Update on my freelance marketing campaign: how to create momentum (part II)


I recently posted about how I am seriously going after good freelance writing assignments, especially in insurance, asset management / mutual funds, and business.

In my book, Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less, I recommend aiming for 1,000 reach outs (also known as phone calls) in a one-month period.

I know that this is quite a large number and many freelancers won’t set their goal that high. This is perfectly understandable. Anyway, even a small, consistent effort is better than no proactive activity at all.

Not that I’ve never done a 1,000 call campaign. I’ve always hit capacity before that point and slowed my outreach to a more reasonable number that allows me to carry out the assignments I have landed.

So now I’m doing exactly what I recommend that others do. I’m phoning for assignments. (It’s erroneously called “cold calling.”)

I am consistent in my effort but not going all out in daily quantity due to other responsibilities and lifestyle choices.

I make at least one phone call every workday that I am not already scheduled out of the office for every moment of the day. And if I miss a day on which I was somewhat available, I simply start again the next day with at least one call.

I never add in days missed in the past to the upcoming day’s list. It’s too discouraging and demotivates me towards the point of giving up.

Now here’s the problem: Slow and steady wins the race if, like the tortoise, you can hang in there long enough.

But slow and steady postpones success, making it much harder to stay engaged.

The good thing but jumping all in and doing lots of daily marketing activity, such as phone calls or emails, is that positive responses and even actual assignments come in faster. You start having results before you get discouraged.

This time around I have a problem

I find it more difficult to identify people to phone (or otherwise contact) for business assignments than it was years ago.

It used to be that established professional associations had substantial membership lists. Pay your dues and there you were with an instant list including names, titles, and phone numbers.

Now most markets are fragmented. LinkedIn encourages everyone to start his own Group. Many are small, some are poorly managed, and many have more of our competitor service providers than corporate leads. Plus LinkedIn doesn’t uniformly provide phone numbers, email, and such.

MeetUp, Facebook, Twitter, etc. have similar problems. We can’t simply pull up a list that is right for us and dig right in.

It takes work to identify and put our initial lead generation ideas into play. No matter how strong our preparation, this element of our marketing will evolve as we test it and improve it.

I am confident that the leads I have generated to date have put me on the right path.

If I had a more aggressive marketing plan in place, it would be more demanding time wise, but it would be easier to maintain a positive attitude.

What about you? How do you maintain momentum in your marketing?

Here’s what I have written about this in the past:

My current campaign for freelance writing work: how it’s going




Posted in cold calling for freelance and consulting, phoning for freelance and consulting work Tagged with: , , , ,

Pulling back the curtain on a freelancer’s shame

If you spend time online, you know that we freelancer writers are madder than hell and we are not going to take it any longer.

Specifically, Arianna Huffington made $21 million by selling her Huffington Post to AOL off the backs of freelancers who wrote for free. (The transaction totaled $315 million.)

Our work is worth money and we should not be giving it away, especially to someone who is rich, freelancers said. Never again. (And let’s sue her while we are at it.)

Despite the warning, I went ahead and submitted articles to HuffPo. More than once, I am ashamed to say.

I knew I would not get paid but I confess, I wanted the visibility. I fancy myself a thought leader, but the metrics show I am short on followers.

Should be easy to get published for free, I figured.

I figured wrong.

Here’s how it works.

You follow the directions at HuffingtonPost.com and send in your article. You wait.

If you hear nothing, assume they don’t want you.

So I submitted. And heard nothing.

Alas, I couldn’t even give it away.

After all, they, just like companies soliciting resumes for hiring, are important. They are busy. And silence is golden. Why throw the silver of rejection expenses after gold?

Last week I discussed my shame with Sabrina Wottreng, Millennial PR wonder. (I’m not being sarcastic. As we aging boomers say, she’s one smart cookie.)

She confided that many submitters are rejected by Arianna and her crew. Believe it or not, I am not alone in my disgrace.

Happens all the time.

Nor does submitting to a specific name or email make a difference.

