Life of a Fulltime Freelancer

A lot of people ask me about how my liberation from employment has been. I always brush them off with a vague “ok laaa” or “surviving” or more recently, “it’s not bad, I’ve made new imaginary friends”.

Yes, as a fulltime freelance copywriter, I do tend to spend the majority of my working hours on my own at home. And as a writer, that’s a good thing, except when my upstairs neighbor decides to rearrange their furniture all of the sudden… damn you!

Row, row, row your boat... until you become a robot... all together now!

Solitude let’s me tap into whatever is left in the inner reaches of my mind, where incidentally my imaginary buddies lurk.

Okay enough about my imaginary friends; they are apparently blog-shy.

So as a fulltime freelancer, things are quite different these days. While my work still revolves around clients and deadlines, there is always this sense of uncertainty that lurks over my head.

But to be honest, it is the same feeling of uncertainty I felt when I was employed. But now, I am in control – everything is entirely up to me – which is a feeling like no other. It is a feeling of exhilaration and pride one moment, then anxiety and insecurity the next. Not for the faint of heart for sure.

Ahhh yes, I’ve also become quite adept at ‘freelancer speak’, which are things freelancers say to make things look better than they actually are or just to be nice, for example:

When I Say  > I Actually Mean

I am in between projects > I got nothing to do
I just came from another meeting > I had better things to do
Sorry I didn’t answer, I was in a meeting > Sorry, I just woke up
This weekend? Oh… I’m out of town > You crazy arr?!
Let me know what you think >  Don’t think so much

Errr… you guys know this post is just for laughs right?

How Much?

It’s a dilemma every freelancer faces; how much to charge?

Too high and you might not get the job. Too low and you’re spoiling the market. Somewhere in between and you’re competing with every other freelancer out there.

Money Sign
Will work for dough, not the bread kind ok?

As for myself, the way people perceive me is slight problem.  Since I write as a pastime and dish out free advertising and marketing advise in the process; people expect me to charge next to nothing – sometimes none at all!

There is a difference between just ‘writing’ and ‘knowing what to write’. After 13 years of being a copywriter – now almost 14 years – it’s safe to say that I have a pretty good idea about consumer motivations, how to compel action/purchase and essentially get the message across.

Don’t get me wrong, I am still learning and there are way better copywriters out there than myself. But I do have my strong points, so I think a little recognition is in order.

Here’s an excerpt from a classic marketing book Selling the Invincible by Harry Beckwith that makes my point so damn eloquently:

A man was suffering a persistent problem with his house. The floor squeaked. No matter what he tried, nothing worked.

Finally, he called a carpenter who friends said was a true craftsman.

The craftsman walked into the room and heard the squeak. He sat down with his toolbox, pulled out a hammer and nail, and pounded the nail into the floor with three blows.

The squeak was gone forever.

The carpenter pulled out an invoice slip, on which he wrote the total for $45. Above the total were two line items:

  • Hammering, $2
  • Knowing where to hammer, $43

So, you know… as I said… the thing is. Ahhh never mind… I rest my case.