Sure, freelancer life has its pros and cons , for it allows you to pursue your dreams. However, some of these cons, like being taken advantage of by clients, or doing stuff beyond the scope of your agreement, can be easily prevented. Here are some things every freelancer should remember if they want to minimize the disadvantages of the freelance lifestyle.
Sign a Contract
When freelancing, it is crucial that you sign a contract with your client that specifies the details of the job, your pay, and when you get paid. It is important to get that contract signed to place your agreement in writing. Also, the contract is there to protect you from being taken advantage of by your client to provide free services. Finally, another advantage of a written contract is that it finalizes your agreement with the client, for the client officially promises to pay you to do a certain job, while you officially promise to do that job.
NOTE: If you are starting out, it would be fine to do a few unpaid gigs as a way to build your experience and portfolio. This is called paying your dues, but, make sure that the unpaid gig is an easy one. The harder gigs have to be done with pay.
Sign in Front of a Witness (or Two)
I’m sure signing a contract may help protect you, but one extra thing that will make it foolproof is if both parties have witnesses to the contract signing. This is to make sure that there is at least one outside party that can attest that the contract signed is a voluntary agreement. Also, if you get sued for breach of contract, there will be a third party who knows what really went on. You don’t even need a signing ceremony, just bring a friend or two, who will witness you sign your contract.
Budget Your Time Wisely
When doing freelance work, you may be doing jobs for multiple clients, so it is very important to budget your time wisely. What you can do is arrange the work you are doing by deadline, so you can do those with a closer deadline first. Another thing you can do is to do the easy jobs first, then save the hard ones for last. How you budget your time is up to you, but I would recommend that you do a little bit of work every day, like one article for one client a day, so your work won’t pile up. After all, you choose your own work hours, so budget these hours well.
Issue Official Receipts
After you finish the job your client commissioned you to do, the first thing you need to do is issue an official receipt. A receipt is a record that you rendered the service that you were commissioned to do. Also it is important to issue receipts to ensure that you are not evading taxes (unless your income is too small to be taxed). Another reason why you need to issue a receipt (even if you are tax-exempt) is to keep a record of your gig, for reference. As a result, an official receipt is indeed a very useful document.
Smart Freelancing Reduces Worries
Even though freelancing may have its disadvantages, like erratic income, doing it smart will reduce them, since clients will no longer be taking advantage of you. Also, following these reminders will allow you to become a better freelancer since your smart and efficient work will attract more clients. So, in the end, smart freelancing will reduce your worries!