Freelancers have the most unusual type of obstacles when it comes to getting their clients to pay them. Beyond customers going M.I.A. or claiming they forgot, sometimes freelancers find clients refusing payment because they are unsatisfied with the work or not sure if it’s what they wanted. Yet, the work was done, so you deserve to be paid. End of story.
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As a freelance writer turned community manager, I’ve spent entire weeks working from my couch in my pajamas.
For many it sounds appealing — no commute time to wrestle with, no wardrobe requirements and no one standing over your shoulder requesting updates on your progress.
But I’ve also found that these are the same reasons why staying productive when working from home, sans a designated office, can be such a challenge. There’s not a pressing reason to leave the house or get dressed, and there is no one there keeping you from spending the afternoon eating junk food and watching trashy TV.
5 Ways to Boost Productivity When Working from Home
The work from home lifestyle is certainly not for everyone (especially those that thrive on day to day interactions with coworkers), but if you have a job where working remotely is an option, here are some tips for keeping you productive and happy.
1. Create a Routine… Sigue leyendo
When you are working for someone, you do not have the liberty to say ‘NO’. However, one of the advantages of being a freelancer is that you can always turn down a client or some project you do not want to work on. Having the liberty of refusing and having the ability to do so are two different things. As a freelancer if you are not going to refuse to some projects, you will be overloaded with the work you do not feel like doing and this will increase your work pressure and it will result into missing deadlines. Such things will affect the quality of your work. If a client wants you to design wall calendars for marketing and you want bigger projects like redesigning major e-commerce sites, you have to let them down gently so you can get the types of work you really want without tarnishing your reputation.
Turning down or refusing to anything is definitely a hard thing as you might think that you will offend others or hurt their feelings. But, sometimes this is a necessity. It is important for you to let people know that you are not ready to work for something you are not interested in and sooner or later people will realize that your refusal was for their own good. This will prove that you are an honest worker and you do not want to take on a job with which you cannot be loyal to.
You obviously cannot refuse every other assignment that comes your way just because you do not feel like working on it. In order to be able to pay your bills, you need to work on assignments that you do not feel like working but it is important. At the same time, you should know whether you would be able to handle the job or not. Also, if you are in a state where you can refuse projects you do not really like, do it without any feelings of guilt.
I know a lot of people who have issues in turning down a client as they are afraid they might end up hurting someone’s feelings. For such people we are enlisting essential strategies to turn down a client. I know they will work because I have tried them myself and since then saying no has not been so difficult.
Start off with Saying Yes… Sigue leyendo
Since the dawn of time, mankind has tried to find ways to get people to do what they want. Sometimes they employ strong-arm tactics and sometimes they use deceit, but most of the time they use manipulation to bend people to their will.
They have used tried and tested forms of manipulation for thousands of years and for the most part these techniques have worked pretty well. But they only reason they are so successful is that most of the intended victims don’t even realize that they are being manipulated.
12 Most Used Manipulative Tricks Employed by Clients
If they did recognize these techniques for what they really are, then they would lose all of their effectiveness. Just glancing over the list below could save people from being manipulated in most circumstances.
1. Using Common Misconceptions
This is one of the most common manipulations in the entire world and most of the time not even the person using it understands they are being manipulative.
This manipulation involves taking a common misconception and stating it as if it were a fact just to win an argument or force the other person to do what you want. It is a tactic that is frequently used by parents in order to keep their children in line.
Here is an example:
“Freelancers don’t do the same kind of quality work that a large corporation does and they don’t have as many overheads either, so I can cut down their salary base by 20% and still get the type of work that I want.”
2. Taking Advantage of Divided Attention
This is another very classic manipulation. Instead of asking a person for something while they are giving their full attention to them; the master manipulator will ask for something while that person is preoccupied. This is a common practice among women who are looking to get their husband to do something while they are watching the game. It is also used frequently by people to control their co-workers.
Client:”I need this report done by Thursday”
Freelancer:”I have quite a bit of work on my desk today, but I should be able to get to it.”
Client:”Oh, can you also do one little assignment for me by say, Saturday?”
Freelancer:”I am really strapped at the moment.”
Client:”It’s just a little assignment. Won’t take much time.”
Freelancer:”Ok, send it on over.
The client then sends over an assignment that consists of three parts and would take at least a week to complete.
3. Taking Advantage of a Superior Position
This is a manipulation that is often used by people in positions of power. People such as police officers, doctors and politicians are the most common perpetrators, but it can be used by almost anyone in an authoritative position.
They use their authoritative positions to convince their intended targets to forgo their own common sense in lieu of theirs.
Here is an example:
“I spend millions of dollars on freelancers every year, and every single one of them works for the salary I just offered you. If you don’t won’t to do the assignment for what I am willing to pay, then you are missing out on quite a bit of work.”
4. Topic Dialing
Topic dialing is when a person wins an argument by quickly changing the subject to a completely unrelated topic that is only distantly related to the original subject. The effectiveness of this technique is usually dependent on how fast they can change the topic. They faster they can change the topic, the more successful it is likely to be.
