Freelance Self Care

relaxing-1979674_1920Self-care is something I’ve really been trying to focus on lately.

First and foremost, I’m in my mid 40s. And when I say MID-40s, I mean right smack in the middle. I’m 45, and once I pass October, I’ll officially be closer to 50 than 40.

I don’t mind, really. I find this time in my life to be very empowering. I am beginning to get a sense of who I am and what I want in life. However, I am also feeling my lack of self-care over the past few years.

When you hit your 40s and beyond, I believe you can still be fit and healthy and feel amazing like you did in your 20s and 30s — you just have to work a hell of a lot harder for it. And if you let it slide, like I did, it’s harder than ever to get it back.

Through most of my 30s I ate SUPER healthy and I ran regularly. I also didn’t have a car people-2592247_1920for much of that time, so there was a lot more walking and biking. Then I got to a point where I wanted to up my work hours and really increase my income, and guess what?

Everything in terms of self-care fell by the wayside.

I’ve learned that even when you’re self-employed and work from home, working more hours will cause you to neglect the things that are good for you. I honestly believe I would get up from my desk more often if I worked for someone else.

If I’m bogged down with work, I will end up not taking the breaks I should take, not doing ANY exercise at all, and then it happens. I get out of any good self-care I happened to be in (which really wasn’t much for many years). My lower back starts killing me. I get stiff and walk like I’m 85, instead of 45. And I realize, shit I need to actually move my body.

Then there is the diet. Now, overall, I eat well. Lots of fresh foods. I’ve recently cut out cupcakes-690040_1920red meat entirely. I don’t drink pop or eat a lot of candy. What I do like, however, are chai latte and baked goods. If it has icing on it, OMG I have to have it.

Now, five or six years ago, I began to go through the bouts of extreme exhaustion. Sometimes for a week at a time, I would have no energy to get through my day. I’d go to bed by 8:30, sleep 10-12 hours, and feel like I hadn’t slept in a month.

All my blood work checked out. Nothing the rheumatologist could see was an issue. Everything seemed fine. My doctor agreed it must be chronic fatigue syndrome.

Maybe.

But let me tell you, when I cut down on my refined sugar and grain intake a few months ago — problem solved! Add some exercise to that and I am beginning to feel like a new me, or rather the old me. It’s going to take some time, but I’ll get there.

I have started running every other day and Buddha bowls are becoming very popular in breakfast-1209260_1920 (1)my house. I don’t each much sugar at all now and I don’t crave sugar the way I did, which sometimes I lament because when I see baked goods I don’t really want, they look so amazing I wish I wanted them.

Honestly, as a freelancer working from home on my own all day, I really have to push myself to take breaks, get some exercise, and eat well. I have to push myself to take care of myself. Of course, being a single mother on top of it all makes it even more challenging to find the time and energy for self-care.

I honestly feel that as a freelancer, working alone from home all day, that it’s incredibly easy to neglect myself — perhaps easier than if I was working outside the home. What do you think? Do you find it challenging too? I’d love to hear your experience 🙂

Karen

Small or Large Freelance Projects – 4 Ways to Tell which Are Best For You

influencer-4081842_1920Have you ever been faced with a massive book a client has hired you to write and sat there wondering how you are ever going to get it done? Perhaps you try to get an outline together and don’t find it easy to figure out what will go into the book or how it will be organized.

Or maybe, you have a couple of projects where clients are requesting a single article or two and that’s it. You’d need to string a bunch of these together to feel like you’re doing enough work and earning enough money.

There are so many types of projects as a freelance writer. And if you’re like me, you do it all. But do you have a preference? Do you work better on smaller projects than bigger ones or vice versa?

Well, you might know which you like better and you might not. Either way, there are some things to consider when it comes to working small projects or big ones.

1. Your Personality

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By “personality” I mean are you a starter or do you really like to dig in and go all the way? Many people are great starters, but if it takes to long to finish something, they get bored and want to move on to the next “start.” I am one of these people. I love the energy of starting something new, but my enthusiasm fades if it takes too long.

