Rather than doing an hourly breakdown or a daily breakdown of my freelance life, this week I figured I'd share with you my project breakdown!
These are the projects I worked on this week:
- Edited a manuscript and created content for the back-of-the-book blurb.
- Updated and managed social media for a client.
- Conducted a website analysis for a client.
- Transcribed lecture notes for university courses.
- Worked on a business book for NaNoWriMo.
- Wrote blog posts for a client.
- Wrote blog posts and updated/managed social media for my personal accounts.
- Attended a resource and development meeting for a volunteer committee I'm on.
- Did some big-picture planning for my business (I've got a brand new service---just for bloggers!---in the works that I'll be launching in January. I'm really excited for it!).
What projects did you work on this week? Share in the comments section below!
Last week we talked about why testimonials are important for freelancers. Now it's time to discuss how to request testimonials from your clients!
Here are some tips for asking for testimonials from clients:
- Ask for testimonials from clients with whom you have an established relationship and history. I was working part-time as a freelancer for years before I asked a single client for a testimonial. When I finally did request testimonials, I asked for them from three clients. I had been working with all three clients on and off for at least a few years; one of them, I had provided work every single month for five years in a row. If you're just starting out as a freelancer, obviously you shouldn't wait years before asking for testimonials! But ideally, you will start out by asking for testimonials from clients that you're comfortable with and who you have worked with a few times before.
- Explain why you want testimonials. Let them know where you'll be posting the testimonials. If you have used that client as a reference in the past, explain that you are hoping to use a testimonial from them instead of always needing to contact them about being a reference for you, for example.
- Emphasize what exactly you are looking for in a testimonial. This is extremely important! Make it as easy as possible for your clients. Explain that you're just looking for a few sentences about what they like best about your work or why they use you as a freelancer, for example. That gives them some direction. Then you can also make a point of saying that if there's anything else they'd like to add, they can feel free to do so. That gives them some opportunity to get creative or add in other things you might not have thought of. When I first requested testimonials from clients, I was surprised (in a good way!) at how they all commented on the quality of my work and the timeliness of it. Testimonials can be very useful at getting insight in how others see you and where your strengths are!
- Include a testimonial request at the end of each invoice. This is a good way to ask for a testimonial without actually doing it - a nice option if you're shy! You just need a single line at the bottom of your invoice, inviting them to provide you with a testimonial that you can publish on your website. You can even link back to your Testimonials page so that they have an idea of the type of thing you're looking for. This option doesn't yield quite as good results as it does from asking for a testimonial personally, but if you're working up the courage to request a testimonial, it's something that is easy to implement.
When it comes to getting testimonials, you don't need to ask for them all at once. For some people, you might ask for testimonials earlier in the work relationship than others. Ultimately, go with your gut! If it doesn't feel like it's quite the right time to request a testimonial, then wait. As long as you have a minimum of three thoughtful testimonials, you are off to a great start.
What would you add to this list? How do you feel about asking for testimonials (or being asked to provide a testimonial)? Share in the comments section below!
Saturdays, as you know, are a bit of a mixed bag around here! While I'll mostly be posting updates on the past week, sharing quotes and ideas from the week, and providing insights into the freelance life, I might also occasionally slip in something like a word of the day---just for the fun of it (and, of course, the opportunity to constantly learn more!).
I quite like today's word. From the Canadian Oxford English Dictionary:
1. a form of reasoning in which a conclusion is drawn from two given or assumed propositions (premises): a common or middle term is present in the two premises but not in the conclusion, which may be invalid, e.g. all trains are long; some buses are long; therefore some buses are trains: the common term is long.
2. deductive reasoning as distinct from induction.
Can you think of any syllogisms you've encountered recently?
Editing is HARD... but you make it look so easy!
- One of my client's who creates academic worksheets, web copy, and manuscripts.
When one of my clients made the above comment about my work, it made my day - and it also reminded me that not everyone can do what I do.
I think that sometimes, when we really love our work, and when we have some natural skill for it, and when we have also completed programs and conducted research and are constantly learning more and fine-tuning our abilities every day, we forget that there are very good reasons why people hire us to do the work for them: either they don't enjoy it, they don't have the time for it, or, far more likely, they don't have that skill.