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Thread: Be A Smart Freelancer!

  1. #1
    DotComBum's Avatar
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    Arrow Be A Smart Freelancer!

    Now although freelancing is a great way of
    earning great income, as with all things there
    are pitfalls you need to be mindful of.

    These issues i'm about to bring up may sound
    like things you've encountered in your work-
    place before, but be warned that they can cause
    you untold problems and unnecessary stress.

    Challenge #1 - The vague request. The customer
    tells you to write a couple of articles for him
    in a general topic, say stress. Now, there are
    tonnes of things you can write about, but
    thanks to the fact that he wasn't specific, you
    end up writing loads of stress-related articles
    for him, and he ends up throwing half of them
    into the bin! Wouldn't it have been better if
    you made sure he was more specific about
    his requests first?

    Challenge #2 - Payment. We all know that
    there are nice customers and there are customers
    from the pit of hell. Imagine not getting paid
    after loads of time and effort put in a project.
    Tip: Try using an external e-commerce service.
    The gentleman's agreement is nice but may
    not work in the real world.

    Challenge #3 - Project workload. You may
    attempt to take on almost every project you can
    get your hands on, but it's not a good idea. In
    fact, you'll be hard pressed for time, delay other
    clients and everyone is extremely unhappy.
    Create a sort of schedule system and be prepared
    to reject 1 or 2 projects. After all, your reputation
    is at stake and if you can't finish your work or
    make a mess out of it, news will travel fast.

    At the end of the day, be streetwise in your dealings,
    because not every situation is gonna be a nice one.

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    CoreyFreeman (13 August, 2009)

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    Aquarezz's Avatar
    Aquarezz is offline Master Net Builder
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    When I'm doing a job for someone, I mostly ask 50% off the money when I showed him a working preview of something. Once he wants all the files, he has to give the other 50%.

    Since I'm a pretty trusted person it's normal that I want the money first, so I won't get scammed
    |Nico Lawsons

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    DotComBum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarezz View Post
    When I'm doing a job for someone, I mostly ask 50% off the money when I showed him a working preview of something. Once he wants all the files, he has to give the other 50%.

    Since I'm a pretty trusted person it's normal that I want the money first, so I won't get scammed

    It's a wise choice to take 50% deposit

  5. #4
    CoreyFreeman's Avatar
    CoreyFreeman is offline Experienced Net Builder
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    Quote Originally Posted by DotComBum View Post
    Challenge #1 - The vague request.
    When you find that the client's request is confusing, ask more questions. Many new freelancers believe that they have to be jedi mind readers but that's not true! Questions are your best friend, and they keep you from wasting valuable time. (unless your client doesn't respond, lol)

    Quote Originally Posted by DotComBum View Post
    Challenge #2 - Payment.
    Remember, if they don't pay you, they don't own it. You should have a "terms of service" document prepared for such cases. If you have your doubts, make sure you establish that the client CAN pay you (there are some who ask for work and then say they will pay 'when the money gets here.' If necessary, ask for a deposit).

    You should never take a full payment upfront. This will make the client think that they "own" you, and it will make you less personally invested in completing the job. 50% should be the highest deposit you ask for in the beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by DotComBum View Post
    Challenge #3 - Project workload. You may
    attempt to take on almost every project you can
    get your hands on, but it's not a good idea.
    Correct! While freelancing might not be 9 to 5, it will be if you accept every job asked of you. There are going to be times when you simply cannot take on more work. In that event, you can "reshuffle" your excess clients to some of your freelancing buddies (who will be grateful and do the same to you from time-to-time).

    Even when you are completely free, it's important to learn how to tell when you aren't going to be able to work with a client professionally. Freelancers don't have to be completely altruistic and agreeable. There are instances where the client and you will have a better experience if you don't work together at all.

    Just some thoughts on the points you've made DCB.

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