Freelancer Best Practices
Welcome to the FreeeUp Marketplace!
We have found that freelancers that follow these or similar best practices have better success in landing clients and achieving a goal of client satisfaction with whatever the services may be.
First and foremost, we exist as a marketplace to provide the best possible platform for Freelancers to meet potential Clients and, hopefully, do business with each other. Strong communication is the core of the platform and is what keeps clients coming back.
These Best Practices are created from our experience in the remote hiring world for the past 7+ years. Our founders have been on both sides of the coin as Freelancers and Clients so we have experience and insight on what both are looking for.
FreeeUp takes great pride in encouraging and providing resources to Freelancers in the Network so they can provide Services to Clients in a manner different than other freelance platforms.
Benefits of Following the Best Practices
The FreeeUp Best Practices are provided to demonstrate the ins and outs of navigating your business on the FreeeUp Marketplace and to provide FreeeUp’s take on how you can excel as a Freelancer.
The Best Practices serve as a foundation to what FreeeUp is all about, a brand that is centered around allowing Freelancers into the Network that are willing to provide trustworthy and top-notch Services to Clients. We ask that you take the information provided seriously.
Skype is a great tool for Users on the FreeeUp Network to communicate with each other, clients, and the FreeeUp internal team. FreeeUp highly encourages all Freelancers to have a Skype account that can be used for communicating with potential and actual Clients. Whether Freelancers already have a Skype account or is setting one up when accessing the FreeeUp Network, here are the questions that the Freelancer can ask themselves:
➔ Is the name appropriate? It is best practice to keep your username appropriate and understandable. It’s important that Clients, Freelancers, and the FreeeUp network know who they are talking to via your Skype username.
◆ Here’s an A+ example: FreeeUp.Nhirsch3
➔ Do I have a professional photo? While everyone loves to hear about your love for animals in group chats, it is best practice to keep photos to a simple headshot of yourself. Remember, you’re accessing the Network to meet Clients and it’s important to appear professional as you begin to speak with potential Clients.
Given the complexity of running an online marketplace and permitting access to Freelancers and Clients from all over the world, it is critical that everyone can get in touch with one another. Below are the best practice communication channels for Freelancers working through the FreeeUp Marketplace.
➔ A working Skype account. As mentioned above, Skype is one of the most commonly used communication channels for FreeeUp and Clients.
➔ Newsletter. It is best practice to join and stay on the FreeeUp Marketplace weekly newsletter campaigns. Each newsletter provides further best practices, updates about the FreeeUp marketplace, and information about new tickets that are being submitted by Clients.
➔ Whatsapp or Viber. It is best practice to have at least a WhatsApp or Viber account on your mobile phone. This is for clients that are not in the same country as you. While Skype is the most commonly used communication channel for desktop, WhatsApp and Viber are very commonly used by Clients and the FreeeUp Network when communicating via mobile.
➔ Phone. It is best practice to own a working mobile phone that Freelancers check and respond from. FreeeUp also has all users to keep current emergency phone numbers on file within your FreeeUp account so that FreeeUp or a Client can reach you in case of a larger issue or dispute.
Communication is key to building strong relationships with clients hiring through the FreeeUp Marketplace. It is a best practice to utilize the communication channels above and also to always ask Clients which communication channels they prefer as you start working with them. Some clients might prefer other channels such as slack and you can also have a preferred channel that you recommend to clients. Customizing your communication to each Client will only further impress Clients and establish you as a stronger Freelancer in the network.
While offering services through the FreeeUp Marketplace, you can tap into the FreeeUp internal team as you are getting introduced to new Clients and growing your freelance business. Below are best practices for communicating with the FreeeUp Marketplace.
➔ Communicate. It’s normal that you’ll be contacted about new projects available with the opportunity to be introduced to potential clients. It’s best practice to communicate with the representative that reaches out to you as quickly as possible so you can be the first to speak with the potential client and possibly land the new project.
➔ Group Chats: Skype group chats are completely optional. They are there to help you network and meet other freelancers. We also post software updates, new tickets and helpful tips in the chats.
