Voice of the Freelancer

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty.

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty.

What happens when a job fails to close because the company decided to “go another way?”…oh and they forgot to tell you? A part of me hopes the company really stressed over writing that email to you (or hopefully a phone call), but I hardly believe that is the truth. It’s frustrating to know that they’ve probably been working out this other deal while they’ve been signing off on your recent drafts. I tend to believe companies feel a freelancer can just pull a fantastic book cover design (or whatever) out of thin air. When they encourage you along the way, nod and approve at each new draft, then pull the rug from under you…they should have never held the ‘hiring wand’ in the first place.

There becomes a delicate balance between getting the job and keeping it. In most cases as noted in Freelance Writing blog, “One of the best ways to protect yourself is to request upfront payment.” Although often I feel customers pull away at the thought of payment prior to product. But honestly, I’ll be working on your design way before you even see my first draft…shouldn’t it be acceptable for payment upfront, or at least SOME payment up front? At what point does your portfolio guarantee you a job? They should know your potential before they hire you…firing someone after they’ve already finished your design is just plain mean. Also it seems just a little too convenient that they’d see your final design and then drop you because of “politics,” they’re just trying to get something for free and hurting the little guy.  I don’t heart mean clients.