18 years of freelancing, 18 business lessons

business lessons on the 18th birthday of freelancingI used to know the exact date I walked out of the corporate world with The Box and started my freelance business. Today, I only remember that it was in August 1999. Yep, as of this birthday my business is old enough to vote, buy a lottery ticket, join the army, or drink in Canada and much of Europe. Here, in no particular order, are 18 business lessons from 18 years in business: [Read more…]

How to get freelance clients to minimize revisions

freelance client revisionsAs freelance writers, editors, and designers, we’re well aware of how aggravating it is to deal with incremental client changes, and the file that inevitably gets named FINAL-FINAL-FINAL_version27.doc. (I’ve also discussed in the past that our own inclination to make things perfect is a form of self-inflicted scope creep.)

Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t stand to see a goof glaring back at me from a printed page that’s been released into the wild, or even an online document that will need to be repaired and re-uploaded. Mistakes need to be fixed. [Read more…]

Brochure writing and playing nice

I secured a brochure writing project for a new client this week, a lead brought to me through one of my graphic designer partners. She asked for a quick ballpark range on what it would cost, so I shot toward the conservative end of things, based on my long-standing belief in the benefits of high estimates. I also asked for a deposit, as I always do with new clients.

The client, let’s call him Bill, signed off on it, but when we had our initial (and only) conversation about the content, he emphasized that he didn’t think the project would really take too long. I assured him that the estimate was just that, and that I would invoice him accordingly. I received his deposit check promptly. [Read more…]