Hello, how are you?
I'm new at upwork. I got my first contract with a client that is not answering me the things I asked for, such as references I need in order to get the job done. Also, his directions about the job are confusing. First he asked me if I could do the job with a link and then he sent me some other links very different from what I've already watch and I already made a budget. He doesn't tell me what he likes about the links or what he's looking for. So really, I don't know what he's expecting for.
I'm now waiting for him to answer if he can videochat at this very moment. I sent the message last minute office in his time zone and he hasn't answer me yet and it's the time I said for the videocall.
Also, he sent me a package to do the job and I really want to get it right.
I'm truly lost here, can someone help me?
Sounds like you're giving your best to be professional and available.
Keep acting like that.
Even if it happens that you were unlucky with this particular client.
Some clients are difficult (this one might not be, might be just some basic misunderstanding or.. something else).
Some clients are awesome.
Keep doing your thing. You will have more 'good' clients than 'bad' ones.
Not all clients are perfect.
If this is an hourly contract, then don't worry so much. You have done some work. You have been paid. If you can't do anything else until other people (including the client) do their part, then that's fine. If you have asked for what you need, then just wait.
This is the CLIENT'S PROJECT. And it is the client's timeframe. If he really needs stuff done quickly, he'll be working with the people on this team to get it done. If he's really busy and maybe the project doesn't need to be completed for a few months, then maybe it will take more time.
If this is a FIXED-PRICE CONTRACT, then you made a mistake. You made a tactical error.
I never accept a fixed-price contract/task/milestone until I have EVERYTHING I NEED in order to complete it. That way, I always get paid, even if other people fail to do their part.
YOU TOO can organize your work in this way, so that you always get paid. For example, if there is a contract to do these things:
- Create initial sketch
- Get approval from client
- Create final, full-color illustration
...That's a potential problem. See what the problem is? What if the client goes on a sailing vacation for three months, and that makes you wait for the approval? You won't get paid. Or at least you won't get paid for a long time. How do you avoid that?
Create an initial contract:
- Create initial sketch. Ask for approval.
Followed by a second contract or milestone:
- Create final, full-color illustration
This way: You can submit your work AND GET PAID whether or not anybody else does anything.
Whether the job is hourly or fixed rate, before accepting any offer a few things need to be done. You should have the files or materials that you need. This will give you an idea of exactly what you will be working with. If, in your case, you also needed the references, that should have been provided. After looking at the files and/or materials, if there was any questions either from you or from the client that needed to be answered, this would be the time for that to happen. And if more details need to be provided you should have gotten that. Then, after all of that, if you feel that you can do the job, you can accept the offer. You'll have everything thing you need to, at least, start the job.
Otherwise, if only partial information is provided, If the client isn't responsive to your questions, is fuzzy about the details, etc you can let the client know that you can't accept his/her offer until you receive everything or at least a majority of the files/material - enough for you to do a majority of the job. You may also see something like, whoa, I didn't think the material was so long, or I didn't think you also needed to do X (etc.) and you can decline the offer.
So, in your case, if this was an hourly job, and you used Tracker and made meaningful notes in the screen shots it took, you'll be paid for the HOURS you already put in. So you don't have to worry about not receiving the information you need. And at this point just wait and while you're waiting you can look for more jobs.
And if this is a fixed rate job, AND escrow is FULLY funded, all you can do is to wait for some sort of reply or communication from this client. FYI - I may be mistaken, but after 3 months of no activity, whatever is in escrow will be refunded to the client. So if I'm correct, you have some time yet. If you see it's getting close to 3 months, you can submit the work you done and for payment. Just enter a percentage equal to the amount of work you've already done. The rest of the funds in escrow will then be returned to the client. You don't want a (this) contract closed without any money paid out because that will affect your JSS.
Congrats for getting your first contact.
But, as you said that you said " I got my first contract with a client that is not answering me the things I asked for, such as references I need in order to get the job done. Also, his directions about the job are confusing."
So please let me know you got a contract or this communication you are doing before he hired and you are just chatting with him. If you got a contract so you should not have accepted his project without understanding the whole requirement.
The questions are you asking now should have asked before accepting the project. If you have not accepted the project so ignore and try with other clients. Never waste your time with one client only so long just asking about the requirement.
Keep in mind always that don't give a cheap price, never run after for the project. Try to find a client who really needs the job done. Respect your skills. Good Client always gives the proper scope of work, respond you quickly and will ask many questions with you and will wait for your doubts, questions and further approach.
Your approach is very good, after all, we have to do follow up but if any client is not responding there might be some reason that some time client has other work also so after pinging 2-3 times wait for some time. Don't stick with one. Again never accept the job until you are 100% sure that the client is good, the project is good and you are sure to do and able to deliver on time. It will save your time, money and energy.
That's all I can say as per my experience.
Good Luck and best wishes for getting more projects.