How to Stay Safe on Your Freelance Journey

This may be your year to make significant changes like looking for a new job or looking to make some extra money on the side.

If you’re not quite sure what your next career move might be, then you should consider signing up for online freelance sites like Upwork. They allow you the ability to look before you leap 100 percent into your passion.

The beauty of online freelance sites is that you have the ability to do so from the comfort of your own home. Be sure to check out the blog post because I’ll be sharing a list of freelance sites that you can check out. Now before you start your freelance career I want to share some do’s and don’ts that you really need to think about when you work on online freelance sites.

  • It seems like there are new online freelance sites popping up every day. Needless to say, they are not all going to reputable. It’s really important to do your homework. So here’s a couple of ways that you can check to see if a site is reputable:
  • I always check company reviews. I want to see if there are multiple sources that can verify that the site is legit.
    • I then check to see the company’s communication policy. I prefer to keep ALL of my communication about the projects that I’m hired for on the freelance website. That way both parties have access to the same information, documents, etc. This is extremely important because when you start working on multiple projects having one central location is going to make your life a whole lot easier.
  • What is the site’s refund policy? Again, there’s a lot of shady people out there. There are people who will try their best to get something for nothing. I actually had someone give me a 5-star review and then went to their bank 8 days later to try to cancel their order. They said I delivered the project late. This was a lie.

I literally delivered the project to this person within 24 hours. Now since all of the communication was on this freelance site’s platform, the company was able to see that this person was trying to run a scam. Everything worked out in my favor but I’m still upset that this site decided that the fake cancellation still went against my account profile. Even though that still makes me mad, I’m just happy I got my money back.

  • If you’ve gotten this far, then it’s time to check in to the most important thing, how are you going to get paid? There are a lot of scams out there. I NEVER ever work on any sites where I don’t feel comfortable that I will actually get paid. I don’t do any work without having money sitting in the freelance site’s escrow service or being paid for half of the project. I will NEVER work without being paid or having money sitting in the site’s escrow service.
  • Another thing that you will want to consider is your work sample policy. Depending on what services you offer, you may or may not want to offer samples of your work. I’ll give you a perfect example. I do voice over work. I have samples of various voice over projects on my profile. Therefore, whenever I see someone that asks for me to read a sample script of what is provided before they can hire me for the job, I typically skip over these projects for the majority of the sites that I belong to.

Mainly because I know that if that site has a lot of non-native English speakers many times this little audition is the actual project. Instead of hiring you to do the project, they choose to act like they are going to hire you by disguising the actual project as an audition. Again, I follow this rule on the majority of the sites I’m signed up to do voiceovers on but not all of them. You have to use common sense and decide which one is best for you.

Another scam that I have seen is when people ask to see samples of your written content. You have to go with your gut on this one. However, I know for a fact that sometimes (especially if your site has a lot of folks outside of the U.S.) people will then take those exact same samples that you shared with them and use them to build up their own profile. Again,  you have to be careful. I know for a fact that I might have lost some customers based on my work sample policy, but I’m confident that I saved myself from the colossal headache of chasing people down so I can get paid.

Again, I hope I didn’t scare you, because working online has been an amazing experience for me. I’m confident it will be for you as well if you keep this advice in mind.

Click here to get my list of recommended website to help you get started on your freelance journey.

If you have any advice or have a freelance site that you would like to share and you’re listening to this on the Anchor platform you have the ability to call into the show. So be sure to let me know.

Thanks so much for listening to today’s podcast.  I’m confident that my side hustle of helping others to invest in themselves via my youtube channel, podcast, and most importantly my online courses can be of assistance to you.

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Remember, if you’re everything to everyone then you risk being no one. You never know who you may inspire.

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