One thing with being a freelancer is you not only have to be great at your trade, but you also have to be great at running your business. This includes administration, financing, payroll, and of course, marketing your brand.
My degree in technical writing did not include business courses. One reason I became a technical writer is because I am good at marketing or finances. However, this is a shortcoming that must be overcome in order to succeed.
First, I had to decide what my brand looks like and create my niche. Then, I had to work to get the word out that I am open for business. After hard work of passing out business cards, word of mouth, emails, and other marketing, I did it. I got a request for a quote.
I never thought that negotiating a price can be difficult. Just like anything else, you have a price in mind and so does your client. The key is to negotiate to a price where everyone is happy to come to a contract agreement.
I know how much I should charge for my services, but I also know how much I need to make to pay the bills. However, sometimes I get so excited about wanting to work with a specific client or on a specific project that I do not care what the price is. When clients have a limited budget, I am more than happy to work within that budget, but am starting to learn that that becomes a turn off to clients. I am still trying to learn why, but I think I could come across as more in need of the project instead or unsure of my abilities.
How about you? Have you come across marketing shortcomings as a technical writer?
I have returned from visiting extended in laws in Arkansas. This trip has taught me that having my four month old meet his great grandfather is one of the neatest experiences and is at least worth the twelve hour car trip in a car with a child who is not too keen on being in his car seat. Along with visiting family, we were able to visit the Blanchard Spring Caves and spend a day on the lake tubing and cruising in a rented boat.
I call this car ride to Arkansas a “trip” because it was with my in laws and I had to bring work along with me. “Vacation” to me sounds like something I would do with my husband alone, without having anyone (such as a four month old) needed my continual attention. As it was, I did pretty much what I would do at home as far as working and caring for my little one.
The downside of freelancing when it comes to trips is that the work has to come with me. I do not get paychecks if I do not work. This is one benefit I have missed so far now that I no longer work full time. I knew all along that I would have enough down time in the evenings that I could get work done, so we made sure to find a house to rent that included free wifi. This worked out great the first day, but the resort had problems the rest of the week with getting a connection, so I was stuck without internet. This left my options to work at either a McDonald’s or Hardy’s, (A downside to being in a small town) and neither of these places were keen on me hunkering down for hours to work. I must admit I sure missed my coffee shops.
Without the convenience of an internet connection, I started to spend my days fretting over when I would be able to get the work done instead of enjoying my day trips with the family. My return home included three solid work days over what I was hoping would be a weekend to recoup from the festivities. I start into this work week exhausted instead of refreshed and feeling like I now need a “vacation.
Have you taken a “trip” or “vacation” recently? Let’s hear about it in the comments below.