In the early years of my freelance career, this made me prefer smaller projects. One-off articles or clients that wanted one or two articles a week. Do I do larger projects? You bet. I have written books and eBooks, reports, and white papers for clients. I have taken on projects with a deliverable of dozens of articles or hundreds of product descriptions.

But here’s the thing…

Over the years, I have gotten better at getting those large projects done. I have learned how to stick with something, to see it through to the end — and enjoy doing so. And that’s a good thing because it’s important to consider…

2. Cash Flow

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With small projects, you do the job and get paid and you’re done. Period. Sure, the same can be said for larger projects, but with those the paycheck is higher. And since larger projects are set up in terms of milestones (or at least they should be), you will have money coming in regularly, which is ideal in terms of cash flow. Plus, the more large, high-paying projects you have, the fewer projects you have to hunt down each month.

Having said that, you can often charge more per word for smaller projects. If you write a one-off article, you might charge 15 cents per word, but if you are writing 2 articles weekly, you might charge only 12 cents. One the other hand, if you are writing a book, you might only charge 10 cents per word.

Personally, I don’t like one-off projects because I just don’t feel like they are worth my time and effort. I like regular clients that give me work every week and projects that I know will pay me a decent fee overall. My ideal is writing lead magnet reports, which I do for anywhere between 3 and 10 clients per month.

These reports are around 4,000 words each and I can often upsell the client to also have me do their cover, a more visually appealing or even custom report layout, and additional pieces of content. It’s a fabulous balance between small and large projects and it pays well.

3. Planning

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Do you like planning things out in meticulous detail? If so, larger projects might be your preference. When you write a small article of 500-1,000 words, you don’t have a ton of planning to do. Personally, I don’t need to even outline something this small. I just start researching and writing.

But the larger the project is, the more planning is needed. You need to do preliminary research. You need to plan a detailed outline. You might have to go back and forth with the client to get that outline ironed out. And there will be a lot more back and forth as you submit portions of the project. If you thrive on this kind of stuff, then large projects are for you. If not, maybe stick with small projects.

4. Fewer Changes

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When you are working on a single article project, even multiple articles, with each article submitted, you might not even have any revisions to do. And if you do have revisions, they probably won’t amount to much. Also, the client is less likely to change the scope of the project or change their mind on the content.

With a larger project, the chances you will need to do revisions are much greater. And the chances that the client will change direction are greater. Although, a good client has the project well though out before hand, and IF they make changes, they give you plenty of warning and will pay you extra, particularly if you’ve already written the relevant content.

In the end, you will have to feel things out and decide what’s right for you. I suspect, if you’re like me and perhaps most freelance writers, you’ll take what you can get when you can get it. This is especially the case if you are new to freelancing.

However, it’s worth taking the time to consider the type of project — small or large — you enjoy doing more. If you do have a preference, focus on finding those types of projects whenever possible. This might make your freelancing experience that much more enjoyable 🙂

Karen

Freelancing on the Spectrum

autism-3759586__340So, here’s what happened.

My 16-year-old daughter was just diagnosed with ASD — she is at the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. Believe me when I say that, as a mother, this has put me into a tailspin as I process her diagnosis and what it means for her and her future.

Now, naturally I’ve been reading and researching the shit out of this. I am learning SO MUCH. Like the fact that girls are severely under-diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Like the challenges ASD people have socializing. Or the challenges some face visualizing the future and the outcomes of potential choices. Or the challenges many face at holding down a job.

Being on the cusp of adulthood with one year of high school left, post-secondary education, and a future career, I am concerned about my daughter’s future and the type of job she can realistically do. This includes short-term employment, while she pursues higher education.

Of course, she plans to work with animals as a career. They are her obsession, her shield-1020318__340life. However, she is also a good writer. And with online freelancing, nearly all communication is through writing (at least that’s my experience) — potentially making work as a freelancer something very appealing and doable for her and other people on the spectrum.

