If freelancers could invent our own clichés, one might be: no two jobs are the same. Each gig we take on brings with it new personalities, new challenges and new rewards. Despite these differences, most any freelancing gig will fit into one of these twenty types.
Where does the job you’re (supposed to be) working on now fit in?
Have you done each of these kinds of jobs before?
My guess is that most experienced freelancers will have encountered quite a few!
1. The magnum opus
The job you’ve always wanted, the job you’ll tell your grand-kids about. You get asked to write a book, land design work for a super-company like Coca Cola or get an article published in Business Week. The money doesn’t really matter — though it’s probably pretty good! Because this kind of opportunity doesn’t come along every day, you make this job personal, you obsess over it and make sure every single detail has been polished to a brilliant shine.
These kinds of jobs can feel more like play than work. They’re hard to forget for all the right reasons, and can take your credibility and perceived value as a freelancer to the next level.
Magnum opus jobs can be time vacuums. Being paid $X,000 for a project doesn’t work out to much if you spend a hundreds of hours polishing up the bells and whistles.
There are loads of different types of clients out there and chances are at some point you’ll get to meet all of them. So let’s take a look through some typical clients and see if you recognize a few of your own in there!
Client Breed #1: The Low-Tech Client
How to Spot One:
Looks confused and disoriented when discussing anything high-tech, calls rather than emails, wants everything to be faxed. The Low-tech client needs to go through everything twice to get it, but will then happily take your advice.
The Low-tech client will rely solely on your sage wisdom for all things technology related. They will look to you as your technology saviour and will stroke your ego with their reverence of your knowledge and advice.
The low-tech client will need to be handheld through everything from setting up their email to opening up PDFs. Charge accordingly. They can also be particularly frustrating if they decide to ‘work it out themselves’. A Low-tech client’s idea of how a website should work for example is often not pretty.
How to Work With One:
The low-tech client needs to be handheld. Make sure everything technical about a job is in writing for them to reread at their leisure. This will save you a lot of time explaining things repeatedly. It’s also best to just accept that you will not be using a lot of the technology that makes our lives easier these days (email, online project management etc) and should instead budget in time for phone calls, faxes and face to face meetings. Continue Reading
As I sit here in the Melbourne Airport, it’s starting to dawn on me that I’ve been looking at travel and freelancing with decidedly rose-colored glasses.
Up to this point I have always thought that working while on the move was a relatively simple thing. With the world-wide penetration of wireless, moving throughout the world with your laptop should be a snap.
The reality is, it makes me want to chew glass.
Motivational posters have graced the offices of businesses throughout the world. They typically contain an inspiring word followed by text designed to grab you by the neck and shake you into action.
They make me sick every time I look at one. So here are a few de-motivational posters to abase and darken your freelance office with. Warning, humor lurks ahead.
Well, this is it people. You’ve read Part 1 and Part 2 of our Crazy Comment Personality Guide. Although there is a heap more crazy on the Internet, this week we’re going to wrap up our tour of the crazy comment personality types you will most likely face on your blog.
Hopefully you have learned through these articles how to identify these special people and deal with them. Feel free to use your knowledge to root them out and step all over their dreams.
** Warning – this article may contain humor **
Hopefully you were able to catch our previous introduction to crazy comment personality types. Last time, we covered the delights of First! Freddy and Angry Andrew.
As we move along into the second half of our list we will be introduced to two more delightful characters. This week: Grammar Gertie and Self-Promotion Sammy.
Writers and bloggers beware. Continue Reading
Nothing can bring so much joy and pain to the hearts of writers and bloggers like the Internet commenter. With our breath held we hover over the comment link and wage the internal battle of whether to click or not.
While good writers do not live and die by comment feedback, there are certainly times when we have wished that we never clicked that link.
After spending over a decade in retail, rage is one thing I am very acquainted with. Like a warm blanket, rage was always there to snuggle up to after a particularly trying day of work.
Imagine my surprise when doctors reveled that rage can actually be harmful for you? Such a silly notion I thought. Not my good friend rage. He’s always taken such good care of me.
Remember when you were a kid and your Uncle kept making a quarter disappear and then he pulled it out of your ear? Pretty annoying, huh?
Well, maybe it was cool the first time he did it, but after the 10th time you were probably thinking “Give me the dang quarter already!”
So here are a few business card tricks you can try out on clients to delight them or annoy them with your amazing slight of hand!
Though the holiday season reminds us of many wonderful things, peace on Earth and good will seems shattered for most the minute family walks through the door. If not a visit, the annual phone call to grandmother is stressed by the repeat attempt to explain to her what it is you do for a living. At least you can tell her your phone battery is dying and you need to hang up, but even that brings an explanation as to why a phone needs a battery.
It’s based on love and concern. Keep saying that so you don’t unwrap a shotgun at the dinner table and scream, “JUST WHAT I WANTED!” Ho-BLAM-ho-BLAM-ho-BLAM!
You all know the problem; non-creatives who don’t understand how you can make a living creating, designing, developing web sites, coding or designing logos and such. Sure, old drunken Uncle “touchy” has always wanted you to do logos for his friend who owns Microsoft as a “favor to him” or to paint his company logo, consisting of a slug dressed as a sewer cleaner on the side of his panel truck, but does family understand what we do and why we love it? If they did, I wouldn’t be writing this therapeutic article and pounding on my keyboard as if I wanted to give the keys concussions. Continue Reading
As freelancers we’re always on the lookout for some great advice. As for me, nothing beats the advice from a man known simply as Mr. Dressup.
Ernie Coombs, or Mr. Dressup as he was known to his closest friends, was an American turned Canadian who starred in a long running children’s show in Canada. During his 27 years on television he dispensed some valuable life lessons that I’ve incorporated throughout my freelance career.
Here are a few of them.
There’s something about skinny white men prancing about that just screams “business acumen.” And if there was any band more white or more prancy than WHAM!, I haven’t found it yet.
So here is why everything I’ve learnt about freelancing can be attributed to WHAM!