Thoughts on the Mode Media bankruptcy

mode media bankruptcyIt’s a strange feeling to have a blog post go viral and wish it hadn’t. That was my experience on Friday, when I checked Google Analytics and saw a huge surge in traffic to my post about what to do when a freelance client files for bankruptcy. I subsequently went to Twitter, and found the cause: the Mode Media bankruptcy announcement on September 15. [Note: I am using “bankruptcy” loosely not legally here, as in “they’ve shut down and aren’t paying their creditors.” The company hasn’t yet filed for legal protection, but that would seem a likely path forward according to this article.] [Read more…]

When heavy editing weighs you down

heavy editingDr. Freelance: I recently acquired a new client who hired me to edit her blog posts, which she writes herself. Let’s just say she’s not the world’s greatest writer, and I did some heavy editing to the first few posts. It was obvious her feelings were hurt, and she chose to return a lot of the copy to the original (including the lead, which was terrible). I saw your post “There’s no crying in freelance editing” and was hoping you could provide some thoughts on how to address my situation. I really want to help her make her blog posts better, but I’m going to lose her as a client if we can’t agree on what “better” is or how we get there.—Better You Bet [Read more…]

A guilt-free approach to freelance client boundaries

freelance client boundariesOver the holiday weekend, I received an urgent email from a client asking about the status of a newsletter that needed to be sent out before the end of the month. The only problem was, I hadn’t gotten the original email. Thanks to autofill, she’d accidentally sent it to another Jake in her address book. My decision was easy: She’s a fantastic long-term client who’d made an honest mistake, so I took a break from repairing the deck and completed her job. This event coincided with several discussions I saw on Facebook with freelancers talking (and some complaining) about having to work over the holiday weekend, which brings me to today’s topic: setting freelance client boundaries. [Read more…]

File naming conventions when you have tons of revisions

file naming
In a world where everything is final, nothing is final. Tweet this image.

Doc, do you have a method for file naming that makes it easier to track document revisions? Every time someone tells me s/he has a great system, it turns out to be including the date in the file name or creating a new folder, which doesn’t help with multiple versions per day. On occasion, I will go back-and-forth with a client and create a half-dozen iterations in a day and need to keep components from each. Any suggestions?—Gilberte [Read more…]

Upwork raised its fees, and here’s what you can learn from it

UpworkIf you’re looking for a slam on bidding sites or outsourcing services, you’re not going to find it here. No, this is about the news that Upwork raised the fees it charges freelancers from 10% to 20% on projects of $500 or less and created a sliding fee scale based on freelancers’ lifetime billings. (The fees drop to 10% on projects of $500.01-$10,000, and 5% above that.) My interaction with Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is limited to a strange experience with hiring a freelancer whose freelance rates were so low they made me question her talent. [Read more…]

Keeping your freelance rate on the QT with references

freelance rate referencesDr. Freelance, a potential new corporate client has asked to speak to a couple of my existing clients as references. Is it fair and appropriate to ask those clients to keep the freelance rate I charge them confidential, since it’s lower than what I’ve quoted this potential client? I have different rates for different types of clients, but the new client may not appreciate the distinction. Any advice on approach—what to do/say or what not to do/say—would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!—Keeping It on the QT
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