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Archive for the ‘freelance’ Category

Make Sure You Get Paid

In freelance, freelance copywriter, getting hired on September 3, 2012 at 2:48 am


For a long time, I used to get a project from a new client, give them my quote, work on the project and then wait for payment. Sometimes I would request a retainer fee, which was 50% of the full payment, and/or have the client sign a written quote before I started. Unfortunately, I was pretty slack about that and trusted clients (even those I had no connection to) to pay me for my time.

I learned the hard way, why people need to do things like require a retainer fee to protect themselves from getting jipped. On Tuesday, May 8th, I received a call from Carolina Puig from CPL Graphic Design Solutions requesting that I do a proofreading project. She needed the project to be proofread and revised by that Thursday. I agreed, quoted her and got to work. On May 10th, I sent her the revised document via email and we discussed parts of it on the phone.

On Friday, May 11th, I received the following email from the client at 4:39PM:

“STOP the project!!!!!! please. Client want to do this by themselves!

PLease let me know what I have to do now.
Thank you so much.”

Ummm…really? Because I already finished it for them yesterday so I’m not sure what they are going to “do.”
I wrote back and told her that she can either pay me via check or paypal – whichever was best for her. She asked for a formal invoice and I sent one. Then…I never heard back.

I followed up on May 29th with the following email:
“Just wanted to confirm you received the invoice I sent a couple of weeks ago.
Thank you!”

No response. I sent another on June 3rd:
“Just wanted to follow up because I haven’t heard back from you. Please confirm receipt of my invoice.
Thank you.”

On June 10th:
“Just following up. Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns about my invoice.
Thank you.”

On July 2nd:
“I have not heard back from you regarding payment for the proofreading project that I worked on back in early May. Could you please let me know when I can expect payment?
Thank you.”

And finally on July 9th:

“I have tried and tried to contact you and it’s become evident that you have no intention to pay me for my time.

I just thought it would be fair of me to give you the heads up and let you know I will be writing a blog on my experience working with CPL Graphic Design to forewarn other freelancers or industry professionals of your lack of professionalism and respect of others time.
Thanks.”

It’s not even about the money because the amount I charged was nominal – which actually makes it worse to me. Its not like its a large sum of money that the client didn’t have. There was just a total lack of respect for my time. I feel I was taken advantage of and manipulated into working for free. It’s not all her fault. I allowed this to happen by not taking the appropriate measures. I may not have gained any cash from this job, but I did learn a valuable lesson.
Don’t leave it up to the good will of your clients to pay you. Protect yourself and require a signed contract and/or retainer fee.

Making it as a Freelancer

In freelance, freelance copywriter, full-time copywriter, how to be productive, Success as a freelancer on September 26, 2010 at 9:20 pm

 

CC by David Warlick

 

I freelanced for about 5 months between jobs. Man, were those 5 months great. I spent a few days in New York with my boyfriend (who lived there at the time) and we visited museums, Central Park, went to the movies and dined out. All without the fear of losing my job. I could work from anywhere. At whatever time. Plus, I had the money to afford it. I did all of the work that I promised clients and finished it in a timely manner. Still, I did not manage my time wisely or promote myself, and my number of projects dwindled until I realized I needed the stability of a 9 to 5 to pay my bills. A full-time job is not something I wanted to need.

Advantage of Freelancing:
Set your own schedule to fit your lifestyle.
You can enjoy the flexibility of spending time with your children, balancing parenting or walking your dog. Take however long you want for lunch and start as early in the morning as you’d like without fearing that your boss or supervisor will call you out on it. Travel. Go to the beach. Enjoy life.

Disadvantage of Freelancing:
There is no set schedule to help you make sure you get things done. For me, it was hard to ever feel that right then was a good time to sit down and work, rather than watching TV, a movie or going to the beach.

The top reason that freelancers don’t get things done and ultimately can’t make it on such an approach to work, is the fact that they do not have a firm set schedule. Instead, many freelancers may decide to work on their project “right after lunch” or “at some point in the afternoon.” It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have a schedule. Next thing you know, you have waited until the last minute and realize that you actually need more time to finish the project than you anticipated.

The Trick to Successful Freelancing:
Set a schedule. A specific schedule. Instead of deciding that you will work on a project in the morning, tell yourself that you will work on it at 10:00 AM. You can separate your set work times into 3 different times throughout the day; just stick to whatever schedule you make. Be as specific as possible regarding starting time and the length of time for your work session. If you catch yourself saying you’ll work on it later, pause everything, check your schedule and assign a time to work.

Any freelancers out there? What are your biggest challenges and how do you cope?

Full Time Vs. Freelance Copywriting

In freelance, freelance copywriter, full-time copywriter on August 24, 2010 at 4:58 pm

 

CC By Sunfox

 

I’ve worked both as a freelance copywriter and a full-time in-house copywriter. Which one do I prefer? Freelance, hands down. Which one do I need? Full time 😦 Unless I make some serious changes in myself.

Every time someone asks me if I like my job I always tell them that I like “what I do”. Then, I think about my last full-time job that I resigned from to work where I am now (because my boss was a perverted, irrational, power-happy, rich tyrant)…and I change my answer to yes. As far as a job goes, this is a good one. My boss is reasonable (demanding, but reasonable), the environment isn’t hostile and I’m treated fairly well. But it’s still a job. They pay me to be here because it’s not a place I go for fun. They require that I arrive at 9:00AM, leave after 5:00PM and they time me when I go out to lunch. And lunch is, of course, the only time I am to leave within working hours. I hate that. I hate having a boss…even if I have a good one. Because I still have someone setting my schedule and who has the power to fire me if I stray from their rules.

In the brief time that I worked as a freelancer, that was THE life. I worked – but it was on MY terms. No one could fire me – well, technically, a client could, but that never happened. I make sure to get my work done by my promised deadline. No one told me how long I had for lunch. No one had me waking up early in the mornings to be at work at a particular time (which is a BIG one for me). I had the time AND money to travel. I could visit my best friend in New York for a few days because my office was basically anywhere that had a computer with internet access.

BUT…I started to worry that I wouldn’t have enough steady money to pay my rent or my car. Though I always completed any project in a timely manner, I didn’t dedicate the proper time to promoting my work or looking for new business. When deciding between watching a movie, going to the beach and hanging out OR sitting down to work, hanging out normally won. I lacked the discipline necessary to make it work. So, here I am, back in the corporate world until the day that I feel I can realistically juggle my work and personal life while working for myself. Hopefully working in the corporate world long enough will propel my motivation to make freelancing work for me.