No, that demanding client of yours is NOT your boss.

freelancer's demanding client

If you’ve watched the opening video on my coaching page, you’ll already be familiar with the backstory of why we so often defer to a boss… even when we don’t have one.

Basically, it’s build-in, hard-wired.

Right from the start, from the day we were born, there has ALWAYS been a boss in our life.

Our first bosses were our parents.

Then our teachers and coaches at school.

And then our managers and bosses at work.

We have barely gone through a day in our lives when we haven’t been paying attention to the directions of a boss.

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Take total responsibility for your freelance career.

No excuses for freelancers.The life of a freelancer isn’t always easy.

We have our ups and downs.

Maybe we lose a big client. Or that big prospect we thought was in the bag slips out of our grasp at the last moment.

Meanwhile we’re complaining about all the new freelancers entering the market, and pushing prices down.

Or we’re moaning about how the companies we’d really like to work with don’t seem to be hiring freelancers.

And then there’s that client who wants to renegotiate our fees, downwards.

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Choose clients that inspire your very best work.

want more message on signIf you look back over the work you have done as a freelance writer or copywriter over the last year, you can probably identify one or two jobs that stand out from the rest.

These were jobs that brought out the best in you.

They tapped into your core skills.

They allowed you to shine in ways that just didn’t happen with most other projects.

You probably loved the product or service you were promoting.

You respected the company you were working with.

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Freelance Copywriters: You don’t have to say Yes to standard industry rates or fees.

copywA few days ago I got involved in the comment stream on a post about the fees freelancers earn. The post itself was actually about freelance designers and coders etc. There wasn’t any data on what most freelance copywriters earn.

However…

A copywriter did post a comment in which she noted that “industry rates” for copywriters were pretty dire.

This got me scratching my head a little. Why? Because I can’t imagine a situation where I would allow myself to be confined by an industry “rate”.

To put it another way, working within the spread of an industry rate in voluntary. You will be confined by those rates only if you voluntarily agree to be ruled by them. There is no law that says you have to do that.

Your other choice is to totally ignore those rates and set your own fee levels in accordance with the value you offer your clients.

How can you go about establishing higher fees for your work? Here are three ways to get started.

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If fate doesn’t disrupt your career path, you should do it yourself.

disruption in the freelance lifeI guess many people prefer at least the idea of a career path that doesn’t get disrupted.

I’m not one of those people. I’m a big fan of disruption.

Sometimes fate hands me a huge and unexpected change in direction, like when I moved from the UK to Canada.

At other times, when I grow tired of waiting for fate to step in, I engineer a dramatic change of my own…like when I shifted from being a direct mail copywriter to being an online writer, at midnight on December 31st, 1997.

When I look back, even to when I was a teenager, I was a big fan of stepping sideways at precisely the point when the direct way forward was most clearly illuminated. (Got a place at Cambridge University in 1975. Decided to get a job in a stone quarry instead.)

How come? Why do I insist on disrupting my “way forward”?

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To succeed as a freelancer, make yourself uncomfortable.

uncomfortable bicycle for freelancersI was talking with a freelancer the other day who explained how he was working with just two clients who had been giving him almost all of his work over the last 3 years.

In one sense, that feels like a dream situation for any freelancer. He has a constant, reliable source of work, every day. He doesn’t have to spend time marketing his business. He doesn’t get stressed about finding new work each month.

Perfect!

Not so fast.

If you think about it, he’s actually in a horribly vulnerable position. I have had clients like that myself. Sometimes they stay with you for a year, or maybe 3 years, or even 5 years. But they’ll never stay with you forever. Companies are bought and sold, key staff change positions or employers. And so on.

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