You won’t pay me?! Nabbesh freelancers reveal the top 10 excuses used by clients to avoid payment.

Many of our Nabbesh guest bloggers have spoken about the challenges of freelancing particularly in the Middle East. The fact that we lack a mature marketplace, proper regulations to protect freelancers as well as a lack of best practices may deter many people from venturing into the freelance world.

At Nabbesh, we have made it our mission to enable freelancing via the creation of a transparent marketplace as well as learning from our community to establish a set of best practices for freelancers, regardless of their type of skill, to provide their services to clients and more importantly get paid for their work.

During September 2013, we surveyed our 25,000 freelancers from across the Middle East, with a majority in the UAE, Lebanon and Jordan to find out about their attitudes towards freelancing.

The survey has revealed that whilst freelancers are accustomed to doing free jobs for friends and family, volunteering or offering sample work to improve their portfolio, a whopping 30% of freelancers have come across a non-paying client in their career.

Here are the top 10 reasons and the story-lines behind them :

 

Middle East Freelancers not getting paid

– He/ she was not happy with the quality of work

– We had a disagreement on the fees that should be paid

– Client kept delaying and postponing and then ignoring follow up

– Client was deceitful – It turned out to be a scam

– Client simply doesn’t like to pay anyone, I found out he did the same to many other freelancers

– Client claimed they weren’t making enough money to pay me

– Client did not understand the amount of work that was put in providing the service

– I was too young to put proper agreements in place and they took advantage of that

– Client had a cashflow problem or company (startup) closed

– Company management put the project on hold and decided not to pay

– There was a requirement, deliverable and communication gap

Call it occupational hazard, freelancers are prone to these types of clients and need to protect themselves at all times and have the ability to pick up the warning signs.

Some went as far as calling it an attribute to the Middle Eastern culture as highlighted by one of the respondents: “I did not get paid by clients more than once. I blame the lack of professionalism in the Middle East. Now I don’t even lift a pencil without a non-refundable down-payment.”

We do not agree with the notion that “professionalism” is lacking in the Middle East. We believe that in the presence of a marketplace, both parties will be required to be respectful and ethical in the way they treat each other and it is the marketplace that will reward freelancers and clients who honor their agreements and deliver quality work.

We highly recommend that freelancers put together agreements (like this sample agreement from the Freelancers Union)  with their clients detailing a concrete scope of work and a milestone-based payment. Another common practice is to ask for a deposit before starting the work. Lastly, ensure you agree on the method of payment and make sure to understand the various charges for the money transfers, for example, a bank may charge up to 30$ for a transfer.

In order to be enablers for freelancing, Nabbesh is launching an online payment facility where clients are required to pay upfront for services, in the form of a deposit that Nabbesh holds in Escrow, while freelancers are bound to the work they agreed to deliver. Freelancers will get paid once the project or task has been completed.

While it may not be a panacea for the freelancing woes, we believe that a marketplace can create a layer of trust, which protects its participants and enables a healthy environment. 88% of our survey respondents confirmed that they will be managing their payments through Nabbesh in order to get paid in a timely manner and have a strong mediator in the event of conflict.

As we prepare for this major step in Nabbesh’s development we look forward to more feedback from you, to help you get better freelance gigs and we hope that our tips will help you stay vigilant!

Note: The full survey will be shared as soon as the data compiling is complete!

How to prepare for a Freelance Project

 not what but how

Freelancers need to remember that they are active members of a marketplace.  Unlike full time work where they are shielded from supply and demand effects, you need to constantly promote yourself, seek good reviews and price accordingly.

Before embarking on any project, it’s worth spending time to ascertain exactly what the client’s needs are.  It might turn out that what the client really needs is a different skillset altogether.  If you don’t clarify this at the early stages, you’ll suffer from frustration, lower pay and bad reviews.

Be upfront and honest about what you can provide.  That includes not just skills but also price.  You may have an hourly rate in which case you should make that known straight away.  You might be able to provide a rate based on the description of the project.

Employers use freelancers because it’s a quick and efficient way of getting work done, they don’t want to spend a lot of time finding out information that should be immediately obvious, so try to think about the decision making process in the employers mind.  What would they need to know to pick you?

A few top tips:

  • Clearly state your expertise, and provide examples of past work, outlining what you did.
  • Identify an hourly rate or any other unit of measurement.  EG Copywriting $10 / hour.  Translation $0.05 / word.
  • If the client isn’t sure what they want, ask them what problem they’re trying to solve
  • Commit to a delivery date of work and don’t be late.
  • If you are unable to meet a deadline, tell the client as far in advance as possible to keep the communication lines open
  • Don’t use generic selling points such as “I believe I will be an asset”  or “I enjoy doing this work”, if 100 other freelancers are saying the same thing you won’t differentiate yourself
  • Browse the latest jobs and start applying at www.nabbesh.com

 

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Freelancing, its what we do best

You’ve probably been hearing the word Freelance a lot recently.  We’re happy about that. When it comes to working anything other than 9 – 5, we’ve got you covered at Nabbesh.com

From our constantly evolving skills platform, to resources helping you monetize your skills, we’ve got everything you need to start taking control of your own career.  Keep up with the latest developments on our social channels (to the right of this post) and register on www.nabbesh.com today to find freelance work that suits you.

Nabbesh_new_logo

 

 

www.nabbesh.com – Disrupting the future of work

Freelance and be your own boss

We’ve finally seen mainstream media catch on to what we’ve been saying all along, freelancing is a viable working option for those who want to be their own boss.  All the data supports it. Over 65% of MENA professionals believe that freelancing offers a better work life balance, allows you to do what you love and gives you more control over your career.  7 out of 10 people would consider freelancing.