Nor are interesting content and proper punctuation the only criteria.

Another possible criterion is the author’s visibility on the internet. Before running an article, they examine the submitter’s social media participation and SEO visibility. They prefer to post articles of people who can publicize the piece through their own vast networks on Twitter and other social media to generate more inbound links.

Then there’s the question of how attractive the article titles are and how well they drive traffic.

Consider, “How green vegetables make us healthy.” Yes, the topic benefits readers, but no one cares.

Why not something dynamic like, “Lose 20 pounds this week with these five top-secret superfoods. (The CIA warned us not to reveal this.)”

Or “Melania Trump’s private diet tips that make her irresistible to The Donald.”

If you are reading this (and obviously, you are), you may have read my repurposing of some of those rejected posts, whether on LinkedIn or on my blog or in my newsletter. Thank you for your comments and for not holding out for the good stuff.

Your thoughts? Your sympathy?



Posted in creating content, Social networking, writing Tagged with: , ,

Can we freelancers raise our rates?

Sure, why not?

I’ve heard free teleseminars lately saying you can’t raise rates, but they don’t give reasons why.

I disagree. Yes, we can. We can do anything we want to do. We are our bosses.

Of course we can’t raise rates on a current assignment once a contract or other agreement is in place, but I don’t think that is the issue at hand.

Any time new business is under discussion, the rate can be discussed, whether the client represents repeat business or is new to us.

And yes, it can be raised, whether the fee is calculated by the hour or by the project.

But first, should we post our rates on our websites?

Generally not. And especially not if our rates are on the low side.

A good reason to list prices is if they are high. This will prevent having to respond to people who are intently comparing prices and looking for the best deal. If you are receiving too many nuisance calls, price listing may be the way to go.

If your rates are in the middle range or even low, only consider listing them if you are committed to these prices for all prospects.

It is reasonable, even fair, to vary rates by the nature of the prospect. For instance, larger, international companies typically pay more for a service. Often the service is more demanding because of its scope, justifying higher rates. Tighter deadlines = higher rates. More complex work also equates with higher rates.

Raise everyone’s rates at once?

It’s perfectly fair not to. You may decide to start by raising rates for new clients but freezing what you charge old ones.

You may decide on a moderate increase for returning customers. You may decide on the increase months in advance and alert clients it is coming while offering the current rate for work they commit to before the price increase.

Charging by the hour presents its own challenges

Some deride this practice of charging by the hour as commoditizing the work but I don’t see it this way. My work reflects my own style and my own strengths, and I am confident that comparing my rate to someone else’s is irrelevant to professional clients. I am not interested in working with individuals and companies that can’t evaluate freelancers more astutely.

The faster and better the work, the more you can charge per hour.

Some argue that when you charge by the hour, clients will question how long it took you to accomplish something. I have been freelancing since 1991 and no one has ever challenged my time records when I’ve charged by the hour.


I am sure that anyone who did challenge me on this factor would be a horrible client for other reasons as well.

My solution would be to possibly adjust the invoice but to never work with them again.

Some otherwise reputable freelancers suggest simply charging for more hours to in effect raise the hourly rate without the client’s knowledge. In other words, padding.

Ugh. I can’t expect fair treatment from clients if I don’t hold myself to equally high standards.

I assure that my time records are exact because I track time in quarter-hour increments and maintain a running total day by day in my appointment book.

The big picture

As the boss, we can raise our rates any time we wish. However, we may decide to postpone this move—especially for existing clients—until we have a respectable amount of work in the pipeline or embark on an ambitious sales program.


Posted in How much to charge Tagged with: , ,

My current campaign for freelance writing work: how it’s going

Awhile back I decided I to launch a campaign for freelance writing assignments on my “significant” birthday—May 23.

I would test the recommendations I outlined in my book, Real Skills, Real Income, A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less. Does a book that suggests you “just pick up the phone” still work when we are newly bombarded with nuisance sales-call spam?

Since May 23, I have phoned and / or emailed over 70 contacts. Some are new names, others were pulled from past marketing campaigns.

