10 Absolute “Nos!” for Freelancers?

Funny how Samuel labels his list as “Absolute Nos” and then contradicts himself in a disclaimer on the second paragraph that goes “… here are ten questions I nearly always answer “No” to”.

I guess people would say anything to come up with a catchy headline. Why don’t they be like Fox News and put a question mark after a headline they could never present as a fact, just like I did?

Anyway, it’s still a good list that made me chuckle for a bit. I definitely agree with #1 being there and it being the highest in the list — there is nothing worse than unpaid labor. Although this list is aimed primarily at freelancers, those who belong to the corporate world should also pick up a thing or two.

Below is the list in brief, along with some of my rebuttals/comments:

1. Can you show me a mock-up to help us choose a designer/developer? No.
If you are a student / startup with nothing to show, tough luck boy — you gotta take the risk.

2. Can you give us a discount rate? No.
You may really want to do this for established clients.

3. Will you register and host my site? No.
Being in the web business this is an unavoidable question. Make sure tech support is billed separately, and if you do not feel comfortable with charging $5/month for hosting, charge higher. I have clients who do not mind paying extra for peace of mind.

4. Can you copy this site? No.
It is very difficult especially for startup clients to envision something that is not there yet. Unless they want to make a YouTube *cough*Revverandallthosevideosharingsitesoutthere*cough* or a Twitter *cough*Jaiku*cough* clone Better to just have them draw a shortlist of websites they would like to draw inspiration from and come up with an idea that can be called their own.

5. Can I pay for my e-commerce site from my website sales? No.
I think this is unrealistic, but if ever this happens, it should be a partnership setup because you are investing something in the business, so establish yourself as a partner and ask for more than just a paycheck for the website.

6. I have a great idea. Do you want to…? No.

Bad. Never cut off your client. Listen first, before saying No.

7. Do you have an IM account? No.
If you’re a hot chick, please give me your phone # as well.

8. Can I just pay the whole amount when it’s done? No.
This should be up there as #2.

9. Is there any way you could get this done tonight or this weekend? No.
This should really depend on who your client is. Also, if you messed up or failed to meet the deadline then suck it up and finish your work.

10. Can I be sure you won’t use this work in anything else? No.

Again this really depends on who your client is and on the premises of this statement. I would definitely want to reuse a login or slideshow script, but I would understand if they do not want me to reuse their proprietary in-video text searching mechanism (hey I came up with this idea myself)

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