5 simple tips for your freelance work
From very early age, we have been taught to be nice to people, to be agreeable, and not cause discomfort to those around us. Be a nice girl, be a nice boy, and behave properly. And undoubtedly, kindness is a great quality to have. World without kindness would be an ugly place to live but too often so happens, that when we grow up and the need for professional self-fulfillment arises, our kindness turns into a desire to be liked and gains rather unhealthy tint to it.
Desire to be liked, fear of being rejected, inability to say no or ask for a decent payment for your work: it all can be fatal for your freelance career. It can result in you making the worst deal ever, losing money, and reputation, and just to rattle your nerves.
The 5 tips I am going to give you here will help you to find emotional stability in your freelance business, avoid any misunderstanding with your clients, save your time and money, and secure you a chance to find better clients for the services you provide.
1. Watch out! They have their own agenda on you
Let’s have a look at the situation that unfortunately, is not rare to happen to a freelancer. And since we, freelancers, tend to want to impress our clients right away (even if it quite often costs us money), this kind of situation can happen to any of us.
During the interview, the client informs the freelance translator (the same situation can and has happened to freelancers providing other than translation services as well) that even though they (the client) like you (the freelancer), there are a few conditions for getting this job.
Because their project is super important (even though this kind of clients are usually not eager to pay more due the ‘importance’ of the job they are offering), they want you (the freelancer):
And here are a few of the conditions that this kind of clients can have:
- Register (sign up online) in their company to get a better understanding of what they are doing, what is their ideology, etc., which in their opinion is essential for you (the freelancer) to successfully finish your work on their project.
- Buy their product. (And yes, in most cases this condition is signaling that it is just a scam)
- Undergo any kind of training
- Become an ‘official’ (whatever it means) member of their community
In other words, do things that are in no way related to the actual job.
You are a freelancer which means you know how to do your job. This kind of conditions just do not make sense. Most of the time, this is just another creative way of selling product or idea rather than an attempt to find a freelancer for a particular job.
This kind of clients usually have their own agenda on you (or even worse – it can be some kind of scam) and honestly it is just not worthy of your time at all.
2. Never pay for getting a job!
No, not even a dollar.
If your client asks you to buy their book in order for you to work on translation of this book, run and do not look back.
3. Both-sided deadlines
Deadlines are essential but it is also essential to make them both-sided. By it, I mean to clarify on deadlines by when the freelancer must deliver the work as well as by when the client must fully pay for that work.
Unless, you are fine with waiting for months to get paid for the work you had finished for two weeks.
4. Prepayment only!
When I only started my freelance career, I was kind of shy and felt really uncomfortable to ask for prepayment (which is totally the fault of ‘nice girl syndrome’ that I have), and then not asking for prepayment kind of became a habit.
Of course, your clients may be the most trustworthy people in the world but you will never know this till you work with them.
And even then the prepayment request is essential.
5. Don’t work for low price!
I once was offered to do a translation of a 43k-word document for 50 dollars and this price was even lower than the lowest prices possible. As a bonus, I was kindly offered a positive review on my services and ghostly recommendations which still made the offered deal just a joke. It was a shameless demonstration of disrespect to my time, experience, and skills.
As full-time freelancers, we have to remember that now it fully depends on us whether we will have money to buy food tomorrow or pay the rent at the end of the month.
Trust me, no positive review or recommendation are worthy of doing this amount of work such low price.
Value your time and value your work, for it is your job now.
That's it from me today. Hope these 5 simple tips will help you to keep the daily work with your clients smooth and productive.
And for those of you who does not know it it yet, last week I launched my podcast where I will be talking all about literary translation, language learning, and writing. You can find the link on the sidebar on my website.