Can this client relationship be saved?

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Dr. Freelance: I recently sent a client an email letting him know that a certain task was going to take time beyond the agreed-upon scope and therefore cost more, and asking whether he wanted to proceed. In response, he “reviewed” my services (i.e., enumerated all of the ways that I was falling short, basically questioning my fees. He softened the blow a bit by listing what he considered my “most significant contributions,” but it was still an unexpected blow. Anyway, I responded back with a list of my own honest thoughts about the relationship. I’ve been thinking about dumping him as a client anyway (he’s a chronic slow-payer) so I don’t really care what happens, but would like your perspective on how best to handle this type of thing. — Blindsided

Dear Blindsided: Based on that type of email “review,” not to mention the pay and myriad other underlying issues, I can understand why he got under your skin. It sounds like he is far underestimating how much work you’ve been putting into his projects. I’ve dealt with that type of client relationship many times before — heck, it was part of the disaster I shared the other day on my Jake’s Take blog. [Read more…]

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Raising rates for a friend of a client

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Dr. Freelance: I have been working with a private partner/funder on a writing and research project for the past year in which I accepted a low rate in exchange for the lion’s share of credit and 50% of royalties. He has now referred me to a friend of his, and I’m realizing I should probably charge about 60% more. (That’s how deeply I discounted myself.) With that said, what’s your thought on raising rates that much for a friend of a current client? It’s not a project that I’m especially passionate about, nor do I expect there to even be a book, so I hesitate to use royalties as part of my negotiation. More generally, is $40 a reasonable rate for someone who is relatively new to the game? — Ready4Raise [Read more…]

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Referrals aren’t a given

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Dear Dr. Freelance: I’m an editor rather than a freelancer, but I’m hoping you can provide some guidance on the protocol for referrals. A freelance writer I’ve used is asking for recommendations, but I’d frankly recommend people NOT USE her. In addition to being a poor writer, she’s awful to work with.—Holding My Tongue

Dear HMT: Back in my staff editorial days, one of my pet peeves was when a new writer turned out to be far less talented than his or her clips would indicate. There’s a certain subsector of the writing community that seems to survive on the good fortune of having been edited well and then perpetually parlaying that into new gigs. [Read more…]

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Freelance Follies: How much is it going to cost?

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Just realized that I’d never posted Episode #3 of Freelance Follies to this site, only to YouTube. So, enjoy “How much is it going to cost?”, in which our freelance writer protagonist encounters a website content client who’s just a wee bit focused on the bottom line.

COMING SOON! New episode coming later today or early tomorrow, as I patiently wait for Xtranormal to render the piece into HD.

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Measuring and promoting freelance client results

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Dear Dr. Freelance: When I’ve had my freelance resume critiqued, the advice I got was that I needed more quantifiable numbers and freelance client results to show the impact of my work. But when I send a press release or brochure copy to a client, I’m often not privy to what happens next, and I’m not sure they’d want to share sales figures with me, especially if they knew I’d be broadcasting it on my resume. Any advice?—Susan Johnston

Dear SJ: You’ve touched on a critical challenge in freelance business practices. Many clients don’t measure their results; some because they don’t think it’s worth the effort, others because they’re fearful of discovering a 0% return on investment (ROI). [Read more…]

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