Feels great to be here too. I have been working as a freelancer for 6 years and I`d like to share my story with those who are just starting. I am engaged in rendering logos and website design.
In two years, having only a couple of logos in my portfolio, I managed to get into the top ratings of logo creators and website designers on the best English-speaking freelance sites.
At the beginning of my way, I was afraid for a long time to change office work to freelance, as it is not easy to build a relationship with a client when there is no company name and colleagues behind who will help in case something went wrong.
The trigger for me was another “project closing” on which my colleagues and I worked 13 hours a day for 2 weeks.
This time was enough for me to catch one of the strongest emotional burnouts in my life. I needed a vacation to recover.
From that moment on, I finally decided for myself that I want to work exclusively for myself.
I spent my vacation with my loved ones, sign up on the platforms, and then something fantastic happened - I received my first order on the same day.
Although newbies can “chase” the first client for weeks. And I didn’t have a normal portfolio - only two logos. I had to do a logo for a private cake-making business.
The budget immediately beat off the purchase of a Pro account.
The customer made an advance payment and I, full of enthusiasm, coped with it in a fairly short period of time.
I sent it to him, and immediately in good quality. He said: “Very good, tomorrow I will approve with the management and dump the money.”
I have been waiting for the fourth year.
I was completely inexperienced then and did not even think that a person could deceive me, and the original should not be sent without final payment.
The customer said the same things for another month, and then he just deleted his account from the messenger. I could not even leave a review under the project, because it was not closed, marked “in progress”.
The client did not appear on the site again.
After that, I started surfing the Internet, hoping to see information that should help me.
I found some tips that I still remember, as they have found real application in my life.
Here are a few of them:
- To understand whether we are ready to work with the customer (on a one-time large project or an ongoing basis), we find out whether they have already done something in this direction: themselves or with contractors;
how the work was structured;
why parted with the performers; what you liked and what you didn’t;
how settlements took place;
what conclusions the customer made for himself and what he would like to change this time.
- Work under a contract or 100% prepayment are the most reliable and safe options for both the freelancer and the customer.
The first one is insured against non-payment of his work, the second - against non-performance of services.
But not every customer is ready to contribute in full the entire amount for the project, especially if the freelancer has a small portfolio and/or a weak reputation.
In such a situation, suggest a phased payment scheme: break your work into 2-3 parts and ask the client to make an advance payment of 30% or 50%.
- It so happens that the work is really done partially or completely poorly due to the fault of the freelancer.
In this case, the most difficult thing is to admit your mistake to yourself and then to the client.
And then it is necessary to offer solutions depending on the scale of the “disaster”: redo the work for free,
add some free options for services at the next stage of work or donate access to the service.
This was the first and last missed I have ever done as a freelancer, so I got off easy.
If you are interested in my story, I will write the second part about my first major customer and attach photos and links. With the permission of the customer.