Just think about all the freelancing possibilities! Writing, editing, graphic design, web design, app design, photography, artistry. These are all professions that can be done online, using a person’s innate skills and talents, while minimizing potentially stressful contact with others. The benefits include things like:

  • Being able to avoid the traditional job interview in favor of online queries and proposals that are written and can be crafted with care
  • Networking online, as opposed to networking in person
  • Success on the job being results-based, without social skills playing a huge part
  • Giving attention to detail center stage

Of course, I know there are also challenges for someone on the spectrum who is freelancing. Nothing is perfect. There is still communicating with clients, understanding what they want, staying organized and motivated. But I feel freelancing could be a good choice for many people on the spectrum and for others with mental or physical disabilities.

This is all very new for me and I am adjusting and thinking about it, not just in terms of break-2642605_640my daughter, but in broader terms. Even 15-20 years ago, online options weren’t available. Now, people can make a good living online, through freelancing, online consulting or coaching, or by running an online business.

There are so many people out there who can benefit from this. I’ve also been talking with my daughter about starting an online business, since she has become a reptile expert that is well known and respected in the online reptile community.

Honestly, freelancing and online business could be the answer for many people who have difficulty working in the brick-and-mortar world. And yes, I am well aware that it may not be the right answer for everyone or a cure-all for the challenges many people face. But it is a valid option for many. And of course, it is the preferred choice for so many of us simply because of the freedom it gives us.

If any of this resonates with you, I’d love to hear from you!

The Brutally Honest Truth About Money Management as a Freelancer

electronic-payments-2570939_1920There was this freelancer. She had just spent Friday of the March Break in the big city with her 14-year-old daughter. They were about to head home and were at Starbucks buying their for-the-road drinks for the two-hour drive.

And her bank card didn’t work.

Probably some glitch or something. She used her credit card, paid for their drinks, and they went on their way. Saturday morning came and she walked to the drug store. She got to the cash register to pay for her purchase and you guessed it…

Her bank card didn’t work.

Now, there was a niggling. Something deep down inside that was telling her this wasn’t just some glitch. She left her purchase on the drug store counter and went home to call the bank.

You see, this woman had struggled with money off and on her whole life. And she had been on her own as a single mother for 13 years. She didn’t even make $10K in one of her early years as a freelancer.

Over those early years, she had her share of debt trails and being late with the rent. But she had gotten it together. Things were good. She lived in a nice rental home in a good neighbourhood.

But this past year had been a bit of a struggle. Too much on her financial plate. She let her tax payments slide. Worse, she had ignored those brown envelopes that come from the government.

And now she was paying the price.income-tax-491626_1920

You’ve probably guessed by now that this woman is me. And while most of you perhaps haven’t gotten yourself into deep doo doo with the government over your taxes, chances are there are many of you out there having a really rough time with money.

You are not alone.

Now, truth be told, things are pretty good in terms of money for me. I make a decent living these days and it gets better every year. But my expenses are also high and I didn’t grow up learning how to manage money AT ALL. I’m learning the hard way.

It has taken me three months to bounce back from having my bank account frozen by the government. And I take FULL responsibility for my situation. It’s not something I planned to have happen and it’s not something I wanted to have happen. Yet, I got myself into it, and I damn well got myself out of it.

That complete and utter lack of control over what was happening, over my money, was aSuperhero Shadow total wake-up call for me. I will NEVER EVER feel that helpless again.

I know as freelancers and entrepreneurs we all hear about how we need to manage our money well, even better than employed people. Make sure you put away savings. Make sure you put away money for taxes. Make sure you have a cushion for those months that don’t cough up enough work to pay the bills.

But seeing that written in an article on Forbes and hearing about someone’s actual real-life experience when they don’t do these things are totally different.

