In praise of saying yes to freelance jobs

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saying yes to freelance jobsA Google search of “saying no to freelance jobs” currently coughs up 9.2 million hits, while “saying yes to freelance jobs” clocks in at half that—and a quick look shows that most of the latter results are really about saying no. I don’t disagree that it’s important to turn down work that waves a red flag in your face. At the same time, that’s not the philosophy I take into the business arena. As Tom Robbins noted in Still Life with Woodpecker, “There are only two mantras…yum and yuk. Mine is yum.”
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Pricing freelance jobs for a former employer

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Dr. Freelance, I just started a new job, but my former employer has asked me for pricing on some freelance jobs on the side to help them with a large proposal they’re working on. I’ve determined that a set hourly rate will work better than a lump sum fee, due to fuzziness on the scope and my previous experience with this group. I’ve always been a salaried employee and am clueless how much to charge! I can do a simple calculation on what my “hourly rate” is based on my current salary, but they will obviously 1099 me, so I’ll have to pay taxes, etc. What’s your advice?—Boomerang Baby [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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Burning bridges? No more freelance jobs for you

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Dr. Freelance: Rather than a question, I just wanted to share an editor’s perspective on burning bridges, based on a recent experience. I had hired an assistant editor who quit after less than two months. A month later, she contacted me because she hated her new job and was looking for some freelance jobs.  You can guess my answer. Freelancers, do not burn bridges with employers if you want them to give you freelance work in the future!—Once Burned, Permanently Shy

Dear OBPS: Thanks for sharing that cautionary tale. I’ve quit more than my fair share of jobs, but my dad instilled a principle that has always stuck with me: “Never have an acrimonious departure” — and it’s even more important to the freelancer or would-be freelancer. [Read more…]

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Cold calling tips for freelancers

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Cold calling is surely one of the most polarizing topics in the freelance-o-sphere. Those who love it can be downright fanatical about its strength as a tool for finding new clients and freelance jobs. Those who hate it are equally passionate about it making us no better than telemarketers.

Count me among the former. If business is slow, I can’t think of a better way of uncovering a company that might be in need of freelance writing, editing, graphic design or web services. With that in mind, I wanted to offer some cold calling tips for freelancers: [Read more…]

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