If you want your freelance editing or writing business to succeed, you need to establish some best practices. I’m going to share ten freelance best practices with you throughout the year, and today we’re starting with a lesson I should already know but keep forgetting:
Write it down.
Go ahead and grab some paper and pen.
Write. It. Down.
Why Should I Write It Down?
I don’t care you young you are. I don’t care how many state capitols, phone numbers, or X-men plot lines you have memorized—if you don’t write down important information, you will forget it.
The publishing industry can move at a snail’s pace, so it’s not uncommon to contact an author or editor, then not hear from that person for months. Are you sure you’re going to remember what you talked about?
I always think that I will. I never do. That’s let to me forgetting about once-discussed but not-confirmed projects; when the author reaches out to schedule the project, I have to search through my email to figure out what’s going on.
One time, I offered a client a discounted editing rate. Another client with a similar name contacted me a few weeks later. I wrote my contract for the second client with the first client’s discount, so I ended up doing both projects at reduced rates.
Don’t let this happen to you!
What Should I Write Down?
I’m glad you asked. Here are just a few things:
- Name, contact info, and the best way to reach them
- You contact’s time zone!
- What you discussed AND your impression (if you felt excited/uncomfortable/uncertain, etc. write it down)
- RATES! (If any rates were discussed, note it.)
- Confirmed deadlines
- Proposed deadlines
- Any special arrangements or considerations
Not sure if you need to write something down? Write it down anyway. Your clients will appreciate it, and so will you.