Only one person was suggested to me as someone who may be in the market for a freelance writer. The rest of my calls were out of the blue.

On most calls, I phone, leave a voicemail message if the person doesn’t answer, and send a prewritten email that I customize for the individual. If I don’t have both the email address and the phone number, I adjust accordingly.

So far I have pinned down no actual assignments, but I am confident it will happen.

You may interpret this as failure, but I don’t. You may interpret this as a lot of rejection, but I don’t. Some people don’t need my service at this time, others don’t answer the phone. So it goes. No drama here.

My conclusion so far is exceedingly positive: It’s amazing how open people are to a phone call from a freelancer they have never met.

I had thought that people are so used to hanging up and blocking calls that they would hang up rudely and maybe even scream the F word in my ear. Hasn’t happened at all.

Some people respond to my call or my email by telling me they have no need at this time but will keep my name on file. Some take no action whatsoever. Only one person hung up on me during my call preliminaries—but without anger or swearing.

How I make phone calls

I make at least one phone call every weekday that I am not on vacation or otherwise away from my desk for the entire day. In my book I recommend doing a lot more calls than that, but my level of effort feels right for me at this time. I am going for consistent action because I have found that once I quit something, even for only a few days, it is hard to get back into it.

Here is what you should know about my calls. I do them all myself, no recordings. I do them only between 9 am and 5 pm central time, adjusting for the time zone of the phone number I am calling. I always leave a voicemail when no one answers.

I am low key. I don’t sell. I introduce myself and ask if they use freelancers or have thought about it. Then I simply participate in any conversation that ensues.

I am highly selective about who I call. I cull contacts from LinkedIn, commercial list providers, the internet and Google, and directories of professional organizations to which I belong. I research people to determine if they work in marketing communications, marketing research or training, my target functions, before phoning.

I only call American companies since I understand our business culture the best. I prefer the Chicago area since that’s where I live.

I look at industries in which I have a background, especially property / casualty insurance and asset management, but also HR, banking and other areas in which I am comfortable.

The challenge is not “rejection.” It’s compiling a good call list. It’s so time consuming to assemble a phone list, complete with phone numbers and email addresses. I haven’t found any sources that approach my quality standards. (I’m working on this and will post more later.)

My business model

I prefer long-term relationships similar to being a payroll employee (though clearly not fitting the IRS definition of an employee).

My Selling Proposition (but in no ways a “Unique” Selling Proposition) is “Writing in service to your business.” That sums up my approach.

What follows shows how my email template carries out that theme. The phrases below in italics appear in the email; the nonitalic is my commentary to you.

Shine at writing and editing dense content, including research and corporate performance data as well as training concepts.  These projects require diligence and patience, two of my strengths.

My rates are mid-range to support typical day-to-day work as well as special assignments.  This means high double digits when calculated on an hourly basis. I’d prefer a steadier stream of commonplace projects, including simple news releases and blog posts, over occasional special projects.

Provide ongoing (free) current awareness research in your specialty as our relationship develops. As a freelancer, I spend very little time on reading about my preferred industries—even with narrow niching, there is too much to read. An ongoing relationship would financially support staying up-to-date on a narrow topic.

Some of my best clients are tremendous writers and appreciate having someone else organize copy for their review. Answers the question, Why should I hire you when I myself have been writing for years?

Adept at adopting your writing style for consistency with your positioning. . . . Creative but not an ad-agency sort of person.  That’s me!

So that’s where my freelancing relaunch stands. I’ll keep you posted.


Posted in cold calling for freelance and consulting, phoning for freelance and consulting work Tagged with: , , , ,

A handy formula to calculate your freelance pay rate

The consensus seems to be that we freelancers should charge what we are worth. However, how do we determine what we are worth?

Some suggest looking at the competition. In practice, that’s not easy. My competitor writers may number in the millions globally, and yes, I do have international competition.

Some suggest looking at rating guides. This can be useful, but so many specifics are involved that guide rates may be difficult to apply.

