Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How To Collect Payment

There are many nightmares writers face. We fear we may not come up with enough creative ideas; we fear our writing may not meet client expectations; we fear we may have to take on assignments we don't like, just to pay the bills. But one of the largest fears that any freelancer in any profession faces, is that the client does not pay you for your service.

You invest time and a great deal of effort and you expect to get paid your due. It's only fair. A client would not negotiate with a doctor or a dentist for a lower fee, so why assume that a freelance writer (or any other service provider) is willing to negotiate after the deal is signed on?

When this happens, as it sometimes does; dealing with it can be tough. After all, writers are a creative bunch and handling tough issues such as non-paying clients is usually not on our preferred list of things to do. But deal with it you may have to and there are certain steps you can take to ensure it works to your benefit.

I'll be covering more on 'How To Collect Payments From Clients' in my ezine, Getting It Write, which is due out on Thursday, April 30. It's easy to subscribe to- just fill in your name and email address in the box on the right.

Good luck and good writing!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Twitter, Horses and Scented Soaps

Twitter is a wonderful social networking site. Hundreds have claimed to make money via twitter; and while I've still to make a dime from it, what I have found it to be great for, is building friendships and connecting with like minded individuals.

One such lady is Monique Hodgkinson from Stable Solutions. Monique was offering to give the 1000th visitor to her site some of her wonderful soap creations and I believe I made a comment about missing it by one or two people. Monique at once offered to send me a soap and after I sent her my address, she promptly did so. It was an unexpected gesture and very thoughtful of her to do so. Her excellent customer service has resulted in me acquiring a wonderful scented bathroom. A Stable Solution combines it's owners passion of soap crafting with love of horses- their soaps are produced in a stable!

Visit her site www.aStableSolution.com I guarantee you won't be disappointed in it.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Word Play Of The Day

The roundest knight at King Arthur's round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too much pi.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Writing With Intention

I've written a lot of blog posts and articles about 'intention'. I believe it works and this can be illustrated in a number of examples from leading motivational coach or speaker. Doing anything with intention involves thinking carefully about what you do. It involves an awareness at a deeper level. And finally, it involves visualizing your end goal, whatever it may be.

Writing too can be done with intention. It doesn't matter if it's an article, web content or personal blog. Once you get into the habit of really thinking about the topic you're working on, and visualizing the end result; be it to gather subscribers, have far-flung family read about cousin Ned or just vent your frustrations; writing then becomes a successful means to this end.

So, how do you write with intention?

Begin by focusing on the topic you want to address. It is a piece which requires research? It is a creative piece which you need to put a lot of thought into? Or is it something you are passionate about and which requires little extra knowledge but a lot of enthusiasm?

Writing with intention will require you to adapt to the piece you are working on. A business letter for example requires a different style of writing than say an editorial piece. However, no matter the style you are about to use or the piece you are about to work on, writing with intention will require you to become quiet, become aware of the topic at hand and then write, with feeling, passion and heartfelt intention.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Getting It Write

Thanks for visiting this blog and don't forget to subscribe to the latest issue of GETTING IT WRITE! which is due out today! It comes with a copy of my ebook - Becoming a freelance writer.

Both are free and delivered straight to your inbox. All you need to do is click on the box to the right of this post.

Happy writings!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For Your Eyes Only!

While I mostly write for clients and my work is often of a serious nature; recently I've begun to write a lot of abstract creative work in my notebooks. These have ranged from short stories for my children about fairies and pink dragons, to bits about myself and my past, including friends, events and happenings.

How has this helped me? I suddenly feel much more liberated in my writing than I have in a long while. The stiffness that once encased my work is gradually easing up to give way to the old me- the one who wrote without hesitation and with lots of imagination. When I write in my notebook, I don't have to wonder if the client is going to like my work or if it will inspire someone to reach for their own stars. The notebook is for me and me alone. If I want to use expletives; I can. If I want to write in child-speak; I can do that too. I can leave behind any boundaries and limitations and soar as much or as little as I want to.

I obviously read a lot. Like any writer, I read material that interests me; material that is quite boring, but happens to be the only literature available and when the need arises, research material. But one book that I've recently picked up and that has really managed to touch my soul is Pen On Fire (www.barbarademarcobarrett.com). I'm still in the midst of finishing it, but I find it completely riveting and hard to put down and it has already inspired me to dig out and dust off my old notebooks and pick up the pen once again- this time to jot down thoughts, think up ideas and begin to write creatively once again.

