1st November 2018No Comments

The Trouble With NDAs

Let’s face it: Non Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) are a pain in the backside for freelancers. Not only are they undecipherable, but they prevent you from displaying your work and limit your ability to take on related projects.

How can we make NDAs work for clients and freelancers?

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30th October 2018No Comments

An Email Is Not A Contract

The first rule of being a freelancer is: always use a contract. At least, that’s what every guide to being freelance tells you.

I wanted to find out if and how freelancers use them: do they get their clients to sign their contracts or is it the other way around?

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25th October 2018No Comments

Freelancing With International Clients

Since I started freelancing in 2013, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients. Most of which are overseas, and include clients from Austria, Australia, Andorra, Canada, France, Germany, Holland, India, Isle of Man, Norway, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, Uganda and the USA.

Most of my initial freelance work came through Upwork, which is why such a high percentage of my clients aren’t based in the UK. I now work with a mix of international clients both on and off the platform.

Freelancers can be nervous about working with clients abroad. There are more factors to consider, but for the most part it’s similar to working with a local client.

Here are some ‘gotchas’ to watch out for and tips to help your international projects go smoothly.

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18th October 2018No Comments

Protecting Your Freelance Work

I was recently contacted by an agency I’ve worked with on numerous projects. Their client had disappeared mid-project and had been in touch to ask about some tweaks on their new site.

Confused, the agency checked out the client’s site. The client had outsourced the completion of the work elsewhere, ripping off the design we had created. Not only this, but the client didn’t want to pay for the work as they hadn’t used it.

Without getting into the rights or wrongs of the client’s behaviour, it surprised me that the agency’s contract didn’t include clauses that protected them. The contract I use, based on Andy Clarke’s Contract Killer, has a couple of sections that would have strengthened this agency’s position.

Let’s look at the two clauses that could have prevented this happening.

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29th September 2018No Comments

How Upwork Worked For Me

Freelancing marketplaces like Upwork are perceived as places where cheap clients go to get subpar work completed at minimal rates: pay peanuts, get monkeys as they say.

It’s easy to see why this perception exists: clients requesting complex sites for $500 and below minimum wage hourly rates are common.

But it’s not all bad.

As someone who started their freelance web design career on Upwork, I thought I’d tell the story of how it worked for me and why I think Upwork deserves a place in the industry.

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2nd September 2018No Comments

Five Years of Freelancing: 20 Practical Tips

This week marks my five-year freelance anniversary. The time has flown, and I’ve learnt a great deal over the years. I made lots of mistakes in the beginning, but these have helped me to refine many aspects of my freelance life over the years.

To mark this milestone, here are 20 pieces of practical advice I wish I’d taken (more) heed of when I started out.

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28th August 2018No Comments

On Imposter Syndrome

Imposter Syndrome. A loose term to describe a lack of confidence in one’s ability, value or position. At least that’s how I understand it.

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14th August 2018No Comments

Following Up On Payment Terms

When I published my post on payment terms last week, I wasn’t expecting it to kick up such a storm. The topic seemed to particularly resonate with the copywriter community, where large numbers of freelancers are bound to extended payment terms with clients of all sizes.

It became apparent from the various Twitter threads that many freelancers are dealing with larger companies where there is no hope of such a short turnaround time. To make matters worse, many demand long payment terms and then fail to pay on time.

This post looks at some methods freelancers can use to manage late or non-payment.

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8th August 20182 Comments

On Payment Terms

As a freelancer or small business, maintaining a positive cash flow is one of the key aspects to remaining in business.

Late payments are a killer and long payment terms are nearly as bad. What’s the alternative?

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