How should I set appropriate boundaries and working structure as a freelancer?
December 20, 2012 7:18 PM Subscribe
I'm a freelancer. How do I handle this particular client who may be undervaluing my work and time, and overstepping some boundaries?
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (29 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I'm relatively new to freelancing. I agreed to do 'marketing work' for an events organizer, at an hourly rate of $8/hr. The jobscope as I understood was to follow up with sponsors/partners to make sure they adhered to agreements and deliverables, planning and updating a schedule for marketing and logistics, and liasing with street teams.
The client keeps on 'assigning' me additional duties and expecting me to do them, all under the hourly rate of $8/hr. These include:
- researching and formulating an overall marketing strategy, writing detailed reports and plans for marketing approach etc
- coming up with a list of partners/sponsors and being expected to seek them out, initiate contact with them, negotiate and make arrangements with them
- conceptualizing, planning and implementing social media campaigns
- designing graphics etc to accompany the social media promotion
- writing press releases
- giving general marketing advice and helping to brainstorm ideas for promotion
- organizing promotional events and being present to monitor those events at times
I have been obliging, partly because it seems like he really needs help. (His events company is really just a one-man show). I have experience in events organization - I actually used to run my own non-profit organization that organized events, shows, festivals, etc. He seems to be realizing that I have experience and knowledge that he doesn't, and says that he is learning from my pitching, copywriting and ideas. I am beginning to feel like I am organizing half of the event, effectively...
He also texts me at all hours, asking for all sorts of advice, and expects quick turnaround times for the things he assigns.
I'm obviously quite terrible at setting boundaries and being professional as a freelancer. :( What should I do? I think he now expects me to keep doing whatever he 'assigns' me. Am I undervaluing my work at $8/hr, or am I expecting too much for what I do? There is no commission rate and nothing else (e.g. transport, food) is covered by him. I do work from home almost all the time though, except for some of the errands or being present at some promotional events.
Ignoring the pay issue and the client-personality issue, I do enjoy this type of work and I've mostly been very good at what I do (pitching successfully where he previously failed, improving on copy, etc). Maybe I would be a lot happier doing this if there were more reasonable turnaround expectations and less expectations for me to do anything he can't or doesn't want to do.
I originally agreed to work for him for the next few months. I think I should honor that commitment, but how do I handle the situation from now on? What should I reasonably expect from him, or he from me?
(Sorry if this has been quite long and rambling. It's probably the first time I've talked about this at length.)