How To Protect Yourself When Working Freelance

Freelance work can be a precarious job. Getting paid and getting great reviews requires a bit of effort on your part. It’s good to know the basics of how to protect yourself when working freelance so that you don’t end up travelling down the wrong path without realising it.

Here are some points to help you get started.

Research your client thoroughly

While you can market your services to people from all walks of life, it’s important to do your research. Consider what the client needs and wants, and then create a proposal that details how you will address those needs/desires. The more you know about your potential clients, the more you can tailor your proposals to their specifically

You should also provide an estimated cost for the project, but don’t get too hung up on money in the beginning. Money is often less important than results when working freelance

Be sure to have a contract before starting work

As a freelancer, you should be aware that two of your greatest assets are your ideas and services. When someone hires you for the job, they usually cannot afford to lose you or your service. This is why it is important to have some kind of written contract in place between you and the client.

These contracts can be based on hourly rates, or if you are selling a product, hourly rates may not be necessary. But the bottom line is that you should never work as a freelancer without a contract.

Have some form of legal cover

If you’ve been working freelance for a while now, chances are you’ll have come across professional indemnity insurance. This type of insurance protects you if, for example, a tool breaks or is faulty, or say a client is not happy with your work and takes legal action against you.

You need to ensure that you have the best coverage that will stand in the court of law should a claim be brought against you. It’s going to help protect your work and your finances.

Have a portfolio ready to show proof of work

If you want to be freelance, you’ll need a portfolio ready to impress potential clients. Having a portfolio shows that you’ve done your homework and have serious intentions towards your freelance career. It will also boost your confidence and make you feel more relevant in your target market.

Request upfront billing

Did you know there are many more freelancers who don’t get paid than those who do? In fact, studies have shown that millions of dollars go unpaid each year by clients. What is worse, it is estimated that 54% of contract workers never receive payment for the work they do on time.

There are many reasons why this occurs, but it is usually due to a breakdown in communication at the beginning of the process. The best way to prevent this is to request the client to pay all or a part of the bill upfront. Of course, not every client will be comfortable doing this, but if you can affect this policy, it will save you future heartache.

Final words

Freelancers may lack the financial and legal resources to protect themselves, but that does not mean they are absolutely vulnerable. With a little forethought and planning, you will have a solid strategy to deal with them if they arise in the first place.