Alright, here we go.
I waited too long to create this post.
Last year, I rounded up a group of freelancers to share about the personal challenges they’ve faced.
(Don’t worry — I paid them.)
To kick off my blog, I’ll start publishing their submissions one by one. I’ll also chip in some advice that worked for me when I dealt with the same problems.
Let’s get started.
Disclaimer: The submission you’re about to read is in no way edited or modified by me. I want each contributor’s personal writing voice to shine. Why? Because I want them to work with clients who prefer their unique writing style. I also want to create more fleshed-out guides about each topic. So, stay tuned!
Challenge #1: Background Checking Prospects
by Jam Pretty
While working as a freelancer will eliminate your stress from having to travel to and from work, save you from spending so much on OOTDs (outfit of the day) and makeup, it won’t assure you employment security in a snap of a finger unless you do something about it.
Having been in the world of Freelancing for almost 10 years now has made me say hello and goodbye to salary after a hard day’s work real quick. No, I don’t mean spending salary that I’ve received although it was meant to do just that – it’s all about not getting paid for the project itself. And the most painful part? I’ve worked my ass off on a graveyard shift for nothing.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m not scaring you away from freelancing. In fact, working from home (actually, anywhere with an internet connection) has allowed me to spend more time with myself, my family and friends too. Apart from that, it pays good money.
Nothing in this world though comes without a price. I just personally had to pay it along the way. But for newbies in this LOB (line of business), let me share with you some tips on how to ensure your client isn’t going to turn his back on you without the pay.
1. Create a credible Resume and Cover Letter.
What does this have to do with your assurance that the client will pay you? Well, despite being a newbie, you have to make your prospect feel how competitive and reliable you are as a freelancer. You should not miss indicating somewhere in your cover letter that regardless of the risk that you have to take in this line of work, you trust that your hard work will materialize for both of you. You may intimidate your client a little bit, that’s fine. Make him feel you’re confident enough.
2. Practice the art of good research.
It may sound cliché but not all clients from either Upwork or Onlinejobs among others can be trusted the moment that you see their job ad. Apart from that, there had been several Facebook Freelance Groups created for those seeking home based jobs too. Once you see a job ad, automatically check the profile of your prospect. Upwork will tell you if the client’s payment method is verified and if there had been success stories from previous hires. Do the same with Online Jobs and those posting job vacancies on Facebook Groups – check your prospect’s profile.
If prospects deem background checking necessary, so should you. Success stories in both Upwork and Onlinejobs are usually reliable. With Facebook, you have to do extensive research like checking the user’s profile and the company indicated as well.
3. Be particular with details.
The moment that you get hired, stay composed. I’m sure you’ll feel overwhelmed by the sometimes “warm welcome” or just simply the joy of being hired. That’s normal. Even in the corporate world, the moment that you get hired you’ll jump for joy, won’t you? I’ve had my fair share of those emotions myself. But, don’t forget to delve into details – your employment contract that indicates your pay, the method and the frequency. Since you’re a newbie, it would be best to initially request for a weekly salary as an assurance for you in terms of finances and for your client’s side in terms of productivity. Do not miss to discuss all these matters with your client regardless if it’s your first freelancing job or not.
Once your prospect discovers your value as a freelance employer and you do the same, it will already start to build trust between the two of you. Make sure you give value to what you can do despite being a newbie. It pays to be diligent, but it hurts when you don’t get paid.
Jam Pretty — Submitted: October 20, 2019
Leaving clients for growth
So, what do you think?
That write-up is submitted by Jam Pretty — a freelance writer of 10+ years.
As for me, background checking prospects is just the beginning.
You should also know how to manage client relationships and when to say goodbye.
As Filipino freelancers, we’re known for our capacity to overwork ourselves despite being underpaid for unreal amounts of time.
I’m pretty sure you experienced working with a low-balling client for weeks or months on end. I did, too.
Being Filipinos, we’re willing to look past that for the sake of something that resembles job security. When in reality, you could be missing out on amazing opportunities to grow your income as a freelancer.
Remember the following so you don’t deprive yourself of the growth you deserve:
- Don’t sell yourself short. Know your worth and always be on the lookout for the next big job. I’ll put up a post on how to determine your rates in the future.
- Learn to negotiate. Tell them about the processes involved in your workflow like keyword research and snapping screenshots to raise your rate. Here’s a tip: if you think the pay doesn’t match the work required, ask for an advance instead.
- Constant communication is key. Don’t agree to work with a client unless they’re willing to connect via Skype, Trello, or anything similar. It’s so much easier to work with a client who understands the value of clear communication.
- Notify them early before you leave. Client relationships can be maintained way after your contract ends. If you don’t want to completely burn the bridge, give them a lead time before you leave as a courtesy.
Why maintain relationships after the contract’s over?
Simple: they might still need your help.
I’ve worked with clients who still make requests months after our contract ended. I also occasionally reach out to them when I have nothing to do.
It’s always nice to know you have options when it comes to freelancing gigs. You never know when the next stretch of dry days will come.
I hope you enjoyed this post on background checking prospects.
This is the first out of eight posts about challenges Filipino freelancers contend with. I’ll upload the next submission soon.
If you have questions or suggestions, you’re more than welcome to leave a comment below. Thank you and good luck!