Three Tips for Managing Freelance Work
Assuming you have successfully set yourself up for freelance work, the next steps you take will dictate your continued success as a freelancer. Here are the three tips to keep in mind.
Three "Always" in Freelancing
Freelance work comes with more perks than problems, but it is far from a sure thing. Crudely put, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. If you find steady work in the form of regular gigs, you are well on your way to freelance success. The trick is getting there and staying there. Here are three important tips to help you do that.
Always be wary
If there is one thing all freelancers have in common, it’s the deadbeat client. At least once in your career, you will work with someone that will not pay you, and that will happen now and again. Don’t worry about it; just move on.
The thing is to develop a radar for people that will do that to you. Most clients will require something on spec, meaning they will ask you to do something as a trial. Some will pay for it, while others will not. Generally, those that pay for spec work will provide you with a steady stream of work, so put your best foot forward.
The thing you have to look out for with clients that ask for spec work without offering to pay for it is the nature of the spec work. As a freelance writer, I do free spec work if it is not more than 300 words and on a general topic.
In most cases, the client just wants to see how you express yourself, so that should be good enough. If the client demands something longer and more specific to their business, chances are they just want free work. If you are a graphic designer and the client asks for logo studies as unpaid spec work, that’s a bad sign.
Always meet your deadlines
At the start of your career, you may have bitten the bullet and accepted low-ball offers just to keep going. This is fine as long as you keep an eye out for better gigs. Once you get some quality work lined up, make sure you can meet deadlines. This probably means giving up clients that pay below the market price, unless they agree to meet your real rates (which seldom happens, by the way).
Most freelancers have a hard time giving up clients. It’s in the blood. I have made the mistake of thinking I could soldier through it by working longer hours, and have missed my share of deadlines as a result. Trying to squeeze in more work than you can comfortably handle also has an effect on the quality of the work, so don’t do it.
Always do quality work
You are only as good as your last project, so you have to make sure you deliver the best work you can do for each client, every time. Even if your client has been with you for a few months, it is no assurance they will stick with you. Make sure it will really hurt them to go somewhere else, quality wise.
Freelance work is exciting, but it also requires careful management. These tips should help you keep your nose clean. With a multicurrency online payment account, the world is your oyster.