Freelance work is not always without any doubts

For me working with a client started in the end of 2016. I applied via Upwork at a job with a lot of elements in it that suited me. A response came fast and we started to communicate outside of Upwork. After some emails and a brief call I was sent a proposal (contract). I signed it and started the following week on Monday. A quite simple and fast application process. Nothing strange about it if I compare it to other jobs. Of course Upwork does not recommend to work outside of their platform, which has my sympathies as well.
First of all I get slightly suspicious if companies hire people with contracts and invoices but use a platform for it. These platforms are not meant for hiring in this way. Upwork has their standards and they should be respected. I like it a lot to work on Upwork but unfortunately not all the jobs are simply there. So if I get in contact with a prospect and they offer a suitable job I close my eyes for this principle. However, it is not without risk. Upwork is a guaranteed way of getting paid. No hassle with making invoices and chasing your clients if they are past due the payment date.Secondly, if you browse clients outside a platform there can be some places popping up where people, who worked with them, were not speaking very positively. You know, it can never do any harm to google the other party. Do realize though that not all is truth and mostly negative is easier to be found than positive….people like to complain.I will sum up the tasks here for you:
  • Managing and running Online Marketing Campaigns optimizing its effectiveness and preparing regular campaign performance reports.
  • Having an overview of the campaign-related parameters on your campaigns CPA/CPL/Cost/Sales etc.
  • Ensuring the marketing material (Web, LP, banners, Print) is correct and up to date.
  • Verifying the daily sales figures on analytics/CRM/internal report to ensure consistency.
  • Maintaining a complete overview of the trends in all the campaigns in your Google/FB accounts at all times.
  • Displaying constant learning to bring new technologies and techniques from the industry.
  • In charge of the entire content on the website, ensuring correct translation of all content in local language.
  • Researching on alternative online promotion opportunities.
  • Working with web team in maintaining and updating the Website, SEO tags and online optimization.
  • Creating and executing email campaigns.
  • Securing key off and online media spaces working with media buying team on contracts.
  • Taking complete ownership of all communications in your language.

These are tasks I gladly perform. They are good for my development and do not forget the fact if you work for a big company with millions of customers throughout Europe. So a big company with nice responsibilities in a job for me….and they wanted me.
An interesting job plus a multinational, it sounds almost to perfect. Besides that, I could use some stability in my income and work some fixed hours a day. For me another reason was also the market they are in: telecom. I have a sales background in telecom and I liked it. For me it was without questioning a perfect opportunity. Even now I still see it as such and I learned many great things.

I got to be honest with you. There are great people working there and I truly gained good business experience. A mistake I recognized, and this client is definitely not the first, is the lack of communication. Mostly, top down but also to HR. Begging for a response is nowadays not done anymore. Especially, you know your email has been received and you are certain is has been read.
Payment is nearly always an important aspect of doing business. Yes, I can be late sometimes as well but I communicate, even though I am ashamed in that situation. To my opinion if you both sign a contract you should stick to it. If you cannot, you inform the other party. So if you are instructed to invoice on the first and your client tells your payment is within 14 days you expect that. Getting paid promptly is a big USP of Upwork for instance. This client did not stick to the contract, unfortunately.
As a freelancer contracts are usually set up without too much binding or a notice period. It makes it easy for the client to end it, but of course for the freelancer as well. The fact you get an email during your holiday that the cooperation has been stopped is a bit harsh. Sorry to say, this could have been communicated differently. Communication is the key….especially if you are a telecom company.

Think before you sign

Starting a cooperation with a new client is always exciting. It is the reason why you are in this business and why you are a freelancer. It is always good to weight the pro’s and con’s. Without risk is nearly anywhere as a freelancer. A tip here you get from me: work for more little clients instead of 1 big. It creates more visibility and reduces the chance of ending up without any income.

I set up this website to engage with freelancers. Write freely about your experiences and promote your services and business. The more activity you create anywhere, the more a Visible Freelancer you will become.