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Thread: Good Freelancers vs. Bad Freelancers - Frustration

  1. #1
    Realising Ideas philgoddard's Avatar
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    Good Freelancers vs. Bad Freelancers - Frustration

    Hi Chaps and Chapesses,

    I'm not sure whether i'm actually starting a relevant debate here or whether i'm just venting my frustration.

    For the last couple of months I've been keeping an eye on the Freelance Forum, and i've even landed a couple of clients from it... thanks Flashkit!

    However, I find myself on a day-to-day basis trawling through endless piles of cack to get to the genuine projects and genuine freelancers. The forum seems to be riddled with either people posing as companies requesting projects to be done for next to nothing, or individuals saying they are professional Freelancers who's work is pretty much garbage.

    I think it's this last bunch that are getting to me... and it's the client I feel sorry for. If the client does not know any better, and does not know what to expect, it stands to reason that they will go for the first or second enquiry, as long as the price is right. But ultimately they receive a poor service or project. Do these people not actually stop and think, am I actually good enough to be a freelancer... or even design full stop? I think I feel upset even being associated with these 'con-artists'.

    Anyway, I'm sure i have headed where i was concerned i may have headed. And apologies in advance if I seem just to be having a hissy-fit.

    However, if there is something that can be done about this entire situation e.g. create more forums for professionals, and wannabes, or if you feel the same and just want a rant, then lets get started...

    Look forward to your views
    Last edited by philgoddard; 05-29-2006 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Agreed
    i think the right way is to post our portfolios and let the client decide

  3. #3
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    We are not the first to experience this type of thing. The real question is this...what do we do about it? Additional forums wouldn't do anything to ensure that only 'professional' freelancers posted in certain designated areas. Who would determine who was professional enough and who wasn't, and based on what criteria?

    Here's the thing...FK isn't a job site. It's a Flash resource site with a close affiliation with a site (dice.com) whose domain resides in the realm of full-time employment. There was a time when this partnership was initially formed where no job postings were allowed at FK at all. FK later made the compromise to allow freelance job postings in an effort to fill a niche need where an individual or company just had a quick freelance project and whose project or budget didn't allow for the hiring of a full-time designer. Also it was a way of making FK a more valuable resource to the Flash designers whose presence and input to the community have made Flash Kit the premier resource that it remains to this day.

    While we are on the subject, let me say this...FK is far more interested in seeing the 'regulars' of the community...those who spend time giving and getting in the forums...receive the benefits of this Freelance forum than we are in providing a place for people who never visit the boards to just show up and snatch all the jobs. That's actually a thought right there...I might bring up the subject of needing a certain number of posts before you are allowed to post in the Freelance forum.

    You're right that you should post your portfolios and let the client decide. You should do this in every job offer that you respond to. Hopefully the client will take the time to look them over and take quality into account when making their decision. Beyond that, there are always going to be people who will take the bid of $100 bucks over the one that is $1,000 no matter what the difference in quality.
    mrush


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  4. #4
    Realising Ideas philgoddard's Avatar
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    Apologies if i came across as though FK weren't doing anything to address this... I'm extremely grateful to Flashkit and the site and its members have done a great deal from where I am today. I think I'm merely kicking off a debate on different ways of seperating the cheap and cheerful projects from the more professional.

    I guess portfolio submissions would conquer that

  5. #5
    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    Not to worry, Phil. I posted what I did in the same spirit of debate. If you have any practical and feasible ideas for improving the way freelance positions are posted and handled then I'll see that they at least get admin review. I can't promise anything beyond that, but I can put them forth and if a change is deemed beneficial I don't know why it wouldn't be implemented. I'm just letting you know both what we're working with and what you're working with.

    And to address a specific point that you might be concerned about, my thoughts on a post count requirement would not exclude you from posting. I was thinking somewhere around 100...the same as the requirement for getting an avatar. Nothing ridiculously high, but something that showed some kind of desire to be a part of the community rather than just a leech who takes jobs away from those who actually contribute to the Flash community as a whole.

    So none of what I said should be interpreted as 'put up or shut up'...I'm actually trying to give you more to work with, not less. And yes, nobody likes to see potential clients settle for inferior design out of simple laziness or ignorance, but to fix it we need practical solutions that keep in mind the fact that this isn't really the major focus of the site. What that means is that the higher-ups aren't going to be that interested in jumping on the "We're going to make this the greatest Flash freelance resource ever!" bandwagon, but if someone were to present some ideas for making what we've got work more efficiently and present a greater benefit to it's members, then it's likely to be well received.
    mrush


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    I have next to no design talent.... all I do is object manipulation. I charge too little, I do good work. I dont have a portfolio and im constantly working on projects in my spare time.

