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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Freelance invoicing beyond the usual

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A freelance writing friend of mine, call her Sarah, asked for some input on a freelance invoicing situation — one which we all encounter at one point or another. I believe her solution was a good one, and worth sharing here.

Sarah had been hired with a contracted hourly amount for “writing services as needed.” Subsequently, she was asked to provide web content for a new site, as well as to offer consultation on what the web developers were doing. She wasn’t, however, asked to provide an estimate for the new tasks, and wasn’t 100 percent clear on the scope. She continued plugging away on an hourly basis, as originally agreed upon. [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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5 things you need to know about writing for freelance writing companies

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You see the ads all the time: “Article writer wanted…” or “Blogger Wanted” or “Ghostwriter Needed.” These often lead to freelance job boards, classifieds and bidding sites that resell your writing to clients. Many are content mills of one sort or another that pay, if you’re lucky, $2 or $3 per 500 word articles when you can collect it.

[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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