Freelance contracting is becoming increasingly popular in today’s society, and with good reason. With economic crises and unstable job markets worldwide, it makes sense to use your skills and talents to build a business of your own. Freelancing offers many advantages for motivated individuals, including such perks as setting your own hours and days off. On the other hand, there are a number of ways things can go very wrong. It’s important to know the risks and how to avoid them. There are also a number of things you can do to increase the odds of your success.
First of all, using Freelancer.com to search for and obtain work in your field(s) is, of course, a step in the right direction. By providing the marketplace for service providers and prospective employers around the globe, we reduce the time and costs involved in soliciting work for your business.
There are several things new freelancers should consider carefully, from the beginning of the bidding process to delivering the final product. By using the tools Freelancer.com provides wisely, service providers can protect their interests and build a reputation for themselves quickly.
No matter what type of project, always look at the employer’s profile and feedback (if any exists). While the profile information may be sketchy and there’s no guarantee of accuracy, experienced service buyers often provide enough profile information to let a freelancer know who he or she is dealing with. Likewise, the lack of profile information may indicate either a new service buyer or one with something to hide. Feedback, if available, is indispensable in providing an overview of how well an employer has worked with past freelancers. It pays to know as much as possible about an employer before you consider entering into a contract.
Once you’ve decided to bid on a project, follow the steps outlined in our article titled 10 Tips for Writing an Effective Bid. Using these guidelines will help increase your chances of being hired. During the bidding process, use the Project Message Board as necessary to be sure that you and the employer both understand exactly what will be provided, when it will be submitted, and how much pay you expect.
Before accepting a project award, be sure to go over the project details again carefully. If there are possible issues, continue communicating with the employer to resolve these before you commit to the project. Better to pass up a job with too many unknowns than to accept it.
Depending on the size of the project, you may want to work out Milestone Payments as portions of the project are completed. Most employers will agree to this for larger projects. It’s also not unusual for freelancers to ask for an upfront payment on large-scale projects, but many employers will be hesitant to do this for contractors without feedback. Remember that there are risks on both sides of a freelance contract. Freelancers and employers alike should consider using Freelancer.com's Milestone Payment System, for the protection of both parties.
Finally, gaining positive feedback is one way to build your reputation quickly. Most employers will be happy to provide good feedback for a freelancer after a successful project, but it’s important to remember that payment must be done through Freelancer.com in order to receive feedback.
Our aim at Freelancer.com is to encourage new freelance contractors and help them build successful businesses.
Good luck and happy freelancing!