In my previous article, I have introduced you to the concept of networking among freelancers as a tool to garner benefits that may be unheard-of to salaried professionals.
Here's the next benefit of networking:
(2.) Freelancers can earn additional income through other freelancers on a commission basis.
Picture this scenario: you find yourself working on a huge project, and the deadline is looming. In addition to that, you've landed several gigs that don't really pay much, but when you add up the fees you charged for each gig, the money would total to a pretty handsome amount.
And then it happens. An interested client emails you or calls you up in the middle of all those tasks. The client talks on and on about wanting to outsource a project to you, and asks for a price quote.
You're tempted to accept the client's offer, but you know you have to turn it down if you don't want to sacrifice the quality of the project you're currently working on.
Now, what if I tell you that teaming up with other freelancers and forming a solid network will still enable you to make money even if you have to turn down a potential client?
Sounds incredulous? It's not, if you do the following:
Politely explain to the client that you could no longer accommodate another project at the moment, but you'd be happy to refer him to another competent freelancer within your network.
To illustrate, if you were being tasked to incorporate SEO copywriting in the company's website to improve their sales, hopefully, you can point to another SEO copywriter in your network who would be willing to do the job.
Of course, in spite of the advantages, networking can fall prey to pitfalls. You have to keep in mind that freelancing is a business, and businesses can only thrive if workers are genuinely responsible and look after each other and place utmost priority in the group's well being.
Here are several guidelines you may want to consider:
- Set parameters with each other's rates or fees. Make it a general rule that you will only ask for a commission when the minimum rough estimate is, say, Php10,000-Php12,000, or USD500-USD1,000. And then, require a rate that is no more than the equivalent of 20 to 25 percent of that amount.
- Make sure that the freelancing professional to whom you have referred your client states in a portion of his Contract that he is accepting projects through referrals, and you will be collecting a commission for every referral you make.
- Also, state that you will not be entitled to additional cash, or any benefits for that matter, should the client offer your fellow freelancer a bonus, whether in cash or kind.
- Create a separate record to keep track of income made through referrals. If you can recommend an average of two to three clients a month, that would mean a commission of at least Php4,000-Php6,000 monthly. Save your records in your computer's hard drive.
- Include money made through referrals when declaring your annual income or reviewing possible tax deductibles.