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  • Diana Schneidman

Hey, freelancers, sorry if I’m exploiting you

I’ve got a complaint about something that I see other freelancers and consultants doing.

They whine about how their lousy clients divert them from their important work—creating info products to sell “while they sleep” and developing expensive coaching programs. Therefore they are forced to trade time for money.

I see ezines and blog posts on time management and business development in which freelancers expound on their own plans for “multiple streams of income” and how they’ll achieve them. And a key step is extricating their business out of this terrible time-for-money “trap.”

I’m on both sides of the divide. I offer freelance writing services and I pay for the freelance tech and graphic design services of others.

I’m on a third side too (if there can be a third side). I create info products for sale and coach people who want to build their soloprofessional practices. My fourth side is sleeping more because that’s when the income is, right?

When I read these complaints, I am, frankly, insulted. As someone who buys freelance services, I detect indignation, even resentment, that their freelance clients somehow exploit these service providers because they pay once instead of repeatedly into the future.

That kind of talk is a real turnoff and I would never want to work with someone who sees it like that.

If they feel I am exploiting them, well sorry, I’m out of here.

I’ve had my own experience sorting out this issue in my mind.

After many years of solely freelancing and consulting, I decided to change direction in favor of an info-product business. I needed a break from the old so I slacked on soliciting new assignments. But any that I accepted I did well and enthusiastically.

Now I’m back to freelance writing in addition to this blog, etc. because it is what I want to do.

Sure, I want more freelance income to add fiscal stability to my life and head off income hysteria so I can market product in ways that feel right to me.

But also, I have rediscovered how much I enjoy working with the right writing clients.

I specialize in writing about insurance and asset management. Other than that I don’t really have a brand.

If I had one, it would be about caring for the customer’s business as if it were my own. Enthusiasm, a love for moving projects forward, dedication to excellence, lots of idea generation, meeting deadlines religiously, answering the phone and reading emails frequently to keep projects moving. Stuff like that.

Don’t know that I am all that unique and the best in the world at any of that.

Don’t have a clever tagline even after years of thinking about it.

And even my one “fact,” that I specialize in certain industries, is open to exceptions. So I list “business” as my third specialty. That’s pretty all inclusive, isn’t it?

It boils down to this: I’d love to write your website or ghost write your blog entries and articles or author your press releases or whatever.


Originally posted 3-14-11

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