Freelance Business Digest

I am slowing returning to my (event production) business after a half-time maternity schedule of last year. The return is not so easy.

I lost some of the clients in my pregnancy-maternity period. Event industry is very intensive and if you are not ready to commit 200% you are quite often out of the game. The truth is that I am also not ready to work overtime any more and heavy lift thousands of attendees projects. Not at this moment.

The good side is that you become extra alert and sensitive to the projects you are pitching for. Will it allow me to maintain my work-life balance and take care of the family? If yes, I am for it! If not, the price tag goes up, haha.

Recently, I was in the hiring process for a client. All looked good, I sent the proposal, and it was accepted. But then...

I got 35(!!!) questions about my own IT security and a data protection agreement to sign. I was also asked to explain in my own words how I manage data protection. Ouch! I was not ready for that.

I was then asked to provide a valid certificate of liability insurance, which luckily I always have. BTW, you can read about recommended insurances for freelancers here.

I remember sending a similar pack of documents to a technology provider which we were employing for a client to provide a technology service. But asking the same requirements to a freelancer looked a bit crazy to me. A freelancer in that company was an equivalent to a service provider and therefore was going through the procurement procedure.

This is the cornerstone issue of the freelancers hiring process. A company is to decide whether they consider freelancers as a service provider (thus they fall in the category of a supplier and managed by the procurement) or they consider freelancers as a human resource (and therefore they are managed by HR). We have also seen organisations developing a specific process for hiring freelancers (watch this Koch Industries presentation at our past FBM that explains how they tackle this process).

Whichever process a company decides to follow, the risks of the company are quite understandable. A freelancer will have access to company data and if the freelancer is not diligent, company data (any sort) can end up in competition's hand, dark web or LinkedIn, haha. But isn't the same with employees? To my personal opinion, not supported by any research except my own experience, employees are more at risks to leak data than any freelancer joining a company part-time. What do you think?

Not directly related to DPA's, but a very interesting development is coming from the US side, where U.S. Federal Trade Commission proposes a ban on non-compete agreements that would also cover independent contractors (freelancers) and interns in addition to full-time employees. (I read it on blog, which is my favourite source of all sorts of freelance business related news)

I am curious to hear from you - did you have a similar situation? Were you asked to sign a DPA, non-compete agreement, etc? How did you handle? Is it a topic for the FBC to uncover more at our events?

What else is going on:

  • The Call for Speakers continues and ends on 31st of March. Do you have an appealing story to tell? Send us your application. We are looking into all the trendy topics that may affect freelance life: Neural networks, generative AI, metaverse, economic crisis, etc...

  • The registration for the FBM opens next Monday and you will notice a slight change in our ticketing. We will still have free tickets, as we believe the event needs to be accessible to all, but a paid ticket will be introduced as well, which will provide more options and flexibility for attendees wishing to learn and network. This year, we will not activate free tickets to past attendees, so you will need to re-register. Follow our announcements and don't miss discounts.

  • This year I am making an experiment and will join 2-3 platforms to look for assignments for myself. I will report about my progress on my Linkedin page. I had fun reviewing freelance platforms last month, and what stroke me - is their marketing. I have shared my thoughts in this article.

Love to see more live events popping up for freelancers:

A few other things for you to read or watch:

    Let your freelance business be awesome.

    As always, hit reply and let me know what you think or suggest topics for next newsletter.


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