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One tip for freelancers

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Patrick M Member Since: Dec 14, 2015
1 of 17

Hi everyone, 

 

I work both as a freelancer and a client.  As a freelancer, I am always busy and I have never, mind you *never* pinged an existing or former client to see if they have more work for me. 

 

However, as a client, I am bombarded with requests from freelancers I have hired for more work. It's not unusual for me to get pinged by some nearly daily "any new tasks for me?" and sometimes I am fending off multiple requests a day. 

 

If you're a freelancer and want to be successful, do not do this. I will always go back to freelancers who've done a good job for me, but as a client, I can't make tasks appear out of thin air. They come up when they come up. 

 

I will often provide an increasingly stern admonition to freelancers who do this but eventually, they get blocked for good. 

 

Just a little Sunday musing from the client side. 

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John K Member Since: Feb 17, 2015
2 of 17
I’m strictly a freelancer and I don’t pester old clients for work. However, I’d cut some slack for freelancers who do, IF the client never closed the contract, because that theoretically means they might need more work done.
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"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
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Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
3 of 17

John K wrote:
I’m strictly a freelancer and I don’t pester old clients for work. However, I’d cut some slack for freelancers who do, IF the client never closed the contract, because that theoretically means they might need more work done.

Agreed.

 

I would also say that, although pestering someone is annoying , I don't think putting yourself back in the client's mind is always bad idea? 

I contact past clients every few months or so, I typically don't say anything much beyond asking how things are going with the work I did.  I take a local client out to lunch every few month, last time he did he said there might be something coming up.  Would he have thought of me if were not eating Mongolian BBQ together?  No way to know but I don't regret doing it.

 

Since I can say I have had some success doing this I can't advocate NEVER doing it.  After all a client that never gives you work again is not really a client are they?

 

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Patrick M Member Since: Dec 14, 2015
4 of 17

I think there's a big difference between reachign out to a client and saying "hey Tim, let me know when you'd like to talk about the Phase III piece of that project, my schedule is looking fairly flexible right now" and a daily "Hello Tim. Any new tasks for me?" I am not referring to ongoing open contracts, I am referring mostly to closed jobs.  

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Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
5 of 17

Patrick M wrote:

I think there's a big difference between reachign out to a client and saying "hey Tim, let me know when you'd like to talk about the Phase III piece of that project, my schedule is looking fairly flexible right now" and a daily "Hello Tim. Any new tasks for me?" I am not referring to ongoing open contracts, I am referring mostly to closed jobs.  


Do you mainly hire "not very expensive" freelancers from sort of far away countries?

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Patrick M Member Since: Dec 14, 2015
6 of 17

It's a mix. I hire mainly depending on the need at the time. I have hired freelancers from India to Ukraine to Venezuela to Canada to the US. But to answer your question, there's definitely a geographic pattern here, yes. 

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Wendy C Member Since: Aug 24, 2015
7 of 17

Patrick, there is a huge difference between the two scenarios.

 

As a website writer primarily, I touch base with clients to see how sales might be going every few months; to remind them to update their copyright info annually, and stuff like this.  It's a far cry from pestering ...

 

FWIW, if a freelancer pstered me for work > I'd block them. 

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Amanda L Member Since: Jan 23, 2018
8 of 17

Wendy C wrote:

Patrick, there is a huge difference between the two scenarios.

 

As a website writer primarily, I touch base with clients to see how sales might be going every few months; to remind them to update their copyright info annually, and stuff like this.  It's a far cry from pestering ...

 

FWIW, if a freelancer pstered me for work > I'd block them. 


I was going to say something similar to Wendy. As a grantwriter, I will occasionally let former clients know about upcoming grant opportunities that they are eligible for, just for their benefit, to apply on their own or use my services if necessary. It's certainly not every day that I forward opportunities to them, and they are always appreciative that I thought of them to let them know. I will also remind them when their grant reports are due, even if I'm not on contract with them, because they aren't usually thinking about it. So I think this depends widely on the field you are in. 

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Patrick M Member Since: Dec 14, 2015
9 of 17

that just sounds like quality service.  I am talking primarily about what you see in the attached image, which represents a SINGLE MORNING. 

 

If a contractor I'd hired reach out and said "Hey Pat, just a reminder, the plugin support is going to expire next week, you may want to renw that", I would be thrilled. But an almost daily "Hey Patrick, any new task for me?" is block-worthy. 

**Edited for Community Guidelines**

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Mark F Member Since: Jul 10, 2018
10 of 17

Patrick M wrote:

I think there's a big difference between reachign out to a client and saying "hey Tim, let me know when you'd like to talk about the Phase III piece of that project, my schedule is looking fairly flexible right now" and a daily "Hello Tim. Any new tasks for me?" I am not referring to ongoing open contracts, I am referring mostly to closed jobs.  


I understand, which is why I said pestering.  My concern is anyone reading your tip might think that they should never reach out to a client they have worked to in the past, mainly because you said this:

 

As a freelancer, I am always busy and I have never, mind you *never* pinged an existing or former client to see if they have more work for me

Because I think never contacting a client for more work might be bad business.  Relying on a client to think of you, are more importantly know that you are capable of helping them with their current problem sounds like missed opportunities to me.

 

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