The holy trinity of freelancer complaints and how to deal with them | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 16, 2018

The holy trinity of freelancer complaints and how to deal with them

Being a freelance professional in the country is a masochistic dream that a lot of creatives have. Unfortunately, the path is riddled with many hurdles that one must overcome. Here are the common complaints I have gleaned from my peers and their angsty Facebook statuses.

CLIENTS AREN'T PAYING ME

In most cases, this happens because you don't have the proper paperwork done with your client. The chain goes as follows: Quotation -> Invoice -> Work Order [from client] -> Money Receipt. These are the necessary documents you'll need. The quotation wasn't always necessary for me in a lot of cases because it was done verbally but the work order is the most important piece of paper. Ensure that the date of payment, your deliverables and your name is mentioned in the work order. Bad clients will say you don't need it or “It'll be ready.” Don't buy into these and never start working without the work order unless you know what you're doing. Make this abundantly clear to the client. If they refuse, you don't need that business, they're trouble. Once your papers are solid, you can always go to Facebook and whine if your client downright refuses to pay or stops picking up your calls. Word of advice, always be sure what you're doing is right. Even good clients don't like a whiner. Finally, if the client does hesitate to talk about their work and push you for it, why should you feel ashamed about asking about the money? Being straightforward is the best favour you can do for yourself.

I CAN'T DO “GOOD” WORK FOR CLIENTS

Oh boy, this one again. You're a creative service professional, not a passionate artist. The client knows what they want if they have been running their business for years, they definitely know what their target group wants unless it's a failing or new business. Your passion and work should be separate, at least during the early years of your work. This is sort of like going into a company as an executive and expecting to do C-level jobs. But still, at the end of the day, if you have solid facts, data, and cases to back your argument up, there might be a middle ground where the two parties can meet. Remember, if anything goes wrong, it's on you and you have to answer for it. Once you are established in the industry, you'll have numerous opportunities to produce good work. Just keep holding onto that passion and use it in your own personal time, don't expect to produce masterpieces all the time. Good work opportunities are rare and you must wait for them.

I JUST STARTED AND I CAN'T GET ANY CLIENTS

Are you using your social media

accounts to showcase your work? Are your peers and seniors aware of your talents? If yes and you still don't have any work, have you been saying no to pro-bono projects? As much as the industry screams at you to never do free jobs, understand that you have an empty portfolio. Brands want experience or someone who has relevant projects under their belt. There are numerous voluntary organisations which can help you get some experience onto your portfolio. Key fact here is that you should not stop working and improving yourself. Opportunities will come and you must be prepared for them. Also keep an eye out for Facebook groups where people look for freelancers that match your skill set. Meet and talk to more people about your work. Networking is a skill that will kill your career if you don't develop it. There's no shame in trying to network because both parties are benefiting from the arrangement, it's not like you're forcing someone into it. Don't force people into anything. That's bad. Don't be bad.

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