I have recently taken up, in my free time, reaching out to score some social media, marketing, branding, and web consultation work. Easy enough, right? I’ve been doing it for years, on and off. But this time it’s through freelancer.com. And this time it leaves a sour taste in my mouth and I feel as though I’ve aged twenty years.
My hair is white. That might be from the bleach I used earlier to dye my tips blue. Or perhaps it’s the toil of working through a system hell-bent on exploiting clients and freelancers. Maybe a bit of both.
For shits and giggles, I try ye olde bastion of internet freelancery. What sortof magic is this, and why has it aged me so?
I recently got a hot lead (aka hot like turds roasting on asphalt) from someone who really wanted to increase their website traffic to make sales for items I suspect they were scalping. Much like one rips off a person’s skull with their fingers and tries to sell it on etsy. Dubiously intrigued, I bit into the fish hook and found my mouth bloody and raw.
This is all conjecture and I’m not 100% sure it’s true, but after a reverse image search, I found another company with the same products. It could be an omission of facts; they were buying products from that other company to resell under the moniker of ‘hand made’ which makes people think they made them by hand.
I can’t be certain, but, I am entirely hesitant to think that scalping didn’t occur with bloodied digital fingers, as even the convenience store up the street from me sells bootleg DVDs of torrents for $5. The world is a strange, strange place.
And I was a fish dangling on the hook while I should’ve been making art or reading the news–an altogether more enjoyable and profitable venture.
My first ever stint, this morning, at communicating with a client via freelancer is pretty disastrous as I dangled on the line. They wanted organic leads for $177 for 3 days of work, and massive traffic. After taking a ton of my valuable time to explain to them it’s impossible to get what they want through freelancer, and more or less giving them an entire guide on how to get exposure, they are hesitant to pay me for the time I’ve already spent educating them.
A courtesy out of the $200/2hrs I usually charge for consultation.
I am a fish, a fish girl, Star Wars COMMTECH Fish woman who keeps biting hooks and flopping around while I slather away in Photoshop. Look at my scales.
Rule number one, as given to me by a close friend and sometimes-client, is to never, ever, start working on anything until you are set as the winner of a bid. My mistake, as we decided thirty minutes into it at this early morn while I sipped coffee, that it was now a consulting arrangement. And also, apparently, my time is not worth money.
A common thing with clients seems to be that your time is not valuable. And that just discussing a project–meaning I give you oceans of advice I’ve charged people $200 for–means I’m not working. This is the most inane thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life next to Bronies. And it needs to stop, immediately.
Freelancer gets bloated with people using bots and programs to bid-assault projects and get assigned them. In all my researching, the random low-skill agencies get the leads through shear butthumping the system.
I am not a butthumper.
To conclude this amazing, educational, rant-filled pile of steaming garbage that is my 5:00am to 7:30am stint in the world of freelancer.com, here is some advice: buy a robot and make shit content and pretend you designed all of apple’s web pages. While you are at it, name your company, if you are a client OR a freelancer (doesn’t matter) BestDigitelAwesome or AmazingTheDigital or WeAreBestDigitalMakersFreshAwesomeCoolMyLittlePonies007.
Doesn’t matter, any of those options are ACE 100% synergistic high converting branding proponents meant to upscale the bottom line in delta technology.
And remember kids, it doesn’t matter how great an artist/designer/illustrator/singer/writer/just-creative-person-in-general you are…someone is always willing to pay you.