If you are new to freelancing, you may have a lot of questions about what it is and how it works. You may not know where to start. If you’re reading this post, chances are, you’re working from home. But the truth is, there’s more to being a successful freelancer than just getting clients.
To be a successful freelancer, you need to protect yourself from any financial mistakes that may occur. Here are five ways to protect yourself as a freelancer.
Conduct Thorough Client Research
Don’t work with clients who have a bad attitude. Find out as much as you can about them before you agree to work together. Ask for references and check them out. Are they reliable and ethical? Do they pay on time? Do they have a good rapport with their customers? These are important questions you should ask yourself before you sign on the dotted line.
Never Work Without a Contract
It doesn’t matter how good your client is if they don’t have a legal obligation to pay you. Always have a written contract that specifies the project details, the deadline, the fees, and the responsibilities of both parties.
A written contract is the only way to protect yourself as a freelancer. And never, ever accept money from a client before you write a contract. This will protect you against them not paying you, and it will protect the client against you walking off with their money.
Document Each Submitted Work
You should always keep a record of every piece of work you submit. This ensures you are able to provide proof of the jobs you say you have completed. If you are working as part of an agency or in-house, this is especially important.
Agencies need to be able to see what you have created for their clients so they can be held accountable for their work. In-house employees need to be able to see what you create for the company in case they are looking to create similar content at a later date.
Consider Indemnity Insurance
Whether you’re a business owner or a freelancer at heart, it’s important to know the risks involved if something goes wrong. There are many steps you can take to ensure your personal assets are protected as a freelancer. Professional indemnity insurance helps cover any costs if a client makes a claim against you or your business. It means that you can’t be the subject of an unfair client claim.
A simple way to protect yourself is to insist your client pay you upfront. This is by far the best way for a freelancer to protect themselves. Upfront billing is when the client pays for some or everything before work starts.
Agree on a fixed price and don’t accept any changes to that price. It is not unusual for clients to think they are paying for results but are not prepared to pay for the time and effort it takes to achieve those results. This will ensure you get paid for your work, and it will protect you from getting scammed.
Protecting yourself as a freelancer can be hard work. You need to be a business owner, a business manager, a marketing guru and a tax accountant all rolled into one. You also need to be well versed in all the latest software and websites that can make you money.
To protect yourself, you need to start thinking like a business owner. It will take some time to get used to, but the results are worth it.