Ah, the catch-22 of freelancing. Yes, you get to have a flexible schedule and call the shots but yes, you have to do the hustle 24/7 and may find your so-called flexible schedule isn’t so fluid after all.

As pointed out on a post on Brazen Careerist, there are a few blunders freelancers make which keep them stuck in a rut.

1. Work for free. We’ve heard the argument all too often: “We can’t pay you for your blog posts, but the exposure is amazing.” Um, yeah. Exposure is one thing, paying your bills is another. Don’t get stuck in that rut and if you do decide to blog or work for free, make sure you’re getting something out of it like a link back to your Web site, etc.

2. Rely on job boards to gain new clients. As pointed out in the piece, instead of showcasing your creative work and shining on your own merit, you’re jumbled in a pool of other freelancers. There’s too much competition responding to job boards for gigs and it’s harder to justify your rates. They may be looking for the lowest possible price point and you won’t want to lowball your services. Instead of posting to gigs, your time is better spent networking and pursuing clients on your own.

3. Neglect to market yourself. Yes, you’re busy with clients — not only working with them but billing them and following up on payments. Therein lies the issue. In order to get to the next level, you’ll also need to market yourself, build your brand, get active on social media, the works. For instance, every morning devote the first hour or two of your day specifically for the best client ever: Yourself!

4. Take on every new client. This is a big one and may be difficult to get used to at first but we’re saying it’s okay to turn down a potential client. Walk away and throughout experience, you’ll become more adept at determining who can be a problem child so to speak before you take them on so you can avoid difficult clients altogether.