    Im 100% upfront with the client regarding what i can and cant do. I usually have them get me the graphix and i can manipulate them

    I think i prolly fall under bad freelancer...but im trying, really this is all stuff ive been doing for 6 months for free so its nice to be getting paid anything for it.

    the fact that no one talks about what they charge for what projects so people who do it in spare time have absolutly no clue as to what to charge...so they under charge(me included(especially))

    its just as much veterans faults for not helping them with pricing and such when they ask. i know there are no easy answers but even just post i did such and such project heres a link i charged X.XX

    I dont want to charge clients hourly cause it may take me 3 hours to do what another coder does in 1 hour and its not fair to the client, so i give rough estimates at the beginning based on how difficult a task the project is percieved to be. if its too hard ill charge a lil more.

  7. #7
    He has risen! lefteyewilly's Avatar
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    this is a good discussion, and i agree with everyone's posts here...I think i'm going to have to come back to this after some thought. not sure if this discussion should be in this forum due to the nature of things, but i think it's a good start to a good dialogue for situations like this

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    Senior Member RUSHVision's Avatar
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    joran420 ~
    That all comes under the heading of price fixing.
    mrush


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    yeah I wasnt saying you should pricefix. i was just saying that as a newcommer to the field you just dont know what to charge.

    and then you see people complaining about how all the new programmers charge too little . well of coarse they do since no one discusses pricing in any depth

    when you get a project as a new programmer they dont usually offer first they say gimme a range
    you give em some arbitrary range cause you dont know what too charge.

    I give them a number that i feel represents the ammount of effort a really excellent programmer would take to complete. to me its enough and im fine with it. it just annoys me when i see threads saying because newcommers dont charge enough its devaluing the industry.

    dont whine about it, help the new developers(not saying you dont flash kit has been instrumental in my flash learning...)

    theres no easy solution that i can see. it will always be an endless cycle.
    the big accounts tend to know that you get what you pay for and so all you proffessionals can deal with time warner and myspace and places with huge budgets

    while us newcommers/side project guys do flashgames for up and comming bands, startups, and people without the budget of the big guys.
    Last edited by joran420; 06-10-2006 at 02:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Realising Ideas philgoddard's Avatar
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    I have to say that recently, pver the last month or so, I have had a lot of enquiries either through Flashkit, or other design related sites... and 9 times out of 10 they say "I'm too expensive... i'll have to go with cheaper".

    However the other day I had one get back in touch with me because he'd been let down with not having the time to complete the project after all. Some client say "Well, you must charge that for a reason... where do I sign..."

    I don't blame Developers for bidding for development work, hell I used to do the same thing when I was trying to get a portfolio together... and i sucked at it. I think it's more the 'sales' people who bid for work and then send the work over to the east who can work on 1 dollar a day And the client is completely unaware of this 'scam'... and it seriously is devaluing our industry. Even if quality clients are willing to pay quality cash for a quality service, the majority will end up accepting work that will be far from quality, without knowing it.

    If this trend continues i think site design and development will definately be divided between a handful of high class sites, and a majority of... err... not-so-high-class.

    Anyway... rant over for now...

  11. #11
    The Flashman earl223's Avatar
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    Portfolios can easily be manipulated. I can put a link to a site which i had no participation whatsoever. It's just a link anyway so who cares? Portfolios show the clients what you can do... but the question is... did you really do it?

    There's nothing wrong with philgoddard statement about sending the work to the eastern part of the world where labor costs are cheaper. That's ok IF the eastern counterparts are able to do quality work. So who cares? If i were the client i wouldn't care as long as the work is good, and as long as I agreed to pay the price.

    Showing a protfolio is nothing compared to referrals. Comments from clients will let everyone know about the kind of business you do. Some sites devoted to freelancing have a section where freelancers make a bid on a project, and clients can post commonts regarding a freelancer. Other clients can read the comments, which will majorly affect their desicion in choosing the right developers. If FK's freelance forums can have something like that, then it safeguards the interest of the clients, and they are almosts always assured that the work they offer will be accomplished.
    i eat actionscripts for breakfast

  12. #12
    2008 Man of the Year JWin's Avatar
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    The issue as I see it (and I really see it locally in Pittsburgh) people don't want quality anymore, they don't appreciate that a good site is going to cost a bit. One of my recent clients when he got the proposal said he was looking for a cheap site (basically half of what the estimate was). We explained to him that wasn't possible because he would be getting a site that looked and functioned professionally and would work correctly in all browsers/os.

    He understood and we ended up knocking off a bit of the price because he decided he didn't need the site as quickly as he thought he did. Anyway, I think as designers we need to be educators as well as salesmen. We need to inform the consumer of why these fly by night "freelancers" are the wrong way to go.

    If they still don't get it, they get burned and you press on i guess.

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  13. #13
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    bah every proffesional has to start out not as a proffessional.

    for many start-ups/bands etc. the cheap freelancer is the way to go, simply because they cant afford the proffessional, and with presentation being so much these days they need something at least a little interactive and eye catching.

    a company will never get the same quality paying 200.00 vs 20,000.00 , and the big companies that can afford 20k know this

    dont tell me that the first project you ever did for money was as good as the projects you are doin currently, I wont buy it.

