Today, I Stood Up for Freelancer Rights!
While I agree that not every client in the business world is out to get you, there are some that do and today, I stood up to one of them.
What did I stand up for specifically? How us freelancers should not be made and/or expected to do any extra work except for what has been agreed upon in the project brief. If you want us to do more, you’ll have to pay more and/or renegotiate the scope of work. This is one of the many freelancer rights that I strongly stand for.
Freelance marketing is what I do that enables me to lead my digital nomad lifestyle. I have been a part-time freelancer for 10 years now, and a full-time freelancer (except for my 3 month stint at a full-time job) since October 2014. I have certainly had my share of ups and downs when it comes to clients that I have worked with. The good, the bad, and the ugly — pretty much seen it all. The amazing ones? I’m still working with them today.
That said, what happened with a client today angered me to no end and made me feel like I need to speak up and stand up for us freelancers.
Short back story: I read a project brief regarding writing a blog post that was posted on a freelance content marketing platform. Feeling like I could do it, I bid for the job and was subsequently awarded it.
When I was done writing the blog post, I was asked to look for pictures for the article — something which was not written in the project brief and not agreed upon prior. I had already followed the project brief to a T and this was extra work that I was not informed about. I brought this up to the team of the freelance content marketing platform, only to be asked if I could simply download the pictures that I’ve linked to and include it in the blog post.
I simply said “no”.
Why? It’s not about the ten minutes that it’ll take me to download and subsequently upload five pictures.
What I’m trying to get at here is the principle behind this: if a task wasn’t in the project brief from the start, it shouldn’t be something I’m expected to do during the course of the project. This is exactly what I told the team. I am not doing anything more than what was agreed upon at the start.
It felt rather empowering (yet scary as well) to stand up for something I strongly believed in and I hope my experience informs both freelancers and clients out there.
Project briefs/agreements/contracts need to be clear. It’s okay to scope out the work together so that both of you agree on what needs to be done, what milestones you might have and what the submitted work should be. In fact, I would even encourage this.
What’s not okay is to make and expect a freelancer to do what is not agreed upon.
PS: Today also made me I realised that I would very much like to help advocate freelancer rights. If you’d like to join me in this, let me know in your comments!