Thursday, October 17, 2013

Watch Out for "Sticky Situations"

When you are in business, it's easy to think that it's all about the product or the service. But here's the truth: business is all about turning people into loyal, satisfied customers. And the more satisfied customers you have, the faster your business will grow.

It's the same thing with being a professional freelancer. You may think of yourself as an independent contractor because you're not in any company's payroll. 

And yet, pause for a moment and consider: you are competing not just with other freelancers for jobs and projects, but with salaried professionals as well.

You are in the business of presenting yourself to potential clients, making them see your worth 

Now, I have mentioned the importance of being professional in all your encounters and transactions with your clients, but be reminded that there will be times when you'll find yourself in inevitable "sticky situations."

What are these "sticky situations"? Consider the following:
  • You have underestimated the length of time it would take to finish a proofreading assignment. Your client has made it clear that he's on a tight schedule and expect you to deliver on time. But the truth is, it's just impossible for you to meet the deadline.
  • You accepted a project where you have to write copy for a three-fold brochure promoting a catering business that specializes on parties and events on a budget. In addition to knowing everything about the business, you had to look for satisfied customers and interview them for the testimonials section of the brochure. You racked up a considerable amount of time calling people on your mobile phone, and, not to mention, expenses on mileage. How should you bill your client?
  • You made it clear to your client that you are only allowing up to a certain number of rewrites in your article writing service. You email your client the number of articles he wanted, and he replied that "you did a good job" and asked you to bill him right away. You had your invoice prepared and emailed it to your client, but when he replied, your client says that your articles "could still use some work" (read: further revisions). Otherwise, he will withhold full payment. What would you do?
As you can see, "sticky situations" require handling with extreme care. I'll talk about possible solutions in my next articles.

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