➔ Stay up to date. It is best practice to stay up to date with the various FreeeUp changes. Usually these are software updates. FreeeUp is a startup and startups move fast. We are always looking to make improvements to the software and the overall experience.
➔ Update your contact information. It’s best practice to update the contact and emergency contact information on your FreeeUp account if one of them goes out of date. This applies to phone, Skype, Viber, WhatsApp, email, etc. You can send any changes to [email protected] and it will be changed in your account.
➔ Keep FreeeUp contact information available. It’s best practice to have the ability to get in touch with someone from the internal team on FreeeUp in the case that it is necessary. It’s encouraged to record and save the contact information (phone number, Skype, Viber/WhatsApp, email) of a few internal assistants just incase. If you live someplace like that Philippines this comes in handy if you have a power or internet outage. You don’t want to lose a client because your power went out and you had no way of getting in touch with anyone to inform the client.
The FreeeUp Marketplace is dedicated to helping Freelancers earn the rates that they desire to earn with clients that they are introduced to. In order to earn the desired rate, it is best practice to clearly communicate the following to the FreeeUp Marketplace upon being accepted into the network:
FreeeUp keeps records of freelancers skills/pricing inside the software. We do this so if a ticket comes in with your skill set and desire we can reach out to you to see if you want to meet the client. If your skills or rates change let us know so we can update our records and send you more potential clients. This is of course optional.
In addition, FreeeUp has worked hard to create an environment where Freelancers can focus on providing quality Services to Clients and not on negotiating their Service rates. From speaking with hundreds of Freelancers, FreeeUp understands that a common complaint about freelancing is the process of discussing rates with new Clients. Hence why FreeeUp attempts to eliminate rate discussions from the Client introduction process.
If you want to discuss rates with clients, you are welcome to. Just please talk to clients in their rate (include FreeeUp fees), not yours.
If you ever have any issues with Clients speaking with you about your rates, please contact [email protected].
There are no sign up, monthly, or annual fees. FreeeUp charges a Service Fee, the amount of which is applied on top of the hourly rate Freelancer agrees to accept with each Client. The Service Fee does not impact Freelancer’s agreed upon rate for Services to Client. The Service Fee is related to FreeeUp permitting Clients to access the Site and access to Freelancers within the FreeeUp Network. The standard Service Fee is 15% with a $2 (USD) per hour minimum. FreeeUp may go beyond the standard 15% or $2 (USD) mark up at its discretion, however this does not affect the Freelancer’s agreed upon rate. Similarly, FreeeUp may lower Service Fees to assist Freelancer and Client to enter into an agreement for Services.
For all terms and conditions relating to Service Fees, see the Freelancer User Agreement
Discussing Rates with Clients
For fixed prices, please give the client the total fixed price including the FreeeUp fee. So if you tell a client that the total fixed price is $1,000, then you will receive $850.
For hourly rates, the rates display differently inside the ticket. You will see your hourly rate while the client will see their hourly rate. The difference is FreeeUp’s fee.
The correct math to get the client rate is to take your desired rate and divide it by 0.85 to get the client rate. The incorrect way is to take 15% of the freelancer rate and add it to the client rate. That will not get you the correct rate.
For example: The correct way to calculate the client’s rate based off your desired rate…$85/hour freelancer rate divided by 0.85 = $100/hour client rate. $100- 15% is $85.
The incorrect way: $85 * 0.15 = $12.75…$12.75 + $85 = $97.75. As you can see, it does not come out to $100.
If you have any questions on this or want us to do the math for you, we are here to help 🙂 The important thing is not to confuse clients. The last thing we want is for you to accidentally tell a client your rate instead of the one they will be paying and then the client gets mad when we explain that their rate is actually higher. Baiting and switching clients like that causes a lot of issues.
Don’t forget to use the 2 dollar minimum for hourly rates if it applies.
It is a best practice not to raise your hourly rate once it has been agreed upon between you and the Client unless your agreed upon scope of Services changes. It has been found that when Freelancers attempt to increase their rates without the scope of Services changing, Clients become frustrated with the situation and it can lead to them terminating the agreement for Services with the Freelancer. You are also welcome to offer fixed prices instead of hourly.
