Categories
Uncategorized

Freelancers Should Get Paid Properly – and On Time 

Allow me to say that I understand perfectly well the typical freelancer’s problems. 

Even before I started working for Freelancer.com, the world’s largest online freelancing marketplace, as the company’s Asia Regional PR Director, I’ve done my fair share of freelance work and dealt with a number of clients. 

I’ve also seen how it works from the other side of the fence: I’ve collaborated with freelancers on different projects and I know how fun or difficult it could get to work with a freelancer. 

There’s no dearth of horror stories on freelancers doing a lousy job, but this time I’d like to tackle a more pressing issue: employers who think they can get away with treating their freelancers terribly. 

Here’s a piece of advice for employers who hire freelancers: have some humanity and pay your freelancers properly, and on time. Most especially, full-time freelancers.

Freelancers may do it for the love, but as an employer, we need to understand that a freelancer also has to pay his bills. They don’t just magically whip out stuff from nowhere and give it to us – it takes time, talent, and resources to get a particular job done. 

From an outsider’s point of view, a freelancer may seem to be delivering such a brainless, menial task, but it takes a true expert to comprehend that you need pure skill to make something look so elegantly executed. 

When we cheat our freelancer by paying less than what he deserves, or by delaying the payment for days while piling excuses upon excuses, we show how thankless we are by depriving them for the good job they delivered.

And what do employers get when the good ones are finally out of the game? They will have to deal with those who deliver substandard work.

TL;DR

Employers, if you’re not willing to treat your freelancers well because you don’t believe in respecting other people, then at least do it because you know it will eventually be bad for your business too. 

And if that doesn’t convince you to change, then be prepared to deal with sucky results from the not-so-good ones next time. 

***

I believe it takes a certain skills set to become a business-savvy entrepreneur – and a lot of freelancers out there barely survive just because they do not possess the talent necessary to grow their business (or assert themselves.) 

This lack of knowledge subjects them to abuse from employers  – mistreatment which a poor freelancer will likely ignore, hoping that the amount of abuse is inversely proportional to the rewards they will get in the end (whether it be monetary or network-wise.)

Whenever I talk to a newbie freelancer (or even a professional freelancer at that), I always encourage them to ask their employer to register on Freelancer.com and get hired by their employer through our platform. 

And that’s not just because I work for the company – it’s because, truth be told, Freelancer.com has a number of features that make sure freelancers will get paid for the work they do.  

With Freelancer.com’s Milestone Payments feature, a freelancer can ask an employer to deposit the money to an escrow-like system before the freelancer works on a particular project. The beauty of this feature is that an employer can’t withdraw the money he deposited unless the freelancer releases the money back to the employer. And should the freelancer and employer end up vilely disagreeing on some details of a project they’re working on, they can always elect to have Freelancer.com’s Disputes  Resolution team to resolve the issue. 

If you’re a freelancer reading this, why don’t you put that Hire Me button on your website now? Unless of course, you want to suffer through the same hell you’ve experienced charging your employer once the project is done. 

Categories
Uncategorized

Why I (Somewhat) Disagreed: PublicityAsia Joyce Ramirez’s Speech

“For everyone who loves you, there will be others who will hate you. If you do not elicit a reaction, then that means you’re irrelevant. So as long as there’s a response, whether positive or negative, means you have made an impact. And that’s the essence of what effective PR is all about.”

No question, I think Joyce Ramirez is talented, and I admire her to some extent. Admiration though, does not necessarily mean adulation or emulation.

If you follow her on Twitter, you will know that the woman’s character packs a punch. Maybe I judge too quickly based on her online persona, but she comes across as someone who is equal parts mean and charming. She knows how to stir a virtual debate – pressing the right buttons here and there to get her audience listening. 

Perhaps the biggest lesson I’ve learned from observing her strategy is it takes a very (how do I say it?) street-smart person to manipulate human nature. Despite how we strive to overcome our baser selves, the ghetto in everyone of us lies inside, waiting to be unleashed at the right moment by the person who knows what makes people tick. 

I’d like to think there is some truth to her morsel of advice, which goes: “For everyone who loves you, there will be others who will hate you. If you do not elicit a reaction, then that means you’re irrelevant. So as long as there’s a response, whether positive or negative, means you have made an impact.” But is eliciting a reaction enough to conclude that one has effectively executed a public relations strategy? 

It raises a few choice questions in my head: on the long term, is risking negative PR even worth it? And should PR, at times, be diplomacy’s worst enemy? I sincerely think it’s one thing to be secretly thinking nasty things, another to say it to a few close friends, and definitely a whole new level altogether when you scream it out loud and rally people behind you. 

I don’t mean to imply that we should all end up becoming hypocritical and act differently from who we are. And I don’t mean to say that it’s only important to highlight the good things. I sincerely think even negative feedback can be turned into a positive thing (just like what my former boss Amor Maclang repeatedly says: one just needs to properly frame one’s mind.) But to actively seek negative responses for the sake of creating impact doesn’t bode well, if you ask me.

 That being said, Joyce makes some really good points worth mentioning, such as:

  • Concentrate your forces. Makes a lot of sense to me. I think we as people just haven’t evolved enough to be good multitasking, yet. (This article seems to agree with me.) 
  • Increase your skills set. Working for Freelancer.com, which has grown exponentially over the last few years (we’re now at 7 million users – that’s one per one thousand people in the planet), has taught me this: the advent of freelancing has made 1.) able professionals accessible at a click of a button; and 2.) a lot of underperforming people easily dispensable. It’s now imperative to become multi-talented to add value to your organization, more so in this fast-changing world where paradigms become myth in a flash of a second. 
  • Be healthy. Fit people are productive people. It’s impressing to have people who understand that one’s physical and mental fitness is key to delivering well. When stress levels get too high at the workplace, do you know who ends up suffering from a stroke or heart attack? Your guess is as good as mine.

What do you think about her speech? I’d love to hear it.