Client will have demanding tasks for freelancers. The assignment may at times be complicated. It may also have a very short deadline which becomes a concern for many a freelancer. But then, are all the demands genuine and realistic? You need to be careful.
One freelancer was invited for a task for a corporate entity expected to produce advertising campaigns rebranding logo and the likes. But it had to be a competition supposedly where the finalists were to make the presentation in two weeks.
The reaction to the freelancer was not just to go on fast and do as was expected. She wanted to dig into the truth of the matter. The first thing was to contact the director and enquired what really was required. She made it clear that if he was really serious then what they demanded was too much. She said the time was short for anything productive. She went ahead to point out after all they had not discussed about the bid neither was there anything to show about fee structure thus making such a situation to be risky for the freelancer. The reply given did not seem satisfactory for the director just stated that it was to be done as he wanted but the person who had to do most would get the project. It was then at this point that the freelancer in question demanded then that if that was to be the case, there was a need to sign a nondisclosure agreement that would allow her to retain intellectual property. The director just flatly said the legal personnel who would have done it was not there then and wasn’t going to be available. That was a sinister motive read and the freelancer was not ready to fall into trap.
The freelancer in question cautions people to watch out for Idea phishing which she says, that despite the fact that you may need the job so much you need to always have a second thought. She continues to narrate how events continued to unfold. She showed up at the appointed time, and found another designer turning up for the same they started chatting. She asked her whether she had done the assignment and the latter answered in affirmation pointing out that she needed the work and thus had to comply. She however came out of the conference room with tears flowing.
Immediately the freelancer in question was ushered in to the conference room where she found people waiting attentively. She then started presenting and as she was going through her previous works people seemed very interested and exited. A time of reality came when she was required to now then present the design for that particular assignment. She flatly and clearly said she never worked on speculation and since she did not have a non-disclosure agreement, the past work ought to speak for her. She was a professional who wanted things done the same way.
The panel was angered and the man and left the room while others also showed the disappointment. What the freelancer had been aware was that the former creative director had warned that the man who had stormed the idea was phishing. She had known the whole game but went there purposely to show that she would not fall into their traps. It was good to have the show only that she had pity for the others who had spent sleepless nights fighting to get the job where the fee had not been mentioned. What turned out was that the best ideas generated were given to the lowest bidder to work on.
After the above background one can then ask whether freelance is a gamble for everyone involved. There have been popular view that to get a freelancer is a gamble because it may turn out that the person seemingly to be a professional may turn out to be poorly equipped, fail to do the work or even delay. On the other hand some freelancers believe to get a good client is also a gamble. A person who will pay you and you end up having worked so hard. As a preventive measure or so is presumed, clients will subject prospective freelancers into tests. When seeking for work in say Odesk and Elance, clients will sometimes require you to present an article, or design for a particular project and it should be the best for one is competing against others and that is the test.
The work that you present to the client for competition, can be appropriated elsewhere and you will not have control over it again. It thus might be used for the benefit of the client at the expense of its original owner who happens to be the freelancer. A quick test for genuineness of a client could be to look at the record of his jobs against the amount of jobs actually assigned. It therefore should not always be a gamble.
Spotting serious clients may not be easy, but you can use the available signs and also use your own discretion to analyse them. If you find a client demanding for a test, then a more genuine one should give you some pay if he is to retain the work, being genuine enough, such a client can revert the ownership of your work back to you.
A serious client also needs to consider your qualifications and respect your time; he will always pay you for your work and even consider increasing the rate as you work well.
If you suspect that a client may not be up to good intention, and then carry out a thorough research on his history. Use any available means possible like checking them on LinkedIn. You may not fail to get some information about them. Finally make your own personal judgement if these methods seem to fail you. Don’t put yourself in a great risk.
The main drawback for freelancing business is that clients will continue demanding to have bidder’s present designs or ideas beforehand so that they can be assessed and many will continue to submit their works.