So if like me, you've let clients and projects dictate what and how you've been writing, then take a break- 10 minutes is all that's needed- and let your thoughts emerge. Write down whatever comes to your mind in a freewriting exercise. And let your creative juices begin flowing once again!

Happy writings!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ending A Client-Relationship

Recently, a friend of mine told me this story:

Many years ago, they made friends with a family who shared similar interests with them. Their children played together and they had some really great evenings sipping beer, grilling meats and swapping stories. But recently, when they went over, for the first time ever they were really bored- the conversation was stilted and the jokes, stale. Even the children seem to have moved onto different paths and while they still played together, you could see that it wouldn't be long before they stopped!

My friend was sad and it's true; there is an overwhelming feeling of loss when it comes to saying goodbye to old friends. But at the same time, when a relationship comes to an end, it's in your best interest to move on.

The same theory applies to clients. Sometimes, we have clients who are almost like long-familiar friends. We know the inns and outs of their projects and can almost anticipate their next request. But what happens when you begin to stagnate on a particular project? Perhaps it loses its challenge. Perhaps you are still being paid your '10 years ago' negotiated rates. Perhaps it's time to move on. The number one rule if you do think of moving off a project is this- NEVER ever leave a client in the lurch. Always make alternative arrangements to their satisfaction. Either give ample notice or find a replacement that they are happy with. And then close your eyes, take a deep breath and plunge on to newer and unexplored ventures!

Happy writing!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Top 5 Ways To Generate Leads

Did you know that in order to be a successful freelance writer you need to do just 2 things?

1. Write great copy!
2. Constantly generate leads.

In today's competitive freelancing world, generating leads takes on a whole new meaning. For some, it's a matter of survival. For others, it's a means to a better life.

Learn the top secrets of gaining leads by subscribing to my FREE ezine- Getting It Write today. Simply click on the form to the right of this post and you'll have your news packed ezine dropped into your mailbox along with a FREE ebook on 'Becoming A Freelance Writer'.

Hope to see your name on my list!
Usha

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Good Client, Bad Client

Have you ever found that sometimes you get a client who is so eager to please you, that he plays the 'good client', even if he is not yet your client?

Sounds confusing? It actually is. Let me explain how this usually works. This client is generally not from a large or multinational company whose employees are quite 'time and cost' conscious. This client is usually from either a smaller company or perhaps even has his own outfit. He wants some work done and is quite adept at negotiating better rates for it. He has a lot of questions to ask; in fact you may spend a few hours or even a couple of days answering his questions and getting really excited with your potential new job. And in the end, the 'job' inevitably falls off and you are left picking up the pieces.

In the 90's, I ran my own events and conferencing company in Dubai called Eventus. I had a small budget, large sponsor fees and no clients to start off with. The competition was fierce and being a girl with no backing or support, it was quite difficult to get the company off the ground. I needed clients to pay for my fancy studio office and secretary, and I needed them now! So I pursued a lot of 'good client' leads and got really excited, only to find that end of the month, none of them had materialized. It took me a couple of months to figure out a true good client from pretend good one and it's a lesson I've carried with me through my business career.

A really good client will either know what he wants and when he wants it, or be happy to rely on your professional judgement. Of course there may be delays, and yes he may have questions; but he'll also realize that time is money, for both him and you. He will be happy to discuss fees and come to a quick agreement and sign a contract so work can start. If there are to be delays, he will be honest and upfront about them.

A client who is not going to hire your services on the other hand, with hedge and haw with a lot of apologies and promises to make good. He'll for some reason, not wish to hurt your feelings and take the indirect route to saying no. This is not to say that such a client will never make good on his promises. He may, but just be prepared for a long wait.

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Open Door Policy



When one door closes, another one opens, or so they say. And so far, I’ve found it to be true. I've had three projects fall off this week and two clients are not getting back to me (though for now, I’m assuming the projects are on hold). This doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it makes you feel a bit unsure.

My advice? Keep plugging away. For every rejection and every project that drops off, there will be another that will take its place. Maybe not today, but definitely in the long run.

As for me, I’ve just picked up two projects this week, one of which is a long term contract. When I look at the bigger picture, I realize that this works out better for me.

So hang in there and continue to keep those words flowing!

© 2009 Usha Krishnan Sliva
Freelance writer Usha Krishnan Sliva has years of article and copywriting experience. To get more free tips and writing ideas, subscribe to her ezine-Getting It Write, today.