Bidding was always my least favourite part of freelancing. Fortunately, I was able to retain the majority of clients I worked with, but many of my peers weren’t so lucky. They’d spend hours each day combing through work listings, crafting cover letters, and submitting bids. All of that time was unprofitable; it meant that they didn’t have enough paid projects on the go, and that they’re process wasn’t retaining clients like it should.
Reducing the time I spent bidding was one of my first goals as a freelancer, and it’s one of the benefits I’m most proud to offer you now through the Rapid Business Lessons Freelancer Certification Course. But I digress.
Eventually, the up-and-down nature of the freelancer industry started to grind on my peers. When they couldn’t stomach another day of bidding with no results, they were often tempted to accept jobs whose tasks fell outside of their areas of expertise; I recalled familiar old stories about phony piano teachers who would find work by keeping “one lesson ahead of their student.”
I recognized this was a huge mistake that would only cost me time, money, and effort, but many of the freelancers I hired later on in life didn’t seem to understand this. If they had known to stick to their strengths and use the techniques and freelancer tips I developed, I would probably still be paying many of them for work today, and referring their services to my colleagues. Instead, my 15 years as an employer outsourcing work to freelancers involved a lot of firing, hiring, and frustration.
I believe that the only way to solve this problem in the freelance industry is through education, which is why I’d like to share with you the reasons why it pays to stick to your strengths as a foreign or domestic freelancer.
Why It Pays to Stick to Your Strengths
Let’s say that you’re a talented freelance web designer who’s just wrapped up a 3-month project with a client. You take exception to your industry’s “low quality” reputation; you handled this project like a true professional and delivered an impressive website two days ahead of schedule. Your client is extremely happy with the work. They’ve offered you a modest bonus, and promise that they will be sending referrals your way in the future.
As you’re sharing some parting security tips, the client pulls you aside with another offer. They need hosting and want to know if you can do it for them. You’ve never hosted a website before, but the client seems untroubled by your lack of experience. In their minds, you’re a “web wizard” – they take one look at the site you built them and assume that you can host, too. It’s all the same in their mind. But you know better.
What do you do?
It’s not an easy choice to make when you’re freelancing. The dramatic shifts from work feast to work famine are almost too much to bear. They affect your ability to make rational career decisions in moments like these.
Your industry is putting tremendous pressure on you to take a chance on this job. Most of the pay from this client’s current web design project will be eaten up paying outstanding bills. The slow months are approaching, and the Canadian dollar is plummeting; you’d be stupid to turn down a money-making opportunity at a time like this. Maybe the client’s right: if you can handle web design, surely hosting can’t be too tough. You decide to give it your best shot.
By the following week, you’ve bought a domain on GoDaddy to host your client’s site. They’re charging you $3 per month, and your client is paying you about $10. It’s a nice little income drip to help you through the slow season. You start to wonder if you could make a similar arrangement with all of your web design clients. The idea of having everyone paying you a monthly fee until the end of time for such minimal effort sounds great!
It’s not long before the entire operation falls apart. At first, you were worried that somebody would tell your client that you were hosting through GoDaddy. They’d be furious to learn that you were charging a premium for a cheap hosting service they could have set up themselves for 30% of what they spent. The stress of being discovered weighs on you heavily, and you start to question whether the $7 each month is really worth it.
Instead, your client discovers the truth when your cheap hosting cripples their website’s performance. Slow load times and 404 errors send record-high numbers of users bouncing off of into cyberspace. When your client reviews their Analytics, they see almost no traffic, leads, or conversions, and come to you for answers.
You have two options: admit your mistake and accept the fact that you’ll probably be fired with no referrals, or dig yourself deeper into the lie. You decide on the former – you need this client, and you need those referrals! You them that you’re “looking into it,” and call up a GoDaddy representative the second your client hangs up.
You’re now at the mercy of GoDaddy’s customer service. It doesn’t take much time dealing with their IT support staff to understand why they’re able to offer such cheap hosting. They can’t help you, and now you owe your client a tricky explanation.
You didn’t stick to your strengths as a web designer, and now you’ll pay for it. Your client feels betrayed, and the relationship is ruined. You’re fired as their web host, and any chance you had of securing more work from them or their referrals disappears. Thousands of dollars worth of future work from this once-appreciative client were lost because you decided to gamble in an unfamiliar field for $7 per month.
All Freelancers Will Face This Problem At Some Point
Employers will often ask if you can provide skills or services outside the scope of your initial project. When they’re coordinating multi-part projects, it only makes sense to inquire with existing staff about the possibility; if they can’t do it themselves, they’ll usually know somebody who can. It saves the employer time spent responding to bids, and often gets them a trusted referral. You can’t rely on your employer never asking you to bite off more than you can chew – you need to know how to answer them.
You can expect a bad ending any time you veer outside of your lane as a professional, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be tempting. Freelancers live project-by-project, which makes it incredibly difficult to turn down work from a happy and supportive client, even when it’s not your specialty. You may be motivated by money, self-belief, or the desire to give your client total satisfaction. It doesn’t matter; even the best intentions can get you into trouble.
Even if you commit fully to teaching yourself a skill your client needs, your learning curve will not be smooth and steady; you’ll be on a crash-course to big delays, lancing headaches, and low-quality results. If your employers was already happy with your work, there’s no reason to abuse their trust. If you do, you’ll be lumped in with the scammers and liars that they suspect populate the freelance industry.
So How Do You Handle This Situation Without Disappointing Your Employer?
The Rapid Business Lessons Freelancer Certification Course shows you how to “shoot straight” with employers in situations like these. Lesson 4 teaches freelancers how to identify their strongest skills, and Lesson 7 details ways to promote them to niche markets so that their specialty services are always in demand. When you take this free course, you’ll learn how to stay inside your comfort zone while making more money, gaining more referrals, and retaining clients. Additionally, you’ll explore ethical ways to accept projects in unfamiliar fields, allowing you to create more revenue streams and broaden your skillset, all while improving your professional relationship with your employer.
This course is being offered 100% free – there are no hidden fees, no subscription, nothing; it exists only as a means to improve the freelancer experience, build the market, and get you more jobs. It’s a collection of hard-earned freelancer tips that can make or break your long-term working relationships.
The course is easy to digest and can be completed in just a few hours of work. You’ll gain access to video lectures, chapter quizzes, and complete textbook material that will earn you the Rapid Business Lessons Certification. It’s a worthwhile investment that costs you nothing more than your time and effort, and will pay you back in a big way. This course contains freelancer tips, and so much more; I’ve distilled 15 years of experience as a freelancer and employer into this online curriculum, and have held nothing back. Think of it like the “answer key” that will take the guesswork out of your career.
Today, employers around the world are recognizing the Rapid Business Lessons Freelancer Certification as a part of their outsourcing best practices. Don’t cost yourself work with quality employers because you couldn’t find the time to further your education! Take the Rapid Business Lessons Freelancer Certification Course by visiting https://www.rapidbusinesslessons.com/freelancer, or learn about my business background, book, and philosophy at http://www.LiorIzik.com.