Freelancing is an awesome way of life. That is not because it helps you gain some extra income. Once well-established, it may even help you make a living. You work according to your own schedule at home, even without leaving the bed. You describe your income rates per task. You have the chance of testing your skills that you cannot during your regular working hours. It helps you build your self confidence and fight stress.
As this easily whets your appetite, you register to a freelancing site such as freelancer.com and build a profile. You even obtain a couple of certificates and start bidding for projects. However, after a time as a fresh freelancer, you begin to feel upset, and later even frustrated. That is because, the seniors who already have established their businesses here take almost every good project. The clients are overwhelmed by their profiles including a great set of level three certificates and a horde of damn-good reviews accompanied by five stars. The remaining jobs are either taken by other freelancers, or offer too little income for too much work. No need to mention about disencouraging job posts with “US freelancers only”, or “No Indians, please” in the title.
And then you receive a message from a client whose project you have just bidden. Gosh! Could it be your first assignment? Could it be the moment that helps you change the history? You dream of gaining income and buying more certificates, and obtaining a horde of damn-good reviews with five stars. You immediately reply the message. However, the client behaves differently than you expect.
Days later, you are much more exhausted than you ever have felt. You have been abused and thrown away like a tissue. This was a swindler, and simply used your hope for gaining extra money. You realize that you have made yourself a slave for a so-called client; just as the slave owners once forced people to work on plantations and sold the crops to make money, this swindler used your appetite for money like a whiplash to sell your work.
To avoid such a scenario, you have to follow the precautions below:
Never work without a contract - A contract is everything for a freelance job. It both protects the freelancer from frauds and clients from an inapt freelancer. If the client is trying to convince you to work without a contract, simply back off. This is a slaver. Never believe statements such as “your money is guaranteed”. Your money is guaranteed only when you make a contract on freelancer.com. Don’t ever think that the project fees on freelancer.com are too high. Don’t even hope that the so-called client will be overwhelmed by your work and tend to keep this relationship by paying you. When the time comes for your payment, they simply reject you and find another freelancer to be fooled. You only can work without a contract for a client close enough for a jaw-breaking punch if your money is not paid.
Never go beyond the contract - Even if you have an established contract, don’t simply do any work beyond that contract. Do whatever you have been proposed to do at the beginning, and nothing other than minor retouches. “Trust me” is not a valid statement here. If the client asks you to do more jobs, simply ask for another contract.
Keep tasks small - Divide the job to minor milestones so to ensure payment at the end of each milestone. Accept no proposals of delayed payment. All milestones should be included in the contract.
Prefer well-known clients - Just like senior freelancers who are well known, senior clients are also reviewed here. So, when a client offers you a job, simply check the profile. If that is a newbie, be more careful about the contract. Slavers tend to build a profile for a short time and either delete or never use it again.
Prefer well-defined job posts - Real clients don’t post anything like “I need someone to write me 6 articles per day”. A real job post is something like “write me an article of 1000 words about the private eyes in New York”, “translate a 3000-word medical text from German to English” or “make an animated movie about a boy eating a hamburger and puking it and then swallowing a broccoli with great appetite”.
Refuse contacts out of freelancer.com - Most slavers tend to keep contacting you through your e-mail, social network accounts, or other ways but not freelancer’s internal messaging system. They do so to avoid being detected by the peer. If your client consistently wants your e-mail or social network accounts, simply refuse and insist on contacting through freelancer.com.
Don’t give away your confidential information - No client has the right to request a photograph of your identity card, your location or bank accounts. The author of this article has even worked with giants like Google and Amazon and no legitimate business indeed requires such information. Firms usually are interested in your tax payments and that even is not the case for freelance business in freelancer.com.
Test samples must be small - Alright. Every client has a right to request you to provide a test sample, particularly if you lack any reviews. That is because you cannot prove that the files in your portfolio really belong to you. However, a test sample should be open to public, that is, the same for every bidder, but not individualized. Besides, it should require nothing more than half an hour, and should be something like 150 to 200-word article about something, or a translation at similar length but not more, or a sample movie lasting 30 seconds and so forth. That is quite important, because some slavers use fake test samples to get what they want from skilled but inexperienced freelancers. They give individual test samples to each freelancer, which indeed is a part of the whole job. When a freelancer, unknowing that the other parts are given to other freelancers, finishes the so-called test sample, indeed simply serves to the wishes of the slaver. So, if a potential client offers you through private messaging to take a painstaking work as a test sample, simply refuse this. This is a slaver. If you do the job as required, you will see that the slaver will not assign the job to you and when asked will reply that you have been found quite ineligible for the project, even if you’re gifted.
So much for your financial security, fresh freelancers. If you follow the advices above, you maybe won’t earn money immediately, but at least won’t be fooled and waste your precious time serving a stranger.