I’ve heard it said that half of success is knowing when to say ‘no.’
Learning to say ‘no’ to writing clients is something any successful writer ultimately must learn.
The time to say ‘no’ falls into two general categories. The first is when you realize that you don’t even want to start with a particular writing client. The second happens when you need to refuse the request of an existing client.
Here are four times you must say ‘no’:
When they won’t come even close to your price. You understand what kind of writing the potential client wants and you’ve set your rate and you’ve stated it in your offer or in your negotiations. The potential client insists you write for way less than that. Thank them and move on to a client who will pay you what you’re worth.
When they demand you be available at all hours. You’re a freelance wruter and part of that means you get to control your own time. A client who demands you’re available seven days a week or at their beck and call via instant messaging is asking too much. One way to deal with this is to simply tell them you’ll charge them a fee every time they contact you on weekends or before or after normal working hours. Make the fee stiff, like $50 and you’ll soon break them of the obsessive need to run your life – or fire them and find more reasonable clients – they are out there. Continue reading
Someone asked me recently if I considered myself a good writer. I know what he meant — he wondered if I thought myself talented enough to label my work “good.” . Moot question in my view. That’s not what I consider as the only measure of a good writer.
If I’m being paid by clients and hired again, then they’ve told me I’m good. That’s the only measure that matters to a small business owner — client perception and valuing of the services rendered.
Here are ways you can achieve that label:
Good writers ask good questions. I could ask you a million questions, none of which pertain to you or your project. Or I could ask you a handful of questions that help me deliver a project you describe in a voice that mirrors yours.
The word, free, in freelance refers to your ability to pick and choose the clients you’ll work for and the schedule you’ll work – not that you’ll work for free or that you won’t’ need to invest in your freelance writing business.
At a minimum, you’ll need a decent computer to do your writing on, the associated software, a decent internet connection, a web site and an email address.
The computer is both where you’ll do your writing, probably with Microsoft Word™ and the way you connect with the world with your internet connection, doing everything from research to finding writing clients and/or assignments.
Although it’s tempting and sometimes even necessary to spend as little as possible, you also need to be willing to spend some money so you can make more money. That’s what investing in your writing business actually means.
For example, I once moved to a community and they had a free wireless connection available to everyone. Sounds great, but it wasn’t. The first day I connected I quickly realized I would not be able to access the net with any speed at all. Later that same day my connection went down. When I asked the manager what was up, he explained that the server providing the free connection was in someone’s house and that it probably needed rebooting. Since they weren’t home, I’d just have to wait. As you can imagine I was on the phone to a real internet provider within minutes. I knew I’d lose far more money sticking with the free connection than a real connection would cost me.
So how do you know what’s a good investment in your writing business? Ask yourself these questions:
Will it help me save money? We are given opportunities to save money for our business. For example, it might make sense to buy three reams of printer paper for the price of two, or to take advantage of a special on domain names if the one you want is available. A webinar like our 8 Tax-Savings Strategies will make sense for most freelancers. Taking advantage of early registration makes even better sense
A writer was lamenting her inability to score new clients. She’d marketed, she said, but couldn’t seem to get any client to the table. What was she doing wrong?
That’s a loaded question. There are so many factors that go into why a client does or does not hire you that it could be anything. I’d guess her marketing was a little lackluster – did she follow up, for instance, or did she send out one note and not send any others? Did she target the right clients with the right message? Are the clients she’s reaching out to clients who will buy? Can they afford her?
See? There are too many factors to say for certain why that client isn’t buying. It could be the writer isn’t doing anything wrong. Or maybe she’s not reaching them in the right way.
To swing the odds in her favor a little, I suggested the following: