Halley’s Client, Schrödinger’s Project, and other freelance phenomena

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halleys client and schrodingers projectI received an email this week from a client that I assumed I’d never hear from again. It hadn’t been a bad breakup, simply that my main contact left and her replacement had different freelance writers in her stable. With a whopping six-year gap between communications (a personal record), I was reminded of one of my favorite freelance phenomena: Halley’s client, you know, the clients that enter into your orbit only once in a great while. They’re not a bad thing, but don’t exactly provide dependable income, either. [Read more…]

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18 years of freelancing, 18 business lessons

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business lessons on the 18th birthday of freelancingI used to know the exact date I walked out of the corporate world with The Box and started my freelance business. Today, I only remember that it was in August 1999. Yep, as of this birthday my business is old enough to vote, buy a lottery ticket, join the army, or drink in Canada and much of Europe. Here, in no particular order, are 18 business lessons from 18 years in business: [Read more…]

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Freelance project deposits aren’t just about the money

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freelance project depositsDr. Freelance: Like you, I prefer to give prospective clients a range estimate. But once they accept it, what number do I use to determine the amount for freelance project deposits? I’ve heard anywhere from 30-50%—I’m feeling comfortable with 35%, personally—but 35% of what? The low end? The mean? Probably *not* the high end.—Rachel [Read more…]

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Value-based pricing: How can it boost your freelance business?

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value-based pricingValuing your services on the basis of your skills, knowledge, and experience—as opposed to hourly rates for a task—gives your freelance business a lot more income potential than blindly following rate sheets. It’s not a calculation you can make in isolation, however. A value-based pricing approach requires looking at the situation from the client’s perspective: What can they expect from their investment if they hire you? [Read more…]

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Stop wasting time on the cutting room floor

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cutting room floorSelf-inflicted scope creep often results from perfectionism gone awry. Sometimes, however, it’s caused by the slightly more-noble impulse to convert all of our hard-earned research and interviews into usable text. When I catch myself wasting time that way, I remind myself that readers or freelance clients see the final product. I’m the only one who knows what lands on the cutting room floor. [Read more…]

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