What does your ideal freelance client look like? Great (and fast) payer…high-profile (and rewarding) projects…lots of positive feedback…sends plenty of referrals…prompt, responsive, and easy to work with? I agree. Over the course of 18 years of running my own business, though, I’ve found it comes down to this: Do your clients want you to succeed as a freelancer? And do you want them to succeed, too?
Last week, I wrote about the challenges of managing vague creative feedback, and provided a couple of thoughts on how to bring such situations to resolution. The good news? That post was based on writing feedback on a real-life freelance project, and the next step went smoothly. Woohoo!
How did I move the client from uncertainty to approval? Pretty simple, really. But you need a little more backstory than I provided last time. [Read more…]
You’re not going to last long in the creative world if you can’t give and accept criticism gracefully—or at least without sparking conflict. That’s not guaranteed, however, when you’re working with clients outside our field. It can be a struggle for them to convey creative feedback about projects in an actionable fashion, simply because it’s a skill they’ve rarely or never had to use. That results in profoundly unhelpful comments such as “Just let your creative juices flow,” “It’s missing something, but I’m not sure what,” “You’re the (writer/editor/designer),” and the worst offender of all, “I’ll know it when I see it.” [Read more…]
Deadlines and a pile of long-term projects absorbed my energies this week, but there’s always time for a Friday freelance link roundup, eh? Truth be told, not all of these are about freelancing directly—as I always recommend, you should have an eye out for related concepts that can be applied to your business. If you’re a freelance writer and only read freelance writing blogs, or a freelance graphic designer who only reads (you know where I’m going here) blogs about design, you’re missing out! [Read more…]
As 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…]
I know what you’re thinking: “I hate meeting face to face.” And I also know why: Face-to-face meetings take time and energy. You need to get dressed up. They break up your day inconveniently, especially for a freelancer on deadline. You need to drive to the client’s office or agreed-upon offsite venue, and there will be traffic. Maybe you’re shy, or going to an office gives you nasty flashbacks to your corporate-cubicle days.
Last week, however, I was reminded twice why face to face beats a phone call or email conversation pretty much every time. [Read more…]