Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Freelance Commandment #9 - Love What You Do.

It's a simple commandment, but one that guides my career everyday. I wake up with an excitement for what I need to do, have to do and have a hankering to do each day. Well most've gotta have those days where all you want to do is eat pancakes and play 30 rounds of Patty-cake and Candyland with the kids.

The blessed thing about freelance writing is that I have the opportunity to do just that on good days - I may not get 30 rounds in but a solid 3 is definitely possible.

Anyway, loving what you do is different than doing something you do well. I'm good at doing the laundry but does my blood pump at the thought of tackling dirty undies? Uh, no. But it does get going at a new article idea, a new gig lead or a challenging assignment that gets me to approach something from a different angle than I'm use to.

I feel the same way about corporate writing. I thought I'd be bored nutty writing up brochures, press releases and what not. No way could it be just as interesting and exciting as writing articles and blogging. No one was more suprised than me to find that I love meeting with clients and getting them excited about what I can do for them and getting excited about the potential of their project.

That's the key thing about loving what you do. You care enough to continue to find ways to excite yourself.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Still Digging Out, Blizzards and the Freelance Writer...

It is a true winter wonderland over here as FWJM got the full blast of the Blizzard of '08. What should have turned into a supreme opportunity to get work done turned into three days of trying to entertain the children and taking care a sick hubby. Ah well, so much for productivity.

How much do you work on the weekend?

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Monday, March 3, 2008

The 10 Freelance Commandments #10. Make Your Money on the Comeback...

The 10 Freelance Commandments. Everyone has their own set, we'll be exploring mine. Some of these you may have heard before, others I hope you'll be hipped to like that fab new restaurant.

10. Make Your Money on the Comeback.

I recently said this to a client during our first meeting to discuss a project. Normally I don't use language often used in teaching the drug trade, but this client was very cool and caught the joke.

Usually, I charge a consultation fee, however, I let that one slide because I could tell she was a bit tentative and I was confident in my ability to wow her with my ideas for the project. I knew she would be ripe to sign with me and that's what happened.

Sometimes new clients are a little unsure of their need for your services, so you tease them with the first hour consultation. Let them take in your ideas, allow them to enjoy the sensation, dream about what your services can do for them and leave them excited for more. And they'll want to see more.

Depending on the service you offer give them a little luscious sample: like a synopsis of an article with a fantastic lead, or a 100 word blog, a revision of a small section of their Web site. This isn't free work, it's a sample, you know I really don't believe in working for free.

Then, we they want to meet further, want an outline of the project, want to see more - you charge your normal consultation and writing fees. Make your money on the comeback.

When they come to you with another project, you are making your money on the comeback.

When you get a referral from a hooked client, you are making your money on the comeback.

One thing to remember is you don't have to do this with every client. Actually, I recommend you don't. Otherwise you may find yourself in an endless cycle of meetings that don't result in actual paid work. This is just for those interested, but just need that extra little push in the right direction