An article with facts is just too sterile, too detached. It’s only when we talk about our own experiences, the good and the bad, that we learn from each other and can help each other. It’s only when we do this that we remove the stigma and learn that we aren’t alone, that we all make mistakes, and that we can move on to a better life.

Which is why I am sharing this with you.

You are not alone.

Whether it’s the mound of debt you’re under, living off credit cards while you struggle to find more work that pays decently, the back taxes you owe in spades, or the thrift store winter coats you’re buying for your kids, the fact is there are people — freelancers — out there struggling with money.

After all, in the U.S., a whopping 60% of people do not have enough money in their savings to cover a $1,000 emergency expense. That’s nearly two-thirds of Americans!

In Canada, the average household savings rate (the amount of disposable income saved) is a mere 0.8%. Based on an average monthly disposable income of $2,273, that’s about $22 a month in savings. At that rate, it’ll take nearly 4 years to save up $1,000.

And those figures include people who work for an employer and get a regular paycheck!

As a freelancer, you don’t get a regular paycheck. You need not just a regular savings buffer, but also an I-didn’t-make-as-much-money-this-month buffer.

Listen, I’m lucky I’m a freelancer. When finances go south, I know I can hunt down some extra work and bring in some extra pay. And I did just that. I am now putting away those savings, paying down some debt, and paying my taxes!

I’m getting it together and then some. I plan to travel somewhere awesome next year with my kids. Aside from ensuring financial stability, that’s my big goal.

But most importantly, I have a whole new outlook on and a new level of respect for money. And all I can say to you is this…

Put money aside EVERY time you get paid.businesswoman holding coins putting in glass with using smartphone and calculator to calculate  concept saving money for finance accounting

If you already do this, that’s awesome. I am so happy you have your finances sorted. But I can’t be the only one whose finances have been a mess. So, if you are struggling, make a commitment to yourself. Put something away every single time pay comes in. It could be 20%, 10%, 5%, or it could be a flat $200. Just put something away!

Even $50 a month is a start. It will allow you to get into the habit of saving. Then you can increase it as you get used to doing it.

And split the money you put away evenly between savings and tax money. If you end up with more tax money than you need, consider that your bonus savings.

Regardless, you’ll find that after a few months, you’ll have a little nest-egg growing and you will feel SO relieved. Honestly, it might just be the best thing you ever do for yourself.

Because I can promise you this — financial instability is THE #1 worst kind of chronic stress you can have. You owe it to yourself to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. and if it already has, know this…

You are not alone.

I hope that if you have experience with financial struggle as a freelancer you will share it here with us, in the comments section. We can only help each other when we open up, and we can only do that when we feel we won’t be judged.

There is no judgement here, only support.

Cheers, Karen

Bringing “YOU” to Your Freelance Work

woman-865021_1920Hey everyone. So again, it’s been a little while since I last posted. Sorry about that.

But — aside from being crazy busy — I’ve been doing some soul searching. I have been trying to figure out what I want this blog to be about, what I want it to offer all of you. And honestly, articles and posts about how to get freelance jobs, deal with clients, and make more money at freelancing are a dome a dozen.

Of course, I’ve written posts like that, from my own perspective and experience, and that’s always valuable. But I want to give you more than that. I want this blog to inspire, to lift you all up in a unique way.

So here it goes, with this awesome topic…

How do you bring “YOU” to your freelance work?

We hear all about bringing yourself to your job. This is generally based on jobs where you work for someone else. But what about your freelance career? How do you bring yourself to the work you do everyday from your home office (or wherever it is you choose to work)?

Let’s be honest here. Most of us got into freelancing because we wanted to be our own boss. We wanted to control our career and our income. We wanted out of the 9-5 grind. And for many, we chose this path to earn the big $$.

But we have all learned that freelancing isn’t a cakewalk. It’s not easy finding quality clients. And dealing with the inconsistency of getting a paycheck? That can seriously keep a person up at night.

We get so lost in the day-to-day of just getting the work done, communicating with clients, and bringing in enough work to make ends meet each month that, well, the next thing we know, we’re just going through the motions.