Here is an example:
“I heard that Stephen King worked as a freelance writer before he became a novelist. During that time he was able to write five or six reports at a time and have them done within a week or so. He could really crank them out. By the way, do you think that you could finish this assignment in the next day or so?”
5. Assumption of Guilt
This is when the manipulator assumes that a person is guilty of something by observing only the smallest amount of evidence.
Here is an example…. Sigue leyendo
Running a design business, either as a freelancer or a small agency, is a big challenge. Getting the most efficiency out of your time is essential, but it’s also very difficult for those who wear many different hats, like freelancers. One of the most common ways of dealing with this challenge for efficiency is to outsource work to others. It could be anything from design work, front-end development, back-end development, marketing, to anything else that needs to be done.
There are some very strong reasons for outsourcing, and likewise the are some equally strong reasons against outsourcing. In this article we’ll look at those pros and cons, which will hopefully prove to be helpful to those who are trying to decide on whether or not to outsource.
Pros of Outsourcing
1. Leverage Your Efforts
Whether you are a part-time freelancer, full-time freelancer, or you run a design agency, the business aspect of your work is just as critical to your success as is your ability to design and/or code. One of the principles that is key to growing a business is that you need to be able to leverage your time and efforts. As a one-man operation you will only be able to earn money for the services that you can provide to clients yourself. But by expanding your business, in this case through outsourcing, you can leverage your efforts and make money based on the work of other people as well.
This makes an assumption that one of your priorities is to maximize income and profits, which may not be the case with all designers. Some designers prefer working on every aspect of client projects rather than outsourcing or hiring employees, even if it means reduced potential for business growth. Sigue leyendo
Being a freelancer means you often have complete freedom on where to work. However, we tend to stay at home and work from our beds, dining room tables, a corner in our room, or if we’re lucky enough, a whole room dedicated as an office. What we mostly do not do, is leave our home to work in a separate office or co-working space.
Working from home comes with several advantages after all – no overhead, free range of the kitchen, no dress code and the ability to sleep as late as we want and stroll from the bedroom to our computer.
However, there are also several disadvantages we should be aware of. Distractions from family, children or pets being the biggest issue we come across. Also, walking two feet from our bedroom to our office means we don’t get the exercise we should – and we’re increasingly becoming an unhealthy industry. It also means you lead a distinctly lonely work day - and without a boss breathing down your neck you’re more apt to goof off on the internet.
Even with all of these disadvantages – I still wouldn’t trade it for any other job in the world, nor would I bother with paying the high costs of renting an office space. Instead, I’ve aimed to become more productive and turn these into non-issues. How can you do it?
Distractions From Family & Pets Sigue leyendo
That may seem like an odd question, especially since this blog IS called “Freelance” Folder.
It’s Just a Title…Or Is It?
Why does it even matter if you brand yourself as a freelancer or a consultant? Sigue leyendo
Starting a web design business is one of the most lucrative opportunities out there in the professional world these days. There are so many people who want to create websites for themselves or their business and so the demands for your services are extremely high. However, there is a lot more to being a successful web designer than just designing good web sites.
The key to running a profitable web designing business is to know that your job well and to satisfy your clients the best, so that they keep coming back to you for more work and also publicize your business. Publishing a couple web pages can be accomplished by just about anyone, However, to build a self-sustaining business one needs the right tools, planning, experience and training.
A fact that all freelancers should accept is that no matter how talented you are, initially you will have to make some extra efforts in order to promote yourself. Marketing your web designing business is very important. It is important to reach out to clients and in no way it means that you have to spend some really good cash to advertise your business. These days you have various ways to promote your web designing business without having to spend too much.
While entering into the world of web designing as a freelancer, you need to market yourself in a right way. Also, keep in mind that you will have to face a lot of competition in this field. Clients will be working some good freelancers already so you will have to give them reasons to work with you, and this can only happen if you present your web designing business in front of them in a good way. Marketing your web designing business will increase your income only if you do it in the right way.
Following are a few points that you should keep in mind while marketing your web designing business in order to generate a perfect clientele:
Offer Something Unique
Clients will only turn towards your business if you have something unique and exciting to offer them. Obviously there will be various freelance web designers who will be offering same services and almost similar prices. So, the question here arises is that why should a client go for you. It might be true that you are far better than them but for now the client does not know that right? Offering something unique can be anything for instance, you can offer your services of special skills you have that your fellow freelancers might not have.
You can also offer your clients 24/7 web designing services or quick customer support services. Let’s say you can reply to their queries within 10 minutes. This will sound really nice to a client who hardly gets response to his queries from other web designers. Always keep in mind that specializing in services does not mean that you cannot work on other things. Promote your skills as an added advantage. Later on you can even charge for your special services. Sigue leyendo
As a web designer, you’re often forced to wear many different hats every day. You’re the CEO, creative director, office manager, coffee fetcher and sometimes even janitor. That’s a lot for anyone, and it certainly makes it difficult to find any time for quality creative thinking. Organization in any operation is important, and for our work as web designers it is important, too. The good news? You don’t have to have been born an organizational machine. Let’s look at what being organized means and a few strategies and tips to help you clean up that messy desk and get your work ducks in a nice neat row.
