Freelance Folder recently featured a blog post called Part Time Freelancing–Is It Worth It? The post addresses a variety of concerns for the part-time freelancer, but leaves out a question on the minds of many newcomers to the freelance game.
“Do I mention that I’m only a part-time freelancer?”
That’s not a big deal to some, and a much bigger issue for others depending on the client. Larger companies seem to be interested in people they can form long-term relationships with, while it seems smaller clients are just happy to get the work done. How much scrutiny is placed on the full-or-part-time question is really down to you.
Even when I have been a part-time freelancer in the past, I’ve never mentioned it, and it’s never actually come up in any conversation. But some freelancers are compelled to say something about it for whatever reason–usually to address any potential scheduling conflicts that might arise between the client work and the non-freelance gig.
I w0n’t offer any advice on which path is best as it’s really a personal choice based on your needs, but I can say this from my own personal experience–I’m mostly concerned with maintaining a professional image. Actually, “concerned” is the wrong word. I’m anal-retentive about it. And I have a personal policy that I DO NOT bring up side issues like whether I’m full or part time.
Instead, if I anticipate schedule issues, I simply make it known to the client that he or she is not my only client and that my workflow is manageable, but does require some allowances in order to make deadline.
This is tricky–you want the client to feel they are getting your full attention, but you have to communicate that you are not at their 24-7 beck and call. I simply begin and maintain the conversation by mentioning my other ongoing work in a general way without revealing much.
Oh, and I also don’t over-extend myself to the point where the clients don’t get their money’s worth.
It’s your call on how much to reveal, but my personal preference is to leave unnecessary details out of the picture. Keep it simple, that’s my motto.
Joe Wallace writes about vinyl records and the music industry, personal finance, and makes snarky jokes at the expense of celebrities. He enjoys writing about himself in the third person, impersonating Ronald Reagan, and makes field recordings of strange noises with expensive microphones. Visit his vinyl blog and bad album cover emporium Turntabling.net.