What’s Your Least Favorite Part of Freelance Writing?
Freelancing encompasses so many different tasks. We market our services, communicate with leads and potential customers, organize projects, perform writing and editing, wrap the project up and deliver it, bill in a timely manner, and follow up to make sure we get paid.
I have several strengths among these tasks. I love organizing and scheduling projects, usually bringing them in under deadline. I also enjoy the actual creative process. If I have a gift, that gift is the ability to manipulate words so that they sound pleasant together and convey meaning to the reader.
I also enjoy sending off the final product–though you'd never know if from the number of times I manage to forget to attach the project file and have to send a second, embarrassing email with the project actually attached.
Then, there are my weaknesses. My marketing skills, for instance, are…well…limited. I've always been shy about putting myself "out there," the very thing that you need to do to market yourself. So I have a webpage and a Facebook business page which I use to reach potential clients. I run a couple of small ads on Craigslist every few months. I also use my newest blog, Debra's Writing Clinic, to provide information about my services and to help new writers avoid making old mistakes.
I know there is a lot more that I could be doing to bring my business to the attention of potential clients, but for now, marketing remains a struggle and one of my least favorite parts of the freelance business.
Another of my weaknesses is coming up with a fair quote for a project. I tend to underestimate the length of time a certain amount of work will take me and thus provide a lowball quote which isn't great for my bottom line–though I must say my clients love it.
Finally, I still have trouble pursuing unpaid bills. Tracking deadbeats down and threatening them with life and limb just isn't my style. I pay my own bills on time, and–silly me!–I expect that others will do likewise. After almost getting stiffed a time or two, I've finally instituted a follow-up program that seems to work. Still, chasing down money owed me is not my favorite part of the freelance experience.
What tasks do you enjoy the most as a freelancer? What tasks do you wish you never had to do again?