Saturday, August 29, 2009

Learn To Say NO

Even though how much ever we might wish for not all clients fall in the same category. And when I say that i mean the good category! There are plenty of chances that you might land up with clients who might leave no stones unturned in making their project a real trouble to get over with. The issues could be plenty.

Your endless corrections might not be approved, they might still be looking out for answers towards what they are actually seeking out from you or worst that they decide endless times during the due course of the project to introduce changes.

Whatever be the reason the fact is that you are now tied up with a tough nut to crack. Solution? Get out of it!

  • Fortunately, as a freelancer you have the choice of weeding out projects and rejecting them if you start feeling uncomfortable in the initial stages itself. Believe me, that is the wisest thing to do. Understand this that if you end up taking that project you will be most probably hurling yourself towards a project which will not be making you happy for a long time. So it is better to refuse early on.
  • However if you have still somehow managed to put yourself in the midst of trouble and now wish to find a way out then the most workable solution is to politely convey your sentiments to the client. Agreed that in our line of work client referrals are very prized but then the refusal can be done in a very polite and courteous way too.
  • It would be a great idea if you could provide the client with alternatives like say names of other freelancers who might be interested in doing the project. By doing this you will not leave your client feeling that you deserted him midway.

So how do you just know that the project you are doing is just not good enough to be pursued further? The following points may be of help.

1. You realise that you have way passed the initial deadline that you had set towards completion of the project.
2. The main theme of the project has changed ever since you started working on it.
3. You are spending way too much time on the project than what you had decided to spend on it.
4. The client still seems confused and uncertain regarding the path on which the project is moving.
5. It is becoming very difficult to maintain regular contact with the client as he does not seem to be easily accessible.

If its a Yes for most of these points then it is better that you stamp the golden word NO and move on!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Freelancing: Is It Really For You?

The idea of freelancing brings in images of working from home, at will schedules, relaxed work conditions and a complete stress free environment. These conditions are sure to make the job look very attractive and alluring. But what is necessary is that you give freelancing a good thought before considering it as your profession. Need a checklist? Well here it is!

1. Be prepared to multitask! Working from home might make you feel that it would be a tension free job but believe you me when you work from home it is anything but that! You would be expected to take care of your household chores along with your job.

2. With most freelancers it is seen that an absence of steady income is the biggest grouse. This become all the more important when you have a family to support. The initial periods can be pretty choppy as a freelancer and you need to be prepared for it.

3. When you freelance you are a brand in itself. You have no secretaries and juniors to help them manage those for you now. When you freelance you are a one man army! You need to take care of all your advertising needs to make your name visible in the freelancing market. This can prove to be a little too much when you already have chores to handle, deadlines to meet and emails to take care of.

4. Making a schedule is not difficult, what is tough is sticking to it! As a freelancer there are times when you might just find this all very overwhelming. In the absence of a 9 to 5 schedule which you had back in office this might be a bit complicated! The inability to manage your time constructively can prove out to be very frustrating for most freelancers.

If you are game for the mentioned pointers then simply hop on! The world of freelancing is eager to greet you!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Take Your Freelancing Career From Good to Great

Being a freelance writer is a career option that anyone with a flair of writing can get into. You could make it your part time jig or you could opt for it as a full time career. It is in the latter case that you really need to put things into perspective. If freelance writing is your full time job option then you need to treat it as one.

Most of us in the line of business fail to generate this sense of seriousness and therefore find themselves fighting deadlines and working overtime. This should not be what you should be facing ideally. As a freelance you do have the liberty of working at your own will but one needs to be clever enough to make the most of the time.

I too faced similar situations when I started up as a freelance content writer. As I was working from home I had to handle my work responsibilities as well as the responsibilities back home. and believe you me this was not easy. The mantra which worked was ROUTINE.

