Freelancers are a unique breed of individuals who break from the traditional 9-5 roles for, well sometimes all-day everyday roles.
While these brave humans choose to trail blaze paths less taken, the reason often varies from person to person as to why they become freelancers. Maybe they like the freedom of working from anywhere or the ability to work on as many projects as they desire. However, a few things are surrounding the freelancer lifestyle, most of us could do without. Unfortunately, quite a few of those things are client related.
Here are six things that freelancers never want to hear from clients.
“Do You Discount Your Rates?”
This one is perhaps one of the most irritating questions and one that gets asked all the time. For some reason, some of the public has the wild notion that because you freelance it is okay to haggle on prices. Not cool. Rates are set just like any other business; clients should accept it and move on. If you decide to discount, it’s a slippery slope, and before you know it, you could be doing quadruple the work for a quarter of the pay.
“Whoa, You Cost More Than My Employee!”
Another backhanded comment that can enrage even the most even-keeled freelancer when a client or prospective client says this. For one, freelancers don’t have the luxury of employee benefits or a company adding cushion to their bottom line. We are performing an expert service, and that service comes with a price tag. If companies could get the same service from their employee, they wouldn’t need a freelancer. But there are lots of freelancers out there, and it’s up to companies to research to find one that they are comfortable with the rate. Like everything else, you get what you pay for. And that’s no insult to up and comers who charge less than another freelancer who has been around the block. Those with more experience will charge more for it.
“You Will Have Lots Of Exposure, Gain Experience Leads, Etc..”
Unfortunately, many new freelancers fall prey to this one. A client promises exposure, contacts or whatever, just not actual compensation. And it can sound really enticing to someone trying to land a few clients. However, your services cost money and time, and these arrangements rarely balance out. It’s not like you can call your cable company and ask to trade services, right? While it is not totally useless, you are building a portfolio; it just isn’t worth it. Unless you are doing charity work for a non-profit, then you are using your gifts to help an organization that needs it.
“That’s Great But Let’s Start From Scratch”
Getting feedback from a client like this one can be like a gut punch. After hours and hours of hard work, confirming client’s desires, their needs and coming up with a beautiful product, they decide to scrap the whole idea and start over. Now, the problem comes when the clients think they get this complete revision for free. Which means as a freelancer you must set your revision terms upfront, or you can expect to do a lot of work for free.
“But I Saw On So And So Website That They Will Do It Cheaper”
Great! Contact them. Make sure the client knows up front what your rates will be and stick to it! Don’t cave under pressure, which as a freelancer can be hard if you are trying to make ends meet but you must be confident in your rate and your skills! The reality is there is always going to be someone who will do what you do cheaper and sometimes a lot cheaper, but you can’t worry about that. Just do you.
“Oh, I Didn’t Get Your Invoice” Or “I’ll Pay You Once I Get Paid”
Neither is a good situation to be in. The once I get paid I’ll pay you case usually involves startups who promise the moon and deliver air. So, avoid these at all costs! If you are dealing with a lost invoice scenario, just resend and hope for the best.
If you are thinking about dipping your toes into the freelance pool, don’t let these annoyances stop you. Whether you work for yourself or a company, there will always be things that are not fun to deal with. However, with freelancing, you have the ability to build a life where you are doing the work you love and have a schedule that you are somewhat in control of. But won’t always be easy, you’ll hear things from friends and family, like oh, you are working for free or can’t get a real job, huh? Super insulting and while most mean well, not everyone gets the freelance lifestyle, and that’s okay because you do.