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Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

Friday, November 12, 2010

Susan Johnston recently blogged about clients that "just aren't that into you" over at FreelanceSwitch.com, and I have to say--her post rocked. In it, she talks about various types of clients--penny pinchers, disappearing acts, committment-phobes, big talkers, and control freaks that do not really value freelancers.

It got me thinking about our relationship with clients. As freelancers, you're on the outside. Let's face it--if you were at a desk in a corporate office 9-5 everyday as an employee, you'd be told why you weren't selected for the job ("The Disappearing Act"). But as a freelancer, who knows why clients disappear. If you were an employee, you wouldn't be penny-pinched--you'd know straight up what you were getting for a project, or for the hours you'd put into it.

So, essentially, being a freelancer presents its own challenges. I've had all of these types of clients, and it's really frustrating. For example, some give you loads of work and sing your praises for years--and then, nothing. Or some won't quite pin down when they want to start that "super urgent" project.

This is just part of the freelance life. You really can't take it personally when you're a contractor. It's the nature of the job to be mistreated, especially if you do not go the extra mile to show the same value as a company may perceive a regular employee. And even when you do, you can still wind up with clients that, well, just aren't that into you.

The key is persistence, and you develop more of it as you go. You have to keep going, keep searching out those great clients. Don't be surprised when clients come and go (the same way guys/gals came and went as you dated.) There may never be that perfect match forever and ever. You may only have a good client for a short time.

This is also the GREAT thing about being a freelancer--because sometimes you're just not that into a client either, and when a relationship goes sour (and your contract is up), it's okay to break things off.


link | posted by Kristen at 9:30 AM |


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1 Comments:

Blogger Susan Johnston commented at 9:52 AM~  

Thanks for the shout out, Kristen! Full-time jobs are a little like marriages (you're only supposed to have one at a time), but freelancing is more like dating. You don't have to commit to one person and it's a good idea to play the field so you don't get left high and dry.

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