Always Act In The Client’s Best Interest

Written by Tom Herudek
 — February 24th, 2020 — Freelancing

There is usually a gap between your know-how and that of your client. It’s based on a trivial fact: our lifespan is limited. Your client has invested productive time to gain expertise in one area (making furniture?), but not in yours. In my experience, the client might have some basic understanding of WordPress development, but this is my area of expertise. So when someone hires you to do a job, they are trusting you to act in their best interest and employ your full expertise.

If you do not know, then ghosting is: “the practice of ending a personal relationship with someone by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication.” As with freelancing, as with life: it’s all about relationships. People are happy when you respect agreements and deliver within deadlines.

With the rise of remote work, communication is more and more important. In this context, ghosting is the biggest sin a freelancer can commit. Not only will you look pretty dull, but it will damage your reputation and you will be doing yourself a disservice.

So I’m in the freelancing and online business game for more than a decade. Same as everyone else, I started as a rookie, making the same rookie mistakes, which were then reflected in my monthly earnings (or absence of them). A typical mistake is starting the work without receiving payment from the client. I’ll show you how doing this will cost you thousands of dollars in the long run. And yes, I have the exact numbers.

Personally, for projects under $1,000, I require 100% of the payment upfront. For bigger projects, I define milestones with the client and the payments arrive in chunks, but are still paid in advance.

For me, a Productive Hour means 60 minutes of uninterrupted deep work with a full focus on the given task. If I’m interrupted or just pause (answering team mate’s question, lunch, etc), then I’m stopping the timer for this task and track it as a “not-productive” time. My daily average for development is around 4.5 productive hours and I can push myself to do 8 – 9 hours when doing a less mentally demanding activity.