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As a client, what really makes you hire a freelancer?

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
11 of 33

"... and she will jump on me as soon as she will see I am on a phone call or will scream in the background which will be quite embarrassing for me "


"... & I only work when I have alone time. ..."


Do you see the discrepancy here?


I'm not trying to be argumentative here, but this is what I'm talking about. At one point you decline a client's wishes for a very specific reason, and then the next moment you disagree, countering with a statement that goes against your very own words.


As freelancers, we all need to be honest, to the point, mean what we say, and do what we claim. If I were a client considering to hire you, and you contradicted yourself like this during our conversations, you would not get the job.


Don't take that personally. I'm trying to help with a dose of reality.


When you contradict your own words, how could I put faith in other things you tell me? Do you tell me what I want to hear, or do you tell me the reality. Trust is absolutely KEY to getting interviewed and to land quality jobs from quality clients. I can't stress that enough.


I didn't come to oDesk with a great education or amazing experience. I came here with a strong work ethic and a desire to learn. Overnight, my hourly rate went from $10/hr sales jobs to $35 minimum.. with absolutely no life changes other than finding a place where people found a higher value to the skills I have to offer.


How did I get my first few gigs to build up a half decent profile? I was honest with my clients and treated them professionally and as real people. I did not call them 'Sir', I did not claim to be anything I wasn't. In return, they gave me repeated work and great reviews.. aside from a couple that I actually dropped due to their corrupt actions.


Trust. Trust. Trust.


We all have made mistakes in the past, and we all have done stupid things that would make people not trust us. What we do going forward is what counts. Any words or actions that take away from trust takes you 1 step father from landing that quality job.



Ace Contributor
Sonal V Member Since: Apr 21, 2015
12 of 33
Omg ! Tony H pls don't misunderstand me , wat I am trying to say is when a client want me to have video interview I cannot give him certain fixed time for that as I don't know what time will be peaceful to talk but if the client says that you have to finish certain task by tomorrow than I can work when I am at peace anytime of the day . Again I would say I am new here so only had one instance when I denied video call . I am still trying to make a mark and you are much more experienced then me so maybe you can give a better advice to fellow freelancers but I just didn't agree with one of your point that's it . I was not trying to offend you .
Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
13 of 33

Just trying to inject a bit of balance here...It's entirely possible to be a fully competent, highly professional freelancer without your client knowing what you look like or what your workspace looks like. Yes, it's all about trust, but if it involves a client who doesn't trust me till they've seen me on a video, then really I wouldn't want to know them anyway.


I've built a fine professional reputation on here by the quality of work I provide and the way I communicate with my clients - but I don't and won't do Skype (partly because of bandwidth problems; partly because I hatethe way it tries to take over your computer and your life; and party because I just don't like it, and can work and communicate very well without it), and I certainly will never do a video interview. We discuss a job and a deadline; I do the job to the deadline, keeping the client informed at an appropriate level; I deliver the job; and I wait till the client says they're happy, including any post-delivery changes. New clients trust me to do all this because of my profile and work history. They don't need to know whether I've got a beard right now, what a cross between a Lancashire and a Donegal accent sounds like, or whether my desk is cluttered.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
14 of 33

No offense taken


There are no emotions when it comes to business Smiley Happy


My point is that there should be no difference between a home work environment than there is of an employee who is expected to be in the office. It takes even more dicipline to work professionally from home because no one is watching.


The bigger the company hiring you, the less they care. You either do the job or don't. If you have any circumstances that affect your ability to do the job, they can easily find someone else who doesn't. This applies to not only the tasks within a contract, but also in the interview process. If they want to 'see' or get to know who they are giving money to, and the freelancer says no for any reason - there are 50 others looking for the same job and who will do what they want.


The best way to put yourself on top of that pile is to do what they ask, and be absolutely clear and trustworthy. It's seriously not hard to do, but seems to be an area where the freelancer ego often gets in the way. We can be our own bossess all we want, but that doesn't mean clients have to put up with it or hire us in the first place.


Defying a potential client's wishes is more often than not a product of our ego. For ANY reason, the more we say "I can't", the more we will hear "Thanks for applying, but ______".


An employer does not want to hire some middle aged man sitting on the couch in his boxer shorts, watching the Simpsons in the background with last night's open pizza box on the floor.


A bit of an exaggeration for the sake of a laugh but that's my point.


Without other committments, such as family or a local job, I've been fortunate enough to be available for scheduled times at my client's discretion. I've set my alarm for 3am many times for a 10 minute call, or even to start a full day of work.


That's another good point to talk about. Availability.


We're also much more likely to get hired if we are available at the whim of the client. It sucks, I know.. but that's life.


Many freelancers do this part-time. In between other committments. There is a decent sized market for people like that, but on the whole we are much more likely to get hired and retained the more we can make the client the #1 priority.


