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Freelancer Nation

Nov 9, 2018

At our recent podcast party on 30th August 2018 we invited back three of Singapore’s top performing independent creative professionals, now business owners who rely heavily on freelancers, (Shawn Toh, Alex Oh and Satya Purna) to share their experiences as a freelancer with the next generation.

Here are some of the top words of wisdom shared:

“Impress yourself 10x or more” – Fanny Tham, Chief Worker
It can be disheartening when you’ve worked so hard on something to experience an unimpressed client. Fanny discovered the power of this simple technique after working on 40 revisions!

“You are only as good as your last job?” – Jayce Tham, Chief Businesswoman
Referrals and repeat work are critical. Jayce suggests rather than disappointing a client by missing a deadline, ask for an extra day to finish up or polish the work.

“Make sure they know what they don’t want” – Shawn Toh, CEO & Design Director
Despite our best efforts, it can be difficult to meet the client’s expectations, especially when they don’t know what they want. To avoid this, Shawn finds he can get a clearer picture by asking clients what it is that they don’t want.

“If you can do within 1 minute, why not?” – Alex Oh, Film Composer
While none of us wants to be working on 40 revisions and 3-revisions is indeed the industry norm, at the end of the day we are all in client servicing. When deciding if you should work beyond the scope of your agreement Alex suggests giving your best or more. For the benefit of a returning customer, he suggests asking yourself this simple question.

“Charge 20-30% above average” – Satya Purna, Founder & Brand Strategist, ZAG Studios
It all boils down to money, we all have to make a living. You’re not getting CPF or employee benefits and you deserve to be paid for the benefits you can deliver to a client. Satiya suggests charging above average and then providing exceptional level service to prove your worth.

“No public shaming” – Fanny Tham, Chief Worker
Unfortunately, there might be times when situations escalate. Fanny suggests always seeking mediation during these difficult times and to avoid public shaming. The community is small, and you’ll be admired for taking the high road.

“You can fire the client” – Shawn Toh, CEO & Design Director
Perhaps one of the best privileges of being a freelancer is the ability to fire the client. You deserve to be treated with respect and paid on time for your services. Shawn recommends avoiding repeat work with clients who don’t meet their end of the deal.