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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Is Your Writing Client Your Boss?

I was reading the latest issue of the Freelance Writing Success newsletter. Writer Nick Osborne made a very good point. He said if you are doing most of your work for a single client, then you have a boss. That's because you are so dependent on that single source of income that you can't afford to say no. In other words, you're not in charge any more.

That really made me think. I have a great relationship with the clients I work with, but I don't want to depend exclusively on any of them. That's why I keep seeking out new work and I keep promoting myself.

As a freelance writer and ghostwriter, I need to be able to say no sometimes. I need to be in charge of balancing my workload. I need to be the one making decisions about my career. After all, that's why I stopped working for a boss and started working for myself.


Dana Prince said...

I felt a little like I had a boss this morning. I have a client I've written for on a monthly basis, for nearly a year and have never heard a word of complaint from them until today. They really didn't explain themselves well in a project brief and I went back two or three times for clarirfication and finally wrote what they asked for. Now, their boss wants an entire rewrite of an 8000 word project with a lot (alot alot!) of research.
A small part of me was tempted to tell them to get stuffed but it's a good client and now I'm feeling reminiscent of an 'I hate my boss' day that I might have had several years ago when working for others.

Good advice you've given. Right about now I'm feeling like I work for someone else but on the plus side, this is the first time this has happened and is a good learning experience for me.

I guess in a way, they need to be treated "boss-like" so that they'll come back for repeat business :)

BloggingWriter said...

I'm having one of those days myself, Dana, and it's hard. However, those days are much rarer now that I work for myself.

Amanda Evans said...

That's a great post and one that really does get you thinking. I have a number of clients that I have worked with for nearly two years and have developed quite a good relationship with them too. Sometimes though it can feel like working for a boss especially when they spring things on your like projects that are urgent and they need them like yesterday. I also like the point you made about not having to rely on clients, I have to admit that I was guilty of this but now I make a point of getting at least one new client per week just to keep things fresh.

Just My 2 cents,


BloggingWriter said...

Yes, Amanda, there's always a balance between maintaining relationships with clients and handing over career control to them - I now spend more time actively seeking new clients, even though I have some very good existing ones. Thanks for stopping by :)