Tag Archives: freelance help

Freelance-Zone Goes Video

Freelance Advice videos
Freelance-Zone.com has gone video. This week we quietly rolled out some freelance advice videos on our new YouTube channel and we’re pleased to say the cameras have been rolling for several weeks now as we create new types of content on freelance jobs, career advice, tips for new freelancers and advanced tips for those who have already taken the plunge.

Here’s a small sample of what we’re doing, presented below. There are also some clips where you see actual people talking about freelancing, you can view the first of many more at the Freelance-Zone YouTube site. We’ll be posting many more clips here as we finish editing them…for now, check out the first our series of freelance advice shorts:

The Vanishing Freelance Client

Freelance Switch Vanishing Client

by Joe Wallace

Freelance Switch had an excellent article recently on the phenomenon known as the “magical client”. You know the ones–they show up with work from time to time, pad out your coffers for a bit, then fade away for ages. Later, they reappear to throw some more work your way, like magic.

I can hear some new-to-freelancing grumbles now; “I wish I HAD some magically appearing clients!” Here’s how I cultivated some of mine:

Be William Shatner

Sounds absurd, I know. Remember Rescue 911? Shatner walking us through emergency after emergency, with those calm and reassuring tones. What a new freelancer can do to bring in repeat clients is be the go-to person in somebody else’s crisis. Over-deliver, make yourself completely available in an hour of need, and watch the loyalty grow.

Be Leonard Nimoy

This is starting to read like a sci-fi nerd dating column, but so be it. Leonard Nimoy, as Spock on Star Trek, was always the font of helpful advice and useful stats. Find a way to apply your freelance street skills to the benefit of a client and you’ll see that sometimes dispensing some free advice can increase your stature.

But beware–make sure you don’t come off as condescending or like a know-it-all, but if you see a client heading into a mistake, it’s good to diplomatically point out a better alternative.

The way I do it is just to relate my past experience. “You know, in the past when I’ve worked on other projects, I learned that Google tends to frown on key words it considers spammy. Too many keywords stuffed into an article is bad enough, but adding XYZ to the mix has, in my experience, really hurt any website those words appears on.”

Continue reading The Vanishing Freelance Client

What You Can Learn About Freelancing From Malcolm McDowell

by Joe Wallace

Maclom-McDowellWhen I’m not working with my freelance clients I also write about and sell vinyl, especially genre film soundtracks from the 60s and 70s.

Because of these obsessions, I find myself doing conventions about six times a year, where many well-known names set up to sign autographs and discuss the movies they’ve made. At a recent show, I met Malcolm McDowell, star of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange and many other well-known titles. While we were chatting about his more obscure output, I quizzed him about an 80s comedy called Get Crazy.

Not a typical part for McDowell. He was offered it, and told me while he read the script on a beach somewhere, he couldn’t find a single funny line–he hated the whole idea of doing the film. His character was a has-been rock star named Reggie Wanker. The character had to sing and perform wearing a huge white codpiece and have nutty backstage escapades.

So he mulled it over, and decided in the end to accept the part–why say no and alienate a director or producer? But McDowell still didn’t want to do the film, so he asked for a fee he was sure would never get approved.

Sure enough, the producers took one look at his fee and decided to go with someone else. Continue reading What You Can Learn About Freelancing From Malcolm McDowell

Battle of the Freelance Advice Videos Part II

Here we go again…two more freelance advice videos head-to-head. Which video rocks, and which one sucks? Or do they both rock? I’ve got my own opinions, but I’m more interested in YOUR ideas here–where does video #1 fall on its face or does it succeed? How so?

Here’s freelance advice video #2, which is–in contrast to video #1–clearly an actual human being as opposed to one of those cheesy animatronic vids. Does this video succeed? How about compared to video #1?

Let’s get a discussion going–if YOU were to create one of these freelance advice videos, what would you do differently? Better? Or maybe these are just fine the way they are?

Book Review: “Travel Writing 2.0” by Tim Leffel

Timleffelbookcover_03By Erin Dalpini 

What’s the ultimate freelance assignment? You know, the one all writers dream of?

Probably getting paid to vacation—and then write about it.

But travel-writing veteran Tim Leffel says that getting there is anything but a holiday. In his aptly titled Travel Writing 2.0, Leffel takes readers on a journey through the hard realities of what it takes to be a successful travel writer in today’s competitive new media landscape. With some exceptions, it’s not much different than what it takes to be a successful, non-traveling freelance writer.

Importantly, Leffel wants readers to know that travel writing is not for the faint of heart. Continue reading Book Review: “Travel Writing 2.0” by Tim Leffel

What Freelancers Can Learn From a Severed Pinky

t1larg.pinky.regrowth Photo courtesy CNN.com

There’s a fascinating story at CNN.com about a women who lost the tip of her finger in an accident at home. She went to the hospital and asked them to reattach the severed portion. All the doctors told her she was crazy, but she didn’t give up.

She told the ER doctor to get stuffed, in so many words, when she was told it would be impossible to do. Likewise for the orthopedic specialist that was brought in for a second opinion.

Deepa Kulkarni spent the day after her accident trying to get somebody to listen to her when she ran across Dr. Stephen Badylak at the University of Pittsburgh, who was working a new tissue regeneration technique. Five weeks or so later and Kularni had herself a new, restored finger.


Freelancers, don’t always take the advice of the first professional you see who tells you your ideas won’t work. I’m of course talking about freelance business ideas, book concepts, article queries, designs, etc.

The lesson of this story is mostly about persistence. Freelancers should know that even the experts called in to give you a second opinion can be wrong. After all, wasn’t it Rudyard Kipling who got that famous rejection letter telling the author that one magazine wasn’t the place for Kipling to “practice his writing”?

Continue reading What Freelancers Can Learn From a Severed Pinky