Word-of-mouth business is the closest thing we’ve got to perpetual motion in the freelance world. Not only are freelance referrals easier to get to sign on the dotted line—because your business has a third-party endorsement—they’re also far more likely to be easy to work with. With rare exceptions, a good client won’t send you a bad client. First, because a good client wants you to succeed. Second, because their own reputation is on the line. (Obligatory note of caution: Be wary of word-of-mouth business from not-so-hot clients, who have a penchant for passing along their equally challenging pals.) [Read more…]
It was August 1999 when I bolted my corporate job and launched Boomvang Creative Group as a full-time freelance writer and editor. If I could step back to day 1 of 19 years of self-employment, here are some notes I would have provided to my future freelance self: [Read more…]
A 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…]
On 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…]
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…]
I 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.