Friday, June 6, 2014

A Guide to Freelancing Part 4: Creating a Workbook




Let's talk about repeat business, because this is where much of your residual income will come from.

Your ability to succeed in this business will depend on your ability to sustain a working relationship with your base list of clients. Landing new clients is very important however being able to tap your client list for repeat business is your bread and butter, so to speak. 

In anticipation of your new client list, pick your favorite office software and/or app for your mobile device. If you're not the most technologically inclined, pick up some red and blue ink pens and a few legal pads.

MS Office is a standard tool, however, for the more frugal PC users I also recommend one or more of the following;

  • OpenOffice: Free and functions much the same way as Microsoft Office.
  • LibreOffice: Also a free facsimile of Microsoft Office, not quite as daunting.
  • Evernote: Free, and the last note-taking software you'll ever need.

This part of the blog forward assumes some proficiency with MS Office.

In order to have quick easy access to important client information. Open a new Excel spreadsheet; save it as "Client List"; and create a two tabbed document. The first tab will keep track of client specific information, the second tab will track each project.

First Tab - "Basic Client Information":
1). Company Name
2). Contact Name
3). Contact Address
4). Contact Phone Number
5). Contact Email Address
6). First Contact - This is good information to keep on record as you may be surprised at how long you may retain certain working relationships.
7). Payment Issues - Do they pay when they promise or do you have to repeatedly request funds.

Second Tab - "Project Specific Data":
1). Contact Date
2). Initiated By
3). Requested Project Terms
4). Date Accepted/Rejected
5). Why - If either party rejects the offer.
6). Type of Project - This helps establish a baseline when requesting work in the future. If you write an epic fantasy novel for a client, you may not want to ask them if they need an article explaining the intricacies of a smart phone.
7). Commission For Project - Over time this establishes an expectation of the pay scale this client may be inclined to offer for your future mutual endeavors.

Once you have this set up, you're ready to go. 
This is the final post in the planning stage of becoming a successful freelance writer. 
Next week, we'll get into finding and landing work.

Thanks for reading.

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