I've recently noticed that many clients post jobs including descriptions that are in a way misleading. For example, he/she says: I have 20 files, each 45 minutes long to be transcribed, I need someone for a long-term period of 3 months, 6 months etc. Or I currently have one file, 7 minutes long but I will have many, many more in the future so I need someone on a regular basis.
The thing is, you apply, you waste your connections believing that what the client is saying is true, you do that single ten-minute project and the client never ever shows up again. Neither does he/she send more files nor hire anyone else. There have been so many of these people lately that this really starts to be very, very annoying.
And there's no way to differentiate between serious, honest guys and the liars.
Another problem are the clients whose job descriptions are like: 'I need a transcriber'. These people say nothing more. You don't know the subject, you don't know the length, you don't know whether it's a video file or an audio file, you don't know the deadline, and in order to know all that you need to apply first, which, again, is potential wasting of your connections. Clients lose nothing but we, freelancers, do lose.
How to deal with these things? I'm speaking about transcriptions in particular but I'm sure other freelancers have similar problems as well.
The only concrete thing you can do is look at the client’s history (if he/she has one).
The rest depends on how you interpret the wording of the RFP: is the client baiting?
This is a great suggestion. I've been applying it already and it's been helpful to a degree, of course. The problem that clients have is that they know that very few freelancers are going to apply for let's say a five-minute project, and they don't have much of a choice if there's only five freelancers applied. But still that's not an excuse to post such promising, future grand projects. Let's just be honest with each another.
The client may promise me the world, I just think hum, hum. They may be thinking that we are going to work cheap if we think this will be compensated by a lot of work....
When you work in a commercial company, you usually have scaling prices that depend on the quantity you buy. A promise of buying is not a contract, so just saying, "Oh I only want one of these, but give the price you would charge for 100 of these as tomorrow i'm commig back to buy 100" is not enough.
So I'm not impressed by such job offers.
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