When looking to accept a project, it is best practice to make sure that you are 100% happy with the rate for the entire scope of the Services to be completed BEFORE accepting. If you have concerns about the rates for your different skill sets, make sure to ask the Client about it. You can also turn down a project before taking it if the rate isn’t what you want. If you want to ask for a higher rate with a new client, you can ask FreeeUp to request it on your behalf knowing the risk involved. At the end of the day, it is entirely up to the Client to accept, reject or counter.
If you do accept a rate/ project, the marketplace expects you to honor your word and complete the work at that price. Dropping clients in the middle of projects can result in your access to the marketplace being removed.
As a Freelancer, you are operating your own business and the decisions to reduce or write-off any billed time or invoices is subject to your professional discretion. However, while offering Services through the FreeeUp Marketplace, it is best practice to bill Clients for all Services provided. This can include every meeting, task, and conversation that you have while working with Clients. We do recommend you establish what is billable and what is not upfront before starting work with a client.
On the FreeeUp Marketplace, the Client must accept the engagement of a Freelancer before the Freelancer can begin any onboarding work. It is best practice not to start working with a Client until you have been hired through the FreeeUp software and onboarding hours have been agreed upon between you and the Client. Freelancers will receive a confirmation email once a client hires a freelancer for a fixed or hourly rate. Clients understand that it is FreeeUp best practice to be billed by the Freelancer for onboarding.
Suggestion to have a Minimum Billable Time
Although subject to the Freelancer’s independent business discretion, for Services with a very short anticipated completion time and scheduled appointments, it is best practice for the Freelancer to discuss and agree with Clients to have a minimum billable hours per work event. In this instance, if the work time only last 20 minutes, you can still bill the Client for 0.5 hours, given you and the Client have agreed upon these terms. While this best practice is communicated to all Clients, it is best practice to obtain any minimums in writing from Clients and to remind them before initiating work in short increments.
The FreeeUp Account
Each Freelancer will receive a unique FreeeUp freelancer account which allows you to work with clients, log and bill hours to clients, leave comments on hours completed, view affiliate earnings, among other helpful features while building a freelancing business. It is best practice to utilize the FreeeUp Marketplace resources and tutorials upon starting to freelance on the marketplace so that it is easy to communicate with and bill Clients. If there are ever any issues with your FreeeUp account, you can reach out to [email protected] to express your situation.
Billing periods start on Wednesdays and end on Tuesdays at 12:00 am midnight Eastern Standard Time (EST). At the end of each billing period, the FreeeUp Account will automatically count and invoice the logged hours of the Freelancer for each of Freelancer’s Clients. It is best practice for Freelancers to review the timecard to ensure that logged hours are accurate. It is best practice to submit adjustments, if necessary, before Wednesday at 6:00 PM EST. After that time, the billing period is locked and cannot be changed by Freelancers.
Payments to Freelancers
Payments are made within ten (10) days from the last day of the client billing period, usually by 12:00 am midnight (U.S. Eastern Time) on Thursdays. Payment is based off of the hours in the Freelancer’s Account. It is best practice to keep your FreeeUp Account’s hours as accurate as possible for the past Client billing period. All payments made will account for the work hours logged in the previous week from Wednesday through Tuesday. FreeeUp offers different payment options for Freelancers. If you have any questions about receiving payment from the FreeeUp Marketplace, please contact [email protected].
For all terms and conditions relating to Service Fees, see the Freelancer User Agreement.
If you found FreeeUp through Upwork, you are contracted and paid through Upwork. It is best practice to learn the proper procedures to follow in order to account for being paid through your Upwork account.
Introductions, discovery, on boarding, and communication after reaching a mutual agreement to perform Services with the Client can make or break a Freelancer’s opportunity. This next section provides best practices for starting, communicating, and working with Clients as you agree to perform Services for them on the FreeeUp Marketplace.
When you request a project on the project board you will be cc’d on an email introduction to the client. It is best practice to reach out to a client within one business day. Some things to remember:
We’ve found that clients tend to pass on freelancers if they get introductions and/or see profiles that don’t match their ticket.
