Tired of your 9 to 5 day job? Worry not for there are a lot of ways to earn despite not having a regular job. Freelancing has become a rising trend nowadays. Perhaps a few years ago, when you tell someone that you are a freelancer, it often means that you’re broke and living on scraps. However, the market has already evolved so much so that freelancers now earn as much if not more than corporate employees who have to stay cooped up in an office for more than 8-9 hours.
Some freelancers are actually earning more than corporate employees. They have the freedom to work at their own pace and they are their own bosses. It may sound like a good life but it also comes with a lot of problems. That is why I compiled a list of tips for freelancing beginners. Just remember not to let clients exploit you for little to no money.
Write Out A Contract For Every Client
It doesn’t matter if they are your best friend or a close family member. Make it a habit to write a contract. Every. Single. Time. I cannot stress this enough. Contracts are your primary defense towards abusive clients. Unfortunately, you will be encountering a lot of borderline abusive clients. One common scenario are clients who try to run out on paying you, pushing it away to the back of their piles. Freelancers who do not write out contracts often give up on collecting payments or they spend so much time and energy chasing these clients that it doesn’t seem worth it anymore.
Many freelancers feel intimidated at the thought of writing up a contract but in reality, you do not need to get caught up with the details. You can just write the most basic of contracts or even use an online template. The important thing is that it gets signed.
Having even just the most basic of terms will help protect not only you but also your clients. In the middle of disputes or disagreements, contracts are helpful as you can easily consult with it and resolve the issue without it evolving into a bigger one.
Ask for a Down Payment
One of the biggest problems that you will experience while freelancing is not getting paid at the right time or worse, you get clients who run out after you submit your final output. The best way to solve this problem is to ask for a down payment before you start working on the project.
There are a lot of benefits to asking for a down payment from a client. For one, you are guaranteed a payment, even though it is just partial. This also acts as a litmus test as to whether what kind of client you will be dealing with. Consider it a red flag if they do not want to pay you beforehand as it might be an indication that they plan to stiff you.
Down payments will also ensure that your work does not go unpaid should anything go wrong with the project. You are going to be spending a lot of time and effort into your work. This means that if the project doesn’t push through, there is a high chance you don’t get paid unless you ask for a downpayment. This simple practice also ensures to your client that you plan on working for them and will not flake if you get a better paying gig.
Transparency Is Key
One horror story of freelancers are overbearing clients. This can be solved by being fully transparent with your clients as to your work process, your limitations and the expenses that you will incur. You need to be fully transparent with what you can and can’t do. One problem with freelancers is that they try to take on projects that are not their expertise. Many freelancers tend to overpromise and with that, they build up their client’s expectations so high that they cannot deliver. The key with dealing with clients is to provide
Know Your Worth
Another problematic tendency of freelancers is to underprice their services. This leads to a lot of companies thinking that freelance services are that cheap and thus affects all other freelancers. You should know your worth. Ask around your freelancing peers on how much you should price your services. Your time and effort are valuable so price accordingly. While it is easier to get clients with a very cheap price. Take into consideration that you also need to live
Never Stop Researching
The market is an ever-changing landscape. You may be considered an expert now but in a few months when new technology and systems are introduced into your field. When you start doing freelancing, it is a must that you should continue to look for ways to improve on your craft. For example, there are a lot of online learning platforms out there that you can use to learn in your free time. The worst thing you can do when you start freelancing is to stop learning as it will limit the clients that you can get. For example, if you are a graphic designer, take the time to learn animations on the side so you can have a wider set of skills that makes you more marketable.