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5 Tips for Freelance Success | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

5 Tips for Freelance Success

Date February 12, 2009


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There are a ton of so-called freelance opportunities, available for anyone who wants to start their own business. The reality is that many of these so-called opportunities are nothing more than scams. Unfortunately most of these con artists are so especially good a their ruse that it becomes almost impossible to decipher the real opportunities from the fake ones. It can be highly embarrassing for those to realize that they have been taken for a ride when all they were trying to do is better their own lives.

On the other side of that, once you have found a safe and successful opportunity where you can earn legitimate money, you need to be alert and aware of the fact that potential clients can also present scam related problems. If you have been looking for supplemental income or the opportunity to become your own boss, it is recommended that you carefully review any idea that comes about before investing either your time or money. You can also use the following list of considerations when evaluating your options to make additional money.

1. You Should Never Pay to Work

If you are seeking a freelance contract or bidding opportunity, you should never have to pay a single penny to get the job. While there are third-party freelance sites that showcase different opportunities for freelance work that charge a fee, the direct employer should never charge money in order for you to the contract.

2. Keep Your Private Information Private

There will be legitimate reasons for a client to request some information from you for tax purposes but it is important that you never provide your social security information or other vital details about your life. Your clients are essentially strangers who can do damage to your credit and other confidential information. It is important that you contact the IRS and request an employer identification number. You should also refrain from giving out your credit card or bank information. To accept payments, sign up for a PayPal business account and protect your personal financial information.

3. Beware of Overpayments

If a clients sends you a payment in the form of a check and asks you to cash and return the overage, refuse to accept or cash the check. Just like many scams involving the mail and even online, scam artists send out checks that are no good and when you cash them in your own bank account and withdraw the excess amount, you are them responsible for the total amount of the check when it fails to clear. If this situation arises, return the check immediately and request an alternate form of payment, such as a money order.

4. Never Exchange Money for a Client

If you have a client who requests that you transfer money to an outside party, refuse immediately. Otherwise you might get caught up in illegal activity that could have some severe consequences for you legally. Never agree to accept and transfer money to anyone else.

5. Maintain Accurate Contact Information

If your client fails to pay for services rendered, you will need more than an email address to ensure proper payment. You want an address and a telephone number for the business, as well as the name of the person responsible for paying the bills.

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Related posts:

  1. How to Improve Cash Flow When You Are Self-Employed
  2. Using a Contract for Freelance Work
  3. Protect Yourself when Submitting your Resume

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