How to price and bill for writing and editing projects

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After eight years as a freelance writer and editor, I’ve figured out what works and doesn’t work for my business — and for clients. This post includes everything I’ve learned about pricing and billing. One principle drives everything you are about to read: all freelance arrangements should create value for the client and be rewarding … Continued

How to price freelance projects for maximum growth and joy

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I price jobs by the project, not by the hour. That allows me to maximize value and enjoyment both for myself and for the client. And I include some unusual factors in my pricing strategy to maximize my happiness. Why price by the project? If you’re a freelancer, charging by the hour has significant problems: … Continued

Understanding and working with people with talent

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When I was an analyst I would appear on TV news programs from time to time. The production staff would sometimes refer to “the talent” (for example, “Have you miked the talent yet?”). It took a moment for me to understand that I was “the talent.” The thing about the talent is that if you … Continued

Why I reject clients

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Sometimes, if you come to me with a job to do, I say no — even if the money is good. There are two basic reasons for this: bad jobs and bad clients. Bad clients As a freelancer, I’m under no obligation to work with any individual client. I can say “no” just because I … Continued

Lessons from a failure: Ghost writing pitch

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When I pitch myself for a freelance writing or editing job, I almost always win. Why? Because I am selective about the gigs I pursue, have sterling qualifications, and typically come recommended by someone the potential client trusts. But I just lost out on a job — a big one that I really wanted. I … Continued

On retainer: the economics of retainers for editors and other professionals

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I usually charge people by the project. But for some ongoing relationships, I charge a monthly retainer. While this arrangement is good for freelancers, clients need to think carefully about whether it’s appropriate for them. How a retainer arrangement works Here’s the mechanics of a retainer arrangement, or at the least the kind that I’ve … Continued

5 tips on asking someone to be a reference for you

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As a freelancer, I occasionally need people to act as a reference for me. This is not a request I make lightly. Here’s how I maximize the chances of success. 1 Provide three solid references If you want to work with me, I will provide three solid references. Each will get back to you quickly; … Continued

Freelancers: here’s how to ask to be paid

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If you’re a freelancer, you need to get paid. I’m not talking about how you set up your business or what you actually do. What do you do when it’s time to ask to get paid? Here’s a secret freelancers won’t tell you: some of them are embarrassed to ask for money. I know a … Continued