Carol Tice reports:
"Are you unhappy with the amount of freelance writing income you’re bringing in? The check account is looking bare, and the bills are piling up. You need more gigs — and you need them now. Fortunately, there are many basic steps you can take quickly to help you land new assignments at better rates...Do all your current clients know you’re looking to add another client or two? If not, be sure to let them know you would appreciate their referrals. They won’t be offended...Do you know where every former editor of yours is now? If not, reconnect, catch up…and let them know you’d be interested to work with them again, or to receive their referrals if they hear of anything. Another great way to reconnect — ask for a testimonial...Once you have a relationship [with clients], you want to suggest additional projects to them. Let them know you find yourself with a week or two open just now — is there a small project they’d like to get started while you’re available? If you’re blogging for them, maybe they need a white paper, case studies, or a refresh on their web pages, for instance...Learn specialized writing types that pay more. For instance, if you can write product manuals, direct-mail copy, or white papers, the pay is better. You can snap out of low pay by acquiring new specialties in better-paying niches. If you’ve got downtime, maybe now’s the time to take a quick class and add to your skills...Bigger businesses usually pay better project rates. Bigger-circulation magazines have better article rates. If you’ve been slogging along in the solopreneur or local-magazine client ghetto for a while, start identifying larger businesses and publications. Then, pitch them instead. There is no secret freelance law that you have to pay dues for years writing for tiny clients. Feel free to move on up...Get a raise from current clients...(Note: Don’t use this strategy unless you’re ready to kiss the client goodbye if they turn you down. If you ask for a raise and they refuse and then you stay, you’re their doormat forever.)...Many writers tend to jump at the first money offer that’s made to them. That’s not how to end up getting paid top rates. Begin by asking prospects, 'What’s your budget?' Often, they’ll name a bigger number than you had in your head. Then, consider a first offer the opening of a negotiation rather than the last word. Ask for more and explain why — the deadline is short, the work or subject matter is complex, for instance — and you’ll often find there’s wiggle room in the budget...Raise your rates for new clients. Remember, they don’t know what you’re getting from your existing clients. Simply set the bar higher as you take on new clients...Sign short contracts...[which provide] an automatic opportunity to renegotiate, which you’ll often want once you see what the job really entails...Many freelance writers think of other writers as their enemy. Instead, think of them as your referral network. The more writers in your market and niche specialty you befriend, the more likely you are to be referred a nice gig when they are overloaded or get a nibble that’s not for them...Go out and make more writer friends."
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