Some suggest evaluating our qualifications. Nah, not really. Qualifications are features, not benefits, and everyone knows that it’s juicy benefits that count. Anyway, some organizations that coach budding freelancers claim that anyone can quickly master their new calling. Qualifications are so old school.

Some suggest looking at our living expenses and adding in desired profits. Does this mean we owe it to our clients to slash our rates if we move out to the sticks and downsize our home?

Note: I’ve really pissed off some of my readers in the past who claim that I don’t care if freelancers can afford to live. Not true. What’s really in play here is that I am simply not interested in the rates people accept at the lowest end of the scale. People who write 20 articles for $100 are not on my radar. They can do as they wish, I don’t care. Clients looking for such low rates would never consider hiring me. I focus on the other end of the pay spectrum—I am fascinated by how freelancers commit to specific higher rates.

And then there’s looking into one’s own heart and naming our price. By that process, I’ve determined my fair rate is $997 per hour. That’s what I am worth, aren’t you?

Seriously. I can waver for days between $80 and $85 per hour. But $997 really resonates with me; my body relaxes into the figure and it feels just right. Sit back and give it a try.

Note: I haven’t yet quoted this rate to a prospect. No plans to do so.

Here’s my formula to calculate freelance rates

Let’s go:

  1. Take the current salary your service would pay as a full-time job. My book, Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less, recommends choosing a freelance specialty that corresponds to your last good job. If you have done this, start with your pay at that job. Or increase it if you believe you were underpaid. Example: Let’s start with $50,000 per year.
  2. Take the annual salary and divide by 1,000. Note that there are approximately 2,000 hours in a work year but we are calculating based on 1,000 hours. That is because a full-time freelance practice consists of 20 to 25 billable hours per week. The remaining time is for marketing, administrative tasks, continuing education, and other nonpaying activities. Example: $50,000 divided by 1,000 equals $50 per hour.
  3. Benefits represent a third of salary. So multiply by 1.34. Example: $50 per hour times 1.34 equals $67.
  4. Multiply by 1.5 or even 2 (or even more) if you work quickly, specialize in your highest paying skill or otherwise want to raise the figure. As a self-employed person you don’t have to waste billable time on “other duties as assigned.” Remember that a billable hour may be more intense than a regular-job hour, justifying a higher hourly rate. Example: $67 times 1.5 equals $100.50; $67 times 2 equals $134.

How to adjust your initial figures

Increase for taxes. Some people recommend this. On the other hand, your full-time salary is not adjusted for taxes so this adjustment would be apples to oranges. One exception may be the self-employment tax for Social Security and Medicare in the U.S.

Increase for unusual expenses. For instance, if you own and maintain video equipment, your rate should incorporate a rental component. If you subscribe to a pricey resource such as a specialized data base, you’ll want to apportion that expense among the hours billed.

Adjust your hourly figure so it is divisible by 5. A stated hourly rate of $53.62 looks weird.

You may wish to start with more accurate numbers. Dividing by 50 weeks is handy, but obviously there are 52 weeks in a year.

One final point: Don’t divide by 2,000, which for an annual salary of $50,000 would mean $25 per hour. It’s unrealistically low although it approximates your hourly corporate rate.

How to use these numbers

You are your boss. You can claim any numbers you wish. If you think these figures are unfair, change them. Back when you had a J-O-B, you probably got angry if your pay was too low. There’s no one to get angry at now—you are in charge.

These numbers are mere data points to assist in rate setting. You don’t have to bill by the hour. You can work with a flat per-project fee, develop some type of value calculation, bill by a time measurement other than hourly, such as by the day, work on commission or royalty basis, bill by the word (if you are a writer), or whatever system you choose.

How does this formula work for you? Any suggestions to improve it?



Posted in How much to charge Tagged with: , ,

Freelance success: decide how you will market first

Conventional wisdom recommends that the first order of business for freelancers is to determine the service we will offer and whom we will offer it to. We should narrow our specialty niche and our target market very narrowly so we know where to find these prospects, say the universal “they.” We look into our souls and dig deep to embrace our paths.

