Word-of-mouth business is the closest thing we’ve got to perpetual motion in the freelance world. Not only are freelance referrals easier to get to sign on the dotted line—because your business has a third-party endorsement—they’re also far more likely to be easy to work with. With rare exceptions, a good client won’t send you a bad client. First, because a good client wants you to succeed. Second, because their own reputation is on the line. (Obligatory note of caution: Be wary of word-of-mouth business from not-so-hot clients, who have a penchant for passing along their equally challenging pals.) [Read more…]
Is it time to diversify your freelance business?
Since you’re already knee-deep in numbers, tax time is an ideal point to take an honest look at your freelance business—not just the top-line income number, but a client-by-client breakdown. The numbers don’t lie, and they could be flashing a warning signal that it’s time to diversify your freelance business. As suggested in last week’s post, client diversity is your best business defense against a freelance client bankruptcy or financial trouble, but there are other reasons to take a dive into the data. [Read more…]
Your Super Friends: Complementary freelance creatives
I was at a networking meeting a week or so ago with some fellow small-business owners, and the topic came up about advice our parents had given us about business. One of the attendees mentioned that his dad told him, “You need a banker, a lawyer, and an accountant.”
While most freelance creatives might need those professionals, I contend a healthy business in our field needs a network of Super Friends: i.e., complementary freelancers who have a different superpower from yours. If you’re a Wonder Woman freelance writer or editor, you need a Superman to handle the graphics side of things, and if you’re a Batman freelance graphic designer, photographer, or illustrator (etc.), you probably will be well served by Robin as your Boy Wonder handling the words. (I’m sure poor, neglected Aquaman fits in there somewhere—so check out the video at the end of the post.) For example, during the revamp/relaunch of this website back in August, I could not possibly have pulled it off without an outstanding creative team to support me. [Read more…]
How do I become a copyeditor, too?
Dear Dr. Freelance: I have been a freelance proofreader for four years, but want to know, how do I become a copyeditor, too? I have taken a copyediting class, and have asked one client to let me copyedit for them. Am I missing anything? What happens if my current client turns me down? — Shaking in My Boots
Dear SIMB: I think you’re on the right track by taking a class and pitching yourself as a copyeditor to existing clients. Good for you. [Read more…]