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To Freelance Clients Everywhere

To Freelance Clients Everywhere

This is an open letter to clients everywhere.

I am a freelancer. What does that mean? That means that I do not have a regular, steady income. It means that I have to budget carefully because my next contract may come next week or it may come next month. In the meantime, I have to pay bills and put food on the table. I have to pay estimated quarterly taxes and pay additional taxes because I am self-employed. In other words, that amount of your tax bill that your employer covers, I have to cover that as well. In addition, I have to pay for advertising to attract your business. I have to pay for incentives to keep your business. I have to pay service fees to process your business. Did you know that if I am lucky, I’ll only have to pay 3% of that invoice that I charged you for processing and service fees. In other cases, I have had to pay up to 40%. In the end, cash in pocket is very little. Most of what I earn goes right back into attracting new business and buying supplies needed to conduct business.

There are benefits that make freelancing worth the trouble. I can choose my clients. I can choose my workload. My schedule is flexible and I can be my own boss. But the bottom line is that it is not easy. I work way more than 40 hours a week. That fee that I charge is well earned and many times, I give you a break. You may not know it, but if I quote you four hours to complete a job and it takes six, I only charge you for four hours. When you call on the phone, you get a real person. When you want something customized, I do it. If you send me a job close to closing hours and you need it the next day, I stay up to get it finished for you on time. I do not charge you more for after-hours work. If you need for me to drive 45 miles to meet you for a job, I drive there. Yes, I could take that mileage off on taxes, but I could easily add that fee to your bill. I don’t. My goal is to make you happy. If you aren’t happy, I make it right.

But after I do the work and you refuse to pay, you are hurting me financially. Your payment may be my grocery money for the week. Your payment may be the money I was counting on to pay a bill.  This is how I earn my living, how all freelancers earn a living. We are honest with you up front. We do good work for you. We are not big corporations who can more easily absorb the losses. We are individuals who accept you as a client and do our best to make you happy and meet your needs. We are flexible for you. We go the extra mile for you. Please be responsible and pay us on time. 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Writing tips

 

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(786) 607-0603…or how to ruin every chance you had of ever doing business with me

Yesterday afternoon I received a call stating that this company was verifying my information that I had recently posted on an online directory. Although the woman on the phone barely spoke English, I tried to go through the routine…then the sales pitch began. I was not interested and ended the call. If it had ended there, everything would have been fine.

But it didn’t.

The woman at this number proceeded to call my phone number 22 more times during the next 5 hours. The calls have already continued today. Some calls were less than a minute apart.

So, this can serve as a warning for anyone who gets a call from this number…DO NOT PICK UP THE PHONE.

And in case the company who owns this number happens to see this, here are a few tips on how to ruin any possible chance of ever doing business with me.

1. Hire a telemarketer who does not speak the same language as the customer.

2. Make sure the telemarketer does not clearly identify your company name.

3. Make sure that the telemarketer mispronounces the customers name.

4. Drag on your sales pitch for 20 minutes (How many times can you say the same thing?)

5. Call back every couple of minutes over a period of hours instead of sending the email containing the information like the customer requested.

The customer is no longer requesting. You have ruined your opportunity. Remove my name from your list and do not contact me again. 

If you think I’m the only one with a bad experience with this company, think again. Here are some links just in case you are still considering them.

800 Notes

Mr Number

 
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Posted by on August 6, 2014 in Writing tips

 

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Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

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The novel is sold separately. Print  Kindle

 

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Writing tips

 

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Welcome to Self Publishing 101

Originally posted on Moondust and Madness:

Canada #1

      Self-publishing my life story literally changed my life!

For the past 15 years, I’ve been a freelance reporter for a monthly newspaper. As a journalist, I cover heartbreaking stories all time and get many exclusives. People often voice surprise at how empathetic and easy I am to talk to.  Interviewees even share their deepest secrets; all reporters know this is rare and something you do not minimize. It was obvious I was making a difference in people’s lives. I should have been proud and confident. But I wasn’t!

The problem? I found no joy in anything because my personal life was a mess. For years, I played with the idea of writing my life story; I was adopted, then abused until I became a teenage runaway. To move forward with life, I needed to put the horrors of my past on paper; it was the only…

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Posted by on January 17, 2014 in Writing tips

 
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New agent seeking clients

Passing this along to all of my peeps. 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Writing tips

 

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To develop a daily writing practice think “slow”

Originally posted on onewildword:

After a year of focusing on my business and taking care of various family members, I’m working on re-developing a daily writing habit. It feels a bit like learning a new job. I notice resistance to the actual act of sitting my bum in my chair and writing. I also notice I’ve developed the attention span of a gnat.

In my life and business, I’m an incredible multitasker. I won’t go into the details in case you’ve read them before (see my post “How to reclaim your life and energy for your art”). But I’ve been finding that multitasking can actually make you less productive—especially if you’re an artist or a writer.

As Heather Sellers states in her book, Chapter after Chapter, writing is slow work. She relates it to the Slow Food Movement that was born to counter fast food chains taking over the world. Slow food…

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Posted by on January 14, 2014 in Writing tips

 

Playing the Name Game

Originally posted on Inkwell Writing:

Finding the perfect name for your characters is a major headache for any budding fiction writer. There can be no question that names are important – entire plotlines can hang on the use of a name. 

It could be said that in modern stories you can find names easily enough from your friends and family, but I have found that this is a well which runs dry very quickly. So here is a brief selection of some of the ways I have used to find names for my characters, along with a few pros and cons for each. 

Random Name Generators

These programs are surprisingly common, and can be a lot of fun to use if you have no idea of the type of character you are creating or the culture they come from. I have been known to go backwards when it comes to creating worlds – starting with…

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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Writing tips

 
 
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