7 Ways to Avoid Hurting your Reputation as a Freelancer

If you want to succeed as a freelancer, you must avoid falling into traps that are too easy to fall into when you're just starting.

When you're thinking about earning money as a freelancer because bills are due, you need to put food on the table, or you have medical bills, reputation isn't the most important thing on your mind. After all, what could you lose, right? 

Here is a short answer: 

You can lose everything if you don't build a good reputation. The best way to protect yourself is to get a good reputation.

Here are seven ways you can avoid hurting your reputation as a freelancer

1. Freelancing is a business venture

Like any other business, you must manage your freelancing endeavour carefully. There is much competition in this market. You need to get an excellent online reputation like any other business. Otherwise, you might be missing out on clients.

Would you do business with someone with a poor reputation? No, right? If you don't protect your reputation, clients will perceive you similarly. 

One wrong move with a client can lead to a negative review and a low rating, so you must ensure that you keep your clients happy. You should maintain a quality output and be friendly and responsive regarding their concerns and feedback.

2. Quality work is everything

One cannot fake quality work. It starts with you being an expert on the skill you are selling and delivering high-quality work for the client with definite consistency. A failure to provide quality work can affect your credibility, which is detrimental to your success and future. 

3. Good Customer Service

Customer service skills are essential for anyone who wants to sell their services as a freelancer. Whether you have a customer service background or not, it's easy to get good at providing excellent customer service if you study it and put it into practice. 

Customer service is an essential part of a business; if it's not managed correctly, it will affect your reputation.

How often you call them, how you communicate with them, and what you say to them all add up to an excellent rating.

Your customer service skills are handy when facing a difficult, unsatisfied, or angry client. 

 4. Great Client Communication

In the world of remote work and freelancing, communication is everything. Clients want to know that they're dealing with a professional. A professional has the same level of commitment and professionalism that they expect from themselves.

Being great at communication starts with knowing what the client wants. You won't be able to provide any service or information to your clients if you don't know what they want. However, you can provide adequate customer service once you have that knowledge.

Client communication means more than just talking to clients; it means listening to them and understanding their needs. It's also about communicating to your clients what they want and how to get it. This shows them that you value them as people and not just numbers. You will receive higher ratings if you do this well.

This also means getting feedback on your work and sharing ideas and suggestions with your client when necessary. After all, you are the hired expert. Finally, don't be afraid to say no to your client. Just because they want something, you don't have to give in. 

5. Get Clients within the platform

Building your reputation means getting clients within the platform. An example of this is Upwork. It is a site that connects employers with freelancers, and the site helps make the job process more efficient and less stressful (?). It also has an excellent rating and feedback system that you can use to build your reputation as a freelancer. The more high ratings and good feedback you get, the more marketable you become, and the more you can increase your rate. 

As a freelancer using Upwork for clients, this was a significant disadvantage.

I know it's tempting to think it's expensive, but you should consider it an investment in your freelancing career.

Once you get 5-star ratings and positive comments, you can find clients outside Upwork and be on your own. 

The reputation you build on a platform like Upwork is nothing more than a tool you use so you can get more clients and get paid higher. 

6. Be careful whom you deal with

Many scam clients are everywhere. You need to learn to recognize them, but you can only do so much to identify and filter them out.

When you work with a scam client, you waste your time and effort and could get banned on a platform like Upwork. Imagine if you're on your own if it happens on various platforms. How easy is it for you to get scammed? Or to dedicate your time and energy to a job that does not get paid. 

You'll have to start from scratch if you get paid for a project and later find out it wasn't real. So, be careful whom you work with.

7. Contract first

An advantage of working through an outsourcing platform like Upwork is that they offer contracts with ongoing funding. This way, you don't have to worry about the legitimacy of a client and whether you will get paid or not because the platform handles the billing, invoicing, and payment release for you. 

When you are doing business outside a platform, a contract becomes insignificant. Sure, the client may provide one, but it is not guaranteed that you will be paid once the work is completed. That is the risk you take when you leave a platform like Upwork or Fiverr.

So, why should you use a platform? Because it protects both parties. You have money locked into the client, so you can stop worrying about getting paid.

Final Words

When you are a freelancer, reputation is everything. I'm sharing this topic a bit, but it's essential. A poor freelancer's reputation can affect your ability to earn a living. 

As someone who has worked with platforms, I've seen more than my share of scams. They are everywhere; people bid on your work without intent to pay and then disappear. It's a scary thing. So, ensure that they are legitimate before you start working for them. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your reputation is damaged, your clients will look at someone else instead of you. This can be avoided by ensuring that you deliver on time and stick to the agreed-upon scope.

If you find yourself with a happy client, one way to protect your reputation is to use customer service principles. This means going above and beyond and ensuring they are satisfied with their purchase.

Ultimately, treating your freelancing business is critical to building a solid reputation as a freelance designer.

Thanks for reading, and happy freelancing!


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