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We’re surviving.

Because freelancing can become a daily grind just as easily as a job working for someone else can. Have you reached the point yet where you have realized this, the point where you have questioned whether there is more than this?

I have.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t give up the freedom freelancing gives me for a steady 9-5 paycheck. Not now and I don’t expect I ever will.

But after 13 years, I feel like there must be more. More than writing articles and reports. More than writing someone else’s blog posts. More than researching sustainable shipping, weight loss, and managing finances. All of those niches are noble and worthy and they put money in my bank account. Great.

But there must be more than that. Right?

Full disclosure, I’m 45 and right in the midst of what I like to call my “midlife opportunity.” I have no doubt that is part of this whole “finding myself in my work” thing.

And I’ve been searching a LOT, particularly over the past couple of years. The result?maze-1804499_1920

This blog for one. My journey into screenwriting is another. But I have also FINALLY begun to figure out what really matters to me. You know, that thing that at the end of your life you’ll look back on and feel you did something meaningful?

More and more I want to help women from all walks of life have a better life. That is so important to me. Now, I am at a point where I’m figuring out how to best do that.

And I’ve learned this…

You can’t find “YOU” in your work until you figure out who “YOU” are.

In my 40s, I feel I am finally beginning to get a glimpse of who I am and who I can be, and I have to say I like what I see.

But I also know I have a long way to go.

I recently started listening to Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast. This morning I listened to Marie Forleo’s Everything is “Figureoutable” and it hit the spot. Everything IS figureoutable.

As I figure out who I am, I am figuring out what I want to do in my work. I still write the articles and reports. I still write other people’s blog posts. I still research things like sustainable shipping, weight loss, and managing finances.

But at the same time, I am searching for work that means more to me. And I am drawingdandelion-4195782_1920 that work to me. Law of Attraction. I know it’s beginning to sound cliche, but I believe it works. I have been putting out there the vibe of work with meaning, work that helps lift women up and supports them.

And through one of my regular report-writing gigs, I met someone creating a membership website to do just that. I now find myself in the pivotal role of helping to define this site and what it will become. And it’s FUN! When the time comes, I’ll share the site URL with you.

It’s all about finding the meaning in our freelance work. To do that, you have to figure out what is meaningful to you. Then you have to put yourself out there. You have to ask the universe or your higher power for guidance. You have to take some risks.

I am not a “put yourself out there” kind of person. I want to be and I’m working on it, but for me even putting myself out there via this blog is big. It’s a great place to start. And since writing is my vehicle, I can put myself out there in my screenwriting. Plus, I’m writing a book on finding balance in life — something that is excruciatingly difficult for me — called Tightrope.

And all the while, I am looking for writing gigs that mean something to me, that are about more than paying the bills. They’re out there. I promise. But first, you have to know what’s meaningful for you.

The best way to figure that out? In the SILENCE and through the experience of others.

At least, that’s what works best for me. When I sit in the silence, when I let my mind rest from the busyness of work and life and just allow myself to be, that’s where the answers are.

The answers are in the silence.person-598312_1920

Listening to motivational podcasts and reading motivational books help steer me in the right direction and are invaluable. But in the end, the answers come in the silence. One of the many reasons I value my morning tea and quiet start to my day.

I invite you to try it. To slow down at least once a day, and perhaps on a day off for an entire morning or afternoon, and just be in the silence. Let your mind wander. Let the inspiration sink in. And don’t be afraid to ask the silence, the universe, or your higher power for a little guidance.

You will end up going in the right direction. You will begin to find “YOU.”

If you have been looking for “YOU” in your freelance work or if you can relate to this post in any way, please take the time to share in the comments section below. This is how we help each other, by participating in the conversation.

Now it’s your turn…

Karen

3 Things I Do When Things Go South

roller-coaster-2686502_1920Hey everyone! I will start by apologizing for not posting in a long time.

