It’s tough to know when to cut your losses. Deadbeat clients, those who ask for never-ending rewrites, clients who pay later and later, the list goes on and on. How long do you give them the benefit of the doubt?
That’s a question for another article. This post is about something completely different–those situations where the client is nice, friendly, reasonable…but you still find yourself getting the short end of the stick.
Example–the writer I know who has to make international phone calls to get his articles written. Calls that aren’t always reimbursed by his editors. This writer decided to start cutting out the companies that wouldn’t pay his phone expenses (which are regular and fairly predictable). He was shocked to learn he saved himself $200 in one month doing so. One of his publication credits wound up costing him half his fee in phone calls–clearly a losing option. Continue reading What You Can Learn About Freelancing From Your Phone Bill →
by Yolander Prinzel
Freelance writing is not like other businesses. You don’t have to spend the same money on expenses as other business owners do. You should have relatively low overhead–unless you are trying to create some write-offs.
Here is a list of the expenses you can go without and still function:
1. Graphics design. A lot of freelance writers are overly concerned with visual branding in the form of logos and other graphics. Now, I’m not saying there is never a time for this but I know many successful freelancers who are close to six figures in income who have not bothered to spend money on a logo. As a matter of fact, the most successful writers I know haven’t bothered with this expense.
2. The newest Office Suite or other word processing software. While I’m not an advocate of Open Office (personally, I found it difficult and uncomfortable) that doesn’t mean you have to by the latest Word incarnation that hits the stores. You can use Open Office if you want free software or you can buy an old, used version of Word on Amazon.com.
3. Adobe Creative Suite. As a writer, you probably don’t have to do much photo manipulation. If you’re doing newsletters or brochures for clients, you may need InDesign, but chances are Publisher will work just find–and it’s a lot easier.
4. A CRM (customer relationship manager) program like ACT! Let me get this off my chest–I love ACT! and will probably buy myself a used copy. That’s because I’ve use it for years and know how to edit the database to create and edit fields. I can customize it to my needs in a way that Excel and Access won’t let me. That doesn’t mean everyone needs to buy it–or any other CRM program. If you want to organize and keep records on your clients you can use Excel, Access or any number of free online CRM systems.
Yolander Prinzel, ACS is a financial writer as well as a series 7, 66 and 2-15 licensed financial representative. With a decade of financial industry experience, she was the National Director of Marketing and the Director of Operations for The Compass Agency USA and has also been a trader for Raymond James Financial Services and a life insurance underwriter. No matter what you may think, none of her posts are advisory, they are simply informational. Only an advisor with close, personal knowledge of your financial situation can offer advice.