How many times should I follow up with a potential client?

Like this post? Please share it!

Dr. Freelance, I know it’s a fine line between being persistent and being annoying. If I’ve got a warm lead for a potential client or a new freelance gig, how many times is appropriate for following up?—Getting Warmer

Getting Warmer, As with so many aspects of freelancing, the follow up with a potential client is a matter of understanding the prospect’s style as well as her business needs. No one enjoys a hard sell, and I think it’s particularly ill-suited to something like creative services. If you come across as at all desperate, the Universal Law of Need (i.e., the more you need something, the less likely you will get it) comes into play. [Read more…]

Like this post? Please share it!

Why working on commission is best left to salespeople

Like this post? Please share it!

Dr. Freelance, I’ve recently experienced a rash of potential clients suggesting I should be working on commission. (I do a lot of PR work, so they want to pay me based on how much press I get them, for example.) I’m not sure if I’m giving out some sort of weird vibe or if this is just a temporary thing, but I know for sure that working for free is no way to pay the bills. Any suggestions on how to handle these situations?—The Commissioner

Commissioner, I think you’re correct calling it a “rash”—it gives me hives just hearing about it. My guess is that these people aren’t making much money right now, and so they’re trying to figure out ways of doing things on a shoestring. Your shoestring. [Read more…]

Like this post? Please share it!

How to cure the new-client jitters

Like this post? Please share it!

Dr. Freelance, I’m relatively new to freelancing–I’ve been at it just over a year. I love it once I have an assignment, but I still sort of freak out in a first client meeting. I’m confident in my abilities as a writer and editor, but I’m not sure I’m coming across as professionally as I should. (Actually, I’m sure I’m not.) What can I do to get rid of the new-client jitters?–Sweaty Palms Springs

SPS, I think we all like the concept of having a new client meeting. We’re daydreaming about the interesting projects, future referrals, and, of course, the dollar signs…but sometimes, we load it up psychologically so that we’re too focused on “not blowing it.” (Especially in a lousy economy or when you’re just starting out.) [Read more…]

Like this post? Please share it!