It is best practice to turn down offers you are not 100% sure your business can completely satisfy or handle before agreeing to perform Services and prior to the Client clicking the “hire button.” If you wait until after, it will be more difficult for both you and the Client.
If the Client wants to negotiate rates they can email their offer to [email protected] or click the negotiate rate button inside their FreeeUp account. FreeeUp will present the new rate offer to you. The decision to accept, reject or counter any rate offering is completely up to you within their independent business discretion.
The key steps to introducing yourself to a Client has been further explained below.
On the FreeeUp Marketplace you can create your freelancer profile inside your FreeeUp account. Click the Profile tab at the top of your account, fill out the information about you, your skills, your experience, and your education/certification, then save the profile. As you are introduced to clients, they will be able to view your profile to help in the decision making process. If you take the time to fill out your profile and make it look nice, it could lead to more client conversions for your business. It’s best practice to set this up as soon as you join the platform.
We also recommend against including links to other marketplace profiles. These profiles might display rates different then your FreeeUp rate and cause confusion for clients.
Tips From Other Freelancers on how to best follow up with clients
Tip #1: Reply to the intro email and make sure you email the client…not the FreeeUp team. Make sure that you customize your email to the request you’re reaching out about so it makes sense. Include your Calendly link if you have one.
If you don’t get a response from your first email within 1 business day, try the following:
Tip #2: If they have a Skype ID, add them on Skype and send them a message introducing yourself.
If you don’t get a response on Skype, ask a FreeeUp assistant to connect you with the client on Skype. They have a lot of the clients on Skype and are happy to make a group chat for you.
Tip #3: Text or call the client if you don’t get a response to your initial email within 24 business hours.
Some other tips for texting and calling:
Tip #4: If the client is on Linkedin, go ahead and connect with them. However, avoid connecting on Facebook as many clients frown upon this.
Tip #5: The FreeeUp team is always available to help. If you don’t hear back from a client within a few days, ping them the ticket number and ask for help. They can send follow up emails, connect you on Skype, or reach out to the client in other ways if they personally know them. They have a great relationship with a lot of clients and sometimes the client just needs a little nudge.
If a client doesn’t respond to any of your outreaches, don’t get frustrated. Continue seeking out other clients on FreeeUp and other platforms. Treat your freelance business as first-come, first- serve. Whoever books you first gets your time. Clients have a way of coming back or messaging you out of the blue. Sending a follow up email a few weeks or months later has resulted in landing random clients.
Tips from other Freelancers: Don’t always take max rate on every ticket. This can be a huge turn off for clients. It’s best practice to price yourself consistently regardless of what the client requests.
After Being Hired By A Client
After being hired by the Client, the relationship is solely between you and that Client. As the Freelancer, you are responsible for obtaining prior, written approval from Clients of hours that you, in your business judgment, believe will be required to provide any agreed to Services. It is best practice to have this conversation in the beginning of being hired to avoid any issues. Obtaining written approval goes a long way in foregoing any issues with Clients over billed hours. Remember, it is best practice that you bill for all Services performed for a Client.
Asking for Feedback
It is a best practice to ask for feedback from clients often. Asking for feedback demonstrates that you are eager to perform the Services to meet the Client’s expectations.
Simply ask the Client how you are doing and how you can further improve with the Services. FreeeUp has found that seeking constructive criticism and asking for any insight into the Client’s business may help in you bringing further value to the Services being performed.
The last situation you want is to have an unsatisfied Client or to learn at or near completion that the Services have not been performed to the Client’s expectation–especially when a dialogue with the Client throughout the Services could have avoided it.
Keeping Proprietary Information Private
Sharing Miscommunications With FreeeUp
Given the global scale of the FreeeUp Network, there may be a time where communication can be challenging with a Client. If you run into a situation where you can’t fully understand what the Client is attempting to communicate, please send an email to [email protected] and someone will reach out to you. They can attempt to get in touch with the Client and figure out the miscommunication—for both the Freelancer and Client’s benefit.
In order to avoid confusion, it is best practice to speak in clear and concise language and to make sure that both parties are on the same page.
