Time Management

time-management-tips

My sincere apologies for my lack of posting on this blog (my author site is three times a week: http://www.mandyevebarnett.com) I have been coping with an ‘extended’ deadline with a client. The project started in October 2017 and was supposed to be completed by January 2018. However, the client has been rather too busy to complete their part of the project, hence we may have a completion date of 1st August 2018.

As you can imagine this has complicated my other projects but as it is an exciting and unique project I have been happy to postpone to ensure my client gets the finished project – a book – to his expectations.

Have you encountered an extension of a project like this? I would love to hear about it.

In the meantime I am sharing this helpful article. https://lifehacker.com/the-freelancers-guide-to-time-management-1627697425

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When a Client Requests an Extension to the Deadline

deadline

 

As we all know we are sometimes put in the position of requesting an extension to a deadline from our clients. However, I was put in the opposite situation with a client recently. The deadline had been set upon agreement of the project and I worked diligently towards that goal.

It soon became apparent that my client’s busy schedule hindered feedback and cancelled appointments were soon commonplace. As any freelancer knows when you have projects pending you schedule each one within the parameters of the deadlines set and give yourself ‘breathing room’ just in case. This particular project has extended nearly two months beyond the original deadline – yep 2 months!

As my other projects are more personal than client based this situation has not hampered or inconvenienced any other parties. It is however an unusual predicament when I am ‘chasing’ my client for updates rather than the other way around. I am walking a fine line between patience and impatience as I had projected a finish line and the ability to immerse myself in a large personal project long before now.

With an impending writing retreat specifically booked to begin my assignment, I am anxious to complete my client’s  project before the end of this month. Fingers crossed it will happen.

Have you ever experienced this kind of situation?

How did you deal with it?

Can you share any tips?

 

8 Questions to Ask a Potential Freelancing Client

client-meeting

When you first meet a potential client, it is preferable to have some idea of the company background prior to the meeting. This can be as simple as reading through their ‘about’ page on their website and familiarizing yourself with the key staff members. Make sure you know about the person you will be meeting.

If the project was by word of mouth ask the person, who referred you something about the company and their interactions with them.

Once you are in the meeting, stay relaxed and mention something you found interesting on their website – this will show you are prepared and have investigated the company prior to the meeting. This is a rather easier introduction than asking a ream of questions at the start of the meeting that takes up time, when it is the project they are more interested in discussing.

Keep your questions project specific – the more information you gather now the better it will be in enabling you to make an informed proposal. Try not to bombard the client with too many questions all at once. However, questions should include:

How do they envision the ‘finished’ project? If you have completed a similar project mention it to show your understanding and expertise. If you have concerns or questions state them now. 

Are there specific project instructions? Ensure you completely understand what they are asking for. If you can see any obstacles then advise them but offer solutions. This may not be possible there and then but note them to investigate later ans report back as soon as you can.

Who is the target audience? Is the project for internal or external use? Is it aimed at a specific demographic? What is the purpose of the project?

What is the tone of the writing they require? Conversational, business formal or brand specific?

How often do they require meetings and/or email communications? Keeping in touch with a client ensures they are not only updated but it also shows you are working towards the deadline. If at any time you need more time tell your client immediately – they will be more understanding than if you ‘hide’.

What is the deadline for the project? Before committing to the deadline research the entire project and ‘add’ time for problems, revisions etc. This ensures you have enough time to complete the project without putting unnecessary demands on yourself. If you finish earlier than expected that will be a bonus.

Will payment be in installments or a lump sum? Asking what method of payments are offered is not a taboo subject. Don’t be shy to state what payment schedule you prefer but be flexible.

Is there potential for future projects? Maybe you feel it is too early to ask this question but it will show your keenness to work with the company.

What specific questions do you feel need to be asked at the first meeting?

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Unusual Freelance Projects

Freelance blocks

Again I have been remiss in writing on this blog (my author blog posts are three times a week!) However, with a hectic schedule it is difficult to fit ‘everything’ in. That said I have been given a couple of unusual freelance projects in the past month or so.

One is to make a speech on a tour of cemeteries. Sounds bizarre doesn’t it? The tour is run by a local funeral company specializing in ‘alternative’ funerals and services. My part is to relate my experience of graveyards. What could I possibly say you ask? Well as a young teen I frequented an old graveyard not far from my childhood home as a place to escape my younger siblings and struggle with the hormone induced mood swings.

I cleaned the old grave markers revealing the names and dates and I felt I was honoring that person, who life was not just the ‘dash’ between dates. When on vacation in Wales I also found an ancient graveyard and again cleaned and honored those people. It became an annual ritual each time we stayed at Chapel Cottage.

This speech will be, in part, a way of looking at cemeteries in a different light. A place to reflect, honor and resolve.

graveyard

The other project was to read and review a fantasy novel. The narrative was crowded with characters and action, which certainly kept me on my reading toes for sure. Supporting other authors is one of my favorite pastimes.

book-review

Once again I am open to new projects so please feel free to contact me. I am happy to discuss all types of writing projects and tailor the price to the project.

 

The Land of Freelance Limbo

Apart from feeling awful that I have completely ignored this blog for such a  long time, I am experiencing a new phenomenon in my freelancing career.

Life has been hectic to say the least since last September. As President of my local Arts & Culture Council, I became the central hub for communication and organizing between my board and that of another non-profit. This meant hundreds of emails to answer and collate, creating and constantly updating a schedule – containing vendors, performers, volunteers, local organizations and even transport for a large event in my town. The event was incredibly successful and worth the months of stress. It became my main focus although I did have a lot of other events to attend during that period.Including a writing conference, where I did a couple of presentations and again assisted in the organizing.

http://accsc.ca/page-1823614 Our Heritage Day will now be an annual event – good grief!

I am now onto planning another event for my writers group, the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County – Words in the Park, as I am secretary. Yes I know I’m completely mad! But as the saying goes ‘ask a busy person’ and I’m certainly that!

Web site banner WitP 2017_0

I was hired to ghost write a book during this time too and managed to compile and update several drafts for my client. The page count target is 150 and we have 97 so far. However, my client has taken on a major task, which has meant putting this project on hold. Firstly, I totally understand this client’s decision – I know how having too many ‘fingers in the fire’ can burn you out! And secondly, it gives me some breathing room. With partial payment already made for the project I am confident we will complete the project in the near future.

In the meantime I’m open to new projects as my schedule has become unexpectedly open – feel free to contact me. I am open to a diverse number of projects, including social media blasts, article writing, creating new bio’s, instruction manuals, blog content etc. etc. See my testimonial page for an idea of my freelancing scope.

What do you do when you have a lull in freelance work?

I found this article to be quite interesting.

http://freelancefolder.com/7-ways-to-promote-yourself-when-you-have-to-put-your-freelancing-on-hold/