With that said, I'm not personally the ideal freelancer either. I do things on my terms for the most part - and the more i do that - the lesser chance I have of making good money as well. I know this and am OK with it though, because freelancing for me isn't important for the big picture.


People seem to feel that freelancing is being your own boss. In reality it is not. the only difference is that you MAY have an opportunity to get work done in batches by a specified due date. Those are good gigs. When a client tells you to submit xxxxx by the end of the week, and you get the work done when you feel like it, and spend the rest of teh time on the beach. That's my preferred style and I did exactly just that for 6 months in Cancun in 2013.


However, that is rare. Being our own boss means no one can fire us. That is not the case.


So anyways, to wrap this up...


When asking how to land interviews or actually get hired before more experienced freelancers do - the answer is simple.


Treat it the same as you would a local job.


If your situation is not a fit for a 'normal' job, you can bet it's not good for freelancing either. Yes, there are exceptions and those are the exceptions we all dream of as freelancers. Unfortunately, the market is NOT full of those types of jobs.


If you want to earn a reliable living as a freelancer, you need to man up and take it even more seriously than you would if you earned a promotion at the office. Not only do you need to be as professional and available during expected hours, but you also need to take that responsibility to a whole new higher level.


As small business owners, there is no such thing as an excuse. you either do a thing or you don't. If your source of money requires certain things from you - you provide them. If you don't for absolutely any reason other than getting hit by a car, consider yourself lucky to have that option to say no because many people don't.


Everyone in the world needs to eat and shelter themselves. We are lucky we don;t need to literally hunt our own food like many do. Instead we hunt new clients. Saying 'no' to a client is the same as giving up the hunt. 'No' is a luxury.


That is my approach to this industry as a freelancer.


As a client, I'm not such a *****, lol. But ultimately I know life is not nice and the reality of digitally hunting for food is not pretty. I treat business the same as I would if I hadn't eaten for 2 days and thrown into the wild with nothing but a spear.


If you have a broken leg and the only food is high up in a tree, you'll find a way to go get it. As a freelancer we all need to find a way.


Again, there are very good reasons why some make $1/hr and some $100. Why some never find work, and some are too busy.


Thiose reasons are very fundamental. There is NOT enough work for everyone here. All you need to do is be slightly better than the next guy. It's not hard. Being better doesn't always mean by skills or education.


Climb the tree. Figure it out.

Community Guru
Tony H Member Since: Nov 10, 2011
15 of 33

and lol, Stephen.. my reply took longer to write than it did for you to make your post. Just in case there is any thought of reference to my open pizza box and your beard Smiley Happy


We are talking about what it takes to get hired. What qualities will help a freelancer beat the others even though they may be more qualified. Given a choice - who will a client most likely hire?



Ace Contributor
Diana S Member Since: Jan 27, 2015
16 of 33

I have to say I find your whole stance very bizarre. The whole point of freelancing, at least from my perspective, is that it's not a 9-5 and it doesn't have to be done in an office.
For a client, the main goal is to get the work done right, and done efficiently. If the client feels that both of those conditions have been met, what does it matter what the contracter's desk looks like or what they are wearing? When I do my work, as a freelancers, I am often in sweatpants or pajamas... because I'm at my house. Not an office. And considering that I'm top-rated and have quite a lot of excellent feedback, I don't know why anyone would care what I wear when I do my work. They care that my work is good and I work very efficiently. 
Of course if a client has *doubts* that a freelancer is going to work efficiently if they have kids at home, then it's their perogative to choose another freelancer, obviously, but I think it's simpler to just say "Okay, here is my time expectation for this project" and if the person doesn't think they can meet it, move on. 

Community Guru
Marissa S Member Since: Feb 6, 2008
17 of 33

I am not a big fan of video interviews but I would like to build rapport with new clients.. so what I do is ask them nicely to have the video on for a couple of minutes just to make sure we're talking to real persons, which is some sort of an ice breaker... besides, it's nice to see a smile...  then, turn it off to talk about the work.  In my experience, it helps a lot in gaining trust. Woman Wink

Community Guru
Stephen B Member Since: Dec 4, 2012
18 of 33



@Tony - I know you like to write big, and I won't respond to everything, but the one sentence we are in total agrement with is


"I do things on my terms for the most part - and the more I do that - the lesser chance I have of making good money as well."


Spot on - and my terms  are no Skype.


As for the boxers, no offence taken...


I leave them off when I'm working  Robot Happy  Robot Embarassed

Ace Contributor
Caroline A Member Since: Dec 26, 2014
19 of 33

I was on skype voice call (not even video call) with a-soon-too-be-client (a.k.a active candidancy).

He tried to stop what im doing (i was eating) and force me to talk with him first lol, it wont take long he said, and in the end he tried to persuade me to do some-cyber-s*x with him LOL


that was the last time I did a skype call with clients Smiley Very Happy

Active Member
Tahsin H Member Since: May 8, 2015
20 of 33

SERIOUSLY??? unbelievable!!