You get in touch with a solid prospective hire to inquire if they are available for a project. The freelancer subsequently responds on a positive note by confirming they are willing to proceed. So, of course, you excitedly attempt to brief them about the job so you can get it done as soon as possible.
But then after exchanging a couple of emails, the freelancer suddenly ghosts you. They stop responding completely.
Strange, you might think. But, the fact is, this occurs repeatedly in the world of freelancing. As a matter of fact, consider yourself lucky if it has never happened midway through a project. Many employers assign projects to seemingly skilled freelancers jobs who then fail to deliver; and then, to make matters worse, the workers also proceed to cut off all correspondence.
Well, of course, the bulk of the affected employers tend to blame freelancers for the unfortunate outcomes. But, as it turns out, freelancers feel the same way about the employer community.
A whopping 44% of freelancers claim they’ve been ripped off by their clients at some point. And when they were asked why, 47% of the victims blamed the situations on employers failing to adequately respect the freelance community.
Now, whether their complaints are valid or not, the fact of the matter is, most of the interactions at the beginning are controlled by employers. How you relate with your freelance hire as you start off substantially determines how your professional relationship pans out over the long haul.
And to help you with that here’s how to conduct business if you intend to come to an amicable agreement with every freelancer.
Sign a legal agreement. Sure, you could try reaching an agreement with your freelance hire verbally or through email. Fair enough. But, you’d eventually come off as an unprofessional employer.
That said, the best way to proceed is signing an actual legal agreement. A Non-Disclosure Agreement, for instance, is a legal and professional way to guarantee confidentiality between both parties.
So, have a lawyer formulate a legally valid document with explicit terms that respect both parties’ rights.
Screen every single freelancer. You could save yourself a lot of trouble by only engaging reputable freelancers. In other words, focus on the freelancers who’ve proven to be trustworthy, especially when it comes to respecting agreements.
There’s no easy way around this but to thoroughly screen every single freelancer before proceeding to hire them. Assess their respective online profiles, get in touch with their previous employers, plus seek clarifications directly from them if you need to. And while you’re at it, keep an eye out for the slightest red flags.
Allow the freelancer to suggest their rate. One thing you certainly don’t need is coming off as a low baller while negotiating with a freelancer. A clever approach here would be putting the power in their hands. So, you can go ahead and request them to mention what they consider to be fair compensation rates.
Then from that, you should be able to gauge their personal preferences as well as negotiate better based on your project budget.
Then finally, remember to engage the freelancer respectfully even after you’ve come to an agreement. That way, it becomes easier for them to respect you back as well as follow the agreement terms.
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