Freelance life

Maximum, minimum, minimifidianism

"When I was growing up my parents always told me to never grow up splitting infinitives."
“‘Fuchsia is ghastly…’ Hmm…will anyone get the reference?”

If one indulges in minimifidianism, it is hardly surprising that one has time on one’s hands in which so to do. And if that doesn’t make you roll your eyes, then I will continue…

The social media networks are clogged with a contraflow of cambistic copywriters, harping on about not being paid on time or, worse still, doing jobs but not making enough money.

When you see me wittering on in that vein, I’m doing it for comedic effect. Always. It’s called satire; the diversion is catalytic for my own writing. [Cuirass on? ]

So this is a plea to anyone who writes for a living. Please, please, please (Andy wants 500 words, not 496) … PLEASE stop basking in the sadomasochistic glory that is borne of choosing to fill that awkward gap between Mondays and Fridays as a writer, by jobating clients and tergiversating on a daily basis.

“Oh, I’m a writer, see? Simply have to pick up a pen. Write because I love it. Bastards haven’t paid me / paid me well enough this week though…”

Fuchsia is ghastly, but on Twitter the evidence is incontrovertible; day in, day out, writers are bitching far too much about the rates they’re paid.

But – hang on a minute – what’s that, Skippy? Who sets the rates you’re charging?

Oh yes, that’s right. YOU DO.

Friends; Romans; country bumpkins all – here’s the quillet: if you’re confident you can choose the words to meet a brief, then charging an appropriate sum of money for that work IS meet and right so to do. Get it?

Look: meet – from the Greek axion meaning ‘a proposition that commends itself to general acceptance, assented to as soon as stated’. There is no need for verecundity. It’s time for copywriters to stop being unasinous. Clients have faith in the value of a fee when a writer believes in the worth of his or her work. How hard is it to grasp this fact? [Adjusts cuirass carefully…]

Andy once said he’d never met a writer who moaned about earning too much. Well, I abhor paying this amount of tax. So does he, probably. Go figure.

If you’re good at your job, then you’re worth your fee – but clients can only understand how and why you’re worth it, if you stop moaning and learn to quote properly in the first place.

So come on, people! Embrace the Wobegon that is within your soul! Let it flow, from coruscating nibs, into your next quotation. Tinkers, tailors, plumbers, electricians … they can all do it, why can’t you? [Doublechecks cuirass…]

It’s not difficult. £150 for an hour’s work, installing a toilet? Oh yes. £500, installing a new ring main? Cheap. Comes with a certificate too, probably.

Prostrate yourselves and prostitute yourselves you must. Please, set aside your minimifidianism (yes, yes you will have to look it up), and for heaven’s sakes, charge the right amount for the services you sell.

[Makes final adjustment to cuirass and awaits comments…]

4 Comment(s)

  1. Squid

    Kindly write a follow-up to this post and tell us how to find the clients who will pay the rates instead of gasping in horror and croaking “47p for a mere fortnight’s work? I MIGHT AS WELL WRITE IT MESELF!” I need more cash. To buy more dictionaries. I thank you.

    10th June 2013 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  2. Andy Maslen

    Here’s the simple but hard way to do it.

    1 Compile a list of the largest 1,000 companies in the industries you’d like to serve.
    2 Write to their marketing directors asking for work.

    The ones who reply will have the cash.

    Here’s another way. Quadruple your fees. Your new clients will be richer than the old ones.

    Or come to my Freelancing Masterclass in September and I’ll teach you.

    10th June 2013 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  3. Squid

    The simple but hard way is the path I am on currently. It’s not bringing in the work fast enough though.

    If I just quadruple my fees, I still need to attract the clients who’ll pay them. So, back to simple but hard.

    Freelancing Masterclass … how did I KNOW that would be the answer?! 😛

    10th June 2013 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  4. Andy Maslen

    I think the problem is that we’re in the middle of a prolongued recession. Nobody is getting floods of new clients 🙁

    Unfortunately it’s a slow process. But my point about fees wasn’t a flippant one. It is an important stage.

    To be upmarket, you have to *move* upmarket. To a certain extent the shift itself provokes a reaction in the marketplace.

    This quote sums it up: “Early to bed, early to rise, work like a dog and ADVERTISE!”

    So, where and how can you advertise to your ideal clients?

    Hint, hint…

    It won’t be on social media. Most busy managers at high-paying companies are too busy for it.

    10th June 2013 at 3:40 pm | Reply

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