What would you do? How honest are you with your clients?

How honest are you with your clients (and freelancers that work for you)? Let me run three scenarios by you on how I could have got away with thousands of dollars but decided not to.



How honest are you with your clients?

Get ready for freelancing strategies, hacks and tactics to help you skyrocket your success. Brought to you by Freelancer masterclass.com you’re listening to freelancing school with your instructor Mike Volkin.

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Sorry one way conversation I can’t hear your answer but at least if you play along you’ll be able to be mentally invested. So there are three scenarios here that I’ve run across in my career where I could have been very dishonest and made a lot more money but I didn’t actually there’s more but there’s three I want to highlight. So I want to roleplay with you and see you know, if this happened to you, what would you do and it’s more of a morality check than anything else. So the first situation is a company that I was working with and I they had paid in advance. Okay, so when the contract started, they paid in advance, the HR person then left the company and a new person came in the the work was done at the end of the month, and we were continuing on it was a month to month thing but the the new person sent me payment for my work, a payment, which I’ve already received. So what would you do in this situation? It was a 20 $400 bill. For a month work worth of work.

They paid upfront. And then they paid again at the end of the month not realizing

maybe they would have realized in the future maybe they wouldn’t I could have played dumb and I said, Oh, you know what, I didn’t realize this. You know, you paid also at the beginning and you paid at the end, you know, I could have said something if I might have gotten away with it I might have made regardless, I was sitting there with several thousands of dollars that I didn’t have or deserve in my account. So what did I do in this situation? Well, immediately I had told the person that sent the money proactively, they didn’t ask me for an invoice. They just went ahead and sent it because they saw that I was working with them and they knew the amount, I guess, was in their system. Number one, I was on very good rapport with the HR lady. She was just trying to get comfortable with a new job and doing this wouldn’t have fared well with her boss or CEO. And number two, I had long term sites with this company. They had a lot of work for me. They weren’t micromanagers they were great to work with. I like their team. So

Immediately I told them, You know what, I’m going to go ahead and refund this money because I was already paid in advance. And that’s the way I work is that you’d pay in advance. So she had flagged the accountant and noted that for future, but that went along the way. I got a kudos from the CEO and from the CMO that I was working with. And also the HR was rep was very grateful. And she told me that her new job was stressful, and she might have never caught it. But regardless, that was what I did in that situation. Because when I started becoming really popular and freelancing and made a commitment to full time, my commitment to myself was that clients would come first. And that was something that I thought of when I received that second payment is, is this something the client would want? Am I putting the clients best interest in front of my own? And the answer was clearly no. So I immediately told them, hopefully you would have done the same and honestly, this client has been with me for over a year.

Now they pay without issue, they give me work whenever I need it. And it’s a fantastic company to be associated with, that probably wouldn’t have been the case, if I have gotten caught. Or if I just wasn’t honest with them that would have started a baseline of kind of dishonesty in the future.

Another scenario that is quite common with freelancers that I run into more than once is that I have set an hourly rate, but the client doesn’t know. Or even watch carefully how the hours are billed. So let’s say I’m billing them through Upwork. And I know that they never check their Upwork account. I’m the only person that hired on Upwork, right? So I could easily if I wanted to build more hours than it took, or just you know, bump up the hours. You know, if you’re a freelancer, let’s just say you’re a writer, and it took you two hours to write, let’s just say a blog post, and you’re billing for four hours. You know, a lot of overseas

freelancers do that as a general business practice, I’ve found in fact, I just had this issue with a virtual assistant. I gave work to that, at the most would have taken two hours. And I checked his timesheet and took five. And I broke it down and said, Listen, even if you did all these entries, one every 10 minutes, it would take you two hours, and that’s on a very slow pace. Why did you Bill phi? He’s like, oh, sorry, sir, it was a mistake. Okay, mistakes are made. But generally, if you’re going after a low billable rate just to secure a client, but you’re billing more hours to make up for that, that’s bad business practice. And you have that opportunity as a freelancer to do that. The main point is Don’t Don’t do that. Don’t bring in somebody as on a low hourly rate just to secure the contract but build them more than your than you’re actually working. That’s immoral, and it’s dishonest. And when you’re working for an hourly rate, which you really shouldn’t anyway, it’s your moral obligation.

To build honestly, okay, so what would you do in that case, if you had a job that you fulfilled in three hours, and your client had said, You know what, this is probably going to take six, would you build them the six hours or even five hours?

Honestly, I don’t do that. And almost all of my work now is flat rate anyway, so it doesn’t matter. But if you’re an hourly employee, you should really consider or an hourly freelancer, you should really consider billing very honestly, because people do hire you back for long term or work. If you Bill honestly, some of my freelancers that I hire. For long term work. The people that have been with me the longest are people that I know, Bill very honestly. All right, I know that that if it’s an hour job, they’re going to build me an hour. Okay, I know that if I miss a meeting, which is rare, they’re not going to build me the hour as if, as if they had the meeting with me.

Okay, the third scenario, this is on the hiring.

Front not being hired, but on the hiring front, so I have freelancers working for me. And one of them forgot to Bill me for a fair amount of work. Do I tell them that it was over six weeks after the project had been completed, I noticed he didn’t send the bill at the end of the first month. We’re nearing on the second month. And he’s asking me for more work as if he’s already closed the books in his previous work. And this is almost $800 in payments that I know he wanted. And for some reason, he just didn’t notice. Would you tell him

I mean, I left a little blank space there for you to respond to the one sided podcast, but ultimately, I did tell them because this was a good freelancer. I wanted to continue doing working with him. And I know that he relies on this work to support his family. He’s the head of the household and this isn’t a side hustle for him, even if it was I would tell them anyway, but it’s even more reason to tell them as soon as possible. And so what I did was I want to

And suggested to go ahead and invoice me for that work previously. And he was so grateful. It’s like, you know what I, I thought for some reason I had this marked on my spreadsheet that it was it was built and paid. So it was an error on my behalf. And I said, Yeah, that was almost an $800 error, you got to, you know, fix your processes to make sure that doesn’t happen again. So those are three scenarios where honesty and morality will really drive your core business and longevity and clients because stuff like that, and freelancers because stuff like that really drives your core business and reflects well on you and it really results in long term work and lasting relationships. So I hope these are some good scenarios that you can reflect upon. Good luck out there.

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