However, as I observe how people are marketing today, I suspect that it is more realistic and efficient to determine how we will market and then narrow in on services and specialties that work with our marketing channel.

Case in point. Lately I’ve been researching how younger freelancers, especially those offering marketing and creative services, market their own freelance services. I conduct this research by going to live marketing groups and asking them individually in the course of conversation.

Yes, I’d love to work with them on projects but I don’t much expect that to happen. I’m open to offers—and they are nice to me—but the age difference is apparent. Also, they are quicker to video and photo while I have more of a writing orientation. Not sure if this last thing is an age issue but that’s how it is.

It appears that many build their clientele through in-person, live networking. For starters, there’s the local Freelancers Union group and other professional networking events. Some use coworking spaces, which are shared work environments that help freelancers escape the distractions and isolation of working at home. Metro coffee shops appear to have lots of programming and social opportunities that promote interaction and networking. Plus many of these individuals keep in touch with college acquaintances in their majors and have roommates and other friends they work with regularly.

If you intend for acquaintances to be a primary source of work, this should shape your niche and target market decisions. In fact, if you are still in planning mode and preparing to start out, see what your network is up to and then select your market accordingly.

Strong identifications with a certain industry may not be the way to go if your circle doesn’t share them. Instead, specializing in a certain technology or marketing practice may be more relevant in teaming with other networkers.

If you are planning to freelance or you are rethinking your Unique Selling Proposition, positioning and such and you participate in such circles, gather input from your connections. See where their marketplace is headed. See what services are in demand and where more service providers are needed. See which industries present the most opportunities in your geographic area.

See where the money is. Integrate this information into your soul searching and your self-inventory of strengths and interests.

If you intend to build your career mostly through live networking and the online networking that builds upon the live aspect, make choices that enable your current community network and likely expanded network (the networks of your acquaintances) to best support you.

Is in-person networking important to building your practice? How are you synching your networking with your business positioning?


Posted in networking, niches for freelance and consulting Tagged with: , , ,

Freelancing: Marketing to the introverted client

I often read on the internet how we introverted freelancers can be more effective in our marketing.

But I have never seen any suggestion that our prospects may be introverts as well.

Heaven forbid! American society has a strong bias in favor of extroversion and we simply assume that employees who have the title and budgetary access to employ us freelancers must be extroverts.

In sales, we are advised to mirror the prospect without going overboard to the point of being weird. We should attempt to mimic their energy level, loudness, posture, vocabulary, and more so they identify us as their kinds of people.

In practice, this advice is honored primarily at in-person meetings, sometimes to the point of crossing our legs when they cross theirs and leaning forward when they do the same.

However, this mirroring in the context of the phoned sales call is more challenging.

We have to start the conversation with minimal knowledge about the person we are calling, and there are almost no clues other than speech to start assessing the person’s personality.

What is an extrovert? An introvert?

These terms only minimally describe how talkative we are and whether or not we are shy.

Instead, “extrovert” and “introvert” describe primarily how we recharge our energy. Extroverts tend to recharge their energy by interacting with other people. Introverts tend to be self-charging and reinvigorate independently, either by themselves or in the company of one or two people they know well.

Extroverts are likely to develop ideas through talking out their thoughts with others; introverts are likely to think through their ideas on their own. Note that introversion and extroversion are on a continuum; no one is totally introverted or extroverted.

Actually, in creative fields such as writing and graphic design, it is quite possible that the people we are calling are introverts, just as we freelancers are quite likely to be introverted. Many of us who enter these specialties enjoy working on our own to resolve creative problems.

In other words, corporate people and the freelancers they hire are often similar in temperament.

What this means in phoning for freelance assignments

It means that a simple approach can work fine for both parties.

You don’t have to start with lots of stupid chitchat. “How are you today?” is unnecessary unless you really care. Discussions of the weather waste time.

