing client relationship I have now has come from someone who didn’t feel the need to meet me first. These clients looked at my website, my references, had a phone call with me, and spent their money on my virtual paralegal services or freelance writing business based on those things.

They did not make me travel to their office for a conversation first. Sorry, but my numbers show that 13 out of 15 times, people who like to have meetings before working with you are tire kickers.    “

Check out the other 4 tips at Freelancers Union.