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

“You really should charge for this,” said the tech bro

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So, I’m lined up to do a consultation with this guy from Silicon Valley. He’s very well connected there, so he tells me. This is a pretty typical session for me — a 30-minute discussion of needs and publishing alternatives with an aspiring author. I typically do three of these a week. And they’re free … Continued

8 rules for closing business quickly

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My prospects become clients quickly. They rarely choose a competing editor. This post is about how I do that . . . and what that might mean for you, if you freelance. This is typically what happens when an author is considering hiring me: They hear about me, from my blog or from another author. … Continued

How to negotiate without budging on price

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Once I quote a job, I fiercely resist changing the price. But that doesn’t mean I won’t negotiate. If you ask me for help with idea development, editing, coaching, or ghostwriting, I’ll get you a quote. Same for a corporate writing workshop. Like any other freelancer, my quotes are based on two things: How many … Continued