Friday, December 06, 2013

Book Spotlight: Make Freelancing REALLY Pay

Since I'm in the throws of building my freelance career alongside being a full-time mom, I'm always on the lookout for resources to help me be a better freelance writer. When I was approached to check out Make Freelancing REALLY Pay by Daisy McCarty, I was immediately intrigued.  Today I have a guest post from the author to share.

There's also a great giveaway at the end of the post, so read on for your chance to win!

Guest Post: Daisy McCarty

What Is Feedback Worth to Freelance Writers?
Getting feedback as a writer can be uncomfortable. But it’s also one of the best ways to improve your skills so you can actually get paid for what you do. Of course, not all ways of seeking feedback are equally effective. Here are some pitfalls to avoid and what to do instead:

If You Can’t Say Something Nice…
Some freelancers visit local writers’ group in the hopes that it will improve their writing skills. Sadly, offering any type of constructive criticism in such settings is often viewed as inappropriate. While a supportive and encouraging environment is nice, it isn’t going to help you increase the value of your writing services or boost your income. That’s why online forums and groups (such as those on LinkedIn) are often more helpful for freelancers. People can sometimes be unkind online, but a virtual discussion group may also offer other professional writers the chance to be frank about areas of your writing that need improvement. This feedback will help toughen your hide for encounters with clients, where you really need to be able to keep your cool.

The “Work for Free” Trap
In one of the more controversial chapters in my book, Make Freelancing REALLY Pay, I advise freelance writers to avoid working for free. Even if it’s for a good cause or to get “exposure”, the practice of giving away your services for nothing (agreeing that your writing has no monetary value) is very damaging. Once you’ve established that pattern, it’s tough to start charging profitable rates for your writing. Why do I bring this up? I have seen other freelancers advise new writers to write for magazines for free so they can get feedback from editors about their work. I completely agree that having a professional editor go over your work and offer suggestions for improvement is valuable. But I think it’s so valuable that you should actually hire your own editor as a writing coach. When you pay an editor, their focus is on making you a better writer to meet your career goals. Then, once you know that your writing meets excellent standards, you can approach clients with more confidence and charge a respectable rate.

Don’t Wait for “Feed-back” – Get “Feed-front”
Listening to feedback you receive from a client after you’ve submitted a first draft is essential for freelance success. However, an even more important step is obtaining as much guidance as possible up front. Soliciting information during a verbal or emailed discussion before you start writing will make you a much more productive writer. As an example: for web content projects, I often include one free revision per page in my bid price. About half the time, my clients ask for no revisions at all – even on large projects. Since I bid on a per project basis, this means I’m making more money per hour of work. Over time, I’ve developed a good idea of the kinds of things clients tend to leave out of their initial project description or bid request. I’ve turned these common “missing elements” into a questionnaire template that clients can fill out at the onset of a project to give me as much direction as possible. As a result, the most common feedback I hear from clients is “Great job!”

Final Note: Wherever you turn for feedback, be sure to run it through your internal “relevance filter” instead of taking it at face value. While a client may be correct about what they need for their project, that doesn’t mean you should apply the same feedback to projects for other clients. Always be willing to listen to new perspectives!

About the Author:
Daisy McCarty is a self-educated writer and co-founder of Freelance Text, a professional services firm that specializes in web content creation. Since transitioning out of a seven year career in Corporate Procurement in 2008, Daisy has been using her negotiating skills to navigate to the higher levels of the online writing industry. Today, she mentors informally at Professional Freelancers Network, and offers formal one-on-one consulting services to freelancers who are ready to increase their income. Her latest book is Make Freelancing REALLY Pay: Communication and Negotiation Strategies That Take You to the Top

You can read Daisy’s blog and get more great freelancing advice at http://makefreelancingpay.com.

Connect & Socialize with Daisy!
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ENTER TO WIN!
Pump Up Your Book and Daisy McCarty are teaming up to give you a chance to win one of (5) $25 Amazon Gift Cards & one of (5) 1 hour sessions of consulting services! Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old 
  • Ten winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one of five $25 Amazon Gift Cards or one of five one hour sessions of consulting services 
  • This giveaway begins December 2 and ends December 27. 
  • Winners will be announced on this page and contacted via email on Monday, December 30, 2013. 
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply. Good luck everyone! 
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9 comments:

Daisy McCarty said...

For the other freelancers reading here, how do you make this important practice part of your business? How are you leveraging feedback to increase your income? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Rose said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda S said...

Thank you for posting this book spotlight! It is very relevant to me right now as I'm just starting out in freelancing and doing as much research on the subject as time will allow. I look forward to reading others' comments about how they request and utilize feedback.

Pamela Drummond said...

Thank you for posting this information as I am a new writer. Not only was it informative but it provided another outlook on the true value of my work. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but it is THROES, not THROWS.

Sue R

Daisy McCarty said...

The beginning is such an exciting time, Amanda! Congratulations on taking the first steps. You'll find that the self-education process never ends, and that it's part of the fun:)

Daisy McCarty said...

Hi, Pamela, I'm glad you're starting out with the right attitude for valuing what you do. That makes it a lot easier to learn to be a tough but fair negotiator with prospective clients:)

Heather said...

Hi Ami! My name is Heather and I just have a quick question about your blog that I was hoping you could answer! If you could email me at Lifesabanquet1(at)gmail(dot)com that would be great!

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