Make your future happen, choose a strategy, make a commitment but stay flexible.
It is 4 years since I formally embarked on a translating and copywriting freelance career. This is quite enough information and learning to formulate a strategy for future work. Inspired by a new client (his work is mentoring and coaching), last night I got BIG pieces of plain paper out and scribbled a critical review of every client and a significant piece of work I’ve had so far.
Just writing down in + and – columns what I did and did not like about that client work was really clarifying, especially about where to look for future work. My situation now is okay, but sub-optimal (to use my client’s phrase) and I want to make it better, so I need a strategy.
After the client review, I also wrote down what did and did not work for me for getting work last year.
I thought it might be useful to share the column titles and what worked/did not work, so I’ve put it below. Although there are no identifying details, I’ve given one completely unfiltered example, so if it is useful, please use it discreetly and don’t post elsewhere. And I advocate using pen and paper!
Do this exercise for every client and every significant piece of work or project:
Reflections and learnings
What I actually really like about this client, and made me value it more, is her clients – the only businesses I’ve worked on which are in services, not products.
Because she is my age and talks about personal stuff in his blogs, I probably felt a bit too ‘close’ to, especially after I’d done work for her around Christmas holidays etc. and all the while beginning to begrudge the hourly rate, because I was trying a bit too hard – really quick turnaround, any day of the week, and doing editing, which I don’t especially enjoy. Because she is trend-led, the work and messaging can be a bit unpredictable, and this takes up more headspace.
For other clients, like this one, charge a slightly higher hourly rate, justified by the 7-days a week service, fast turnaround and quality. The fact is, you are working 7 days a week and if you see a message about a blog, you’re not going to ignore it, so ‘impose restrictions on the client isn’t the right alternative path at the moment.
Also be careful about engaging informally on Slack and taking an interest beyond the work, because your time is very limited. You’re not really in a position to afford to be ‘giving’ more, so it leaves you very exposed.
I share this because it might be a help to writers in a similar position.
Obviously, this is only my own experience, so you may find you got results with ‘what didn’t work’ for me. Please let me know if it is helpful or might be in future.
Aida Behmen Milicevic Translator & Content Marketing Strategist Passionate about Writing, Delicious bites, Yoga and Biking.
Already Credited with +100 Published Articles.