Tried and test ways to kill the enthusiasm of freelancers

So you’ve just hired some freelancers 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 this guide to kill the enthusiasm of freelancers!

Hire them based on their experience then systematically devalue it

Nothing says “cop that ya freelancers!” 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.

Your freelancers will be dreading the sound of your voice in no time!

Micromanage their every move

Freelancers know how important your business is to you. But let’s make that message crystal clear, shall we?

A good old fashion leaping onto the freelancer’s 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, bottle-necking 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!

Freelancers love it when they have massive gaps in their timetable because you can’t organise your way out of a paper bag.

Insist freelancers participate in your chronic meeting addiction

Time is money, money is time. If you really want to get the most out of your new lapdogs- oh, I mean freelancers- 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 freelancers 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.


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.

Freelancers adore not knowing what direction the direction is coming from, after all.

Push their rates down

Fair pay, schmare splay. Freelancers should have realised they are there to be overworked, under-paid and disrespected at every turn.

Your business is far more important than theirs. So it’s OK to devalue their experience, ability and skill.

Knowing freelancers 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 those lucky freelancers 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 freelancers on time is one of the best ways to completely obliterate any enthusiasm or loyalty they 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 freelancers 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, get in touch – if I can’t help you, I’ll send you to someone who can via the Australian freelance directory. 

Want to increase my freelancer enthusiasm? Get in touch now. 

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