30 Ways to Succeed at Freelancing - Part II

07 July 2011
menacing kitty
Are online bosses difficult to work with? That the relationship between freelancers and their clients is one of love and hate is not necessarily true. 

Most dealings are purely business, but transactions that span a long time cultivate familiarity and friendship. Today's freelancing tips are geared towards developing a healthy working relationship with your boss.

By putting yourself in the employer's shoes, you will get an idea of how to be the ideal freelancer.

  1. As much as possible, insist on a contract. Written agreements iron out potential disagreements and help protect you and your client's interests. The typical contract sets out the job scope, compensation, time frame and non-disclosure agreement.

  2. Observe a reasonable margin in estimating how soon you can complete the job. If you feel like you can complete the project in 3 days' time, say the finished file will be ready within 7 days. The extra days give you some leeway in case unavoidable emergencies arise.

  3. Meet the deadline. The value of time is underrated in the post Working Hard vs. Working Smart but for the employer, time is really a precious commodity. Unlike freelancing where you own your time, businesses have to stick to a deadline. Your role is to deliver quality output that will help the client stay on track and on target.

  4. Follow instructions. Some jobs merely specify a goal and give you a freehand to achieve it. Others require you to adhere to guidelines. Make sure you comb through the list and follow the items religiously. Good reading comprehension and precise execution are a winning combo that will make you an attractive and marketable freelance service provider.

  5. Skip giving excuses. If there is one thing that irks the online client, that would have to be making excuses. How many times did your grandma have to die again?  Setbacks are inevitable in the business. Don't make things worse by expecting your boss to solve things for you.

  6. Be open to receiving and asking for help. Long projects can become overwhelming. Be honest and upfront with your boss. If you plan to outsource a portion of the work load to third parties, say so. There is no shame to admitting your limitations.

  7. Turn in quality work. Just because you don't get to have your name in the byline does not mean that it's okay to submit poor content. Let the quality of your output justify why you deserved to be chosen among the rest. Who knows you might even bag a bonus from the appreciative client.

  8. Keep communication channels open. Clients find it reassuring (to know that you're not an online scam artist after all) when you can respond to queries promptly. Status updates are welcome, but don't overdo things and waste your clients' time with hourly how-do-you-do's.

  9. Love your job. It's tempting to think that money is always the bottom line. Money does keep you going and helps you pay the bills. However, take note that you'll last longer in the business if you are truly passionate with the work itself.

  10. Be a joy to work with. Whether it's declining a request, offering an alternative course of action or reacting to criticism, treat your boss in the same way that you would like to be treated. Be courteous, reasonable and professional.*
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