Featured News, Freelance Life, Opinion Pieces

Tried and Tested Ways to Kill Freelancer Enthusiasm

December 17, 2011

So you’ve just hired a freelancer with the right attitude and skill set for a job and they are passionate and keen on the tasks ahead. Not happy with their go-getter attitude? Then you need to follow these Tried and Tested Ways to Kill Freelancer Enthusiasm!

Hire them based on their experience then systematically devalue it

Nothing says “cop that ya freelancer!” like a good old fashion devaluation of a freelancer’s experience. The best way to do this is seem to be on the absolute same page during the initial consultation and meeting period, and then BAM! Soon as you sign ‘em up, spend an incredible amount of time and energy telling them their ideas and approaches are wrong, especially in the areas you claim to have no ability in. They’ll be dreading the sound of your voice in no time!

Micromanage their every move

That freelancer knows just how important your business is to you- so a good old fashion leaping onto their back, peering over their shoulder and changing absolutely every single sodding thing they do all the time will have your freelancer crushed like a bug in a matter of days! Tactics you may wish to try in the micromanagement department is editing emails they have already sent, bottlenecking the decision making process and spending more time correcting the work they have done for you than supplying the information they need to actually do the job!

Approve a quote, and then withdraw the work

Hungry for work with bills to pay, nothing honks a freelancer’s chain than having them spend time pitching for work, approving the quote and withdrawing the work all within a matter of days! Watch as their faces go a cute shade of red and their eyes well with tears as they mentally digest they won’t actually be able to pay the rent after all! Considering how hungry they are for work, and how many jobs they may have declined to do the right thing by your project adds an extra devilish delight to the whole situation!

Insist they participate in your chronic meeting addiction

Time is money, money is time and if you really want to get the most out of your new lapdog- oh, I mean freelancer- nothing drives them right into AboutToCracksville better than copious meetings, discussions, brainstorming sessions and superfluous interactions! Added joy can also be discovered in showing off your new freelancer to a bunch of friends, business associates and your significant other who have absolutely no interest in them whatsoever. It also makes you look incredibly important to everyone too! Just make sure they don’t try and miss any deadlines or charge any extra when the time you’ve paid for miraculously vanishes!

Tried and Tested Ways to Kill Freelancer Enthusiasm

Have them answer to 3 different people with a minim of 4 different opinions

Freelancers are just so damn funny when they are being ping ponged around the table with multiple people who all have their own ideas and agenda to add! This version of human pinball comes in several different flavours including ‘meeting time volley’, ‘endless email exchange’ and my personal favourite ‘the never ending 360’. Have a knee slapping, hand clapping good time as you chant “dance freelance monkey dance” with your colleagues!

Push their rates down

Knowing they are competing with online sweatshops makes pushing your freelancer under the payment limbo pole even easier! You’ve worked hard for your budget dammit and so if that lucky freelancer wants part of YOUR action, they better bloody well lower their rates! Their increasing overheads and increasingly competitive market channel is of no concern to you, right? But if they don’t remember on a daily basis how hard things are for you to make ends meet and understand the pressure you are under, well then, that’s just not polite!

Keep changing your mind

Brief, schmief! You’re paying for it, so you should get it right?! Regardless if you know what it is. Or when you want it. Sing with me now <cue music> “It’s your freelancer and you’ll change your mind if you want to, mind if you want to, you would do it too if you were allowed to, too”

Don’t pay them on time

Last but definitely not least, not paying your freelancer on time is one of the best ways to completely obliterate any enthusiasm or loyalty your freelancer could have for you. The more creative your excuses, the longer they have to email, text and call the more satisfying the feeling of taking someone else’s livelihood in your hands and using it to drive them to insomnia and nervous exhaustion can be! As you watch the days, weeks and months go by, you will be able to enjoy eliciting self doubt, heartache, stress and even hunger in your freelancer simply through getting what you wanted out of the situation, but not holding up your end of the bargain.

Wait…you don’t want to hurt freelancers after all?

If you are a business who knows what they need and is in the market for seasoned, passionate freelance professionals who can help you achieve your goals, drop me a line rebekah@unashamedlycreative.com.au – if I can’t help you, I’ll send you to someone who can!

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