There’s no crying in freelance editing

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freelance editingDr. Freelance: I just received feedback from an author about the draft I edited, and I detected he was a little upset/surprised at the number of changes I made to his book. I suppose I could have warned him, but do you have any other suggestions to help take the sting out of the process?—Seeing Red

Red, at the risk of mixing sports, entertainment, and work metaphors, I’m reminded of Tom Hanks’s character Jimmy Dugan in A League of Our Own: “There’s no crying in baseball!” There’s no crying in freelance editing, or there shouldn’t be. [Read more…]

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New Dr. Freelance book: Help! My Freelancers Are Driving Me Crazy

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Freelancers Driving Me CrazyAs I teased at the end of last week’s post, I’ve published a second paperback book and ebook, titled Help! My Freelancers Are Driving Me Crazy, which provides relationship strategies for the motivation and management of freelance workers. [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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Positive client management

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When turning to other freelancers for advice on the sometimes tricky area of client management, common advice includes limiting yourself to dedicated consultation hours, or learning to say “no” when relations between you and the client have deteriorated. These typical solutions, however, come from a negative perspective—preventing or dealing with problems by putting checks and balances in place.

I prefer to accentuate the positive: The best way to achieve an effective and pleasant working relationship with your client is to focus on your qualities as a freelancer. Superior client relationships come from controlling what you can—being the best freelancer and partner that you can be. [Read more…]

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Brochure writing and playing nice

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I secured a brochure writing project for a new client this week, a lead brought to me through one of my graphic designer partners. She asked for a quick ballpark range on what it would cost, so I shot toward the conservative end of things, based on my long-standing belief in the benefits of high estimates. I also asked for a deposit, as I always do with new clients.

The client, let’s call him Bill, signed off on it, but when we had our initial (and only) conversation about the content, he emphasized that he didn’t think the project would really take too long. I assured him that the estimate was just that, and that I would invoice him accordingly. I received his deposit check promptly. [Read more…]

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There’s no freelance free lunch

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Dear Dr. Freelance: Recently, an entrepreneur starting a new firm contacted me for a freelance website job. I agreed to a price well below my normal rates – with an additional 35% courtesy referral discount because: 1) his funds were limited; 2) I liked him and wanted to help him; 3) becoming a resource for him could potentially yield work for me from his clients and business partners; and 4) it was a referral from a former colleague.

He loved what I did and paid the agreed-upon amount. We got along well and made plans to meet for lunch to discuss future freelance jobs. The week before the lunch appointment, he asked me to “do some retooling” of my original copy. It was a 5-6 hour job at least; this time, I sent an estimate at my standard freelance rate. [Read more…]

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