Sheesh, these past couple of months have been a ride!

I went through some of the most stressful weeks I had ever been through, all during one of the busiest times of the year for my family — dance competition season. Yes, my daughter is a competitive dancer and late March to early May is anyone’s guess as to the level of sanity of a dance mom.

In light of these past few weeks, I thought I would write a post on how I handle things when life goes to the dark side for a while. Hopefully, one or more of these will help you when you hit a rough spot during your life and/or freelance journey.

1. Step Back

Stepping back is good. Unfortunately, when things get really bad, instead of stepping hiding-1209131_1920back a little so I have a good view of the situation, I tend to withdraw deep into the shadows and hide there for a while. Hence the no blog posts for a few weeks.

No, this is not good, and I know that.

Part of trying to not go there again is to have this open conversation, something I think we don’t do enough of. I know for a fact that when I am struggling, I am damn good at hiding it behind a facade of “Hey, I’m totally fine. I’ve got all my shit together. How are you?”

And I doubt I am alone in that.

Do you have times when you are feeling awful or are going through a really bad time, whether that is with finances, family, or something else, and you put on your facade? You know it!

The key is to step back a LITTLE. Despite what I have said thus far, most of the time, I am good at doing that. I have gotten better at being able to assess things without running away from them or the world. And when I can do this, things get better faster.

When I do this, I can tap into my support network. I can find joy in the little things. And I can bounce back stronger than ever.

2. Let Myself Have a Crappy Day… Or Two

OK, even when I have it all together, or when I can step back a little without withdrawingwoman-2696408_1920 completely, I still have those days. You know the ones I’m talking about. You cannot people on those days. Most often, these days are also PMS days for me. Go figure. And I’m deep in the thicket of peri-menopause, so these days can be nasty.

Sometimes, during those “step back a little times,” I still need a day to hide away. Regardless of the reason for these days, when I feel down, tired, and just blah, I let myself feel it!

If I have client work that needs to be done ASAP, that can be tough. But if I need a day off and I have no pressing deadlines, you bet I’m taking it. Mental health day, here I come! One of the perks of being self-employed, yes?

I take this day and do what I want. I have a nap. I watch a movie or binge a TV show. I go to the coffee shop with my book. I indulge in junk food. I take myself to a movie or a drive to a lakeside town for the afternoon.

I let myself be how I need to be. No judgement. No scolding myself. Just acceptance and love.

Then it’s done and I can get on with life — and work.

3. Channel My Energy

This is perhaps the biggest thing I have learned to do over the past 10-15 years. I have meditation-1384758_1920learned to channel my energy. I have had plenty of times during my freelance career when things weren’t where I wanted them. In particular, finances were often a struggle.

And I became really good at NOT wallowing in my own darkness and self-pity.

Instead, I learned to channel my emotions into doing what I needed to do to get myself out of whatever situation I was in. Oh, I’ve got this one down!

You see, I don’t like complaining. Complaining has no place anywhere at anytime. You can either do something about the situation, in which case stop complaining and do what you need to do. OR you can’t do anything about the situation, in which case stop complaining and get on with life.

It’s one or the other, folks.

Besides, I know that wherever I end up in my life and my career, no matter what is going on, I am responsible for it. No one but me creates my life.

And I am creating the BEST life ever!

Now it’s your turn. I invite you to share how you deal with life and your freelance career when things go south. Post in the comments section below!

Cheers, Karen

7 Red Flags That You Are Being Scammed

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We all would like the world to be filled with honest, wonderful people who always have the best intentions. Unfortunately, that isn’t reality. There are people out there who want to take advantage of others in various ways and that doesn’t end with freelancing.

There are people out there who want to take advantage of YOU as a freelancer.

In my 13+ years I have had my share of scammers who have come across my path. And yes, I am sad to say that in the beginning, when I didn’t know any better, I fell for one or two.  I am a very trusting person, and even now, I sometimes think maybe I should trust them even when the signs are there.

