Make sure the freelancer lifestyle doesn’t give you reason to scream this Halloween. Read on for our tips on dealing with the horrors of freelancing…
There are enough things to fear at Halloween – your work life shouldn’t be one of them! Follow our advice to conquering common freelancer fears and you’re sure to keep the horror at bay…
Horror #1: My client takes forever to pay
You have every right to chase money that you’re owed. Start by making sure you’re talking to the right person at your client’s company – your problem may lie with someone other than your main contact. Drafting a well-crafted email in advance will ensure your payment request doesn’t get too emotionally charged. If this fails, don’t be afraid to call your client with an open mind. To avoid late payment in the future, set the terms early and consider charging interest for late payments.
Horror #2: I’ve lost a client
Taking a short break from work will give you some perspective and have you refreshed for your next gig after losing a client. If you have the opportunity, ask why they won’t be using your services any further – there could be a lot to learn from their response. The key is not to worry – your next big client could be closer than you think. Tap into your existing network for opportunities. With the added free time you’ve landed, you can afford to tweak your portfolio and marketing approach to secure an even better contract.
Horror #3: I’m not going to make this deadline
If meeting a deadline looks unlikely, it’s important to be honest with your client as early as possible. If there’s nothing you could have done to avoid the delay, for example a sickness or a family emergency, come clean. You may be surprised by just how understanding they are. Alternatively, if you have freelancer friends or can outsource some of your tasks, do it. Just make sure this doesn’t compromise the final product and check everything over before delivering to your client.
Horror #4: My work is being claimed by somebody else
If your work isn’t credited as it should be, you have every right to ask for this to be changed. Draft an email in advance to make your request in a clear and calm way. For further help, contact a professional; a patent attorney or trademark attorney may be able to offer you free advice. To avoid this particular horror, make sure you establish early on who’ll have the creative rights to your work once delivered, and get it in your contract. Anything written, made or produced is considered intellectual property and you may want to consider protecting it.
Horror #5: My client won’t stop micromanaging me
If you find a client constantly looking over your shoulder, it’s probably time to arrange a call. Allow them to express their concerns and address them by planning together in the following way. Set milestones for your work and decide how often you’ll update your client – frequent updates will reduce their need to cramp your style. Offer limited access to your work in progress and set times to hear your client’s suggestions to alleviate their fears.
Posted by Becky Cheall
Images courtesy of Press Association