My customers are paying their bills late!


http://freelanceswitch.comGetting Paid by Freelance Clients

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.

As a freelancer, you need to take proper and effective precautions to make sure you don’t find yourself in a position where a customer is paying you late or not even paying you at all.

1. Do Your Research

Get to know as much as you can about a client before you agree to do business with them. Get references from people who have worked with them and even pull a business credit report on a client if necessary. You must find a way to verify their financial behavior. You don’t want to bother wasting your time with someone who is notoriously a deadbeat.

2. It’s About the Contract

Never do any work on a freelance basis without having a well-structured, detailed contract. Although this takes time to prepare, it can end up saving you time (and huge amounts of money) in the end. Verbal agreements, handshakes, etc., these kind of agreements will never be enough. You need it ALL in writing.

You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy.

Be sure the contract specifies exactly what the payment terms are. Do they owe you money up front? When is the exact due date of the payment? And of what amount? Don’t leave any room for questions. Make sure a customer knows exactly when and how much they have to pay and signs to acknowledge this.

Include in the contract that “opinionated oppositions” will not be accepted. Specify that customers are paying for the service provided regardless of final reactions and that you are promising to deliver the service to the best of your ability in line with everything they ask.

Include in a note that if a customer decides that the original service was not what they had intended, or if they’ve changed their mind, that is to be considered a separate process and transaction. You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy. This video provided by the “Don’t Get Screwed Over”campaign highlights exactly what I mean by “wishy-washy”.

3. Utilize the Invoice

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5 Ways to Stay Productive When Working from Home

2. Allow for Breaks

When I first started working from home, I would avoid breaks at all costs. I thought that this would help me get more work done, when in reality, it caused me to burn out early.

Now I take the breaks that any employer would require in an eight to ten hour work day — coffee breaks, lunch breaks, stretch breaks. I consider all of these to be a necessity because it’s the time spent away from the computer that helps ideas generate organically. And, of course, it’s good for both your body and your mind.

3. Go with the Flow

Do you find that your mind isn’t fully functioning before 10 am? Does your body need a nap between 2 pm and 3 pm? Are you least productive after 6 pm?

One of the largest benefits of working from home (unless you are required to clock in and out at certain times) is the ability to create your own schedule.

Not everyone works best on a 9-5 schedule — some work better on a 10-6 or 4-12 schedule. Figure out the times that your mind is at its peak, and try to follow that. For you that might mean taking a two hour break in the middle of the day. That’s simply the beauty of this lifestyle.


Stay Productive When Working from Home

http://workawesome.com

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… Leer más “5 Ways to Stay Productive When Working from Home”

How to Strategically Turn Down a Design Client | ***POST DESTACADO***

I know it sounds a little bizarre. Why would anyone say Yes when they actually want to turn down. The thing is that saying yes in the beginning would make your no sound a little less offending. You can always say yes to a project but tell them that you are really over loaded with the work and they can contact you in a month’s time. You can also ask the client to get some work done for the project before you take it so that you can be sure if you can handle the project or not. This is a great way of saying No politely and you are also putting the ball back into the client’s court. However, this does not mean that you should lie about being busy. Use this strategy when you are actually busy.

Realize Your Priorities


tutoriallounge.com


How to Strategically Turn Down a Design Client

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… Leer más “How to Strategically Turn Down a Design Client | ***POST DESTACADO***”

A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers

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.


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.

A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers

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.

Using Common Misconceptions

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.

Taking Advantage of a Superior 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.

Assumption of Guilt

Here is an example…. Leer más “A Dozen Tricks Used By Clients To Manipulate Freelancers”

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

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.


http://vandelaydesign.com

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. Leer más “Pros and Cons of Outsourcing”

The (Dis)Advantages of Working From Home

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?


http://www.amberweinberg.com/the-disadvantages-of-working-from-home/

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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 Leer más “The (Dis)Advantages of Working From Home”

10 Essential Guidelines for Freelance Collaboration

In the same way that you would research a potential client, learn all you can about a potential collaborator. Study their LinkedIn profile and other online profiles. Read any testimonials and recommendations they have received to see what past clients think of their work. Review their portfolio to get an idea of the type of work they produce. Remember, if you work together on the same project, your reputation will become linked with that of your collaborator.
Guideline #2: Provide Details

Once you have selected a freelance collaborator, provide them with as many details as you can about the job. Be specific. Remember, if the freelancer is working in a different specialty from your own, they may need entirely different information to get their job done. Give them an opportunity to ask their own questions and make sure that they get their answers. The more your colleague knows, the better able they will be to fulfill their part of the project.


By laura
http://designm.ag/freelance/10-essential-guidelines-for-freelance-collaboration/


Freelance
collaboration is on the rise. Increasingly, teams of freelancers are now doing the work that in-house departments used to do. Graphic designers are now working on teams with writers and programmers.

But many freelancers are used to working alone. Collaboration definitely requires freelancers to make a few adjustments.

In this post, I’ll provide ten essential guidelines to help you put the pieces together for freelance collaboration. If you enjoy this post, you may also enjoy reading 15 Questions to Ask Before Collaborating.

Guideline #1: Do Your Homework

In the same way that you would research a potential client, learn all you can about a potential collaborator. Study their LinkedIn profile and other online profiles. Read any testimonials and recommendations they have received to see what past clients think of their work. Review their portfolio to get an idea of the type of work they produce. Remember, if you work together on the same project, your reputation will become linked with that of your collaborator.

Guideline #2: Provide Details

Once you have selected a freelance collaborator, provide them with as many details as you can about the job. Be specific. Remember, if the freelancer is working in a different specialty from your own, they may need entirely different information to get their job done. Give them an opportunity to ask their own questions and make sure that they get their answers. The more your colleague knows, the better able they will be to fulfill their part of the project. Leer más “10 Essential Guidelines for Freelance Collaboration”