How do I charge for meetings with a new freelance client?

charge for meetingsA reader asks…Dr. Freelance: Yesterday I had an extended (almost 2-hour) meeting with a potential new client. The good news is that they have a project for me, assuming the estimate is acceptable, and they said there would be more in the future. The bad news is that the project is small enough that I can’t possibly recoup the costs for my time, because it would basically double the estimate. I know you believe you should charge for meetings, but how do I do that in this circumstance? I don’t want to price myself out of a freelance job!—Time Is Money (i.e., you can call me “Tim”) [Read more…]

Are you a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or both?

freelancer entrepreneurOn Father’s Day, I riffed on whether entrepreneurship has a genetic component. In the wake of that post, I found it interesting that more than a few freelancers didn’t really consider themselves entrepreneurs. I decided to do some unscientific polling on Twitter and Facebook, asking the question “If you’re a freelancer, do you consider yourself an entrepreneur?” With about 120 total respondents, the results lean 55% no on Facebook, while about two-thirds on Twitter say yes. [Read more…]

Is entrepreneurship genetic?

entrepreneurship genetic
Hometown club championship, sometime in the mid-’80s. I’m confident it bugged my dad that I had the golf bag slung backwards!

My dad was a self-employed salesman through much of his career—and I’ve now flown solo for two-thirds of mine—so the idea that working for yourself could somehow be coded into your DNA has always piqued my interest. So…is entrepreneurship genetic, environmental, or a little of both? [Read more…]

What Yanny and Laurel teach us about client communications

client communicationsI reckon we’re about 10 minutes into the 15-minute fame run of the Yanny vs. Laurel dust-up. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can give it a whirl here.) I was firmly in the Yanny camp until late in the day yesterday, when I watched a video that explained the effect—after which I only heard “Laurel,” and couldn’t switch back. Weird how the brain works! In any case, I think the Yanny vs. Laurel divide offers a nifty jumping-off point to discuss client communications and the importance of perception in business.
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Freelance networking introductions done right

freelance networking introductionsI’ve got a longtime client—more important, a mentor and friend—who does the most amazing, thoughtful networking introductions. You can’t help but feel like a rock star, whether she’s introducing you in person or via email. Not surprisingly, she’s also one of those people who seems to know everyone in town, in any industry you can name.

As freelancers, we can’t exist in a vacuum, because success goes beyond raw creative talent. The market needs to view you as a person who’s connected to other people who can help them accomplish their goals—even if you’re not directly involved in a given project. (See also: complementary freelance creatives.) That takes effort and it can’t happen if you only network with people in your own specialty. It’s an investment in your business. [Read more…]

I’ve been neglecting my most important client

important clientIt’s confession time: I’ve been neglecting my most important client. True, he doesn’t pay the best, he can be a bit loony under pressure, and I’m pretty sure he’s adult ADHD. But, he’s good at what he does and he’s generally amiable, so I stick with him.

As the cool kids today say: IT ME. [Read more…]