13 Tips for Becoming a Rock Star Freelancer

13-Tips-for-Becoming-a-Rock-Star-FreelancerA couple days ago I received an email from my friend’s son, a relatively junior web developer who was looking for ways to make money and build experience working as a freelance developer on Elance or oDesk. Some of the questions he asked me were in line with questions I hear many times:

  • How can I get my first project given that competition is extremely high and I have no reputation/ rating?
  • What can I do to keep my clients happy and coming back to me?

Here are a some of the tips I gave to him, hopefully you will find them helpful: Continue reading

What to do when your client doesn’t pay

Many of the posts in my blog are written from clients’ / buyers’ standpoint, this one is different – I am switching sides to take a look at one of the most painful issues of working with small business clients (and sometimes large clients as well) – not being paid for your services. A few weeks ago I talked with an old friend of mine who is an owner of small software development firm based in Russia. He told me that his business would’ve been extremely profitable and vastly successful if he was always paid for his services. I was shocked to hear that typically he gets paid for not more than 70% of the services he delivers. Alex’s company sells to a variety of clients in Western Europe, United States, and locally in Russia. He told me that his local clients are the worst with government clients refusing to pay being a most common scenario.

Well, there is nothing I can offer in terms of advice in dealing with Russian government clients. But they are not the only ones, many “legitimate” businesses in Europe and the States follow the suit and are late or delinquent with payments to their vendors. One of the cases described by Alex involved a fairly large South Carolina based company, that used all kind of excuses to explain increase in past due balances, and then when unpaid amount was about to kill the vendor, the company switched the tune – accusing the vendor in all kind of issues ranging from late deliveries to stealing IP. This situation, a reputable US company playing dirty tricks, was somewhat new for Alex. It caught him off-guard and almost put him out of business.

Continue reading