Nabbesh.com has been helping thousands of freelancers and employers connect for over a year now. Whether you’re already in full time employment and want to earn money from your skills after hours, or you’re a mompreneur who needs a work schedule on your terms, find an opportunity for you on Nabbesh.com

Nabbesh_new_logo

 

www.nabbesh.com – empowering people to do what they love from anywhere

6 reasons why you haven’t got the job on Nabbesh

no_responses

A few of you have been getting in touch to ask why you haven’t heard back from freelance jobs you applied for on Nabbesh. Similarly some employers are finding it difficult to get exactly the right skill set and find the freelancer they need.  This doesn’t mean you should give up trying! Here are a few tips:

  1. What would an employer want to see?

    First, put yourself in the shoes of a potential hirer.  What would you want to see on a persons profile that would make you say yes, i want to work with that person?  Have you given enough description to your skill sets? If you’re only putting a title and an indication of years of experience, this isn’t going to differentiate you from other freelancers trying to get the job.

  2. Attention to detail

    Second, read the job post very carefully.  Many employers try to filter out applicants by putting in a secret code in there to ensure the applicant has really understood the requirements.  These can range from instructions such as “please reply to the job post with the subject xxxxx”  or “if you can find the hidden mistake in this text, mail us the answer”.

  3. Be specific

    Third, try to avoid generic sentences in your reply such as “i will provide value to your organization”  and “I am confident I will be an asset to any firm…”  People posting jobs are looking for a very specific skill and type of person, so be specific.  Try to indicate why you are the right person for the job.  For example: if a job is requesting a video animator, and they have indicated they are a startup, you should let them know you understand what they want to achieve.

    You might want to try: “Whilst my skills as a video editor are unsurpassed as you can see from my showreel on my Nabbesh profile, I have worked with startups before and I understand time and cost is important to you.  I’ll be able to ascertain your requirements very quickly and deliver on time and within budget”

  4. Keep an eye on the competition

    Fourth, do you have a very popular skill?  You can check this by typing in your skill in the search box and seeing from the drop down how many people have the same skill.  Open those profiles, see which ones you think are better than others and take some tips.  See what other skills they list in parallel.  Decide what sets you apart from these competitors.

  5. First impressions count

    Fifth, presentation is everything.  Do you have a nice clear profile picture? Is the spelling correct? Have you used the Canvas profile builder to add in extras such as certificates, hobbies, education?  You can also link to work that is held elsewhere around the web for example any videos on youtube or vimeo, pictures on pinterest or flickr, posts on tumblr or wordpress and more.  The richer the profile, the more professional you appear

  6. Be proactive!

    Finally be proactive! Its a competitive marketplace, don’t just leave your profile up there and wait for responses.  Look at the top searched for skills, compare yourself to others, visit the site regularly and keep up with the latest news on the Nabbesh social profiles and other content channels.  We post lots of information that will help you in finely tuning your profile to current requirements.  By being aware of the larger picture, you can prepare yourself for a sudden demand in your skill set, and learn what the latest developments in your industry are.

You can reach us on:

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Happy Nabbeshing!

I’ve built a profile on Nabbesh to start Freelancing, now what?

So, you’ve registered on Nabbesh and input your skills and you’re ready to start freelancing, now what?

The first tip is to input a description for each skill you enter.  Think about if you were looking for a freelancer, you’d want some more details about their background.

Here’s an example of a very basic profile:

skill no description

If you input a description however, you end up with this:

skill with description

As you can see, this description gives more detail about the particular skill and lets employers know exactly what areas the person has expertise in.

But that’s not all.  The most successful freelancers are able to give examples of their skills in action, and this makes it even easier for employers to choose them.   Seeing is believing! We’ve enabled you to link to your work anywhere around the web, whether it be on Behance, DeviantArt, Vimeo, Youtube, Tumblr, Pinterest, Github, SoundCloud and many many more formats.

All you need to do is open your profile  and select “Add” this will bring up the toolbox:

toolbox

The last 5 tabs will allow you to link to work elsewhere.  Simply put in the relevant URL, the description will populate automatically, if you want to change that you can, and most importantly, whatever you choose can be linked to your skills.

So if you’ve put in Graphic Design as a skill when building your profile, and you link to a piece of work on DeviantArt, you will be able to select “graphic design” from the Link Skills box.

After you’ve done that, your profile might look something like this:

Canvas profile

The more you put into Nabbesh, the more you get out. Nearly all employers ask for evidence of previous work.  Spending some time on your profile at the beginning will shorten the decision making process for employers and reduce the time spent going back and forward, meaning you can start earning quicker.  Additionally you can generate ratings and feedback from our Owlsome buttons and the social sharing.

We built this to enable even quicker connections and transactions.  We want to reduce the time it takes to find and discover talent, and let you focus on doing what you do best.  When you freelance, your online profile is your calling card, so make sure its the best it can be!

 

What are you waiting for? Go to http://www.nabbesh.com and start building your enhanced profile now!

How to close a Job Posting

If you’ve successfully filled the position you were hiring for, you need to close the job posting on Nabbesh so that you don’t receive more applications.

This is how to do it:

First log into Nabbesh and select “Edit Profile”:

edit profile nabbesh

Once that’s done, you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of your profile until you find the “Looking to Hire” section, where you’ll see a button for “Close Job”

edit job nabbesh

Select “Close Job” and a pop up will appear asking for more information, simply check one of those boxes and submit and the job will be closed!

close job nabbesh

Candidates will then see the following screen if they click on the URL of your original job posting:

closed job