  • You might be working from home but you need to follow a routine, something that you follow in the office. Till the time you do not infuse a generous amount of professionalism to your freelancing it will not succeed. Try and set a time schedule for yourself. Waking up at a fixed time, getting dressed, eating your breakfast and sitting down for work at an appointed time. This will tune your body and allow it to get into a routine.
  • Prioritize your time. You could designate a time slot during the day for checking mails and replying back, similarly a time slot for rest.
  • Since you are working from home you should also be prepared for unforeseen activities which you might have to cater too. Getting some repairs done, picking up or dropping guests or maybe having to pay a visit to the bank or post office. what is important is not to get irritated by these small changes. A bad mood could lead to a completely unproductive day at work!
  • Be regular on your blogs and websites too. You need to update your portfolio regularly as this is what your clients will look at when they visit your website. Any casualness here can result in clients turning back.
  • It is a good idea to have some personalized stationary printed for yourself. business cards, letterheads can add the needed touch of professionalism to your freelancing.
  • In freelancing it all boils down to networking. Make ample use of forums and blogs to interact with fellow writers. this would help you increase your base.
  • There could be no better advertisers and marketing options than your old clients. Once you are done with the project for your client does not mean that you do not remain in touch with them. It is always a good idea to maintain a regular follow up with them.
  • If you are in your initial stages of starting as a freelance writer and you are being offered to do some notable work for free then it would be a good idea to take it on. Building up a portfolio is what you should be concentrating on initially and for that you need to regularly keep on adding work. This does not imply that you take up any free project that comes your way. If you feel strongly towards a project and sense that it could help you to showcase your creativity then only opt for it.
These pointers might sound to be very basic and simple but they can do wonders to help you establish your self in your choice of field.


Friday, August 14, 2009

I am LIVE!

I have finally managed it. After months of deliberations and work my website is up and live!!! yes.. I am now officially stamped at ! It surely feels great to have a website. My identity, my profile and my portfolio all at the click of a mouse.. Convenience guys convenience!

I have kept the content short and simple. This was not an easy task! I mean I am used to writing volumes for others but when it comes to writing for self there is so much i wanted to put in that it was difficult to be selective. Using my personal experience i deliberately kept the content short and precise.

Would love to hear from everyone as to what they think of the same.. Since it is my baby so I don't see any short comings in it so I would value your suggestions!

Would not have been able to do so without the help of Megha... My words and her design made this a reality! :)


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Make Your Work Area Work For You

Working from as a freelancers allows me to work from home. A boon for someone like me who constantly worries about the house, the maid and home cooked food. I can now afford to to take care of all these; have a clean well home and have the luxury of cooking warm healthy meals too and at the same time work too! It does sound very appealing but believe me, it took more than some solid effort to make things work.
  • Working from home is good BUT getting into a routine is tough. when you are at home you are expected to multi task and yes you NEED to do it. But it is always good to have a routine. A routine will allow you to assign a time limit to all your activities and therefore not leave you hassled at the end of the day with a TO DO list still left to complete.
  • Working from home does not mean that you can work from the dining table. For a small time assignment that is feasible but if working full time at home then you need to have a work space of your own. If an extra room is beyond your reach at your home then a small well ventilated corner with ample light will do the needful. It is also advised that your work area should be screened from noise. A pair of sound proof headphones can do wonders to help you keep away from the noise.
  • It is always a good idea to keep your work area clean and organized. Removing unwanted papers and items can free the are and give you an area of space, something which can help you get that Eureka moment that you have been waiting for the entire day! Having a pen and paper handy to jot down those sudden idea's is a good idea!
  • Since working from home gives you the liberty to work you at your convenience( you can afford to go to an afternoon brunch and then work on till early morning!) you can go about fixing a time frame to handle your emails and then move on with your work and family priorities. The Internet too is a storehouse of several software tools which can help you managing your work tasks. Uploading files, HTML codes as well checking emails is not all that tough with these software's.


Monday, August 10, 2009

Useful Tools For Twitter

Twitter, the social networking site has now reached exceptional heights of popularity. Keeping up with same I came across this blog entry which lists out 15 useful Twitter Tools to extract the maximum from Twitter.... I myself am a regular tweeter and am infact using some of these listed tools.. Could relate to this information so thought of sharing it with you too! :)


Article: 15 Useful Twitter Tools.