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How to Protect Your Reputation as A Freelancer


The increasing digitisation of the workforce has led to the rise in freelancers, temps, and independent contractors. Globalisation has made it necessary for business enterprises to outsource their work that can be performed remotely at a lower cost. This setup also helps organisations access better talent than what is available locally. 

A good reputation is a freelancer’s most valuable asset. If you want to build a long-term, sustainable business, you need to put your reputation first.

What are the advantages of being a freelancer?

Freelancers achieve a high level of independence, flexibility, and job satisfaction. They can be self-employed full or part-time, allowing them to maintain their current employment if desired. This allows the worker to balance their time between work for one employer and contracting with others.

As a freelancer, you have the freedom to do what you need to promote your business. No boss. No interference. No office politics. You call all the shots!

What are the threats to a freelancer reputation?

While any online reputation is important, it takes on a whole new level of magnitude when it applies to freelancers. The number one threat to freelancers’ reputation is their lack of control over the information about them that is published online.

Anyone on the internet can create a profile of you and your work, and people tend to believe what they read. While many are enjoying the opportunities and freedom that freelancing offers, there is a risk of data breaches, unethical clients and debilitating disputes that end with bad feedback.

Getting good feedback online as a freelancer

What makes a good experience for an online client? We found that this boils down to two things, the ability to give a quality job and the ability to communicate effectively as a freelancer. The quality of the job is often tied directly to the skill level of the freelancer, but moderately skilled freelancers can get away with it if they can communicate well. 

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How do you protect your online identity and reputation?

The first step is to take responsibility for building your freelancing reputation. It all starts with the basics – your name, email address and profile picture. Beyond your name, make sure you’re providing correct information on every platform (email, business name, address) that you use as well as checking the spelling of it on each site before publishing.

As a freelancer, your actions on social media also represent your brand. Be sure that what you post online is relevant, accurate and appropriate. This doesn’t mean you have to broadcast your every move to the world, but it does mean that smart content is better than no content at all.

Additionally, if you offer certain professional services as a freelancer, professional indemnity insurance is a good idea to protect you in the event that your professional advice or services result in a loss to your client.

Your online reputation is everything. Whether you’re working as a freelancer, contractor or small business owner, you’re constantly in need of clients. And those clients are making all their decisions based on one thing – your online reputation.

Sean Jacobson

I'm Sean, a former HR and business consultant providing you insights into the business world for Leader to Leader.

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