  14. #14
    OOP is one letter from OOPS kortex's Avatar
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    I suggested this at kirupa and here as well a while ago: start a rating forum where clients and freelancers can be rated. I have had good clients from this forum and some that have stiffed me. Those who do good honest work should be rewarded and those clients who pay for the work should be recognized as well.

    I use Dice.com as a indicator for what I should charge and have had several people claim that my rates are reasonable and I am always way above what I see as bids in the freelance forum.

    So, be resonaable, but be warry.
    Jeremy Wischusen
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  15. #15
    Waaambulance Pilot sk8Krog's Avatar
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    I find it odd that many people here are getting most or all of their jobs off of forums or internet sites. I don't have a problem with it, but it sounds like if you're always on the hunt you're missing a major part in freelancing: forming long term relationships with companies and a network from that. Not to discrace the job forums, they're great for what they are and when I started up that's where I got my projects for the most part, but don't limit yourself to work on a project per project basis.

    I basically have around 3 steady clients that continuously have work to give and projects in stock, this saves me tons of time selling myself and searching the internet for projects to do. Since less of my time is spent as non-billable hours, I can charge a lesser rate to the steady clients.

    What you guys are doing now is great as long as you're young or you can actually make your living off of it, but don't think that is all that freelancing is. You'll find a company that you have an interest in, do good work for them, and if they have lots of projects in the pipeline see if you can get a deal worked out. Saves you both time (you finding jobs that are worth your time, and them finding designers/developers worth their time).
    It must be obvious day at camp stupid

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8Krog
    I find it odd that many people here are getting most or all of their jobs off of forums or internet sites. I don't have a problem with it, but it sounds like if you're always on the hunt you're missing a major part in freelancing: forming long term relationships with companies and a network from that. Not to discrace the job forums, they're great for what they are and when I started up that's where I got my projects for the most part, but don't limit yourself to work on a project per project basis.

    I basically have around 3 steady clients that continuously have work to give and projects in stock, this saves me tons of time selling myself and searching the internet for projects to do. Since less of my time is spent as non-billable hours, I can charge a lesser rate to the steady clients.

    What you guys are doing now is great as long as you're young or you can actually make your living off of it, but don't think that is all that freelancing is. You'll find a company that you have an interest in, do good work for them, and if they have lots of projects in the pipeline see if you can get a deal worked out. Saves you both time (you finding jobs that are worth your time, and them finding designers/developers worth their time).
    thats what im doing atm(lol since im way undercharging of coarse they wanna keep sendin projects). but a new developer has to find those guys somehow .and internet and forums make the whole world your marketplace.
    Last edited by joran420; 06-12-2006 at 12:31 PM.

  17. #17
    OOP is one letter from OOPS kortex's Avatar
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    but it sounds like if you're always on the hunt...

    Actually most of the jobs I have gotten, people have actually tracked me down. Did not even bid on them. Seems they see the posts in the forum and if you at least look like you know what you are talking about, they decide, hey maybe he can help.

    But I do see your point, and I have done repeat business with the majority of the clients that I have found here. Building a relationship is important.
    Jeremy Wischusen
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  18. #18
    Former Employee of Satan Napalm's Avatar
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    The IT industry has a bad rep because of the overwhelming amount of people calling themselves developers and designers.

    There are client with whom you can form long relationships, and those who will be once off job. A good relationship can take years to get going.

    The best portfolio will not always get you the job - but a good salesman will. If you're not a born salesman, form a partnership with one or more.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  19. #19
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    Kortex, what made you think i was always on the hunt. all i was doin was trying to stand up for the little guy just trying to break into the industry.

    the only people who will be put off by flash newcommers are those not willing to pay a pro to do it.

    as Ive said many times if they have the budget to go with a PRO they will. no one sells there self short when they dont have to. its more the guys who cant afford the real pro's but want something. doesnt have to be perfect.

    big accounts know that they get what they pay for. In order for the awesome flash developers to stand out there have to be bad flash developers to compare to.

    if the industry is starting to feel that proffessional flash developement is just not worth investing in as heavily maybe its the pro's who need to look at theyre approach and say why are these guys that CAN afford us going with cheaper programmers(its a salesman problem).

  20. #20
    2008 Man of the Year JWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joran420
    as Ive said many times if they have the budget to go with a PRO they will. no one sells there self short when they dont have to. its more the guys who cant afford the real pro's but want something. doesnt have to be perfect.
    This is why all forms of media are suffering a severe break down in quality and many good artists are are struggling to compete with no talent hacks undercutting everyone.

    Music has gone to crap cause record companies have lost accountability, they put out garbage cheaply and everyone accepts it.

    Movies have become regurgitated Fast and the Furious or Wedding Planner plots.

    Modern art has been reduced to filling brown paper bags with poop and placing it on a pedestal.

    Say no to cheap poorly done web design/music/movies/art!!!

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