Thursday, March 13, 2014

Say "No" to the Good and "Yes" to Projects That Are Better or Best

Once you've spent two to three years or more as a freelancing professional and you've nailed down your specialties, you can now be more discerning about the type of projects you will accept.

Gradually, as you gain progress in your career, you would want to be more efficient than ever, turning in quality work in far less time than when you once started out.

Having said this, here's a good rule of thumb to follow:

Assess every potential project with its value in mind.

To illustrate my point, take a look at the following: 

  • Writing one 800- to 1,200-word magazine article versus four 250-word blog articles
  • Landing a project involving website development that pays USD500-USD1,000 versus working on three copywriting projects
  • Writing or editing an average of three to five resumes a week versus proofreading documents  
  • Receiving USD30-USD40 as an hourly rate versus getting paid on a per-project or per-page basis 
  • Writing a set of articles (say, a minimum of four to six) and selling them to companies utilizing content marketing versus reviewing products or services where you are entitled to freebies
  • Writing or editing grants versus writing or editing business plans
  • Volunteering your time and skills, or offering your services pro-bono in order to beef up your resume or portfolio and gain valuable experience versus paying for a seminar

You may have figured out that just because one freelancing gig pays USD500 or more, doesn't mean you can't make the same amount by working on a series of smaller gigs.

You may also compare which project has more value in terms of time. If you chose to get paid on an hourly rate and you're charging competitive (although still reasonable) fees, you may think that working on a project that may last for only several weeks or a few months at the most may not be worth it, no matter how large it pays.

And if your specialty is based on the experience you've had before turning freelance (e.g. you've worked in human resource), you may have attracted a sizable clientele because people had you in mind when it comes to creating or polishing resumes that are guaranteed to land them that much-coveted job interview. 

You may also evaluate a project's value in terms of how much money it will save you annually on seminar or workshop fees by volunteering your skills. Freelancers of all stripes should be steadfast in their pursuit of growth.

Since a one- or two-day seminar deals with a topic with greater depth, facilitators may price their fees at Php4,000-Php5,000 at the lowest, inclusive of meals and materials. Compare that to setting aside an hour or two a day, twice or thrice a week, helping a non-profit organization or any group that may need extra hands for their causes. You get to apply your skills on an actual setting, and learn to deal with people and manage yourself accordingly.

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