I particularly hate answering the phone to someone who says, “What about those Bears?” Just because I am in the Chicago area doesn’t mean I care. (When I read about sports, I am much more interested in aspects of team management and coaching, but I don’t care about game statistics and team standings.)

So why not consider dialing down the dominance and instead match the possibly lower-key style of the prospects we phone? Put your toe in the conversational waters before revving up to a pushy, gabby sales style.

Here are more tips that will help in making prospecting calls to introverts:

Phoning for freelance work? Eight ways to avoid hostile responses

Where are you on the introversion versus extroversion spectrum? How does this impact your marketing?


Posted in cold calling for freelance and consulting Tagged with: , , ,

Phoning for freelance work? Eight ways to avoid hostile responses

I receive unsolicited phone calls daily, seeing that my primary phone number is both a residential and work phone.

I am interested in these calls since I proudly use the phone to contact prospects for my freelance business-writing services. I have also made live phone calls in my community for political candidates.

You may be surprised that I sometimes hang up on people who call me since I use the phone myself to solicit business. However, what I do is so different from my callers’ practices that I feel no guilt whatsoever.

I seldom buy or donate to a phone solicitation although I frequently call business people to offer my services. This is perfectly right because my services are more relevant and valuable to the other party than what is offered to me.

Here are some ways to do better phoning:

  1. Don’t use a recording. A friend posted to Facebook that you should never start a call to him with “Congratulations!” He’ll hang up before you say another word. Actually, any recordings are offensive. If you don’t value my time enough to call live, I don’t value you enough to listen.
  1. Get to the point. I dislike when callers try to make small talk. You are interrupting me so let’s get right to business. I especially dislike callers in January who call me in the Illinois area and want to chat about the weather. And I dislike even more callers who want to brag about being in warm climates. If I really cared about the winter weather, I’d move. Shut up and get to the point.
  1. Let me talk. Sometimes I try to be polite and wait for the caller to pause so I can turn him down politely. But they won’t stop! So I simply talk right over them. I say I am not interested and hang up. You can’t steamroll me into buying.
  1. Keep your speaking genuine and conversational, not overly polished. I don’t think there is such a thing as magnetic scripts since I am comfortable saying no to anything and anyone. I’m immune to magical sales phrases, whether they appeal to greed or fear. So talk like a regular person.
  1. Don’t call twice in the same day. Worse yet, don’t call twice in the same hour. Microsoft and the IRS have done both to me. Yeah, sure….
  1. Don’t use the word “free.” Nothing offered on the phone is free. If it does appear to be free, you pay for it with time.
  1. Don’t call me with a survey. I understand that some surveys, especially political or marketing research surveys, may be legit, but the bad practitioners have killed it for the good ones. I especially hate ridiculous survey questions where the caller rattles off a long, long opinion and asks if I strongly agree, agree, have no opinion, disagree or strongly disagree. They typically speak at breakneck speed. I can’t follow the question and hang up.
  1. Here’s the most important suggestion: Select the names you call carefully. I research each person I call via LinkedIn, Google or relevant professional directories. I only call people in my industry who have jobs in which they may hire freelance writers. I do not research the company before I make my initial call—that they are in the right industry is sufficient—but I am picky about who I call.

And now for some suggestions on what to say when you phone for freelance assignments:

The perfect cold calling script for freelancers and consultants

The best telephone script is the one you feel most comfortable with

Our greatest interest is ourselves, right? (The marketing conversation)

How’s phoning working for you? What is most successful?



Posted in cold calling for freelance and consulting, phoning for freelance and consulting work Tagged with: , , ,

Ah, how I long for rejection . . . a freelancer’s lament

Be careful what you wish for.

I, too, used to wish for no more rejection . . . and now I fear I have achieved it.

For years I have marketed my freelance business-writing practice primarily by picking up the phone and calling the most likely prospects, just as I recommend in my book, Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less.

Very few people said “no,” and I can only recall being hung up on once over the years.

