How to Piss Off a Freelancer
Most publications, print and digital, rely on the work of their freelance contributors to drive traffic, but appreciation is scarce for the difficulties unique to freelance work. From the time it takes to track down a contact, to possibly investing days or weeks into getting their rightfully earned money, making work harder than it needs to be for a freelancer only results in lower quality work for their clients.
Pissing off a freelancer, or any worker, isn’t hard, and these three offenders are among the top complaints among independent contractors working today.
Make yourself hard to find
Without the right connections, a freelancer can’t generate income or bylines. While a lot of their time is spent working to meet deadlines and word counts, a fair amount of that effort is spent finding additional work. This isn’t exactly something to get pissed about, it’s kind of just the nature of the game, and according to a report by Upwork, 77% of freelancers say that finding work is more easy now than it’s ever been, thanks to mailing lists, online writer and editor groups, and networking sites like LinkedIn.
However, countless sites still have contact pages with no direct editorial contact information, or offer vague, if any, statements regarding rates. The easiest way for a freelancer to find work, and produce a quality product in return, is through human to human connection, and clear instructions regarding what an editor is looking for, how to pitch those stories, and what that kind of work pays. Being up front and clear from the jump helps freelancers do their job effectively, making a better working experience for everyone involved.
Require complicated invoicing
Working for multiple clients involves a ton of acclimating — to a new voice, audience, maybe even a subject matter a writer has never covered before. In addition to the hard skills required to land and keep a client, there’s learning things on the back end of creation that also take time, like navigating a new CMS, or perhaps the most tedious task in the world of self-employment: invoicing.
It may not seem like too much to ask, but for any freelancer with more than one client, invoicing fucking sucks. Yes, we can and will do it, because everyone needs to get paid, but with just about every company requiring their own template, format, submission date, login, point of contact, and who knows what else, invoicing can be a headache that takes hours to complete, every month. On-time payment for work already done is one of the appeals of payrolled employment, and if an independent contractor can work with someone who takes this element off of their workload, chances are, they will.
Slow or missing payments
This probably goes without saying, but not paying people for their work is the easiest way to piss anyone off, ensure that they will never work with you again, and may serve as an invite to have your publication’s name dragged all over every social media platform you can imagine — at best. Even late payments, or making people chase their money for days, weeks, or months, can seriously damage your relationship with them, along with your reputation.
According to Business Know How, two of the top six complaints among freelancers are surrounding money matters, which is unsurprising (if not totally unbelievable that it didn’t take up more spots on that list). For the most part, just about everything surrounding payment as a freelancer is already a big enough pain in the ass — formatting and submitting invoices to a client’s specific requests, the net 45 days from invoicing until payment, possibly having to follow up with editors about late payments, or a number of other potentially irritating aspects.
Even when payments are received in a timely manner, the time it takes to handle all of this bookkeeping is unpaid, unless a freelancer considers this time when proposing their rates (which they should!) in which case, you’re paying for it. An easy way to keep a freelancer happy is to pay them as soon as possible, which Outvoice does quicker than anyone else by paying upon publication.
Want to know more? Click here to schedule a demo with our founder, and learn how to save your freelancers once and for all by paying while you publish, and putting out calls for specific content, as needed — all on one platform.
Tags: freelance, freelance payment, freelance photography, freelance writing, how to pay freelancers, outvoice, pay freelancers, paying freelancers, publishing, publishing executive