However, I did wise up over the years and I don’t fall for that shit anymore. And I can tell you there are certain red flags you should watch for as a freelancer when clients are trying to scam you:

1. They Don’t Have a History on the Platform

If you are on a freelance platform you can see the history of everyone else on that platform. Upwork is particularly good for this. You can see their feedback and ratings, how long they have been a member of Upwork, how much they have paid out for projects and how many projects they have posted and hired for, and even whether or not their payment method is verified.

If a client is new and doesn’t have any of this, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re a scammer. They might truly be a new client. They might not have a history on the platform and they might be in the process of having their payment method verified. But you have to be wary. Particularly if any of these other red flags come up in conjunction with this one.

If you are working off platform, then you need to verify this client exists. Ask for their web address and references. Find out if they are on reputable sites, such as LinkedIn. Check out their internet presence and if you can’t find one or don’t feel good about it, don’t work with them.

2. They Want to Communicate Off the Platformicons-847262_640

All freelance platforms have their own method of communication. There will be a message board with live chat. There will be a way to upload files. There will be a way to make and accept payments.

Now, I have had plenty of clients who really do just prefer to use Skype because it’s more convenient for them. But the scammers out there will want that too. They will not want a history of your conversation on a platform they don’t plan to use. It’s safest if you communicate via the platform, but if you don’t, then at least be sure the client is reputable and has a history on the platform.

3. They Aren’t Willing to Pay a Deposit

If you are working on a platform, and it’s a good platform, they should have an escrow system. This will do when it comes to a deposit. Your client funds the escrow and you can rest assured the money is there. However, that might not work when it comes to all platforms or when you work on an hourly basis.

However, a good platform will guarantee your pay. So, if your client stiffs you, you’ll be paid all the same. The platform has safeguards in place, such as a method to live-track hours worked, to ensure your work and time are protected.

If you are working off a platform, then you must request a deposit. This is one of the primary reasons to do so. If you are dealing with a scammer, they won’t pay it. If they aren’t willing to pay the deposit, they won’t be paying you later. And since it’s common practice to request a deposit, if they aren’t a scammer and they don’t want to pay it, then too bad for them. They will lose a great service provider and they’ll have trouble finding another one.

4. They Offer a Rate of Pay that Is Too Good To Be Truepaper-3147856_640

When a client wants to do business with you and they have a big budget, but haven’t offered a specific rate of pay per word or article, this might not be a good thing. Particularly if you have to ask what the pay is. When you ask and they answer with what’s your rate and they automatically accept that rate without any question — red flag!

This is especially true when your rate is substantial. Essentially, they are willing to accept any rate because they’re never going to pay it. They just want to get you on board and they’ll tell you anything you want to hear. Yet, at the same time, these clients are very much sticklers for wanting work to be done right away and don’t seem flexible on that.

5. They Send Project Details in a Zipped Folder or File

If anyone ever tries to send you project details in a zipped folder, often times a .rar folder, run away! And definitely do NOT open the folder. If you do, you are just asking for malware to end up on your computer.

6. They Want You to Do a Test Job

No free samples. Period. Maybe at a discount, but not free. Most reputable clients will be perfectly willing to pay for the samples they order. Clients that don’t may just be looking for free work. You might think you’re only writing a single article, so how much can they benefit from that. But if they have 10 potential service providers writing samples on 10 different topics, next thing you know, they are making off with 10 articles and they never paid a cent. Yes, this happens.

7. They Won’t Sign a Contractconditions-624911_1920

Honestly, enough said. No signing, no work.

Most often, you will see more than one of these red flags with a single scammer. But even when you see them on their own, be on your guard. It could be a newbie client who is just learning the ropes. Although, to be honest, clients that don’t know the ropes should be dwindling in number as the freelance game continues to grow and dominate the working world.

Have you had experience with scammers or do you have questions? Feel free to use the comments section below to let us know!

Cheers, Karen