A reader asks…Dr. Freelance: Yesterday I had an extended (almost 2-hour) meeting with a potential new client. The good news is that they have a project for me, assuming the estimate is acceptable, and they said there would be more in the future. The bad news is that the project is small enough that I can’t possibly recoup the costs for my time, because it would basically double the estimate. I know you believe you should charge for meetings, but how do I do that in this circumstance? I don’t want to price myself out of a freelance job!—Time Is Money (i.e., you can call me “Tim”) [Read more…]
A 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.”
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?
Dr. Freelance: I have a prospective freelance client — an author who needs his book edited — and he appears to have the money and desire to hire me. He keeps pressing me for a price estimate, but I haven’t seen the manuscript, just one sample chapter that I edited. I’m concerned about extrapolating, because it’s a long book and I’m not sure of the overall quality. What’s my next step?—Hurry Up and Wait [Read more…]
As you may have seen on social media, I’m experimenting with BookGrabbr. (UPDATE: The promotion is over as of March 8, 2016.) It’s a relatively new book marketing tool that provides readers a free preview of a book in exchange for sharing the link. (I’ve uploaded the first 7 chapters of The Science, Art and Voodoo of Freelance Pricing and Getting Paid.) Before I get into my initial take on the tool, though, I want to discuss why I’m giving it a try. In short, it’s because I believe experimenting is a critical component of freelance success. [Read more…]
Dr. Freelance: I’ve been freelance writing for several large, successful companies. I have established rates with them that are manageable for their budgets, but definitely high on the pay scale. Now I’ve been contacted by a mid-sized company in the same industry; they’ve very interested and asked for my rates. My question is: What pay/rate scale do you find is most palatable for mid-sized companies? They would be looking for me to create information manuals, website content, and other consumer-facing collateral.—Dot
Dot, I’d never assume that the pay is lower just because a company is smaller! If it’s a successful organization, size doesn’t matter: They understand the fact that high-quality, professional writing (and the level of service you deliver) is about value, and doesn’t come cheap if they want to compete with their larger peers. [Read more…]