In praise of saying yes to freelance jobs

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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Do your clients really want you to succeed as a freelancer?

succeed as a freelancerWhat 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?

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Is your freelance client serious? Here’s the test

serious freelance clientDr. 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…]

Is BookGrabbr the answer for self-published book marketing?

bookgrabbr freelance booksAs 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…]

Size doesn’t matter (when it comes to rates)

size doesnt matterDr. 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…]

How to use pricing to avoid red-flag clients

red flag client pricingI recently received a call from a marketing person who was eager for me to provide the content for a few of her clients’ websites. I knew about two minutes into the call that pricing was going to be an issue, when she spoke the classic phrase you’ll hear from many red-flag clients: “We have a small budget…”

I didn’t want to be rude and cut her short, because that’s not the reputation I want to have in the business community. Anyone who calls me for writing or editing services needs to be treated with dignity and respect. I did, however, need to find a polite way to let her understand that I wasn’t going to be interested in having her as a client. [Read more…]