Showing up on time and hitting due dates
Nothing crazy here, if you schedule a call with a client show up on time and give 24 hours notice if you can’t. If you set a due date/ due time make sure you hit it. We recommend not agreeing to due dates that you are not 100% sure you can hit.
Only Accepting Projects You Can Fulfill
FreeeUp permits Clients and Freelancers access to each other based off of the Clients’ needs and Freelancers’ skills and expertise. It is best practice to accurately represent all aspects of your business including without limitation qualifications, experience, and background so that everyone has the best chance of achieving successful results.
It is a best practice to assess all Clients to make sure you can deliver exactly what each Client wants. Likewise, it is best practice for Freelancers to only accept projects where they can achieve the Client’s goal in entirety. If it’s not a perfect match, it’s okay to decline a project. In order to decline a project, please notify the FreeeUp Marketplace team.
Using the FreeeUp Account Correctly
As a freelancer, you have the ability to track your billing for each Client using FreeeUp’s Timeclock Account. It is best practice to learn and become an expert at the ins and outs of the freelancer Account and to use it correctly every week.
You can become a master at using the Account by navigating to the Resources section once you are logged into your FreeeUp account. You’ll find tutorials on how to properly use the FreeeUp Account as a freelancer.
Communicating If You Lose Internet or Power While Working With a Client
It is understood that there are natural occurrences outside of your control that may delay or stop you from providing or completing Services for a Client. With Freelancers all over the globe, there’s bound to be an Internet surge or power outage when Services are expected to be rendered.
It is best practice to take the proper measures to ensure that you communicate any issue to Clients and FreeeUp and do everything in your power to get back online in a reasonable amount of time. Below are best practices for handling these types of situations.
Tips from other Freelancers: What do I do if work with a client hasn’t started or is on pause and a different client assigns work? Similarly, what do I do if a client that never responded to my original outreach appears and I have other work going on already?
Clients are first-come, first-serve on the FreeeUp Marketplace. If you’re in a situation where a past client from FreeeUp left and then came back, but you don’t have enough time to commit to their project right away, you can share the following information with them. To help them make a decision, give them two options:
Option 1: Tell them you can complete/start their project by this date (provide an ETA).
Option 2: They can contract another freelancer from the FreeeUp Marketplace who will be able to dedicate more time. Just send them back to the FreeeUp internal Team.
If you have not heard from a client on a ticket you requested, feel free to keep taking tickets! If a client appears later on you can always give them the options above if you don’t have time.
Referring Clients to FreeeUp
As a Freelancer on the FreeeUp Network, you have the ability to earn referral bonuses for Clients that you recommend to join the Network. For all Clients that sign up, you will receive $0.50 for every hour that the Client bills with FreeeUp.
For referring Clients, there is an affiliate link inside your FreeeUp Account that you can send out to potential Clients. For any Client that signs up using this link, you are eligible to receive referral credit subject to the terms provided herein. You can also introduce potential Clients to the internal FreeeUp team as another option.
All referral payments are based on the hours logged in the FreeeUp Account. All referrals are tracked through the FreeeUp Sign Up and Interview process.All referrals are to be provided to FreeeUp through written notice. A failure to provide written notice may result in not receiving referral credit. This is an exclusive responsibility of the referring party. If you made a referral and you don’t believe you are being compensated for it, please inform [email protected].
Fixed price affiliates are coming soon as well.
When you are freelancing not all clients are rainbows and butterflies. We created this doc to help you protect yourself with difficult clients. Sometimes difficult clients are the best clients! As long as you set proper expectations.
You are encouraged to turn down any projects that are outside of your skill set or are with a client you don’t think you can work with. Just please turn the project down upfront. If you agree to do a project please honor your commitment.
Other videos we made to help you:
Welcome to the marketplace
Explaining the Project Board, Skype Chats, Client Intros and more!
Best Practice: Getting approval in writing and dealing with difficult clients
How to Resolve issues on the FreeeUp Platform. We want to resolve issues fast and Professionally.
Lastly here are the main things that lead to issues on the FreeeUp marketplace
Hope you love the platform! We are here if you have any questions
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Document Name: Freelancer Best Practices
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