3 ideas beyond the freelance echo chamber

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I enjoy freelancing blogs as much as anyone—a few of my regular haunts can be found in the blogroll. But while it’s comfortable and occasionally comforting to read, as Orwell’s Winston Smith would have it, “the things we already know,” it’s three items well outside the freelance echo chamber that I present for consideration today. [Read more…]

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Twitter ghostwriting rates

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Dear Dr. Freelance, I am a rookie soon-to-be freelancer based in Europe who’s wondering how much to charge for Twitter ghostwriting.

The background: I am currently finishing a webdesign/copywriting project for a small software startup. Since they are both colleagues of mine and they were offering me the chance to collaborate on future projects, I gave them a 30% discount on an already very conservative estimate. Still, it was quite a lot of money for them. [Read more…]

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Book Review: The Worthy Writer’s Guide

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Freelancers come pre-installed with a certain measure of talent. But the reality is, as the legendary 1980 Olympic hockey coach Herb Brooks put it in Miracle: “You think you can win on talent alone? You don’t have enough talent to win on talent alone.”

Unlike a hockey player, you don’t have to suffer through gut-busting conditioning drills—but you do have to channel your discipline and motivation in order to bring your talent to bear. If you’re a new freelancer who wants to succeed, or a veteran who needs to deliver some extra oomph, there’s work involved. [Read more…]

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The real minimum wage

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I was talking with a longtime freelance associate yesterday about two pricing issues she’s having. First, she’s trying to find a way to charge a premium for her services when the client wants to buy extensive rights vs. one-time, one-purpose rights. Second, she’s got a potential ghostwriting job and is attempting to calculate an appropriate rate that won’t price her out of the market. [Read more…]

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Who’s your longest-term freelance client?

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My friends Lori Widmer of Words on the Page and Anne Wayman of About Freelance Writing hosted a nifty little Twitter confab yesterday, #writingsquared. During the session, I asked the crowd, “Who’s your longest-term freelance client, and how did you acquire them?” One person cited a 19-year relationship that came after a speaking engagement — pretty impressive. My record for loyalty goes back to my second year in business (2000), one of the very first cold calls that I made based on Peter Bowerman’s Well-Fed Writer cold-calling technique. [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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