red flag client pricingI recently received a call from a marketing person who was eager for me to provide the content for a few of her clients’ websites. I knew about two minutes into the call that pricing was going to be an issue, when she spoke the classic phrase you’ll hear from many red-flag clients: “We have a small budget…”

I didn’t want to be rude and cut her short, because that’s not the reputation I want to have in the business community. Anyone who calls me for writing or editing services needs to be treated with dignity and respect. I did, however, need to find a polite way to let her understand that I wasn’t going to be interested in having her as a client. [read more…]

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smooth sailing freelancer ebookI’m pleased to announce the launch of the newest Dr. Freelance Guide: The Smooth-Sailing Freelancer—How To Find, Sell, and Retain More Freelance Business. For a limited time, I’m offering it as a free ebook…simply go to this page to download your copy. (It’s a 40-page pdf, no e-reader required. There’s also a Kindle version, if you prefer.)

Rest assured, you don’t have to know a bow from a stern or port from starboard to understand the strategies inside. I’ve laid out the basic principles I used to build my own business and increase the number and diversity of my clients, as well as incorporating ideas from some of my savviest freelance colleagues, including: [read more…]


Freelance ghostwriting rates for a memoir

Dr. Freelance: A friend just asked me to help him expand his 20,000-word memoir summary into a full-blown book about his life. I’m a professional historian and feel I could provide detail and context to his experiences before, during, and after World War II, and I’d also add another 25,000 words to the existing manuscript. I’m projecting the job will […]

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There’s no crying in freelance editing

Dr. Freelance: I just received feedback from an author about the draft I edited, and I detected he was a little upset/surprised at the number of changes I made to his book. I suppose I could have warned him, but do you have any other suggestions to help take the sting out of the process?—Seeing Red […]

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Fear of overcommitting

Dear Dr. Freelance: I have a freelance client that I’ll describe as a “phantom client”—I’d had some challenges with him, but he recently paid me for everything he owed. He’d been a steady source of work, so I was reluctant to just sever the relationship. While I was waiting, I was contacted about another project, but I had a fear […]

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Freelance referrals gone bad

Referrals—given or received—can be among the most powerful business-builders in your freelance arsenal. As today’s guest post illustrates, however, they come with their own set of responsibilities and conflict resolution requirements. A former client (let’s call him Jim) contacted me and wanted me to work on a new project with him. I didn’t have time and […]

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The hole in my office

It’s been a hard week. We put our loyal Labrador retriever, Bagheera, to sleep on Saturday. There is a hole in my family, my life, and my office.

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4 rules of face to face meetings for a freelancer

I know what you’re thinking: “I hate meeting face to face.” And I also know why: Face-to-face meetings take time and energy. You need to get dressed up. They break up your day inconveniently, especially for a freelancer on deadline. You need to drive to the client’s office or agreed-upon offsite venue, and there will be […]

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Phoenix Holiday Author Event

A quick plug for the Phoenix Holiday Author Event this weekend, December 6th, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at The Pressroom in downtown Phoenix  (441 W. Madison Street). I’ll be among nearly 70 local authors from a wide variety of genres—fiction, children’s, spiritual, business, personal development, and more—signing books and talking books. It’s a great opportunity to meet […]

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Academic malpractice in freelance pricing

Busy day, so just enough time for a quick rant. I met with a colleague for coffee yesterday. She’s a lawyer by trade, with plenty of courtroom experience and a solid background in the technical aspects of writing, but happens to be new to the freelance writing and editing business. At one point she mentioned that […]

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