Whether you’re looking to become a freelancer or hire one, the question of “trustworthiness” often comes up. After all, hiring or becoming a freelancer means working with people you may never meet face to face. So how do you know the freelancer you’re looking to hire is trustworthy? And how do you show your trustworthiness as a freelancer? Let’s take a look at some common methods…
Method #1 Client feedback:
In my experience, this is the most important factor in ascertaining trustworthiness. You wouldn’t buy a product off Amazon without reading some reviews, and the same goes for freelancing. This means having legitimate reviews from previous clients on a freelancing platforms or testimonials on a personal website. With testimonials, they should be submitted through a third-party app or widget to ensure authenticity. The best client reviews aren’t just “thanks” and “good”, but ones that actually talk about the person and the value added.
Method #2 Previous experience:
This isn’t always easy to ascertain, and doesn’t guarantee quality, but it is important to have some evidence of relevant industry experience. On big projects, this might be a reference from a previous client, but on freelancing platforms, it might be adding a graduation photo. For example, one way I can prove my experience is showing the acknowledgements page of books I’ve edited.
Method #3 Profile of work completed:
Having a profile of previous work is key in demonstrating ability to do the job. This can either be on a freelancing platform or a personal website. It might be a page of photos, a carousel of logo designs, or links to articles written. For example, on my website I have the covers of books I’ve worked on. Especially before gaining paid work or experience, this profile can showcase samples specifically created to demonstrate skills.
Method #4 Personal recommendation:
Like with most things in life, we’re more likely to try something if someone we trust recommends it. It’s the same with freelancing. If somebody can vouch for the skills and experience of a freelancer, it may be sufficient to consider hiring them. I’ve gained lots of work through recommendations, as the clients were so happy with the work that they were willing to recommend me to others.
Method #5 Honesty:
In general, great communication is vital, but honesty is particularly important. Before commencing the project, it’s essential to have an open discussion about the project, requirements, timelines, deadlines, etc. If it’s a big project, having a terms of business agreement can help with trustworthiness, as each party can see the other’s terms up front.
Method #6 Escrow:
One way for both parties to be ensured of trustworthiness (that the client will pay and that the freelancer will deliver) is working through sites that offer escrow facilities, such as freelancing platforms. The client pays the money into an escrow account, and the money isn’t released to the freelancer until the project has been delivered. This guarantees security for both sides.
Often, it’s a combination of these methods that determines trustworthiness. Got any other ways to demonstrate trustworthiness as a freelancer? Comment below or get in touch.
Next week, we’ll look at how to check whether clients are trustworthy, so stay tuned!