Freelancers don’t get paid for sick days and vacation leave. They get paid when they work, so they have to work harder when they need to make more money. Sometimes, they don’t get paid at all. According to the information published by Freelancer Union, 71% of freelancers get scammed by clients.
Deborah Cowell, a freelance writer, shared her story: “In 2015, I agreed to do some editorial work for a client. The agreement was verbal and, because I trusted her to some extent, we did not have a contract. Shortly after I completed the agreed-upon work, she slightly altered the work I produced, claimed everything as her own intellectual property, and failed to pay the $500 she owes me.”
Whoa, we don’t want that to happen to you. As a freelancer, you know you have to check the reputation of a client before agreeing to work with them. However, if you want to work for clients with high reputation, you need some reputation of your own. How exactly do you become the flawless freelancer that would land safe and well-paying jobs? We have some tips that will help.
Be Like the Monk
When asking a monk how he resisted all temptations, he was pressed on how he couldn’t know he liked it unless he tried it first. He replied by saying, “I never need to resist, I do as I please.”
The monk was not saying he blocks himself from the world; he was saying that the “need” to resist doesn’t matter to him. How does this help you create a flawless freelancer reputation?
As a freelancer, you get tempted by distractions all the time. Then, you’re trying to find solutions that would help you to stay focused. Instead of reading advice about how you shouldn’t miss deadlines, you shouldn’t miss them in the first place. If the possibility of missing deadlines doesn’t exist for you, then you do not need to “resist” the urge to procrastinate or extend deadlines.
If this is a little too ambiguous for you and you would like it narrowed down, then stick to this principle above all else, “Do not ever say anything that you are not going to follow through.”
Have a schedule. Organize your days in the tiniest detail. When you’re working from home, you can take breaks at any time, but that doesn’t mean you should. Cover each task on your daily list, and then you can rest like a champ.
Don’t Make a Point of Keeping Your Promises
To address the wider issue, if you set out and you establish the reputation of a flawless freelancer (almost by nature), then your margins for error will shrink dramatically. As Warren Buffet said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
When you make a contract with a client, you make a promise to deliver high-quality work. If you are not 100% sure you can do something you say you are going to do, then simply do not say it. Always check your schedule, and accept jobs you’re sure you can complete. It’s okay to accept challenges, but do not commit to complete a task you’re not qualified for.