Dear Writer: When the Platform is Familiar. . .

Dealing with a familiar platform can be a challenging thing to do in Freelancing because it tends to lead to what can be referred to as a breach of professionalism.

What is a familiar platform?

A platform is familiar when the founder/curator of the platform is known to you either as a friend, acquaintance or something deeper and sometimes when that is the case, it is often difficult for Freelancers to be professional all-round.

What do I mean? So many months back, I stumbled on a post on BM Pro’s page where she was talking about family and friends having to pay for services just as an outsider would do. Do I agree with her? Totally except it might be difficult and challenging at times to effect that. Most importantly it is to say that Freelancing is not exempted too in the world of trading services and Writing is nothing like any other normal service(s) traded for payment.

Suffice it to say that Writing is a big deal which is often not seen that way by people we are familiar with. Writing is ingenuity, creativity and if it isn’t such a big deal, creative theft and plagiarism should never have to be a Writer’s worry but it is!

Sometimes, it is very natural for people we are familiar with as Freelancers to want to capitalize on how good we are enough that they don’t think there’s a level of hard work that comes with it. You hear things like you’re good na! you know what I’m saying, this thing won’t take you more than. . . shebi it’s just to write, take pictures, talk etc. Truthfully speaking, most of the time, being a natural with writing or being so good at whatever doesn’t displace hard work! You just don’t pick your pen to paper and write! You just don’t position your camera and then you snap and you have good results even if you’re so good naturally! There’s a level of creative process and putting the brain at work that produces what is seen and appreciated.

Familiarity is not an opportunity for ridiculousness and that’s what most familiar platforms give! The mindset that you’ll always pay for services rendered cheaper than every other normal person is very wrong! The belief that the Writer/Freelancer should treat you special compared to the way he/she treats other platforms/job opportunities is improper.

At a point, I told myself I was gonna take more Freelance jobs from unfamiliar platforms than the ones I know because sincerely the things they offer you and the approach is often not the same with other Freelancers they engage who are not known to them. It is very true that they acknowledge your creative prowess and ingenuity but sometimes, it’s just naturally difficult for them to approach you on a professional level.

I think it’s unfair if you’re on the journey to making your business a very profitable one while you engage the services of a Freelancer and you’re not ready to pay his/her worth. We will never take Freelance seriously if we don’t start handling it the right way. 

Do you know that sometimes, the only reason some people come to you for engagement isn’t because they believe you’re so good but because you are the answer to helping them save a little cash and believe me, there is a difference between being proud and handling your business like it’s business, so if you decline a familiar platform because the perks are not good enough for you, don’t let anybody make you feel bad or call you proud for trying to be professional. You can’t always be familiar all the time! because the truth is, if they go for an outsider, they tend to meet their demands and act differently.

Background image created by Benzoix – Freepik.com

In other words, dear Freelancer, you are not obliged to help someone build their platform. Don’t be coerced into thinking that you owe a brand your input by Freelancing for a pay you’re not comfortable with. That you don’t share their dream doesn’t mean you don’t support them or you’re not proud of what they’re doing! People will always refuse to understand and understand only what they want to. Stop trying to sell a reputation and protect relationships/friendships at your own detriment and at your own comfort. Maybe I’m just the only one that thinks a lot goes into Freelance especially content writing but a lot is really involved and if it’s not willingly done pro-bono or for a meagre fee, misery is unavoidable.

Nevertheless, Freelancers need not run away from such platforms if they bring opportunities. There are ways we can handle our familiar clients;

1. Be Professional – If they are not trying to be professional with you, be professional with them. Business is business and these people know that, trust me, they do!

2. Don’t be emotionally attached/satisfy their emotions – This one is the most important thing, don’t act on emotions! Just because they don’t understand and probably a little grumpy doesn’t mean you have to bend your desires to suit them. A good and progress-seeking friend recognizes when you are being fair and when you’re at your limit.

Finally, what I’ve realized is that people (familiar employers especially) need to learn how to place the same value they place on their business/platform on their employees/Freelancers. If you must get the best out of people, you have to show them how valuable you find them. It’s not a bad thing to bargain but it’s a very terrible to make people wish they had a better job/craft with your level of bargain and dear Freelancer, I’m not saying be rigid towards your familiar clients and unfamiliar ones, let it not be restricted to people you know alone! I personally believe that reduction is not done on the basis of familiarity alone. I reduce because I want to which extends to a new unfamiliar client!

I’m just saying, it’s not familiarity that breeds consideration!

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