1. Organization 101
What it means to be an organized person or run an organized business is commonly misunderstood. Many people equate being organized with being fussy, which is not the case. Little labeled folders and neatly itemized lists are one way to stay organized, but they are merely tactics. The heart of organization is having a strategy. Being organized is simply a matter of using clearly defined and consistently implemented systems to get things done.
But how do you go about finding and implementing a strategy if you’re starting from square one? It begins with where you want to end up. Think about where you waste the most time or what frustrates you the most on a daily or weekly basis, and start there. Formulate simple clear goals and treat these overarching goals as the finish line in your strategy.
For example, if you have trouble paying all (and I mean every single one) of your bills on time because they are perpetually lost in the mess on your desk, make it a goal to pay every bill before it is due for the entire year. With this broad goal in mind, you can work on cleaning your desk and setting up a routine for paying each of your bills. Sigue leyendo
What do you do when a potential client calls you about a project opportunity? Do you know what questions to ask…and in what order? Do you know what “next steps” you’ll suggest based on the information you gather?
OK…so developing a sales process is not the most exciting activity in the world. But somewhere during my 11 years in sales, I came to the realization that even a mediocre process beats no process at all.
In fact, following a well-defined process can not only help you improve your sales effectiveness as a freelance professional, but it can also help you stay relaxed, boost your confidence and save you a great deal of time and effort.
Some Guidelines to Follow
The specific sales process you use should obviously depend on your specific profession, the type of work you do and the kind of clients you go after. But at a minimum, it should follow these simple guidelines…: Sigue leyendo
We all have our own strengths and weaknesses, and each of us varies in how good we are in one area over another. Design and development are very talent-driven fields, and because of this, there seems to be a lot of professionals out there who focus on constantly building their weaknesses in order to improve in their practice.
There can be a real problem with this though. By always focusing on your weaknesses, you never build upon your strengths. Without doing this, you can never really develop your skills to the point you’d like to. In this post, we’re going to talk about a new method for improving as a web designer, graphic designer, developer, or just as a freelancer. This new method focuses on our natural talents; what we’re already good at, and not our weaknesses or points of defeat.
Why Focusing on a Weakness is Bad
It seems almost logical: you have a negative point in your work that you’d like to improve, so you practice and practice until you get better. Practice makes perfect, right? There is no doubt that by doing this you are making your weak point stronger, but what about all of your other points?
Image credit: Darwin Bell
If you are always focusing on your downsides and lack of talents, you may begin to feel as though you have very few skills overall. This can cause a lack in confidence, and therefore a lack in the quality of your work. By focusing only on what you’re bad at, even if you feel it is essential to win over those bad skills, you begin to perceive yourself in a very negative mindset. Sigue leyendo
Being a freelancer is a great way to work for a lot of designers and creatives. To be able to give your clients the best possible package though, you may have to look at doing things a bit differently. By considering to collaborate with other freelancers, you’ll have an even better chance to offer something great, along with getting more social in a job that often is quite lonely. Here are some of the reasons why working with others can be a great idea!
Being a freelancer means a lot of responsibility on your shoulders along with many “lonely” days at work. Being specialized in one field can definitely appeal to clients if you’re good at what you do, but today the ability to be versatile becomes more and more important. Clients know what they want and with all the designers and companies in the market, they can also afford to be a bit picky.
How to collaborate with others?
This can be done in different ways and you need to have a look at your options, who you know, who are available in your area and if they’re interested. A collaboration with other freelancers can mean to share office-space with them, have “unwritten” agreements on helping each other out with things you excel at and pointing clients in the direction of others when getting enquiries that involve projects that are a bit outside your comfort area.
Picture by Oliver Tam
The collaborations can be small or big depending on what you prefer. In many cases freelancers can take on bigger projects together, dividing parts of the work between them according to their different skills. As long as you’re able to find a way of billing and time-tracking that can be dealt with in a legal and correct way, you have many options.
Here are some reasons why you should consider working alongside other freelancers to get more clients by offering what they want!
Being able to compete better with bigger companies
Picture by Martin Boulanger
As companies with several designers also have more knowledge and a broader skill-range, collaborating can help you get up to that same level. This means that as you are more people doing the project, you can offer the skills and deadlines that usually are some of the benefits clients get when choosing to work with companies over freelancers.
A bit of the same as the first point. If you are a web designer collaborating with a freelance writer, graphic artist or photographer, you will most likely be able to offer the client a more complete package. Clients love it when they don’t have to look around for many different people to work with. If you have a deal with others you can simply tell the client that you’re able to also take the pictures for the website, design the logo and so on. Sigue leyendo