We’ve all been there: A former co-worker, a friend, or (in my case) a father-in-law who’s absolutely perplexed that you could make a living (GASP!) by being a self-employed writer, editor, graphic designer or other type of creative. “When are you going to get a real job?” is among Urban Muse Susan Johnston’s “10 things you should never ask a freelance writer,” and you can try to explain your reasoning…but probably best to laugh and enjoy our little secret about the benefits of freelance jobs.
Dr. Freelance: I’ve heard people on both sides of the hard-copy, handwritten thank you note vs. email thank you argument, and wondering your opinion on the appropriate way for a freelancer to thank someone for a first client meeting.—Thankful in CT
Thankful: Call me old school, but I am a bigger fan of the hard-copy, handwritten thank you note than its email cousin—which is not to say that a freelancer shouldn’t send an immediate thank you via email, as well. Consider that the prospective client has spent 30, 60 or more minutes of their valuable time with you…the courteous thing to do is thank them appropriately. [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: I saw your video “Freelance Writing Follies: Are You Done Yet?” and appreciate how you poked fun at freelance clients who miss their own deadline and then expect me to make words appear out of thin air. But on a more serious note, what can we as freelancers do to make sure that clients don’t try to take advantage of us? — Dr. No (I’m Not Done Yet)
Dr. No: Making a freelance job go smoothly, deadlines and all, has everything to do with setting clear expectations. Part of that is getting freelance clients to understand that we’re partners in the deal. That burden is on you, good Doctor. Here are some strategies that can help: [Read more…]
In response to a recent post about “Raising your freelance rates,” commenter Mitch Devine of Love Hate Advertising asked for a followup about my philosophy of hourly rates vs. project pricing. So here goes!
First, I should say that I have no ironclad rules about pricing freelance jobs other than trying to figure out what the client is looking for. In the Freelance Forecast 2010 survey 70% of the clients surveyed preferred either a firm quote or not-to-exceed estimate—and only 6% chose an hourly rate—assuming the same overall cost. [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: It seems like every freelancing site out there talks about raising your freelance rates, but I’m hesitant to just do an across-the-board announcement for fear that I’ll lose clients. What’s the best approach to increasing my fees?—Ready for a Raise
RFAR: Yes, “raising your freelance rates“ is a common rallying cry, and I believe it’s a reaction (and occasionally an overreaction) to all of the lowball clients and content mills out there. As far as how to increase your profitability through higher fees, here are a few approaches to consider when giving yourself a raise: [Read more…]
On Tuesday, June 8, at 7 p.m. Eastern, I’ll be participating in an Editorial Freelancers Association teleconference about using popular social media platforms (blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) to increase your professional visibility as freelancers and make connections with clients and colleagues. My co-guest will be social media strategist Greg Pincus of TheHappyAccident.net, so I’m sure I’ll gain insights to share here in the coming weeks.
It’s an EFA members-only teleconference…but if you’re an editorial freelancer, this is an organization that you should consider joining. If you’ve found out about Dr. Freelance through EFA, please feel free to ask any questions you’d like about social media or other strategies for freelancers through the “Ask the Doc” link in the sidebar.