Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saying NO to non-paying jobs
This post stems from the fact that a lot of freelance writers take up additional client requested jobs because
a) they feel that in refusing to take up the job, the client will go elsewhere.
b) they don't know how to say no.
c) they feel that it can't hurt 'this once'; not realizing that it's never just once.
If you do take on an additional request, be it to market a blog or follow up on a sales letter you've sent, the message you send out to your client is that you are willing to be their dogsbody! You will not come across as a professional writer, but as an amateur who is willing to play to enter the game. And while you may indeed be starting out in your freelance career; advertising it via this manner is not a way to land better and higher paying jobs. The client who feels they can have you for little or nothing, is going to give you a lot of work; and this in turn will not free up your time to look for the real paying jobs.
So while it's okay to take on extra work- in fact, in some cases, I'd even encourage it; just remember that it's your time and you need to get paid for it. When pitching for new business or placing a bid, if there's extra work involved, then cost it as you would any writing job- based on an hourly rate or a per-piece rate; whatever method you're comfortable with. And even if the job proposal states that marketing the blog you've written is part of the deal, then add on a fee and make sure you mention it on a separate line. Extra jobs like marketing or follow-up sales calls can be in fact, more time consuming than you've imagined (think: clients are not in or don't respond and you need to call them more than once; or remember how long it takes you to market your own services, now double that because that's what the client will expect).
While you may indeed lose some clients when you refuse to do their extra work at no cost, in the lost run, clients who pay for what you are worth are the clients that you really want to keep.