How to use pricing to avoid red-flag clients

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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…]

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Free ebook: The Smooth-Sailing Freelancer

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The Smooth-Sailing FreelancerI’m pleased to announce the launch of the newest Dr. Freelance Guide: The Smooth-Sailing Freelancer—How To Find, Sell, and Retain More Freelance Business. For a limited time, I’m offering it as a free ebook…simply go to this page to download your copy. (It’s a 40-page pdf, no e-reader required. There’s also a Kindle version, if you prefer.)

Rest assured, you don’t have to know a bow from a stern or port from starboard to understand the strategies inside. [Read more…]

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4 rules of face to face meetings for a freelancer

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face to face freelanceI 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…]

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The wrong way to get freelance jobs

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There are countless strategies and places to find freelance jobs, but this week, I received a note that represents a classic example of the wrong way to go about it: soliciting work from other freelancers with whom you have 1) no relationship or 2) no understanding of their businesses. Exhibit A is a pitch I received from out of the blue on LinkedIn: [Read more…]

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4 basic questions a freelancer always needs to answer

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Over the course of a prospective client meeting, there might be a dozen random questions a freelancer might need to be prepared to answer — but there are basic ones that you should be able to handle seamlessly even on your worst day.

This post was sparked by a few serendipitous items over the past week: Lori Widmer’s thoughts in “6 Ways to Get More from Your Marketing,” Jared Tendler’s upcoming Mental Game of Poker 2 (which I helped edit and found to be highly applicable for a freelancer), and the client meeting I mentioned in my Tuesday post, “The thicker the folder, the thicker the applicant.” [Read more…]

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Writing for exposure

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Dear Dr. Freelance: I was asked to write an article for a popular website that puts out a digital magazine periodically. The stories in it get advertised all over several popular websites. I’m something of an expert in my field and a freelance writer. The editor tells me it will be great exposure, but has made no mention of payment. I get the feeling she is treating it like free PR for me and that if she chooses to use my submission, I should be grateful. I don’t have a lot of writing (for bigger sites or magazines) under my belt. Should I do it for the exposure and experience, or turn it down if there is no payment? — Underexposed [Read more…]

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