Now I am launching a new marketing campaign for my freelance writing to coincide with a “special” birthday and I doubt that I will experience any active rejection. (My specialty is writing for property-casualty insurance companies and other businesses.)

I suspect that hardly anyone will answer my call, few will listen to the voicemail I always leave, and many will automatically delete the email that immediately follows my call. My own phone receives useless sales calls and recorded messages daily but only a few valid calls per week, and I expect many prospects to deal with me as I deal with my callers by using automatic delete responses.

The quality of phone calls I have received in recent months has clearly deteriorated. I get far too many sales calls for products and services of no interest to me, far too many recordings, and far too many investigations by Microsoft and the IRS. (I know they are fake because neither organization cares enough about me to call multiple times a day.)

My current campaign to fill my freelance schedule doubles as an experiment to see what works now and what doesn’t.

The romance of literary rejection

We writers have stories in our heads about what rejection is supposed to look like. The great authors experienced years of rejections and had the letters to show for it. They’d paper the walls of their garage or their study. They’d stack them up by the hundreds.

Today it’s rare to get a rejection. An actual rejection, whether by email or the rarer postal letter, is so unusual as to be taken for encouragement. Wow, someone cared enough to reject me actively!

Back to my plan

My plan is to phone, leave a voicemail if no one answers, and immediately send an email. I’m wondering if I should text as well. I dislike receiving texts from people with whom I do not have a personal relationship and I text infrequently.

However, I hear texting is much more popular with Millennials. So I’ve thought of giving it a try but I probably won’t. To me, the main attraction of texting is that I receive so few and almost always, the ones I get are from people I know well. I don’t want people sending me useless texts so I will practice texting karma and play nice with others.

How about you? What’s your experience with texting? Are you open to receiving business-related texts? What about phone calls and emails? I’d appreciate it if you would provide your age group as context.

Thanks so much. I’ll keep you posted on my marketing experiment.



Diana Schneidman is the author of Real Skills, Real Income: A Proven Marketing System to Land Well-Paid Freelance and Consulting Work in 30 Days or Less, available on Amazon. She coaches freelancers and consultants who want to land work quickly at www.StandUp8Times.com and has been a freelance writer for over two decades.


Posted in cold calling for freelance and consulting, Marketing Tagged with: , , ,

Hey, Mr. Trump, sorry I haven’t had the honor of working for you

As a freelance business copywriter, I’m small potatoes. My largest single assignment ever paid $15,000 (paid in full in advance), and I estimate I am still unpaid for about $500 of invoices in over two decades.

So here’s Donald Trump who has taken four companies into bankruptcy.

Don’t worry, The Donald is doing just fine. His companies went bankrupt but Donald-the-individual’s financial resources are H-U-G-E. Still has the plane, Mar-a-Lago, opulent New York City digs.

He says he loves debt. He loves to play with it. Regardless of what we’ve heard about his hands, he’s the biggest, baddest deal maker there is.

Some business pros say that negotiations should be win-win. Pathetic pansies! Trump is using his campaign to expand his message beyond TV shows and Trump University and teach us that effective negotiations are I-win-you-lose.

I understand that bankruptcy plays a valuable role in the economy. It enables business to take risk. It serves us better than debtor’s prison ever did. And I understand that Trump’s bankruptcies are perfectly legal.

What bugs me is the absence of humility. To deprive product and service providers of agreed-upon payment is nothing to brag about. And it is downright scary to see that many Americans aspire to do business like Trump.

But what do I know? I work from a modest home office in a modest suburban house where I make my own coffee and empty my own trash.

Not like business magnates who cockily negotiate with Trump.

Ah, the prestige of not getting paid for projects costing in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Of jetting out to NYC to gather with other bigwig creditors around a solid oak conference table outfitted with genuine leather chairs.

Not that Trump has ever offered to negotiate with me. Forgive my sour grapes.

Voters tell pollsters that Hillary is untrustworthy. But as best I can tell, she and Bill have paid their attorney fees and past campaign expenses in full. She’s my kind of crook.


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