How a freelancer can answer the 4 key client questions

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In “4 basic questions a freelancer always needs to answer,” I talked about the importance of preparation in advance of a client meeting. Since every meeting, client, and freelance job is different — and your business is also unique — these aren’t “teacher’s guide” answers, but rather pointers toward formulating your own individual answers to key client questions.

A major caveat here: Your goal in a first client meeting is not to tell all about yourself and your freelance writing, design, or other services. It’s about figuring out how to help the client and making the sale, right? Ultimately, that’s about *asking* questions, which I’ll address in a future post. [Read more…]

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4 basic questions a freelancer always needs to answer

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Over the course of a prospective client meeting, there might be a dozen random questions a freelancer might need to be prepared to answer — but there are basic ones that you should be able to handle seamlessly even on your worst day.

This post was sparked by a few serendipitous items over the past week: Lori Widmer’s thoughts in “6 Ways to Get More from Your Marketing,” Jared Tendler’s upcoming Mental Game of Poker 2 (which I helped edit and found to be highly applicable for a freelancer), and the client meeting I mentioned in my Tuesday post, “The thicker the folder, the thicker the applicant.” [Read more…]

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The thicker the folder, the thicker the applicant

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As I prepare for an in-person new client meeting this morning, I’m reminded of an old college admissions officer’s saying: “The thicker the folder, the thicker the applicant.”

It’s always tempting to bombard a prospective client (or employer, or college, or girlfriend/boyfriend, etc., etc.) with a mega-compilation of just how wonderful and accomplished you are. But if you’ve ever sat in the recipient’s chair — as a stack of unprioritized samples lands with a thud — you’ll know why that tactic doesn’t work. [Read more…]

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A client perspective on freelance bidding sites

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A friend, Betty, was looking for a freelance graphic designer to help her with the second generation of her small business website; unfortunately, the two design contacts I gave her weren’t able to help out. Before asking me for additional recommendations, Betty sought out one of the most popular internet freelance bidding sites. The winning bidder offered to create a logo for $100. [Read more…]

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Getting started as a ghostwriter

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From deep in the comments on a post about “Freelance ghostwriting rates”Dear Dr. Freelance: I am a long-time (30 year) writer/editor working in the non-profit field, and currently between jobs. I have done interviews for feature pieces as well as for fundraising videos; edited all manner of manuscripts and proposals; successfully written over other people’s signatures in their voices; and feel comfortable with all of the above, but have never been officially hired as a ghostwriter.  [Read more…]

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Job rejection fail

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You don’t have to be a freelancer for very long before swallowing the bitter pill of fail: freelance job rejection. Frankly, I’m good with it: Don’t want me in your club, I don’t want to be a member.

In that vein, I got a good laugh a few weeks ago. A representative of a custom publishing company—which had declined me as a freelancer sometime around the holidays—inadvertently copied me on an email…which said some unflattering things about me! [Read more…]

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