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The demand of becoming a freelancer increases every year and we can’t avoid the fact that Scammers and Abuser of this increase in supply rise as well.
Whether the recruitment site or work marketplace is legit, still we need to be vigilant with the common scam or red flags before joining the company.
Our community in Angat Pinay listed common red flags every freelancer should be aware of before committing to a task.
Red flags are a warning sign that the relationship will not end up well. It can cause you money or waste so much of your time, damaging you financially and mentally.
How To Spot A Scam?
1. They are asking for a security deposit or any form of fee
You are looking for work to earn not the other way around. A legit client will not ask for a fee for you to join them. So if they ask for a payment of any kind is already a RED flag. If they ask you to pay a registration for something it is a RED flag.
Common term they use to ask for money. Deposit for the project, work security, tools payment, salary processing fee, training fee and more. They will offer to refund you but after you sent the payment, they will block you immediately. Sometimes they will ask it upfront before you start your task or after your finish the task.
Another example; They will offer a too good to be true rate, even if you don’t have an experience and want’s you to finish the task in 2 days. Then after submitting, they will ask you to deposit a fee for you to be able to withdraw your salary. RED FLAG!
Wag pong maniwala kung may pera ng hinihingi. Malamang SCAM po ito. If you are unsure there are few steps that you can make.
a. Ask reliable support groups, if they encounter similar offers or if the offer is to good to be true. You can refer to this blog that we usually check on.
Related Blog: 5 Must Follow Group If You Are A Virtual Assistant
b. Ask for a contract, an advance payment or you can dig deeper on your research about the company.
2. They are asking for a sample work
Don’t get me wrong some clients really want to see your work. You can provide your portfolio for this or a minimum number of samples that you already work from the past. However, if the trial task is worth more than an hour of work then it is fair to ask for a fee.
Common example are in lead generations, when the client asked you for 20 leads of a specific target market to be submitted within the day or two as a test if you fit the job. Imagine if 10 people applied for the same job position, the client will receive 200 leads in 2 days for free. Most of the cases they will not hire you anyway, worst they will not reply on your follow-ups. They already got enough leads for the next set off applicants.
You can either create your portfolio or negotiate a paid sample task half of your usually rate just to test if you fit for the position and if your client is your ideal client.
How to Spot a Unpleasant Client
Finding a perfect client or a dream client may take time because not every clients is for you. Save your self from the red flags for the benefit of your mental health. Dealing with an unpleasant clients is never fun and our community listed the following to detect the red flag.
3. Client with an unrealistic expectation
You were hired as social media manager, paid on an agreed amount, fix or per hour on the specific task. Few days later you are given task that are not discussed prior, eg. Lead generation or cold calling. They expect that because you are working for them on the certain hours of the day they can add more task not related to the position you were hired in the first place. Then one day you will you realized that the quality of your work is decreasing and your time is not enough to finish all the task.
Don’t just quit, negotiate instead. If you are working part time you can request for an additional paid hours or you can work with the same hours but with an increase on your rate. to assure your client that the quality of your service will not be compromise.
Another example is asking for unlimited number of revisions on creative is a red flag, revision is normal with a clear number per project. So be clear with the number of revision per project. You can either create a bundle per project and state in your contract clearly how many revision you can offer per creative.
4. Unprofessional time of Communication
When the client expect you to be available every time and everyday of the week. If you set your time when to work with your client, and they keep on sending you emails, and messages beyond the usual working hours, a red flag. Your time is important, the reason you choose to be a freelancer is for the flexibility, more time with your family, or time for yourself.
Imagine this, you are paid for 3 hours every day from 8 am to 11 am, then suddenly they started emailing you or worst calling you to revise something or check something at 10 pm. One time, 2nd time maybe it is acceptable, however, if it happens often, then your time is not important to your client. A boundary is necessary for a healthy and professional relationship, especially if you are time managing your schedule for multiple clients.
If you think that is not fair anymore for your time, start communicating with your client for additional paid hours and a renegotiation of your contract.
5. Not paying on time
Ok, this should be your number 1 red flag. Before starting your contract or agreement with your client you set the date on your salary disbursement. If it’s a project base you can ask for staggered payment depending on the stages of the project. Before you start stage 1 ask for an advance, then schedule the next payment in line with the progress of the project.
For an hourly rate or fixed rate, you can start with a weekly payout, for example, every Friday. When you gain a positive relationship with your client you can start moving on to bi-weekly or monthly payment.
What ever your agreed schedule is the client should pay on time. Disrepecting your agreed due date is a red flag. When one pays a delayed in schedules without proper communication with you, you are entitled to halt your work until the time you get paid for your prior work rendered.
Wala pong libreng trabaho. May mga bills din po tayong need bayara.
I know for newbies we still need to prove ourselves and do the extra mile for our client. Never quit immediately or burn bridges when you encounter this red flags. But instead negotiate and never render free work.
Always give importance with your time. Remember, you are an independent contractor. No DOLE that will protect you if they don’t pay or if they abuse your services. You pay for your electricity, you invested for your equipment, internet, insurance, and others.
You have an option to offer more for sure but set a boundary and know your limits. Happy Client hunting!