Freelancers, Beware: The Risks of Commission-Based Jobs in Lead Generation and How to Avoid Them

Photo borrowed from Gerlyn Pada via Facebook

Stepping into the world of freelancing can be thrilling, but it's important to watch out for certain job offers that seem tempting but may not be fair. One such example is the commission-based lead generation job. Here's why you should be cautious and how to protect yourself.

Understanding Commission-Based Freelancing

Commission-based freelancing means getting a piece of the profit pie from your work. For instance, in lead generation, you might get a mere $20 out of a $600 deal. Doesn't sound so fair when you look at it this way, does it?

The Hard Truth about Commission-Based Freelancing

Generating leads is tough. You're finding potential clients, building connections, and persuading them to close a deal. With commission-based jobs, you only get paid if a deal is closed. So, if the deal doesn't go through, all your hard work goes unpaid.


Imagine spending hours crafting the perfect pitch, doing market research, and making numerous calls - only to walk away empty-handed because the client changed their mind. Doesn't sound fun, right?

Freelancing Platforms Vs. Commission-Based Jobs

Websites like Upwork are built to help freelancers and clients collaborate safely. They don't support commission-based jobs because these jobs carry a lot of risks. If a client suggests commission-based payment, you may be asked to work off the platform, which is against Upwork's rules and can lead to trouble.

When There’s No Contract or Safety Net

Working through a freelancing platform provides you with a contract that outlines your job and an "escrow" system, which safely holds the client's money until you've completed the task. But when you work off-platform, you lose these protections. Without a contract or escrow, you might not get paid at all.

Better Choices for New Freelancers

Before you jump into any job, understand how you'll be paid. Be wary of jobs that promise a lot of money but come with high risks. Stick to trusted platforms like Upwork and go for jobs that pay for the time you spend or for each task you complete.

Working off-platform carries many risks. If a job offer looks too good to be true, it probably is. Breaking platform rules can lead to account suspension or even non-payment for your hard work.

Conclusion and Call to Action

As a freelancer, knowledge is your best defense. Steer clear of commission-based jobs and aim for fair treatment and payment. Share this information with your fellow freelancers. The more informed we are, the safer and more rewarding our freelancing journeys can be. Let's band together and promote fair freelance practices!


What should I do if a client insists on commission-based payment?

Stick to your principles. Politely explain why you prefer other payment methods, and if they insist, it might be best to decline and look for other opportunities.

Are all commission-based jobs unfair?

Not necessarily, but they can be risky, especially for new freelancers. Make sure you fully understand the terms and consider whether the potential reward is worth the risk before agreeing to a commission-based job.


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