Friday, April 11, 2014

Increase Your Chances of Success by Making Smarter Attempts (Part 6)

This is the last part of this article series on increasing your chances of landing lucrative projects, shortening any "dry spells" you may still be experiencing, and improving your cash flow. 

Here are a few more suggestions:

For your cover letters

You can slash a few minutes here and there drafting your cover letters if you will come up with several templates, and then simply fill in the details according to what is needed by a potential client.

You should have several templates ready if you choose to look for projects in popular websites for freelancers and bid for them. Keep your portfolio or clips organized and up-to-date. If you'll provide links to your past works, make sure they're not "dead links."

There will also be certain times when you'll choose to go beyond your comfort zone and email queries to the managing editors of periodicals to which you're hoping to break in, either because they have a higher honorarium rate or a wider circulation. 

For your collection letters and other email correspondence

One of the worst problems that plague freelancing professionals up until now is clients attempting to rip them off by not settling the balance and leaving with the goods, never to be heard of again.

It may sound like I'm asking you to be ruthless, but you owe it to yourself to be compensated for your effort and hard work. Keep in mind that you're just as much of a professional as employees in a company's payroll.

For this purpose, you would need three basic types of collection letters. The first one is where your invoice should be attached, briefly stating that you expect the balance to be paid on a given date.

The second letter could simply be an acknowledgement that you have received the client's payment, and you're looking forward to the possibility of working with him again.

Or, it could also be a follow-up letter reminding your client to pay if enough time have passed (three to five business days) and you have not heard from him. 

Your client may have also replied after receiving your invoice, and for some reason told you that he would not be able to settle the remaining balance on the date upon which you agreed. So here's where you should negotiate with your client and offer a more flexible, or alternative mode, of payment.

Your third collection letter must be the one you send only after all remaining balance has been settled. This can be where you express thanks because your client had been willing to abide with the alternative payment plan you suggested. 

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