BIG Freelancing No-No

In Learn from my mistakes. on August 23, 2009 at 3:42 am

If you’re reading this then you qualify to be one of my valued readers – and as such I wish with all my heart that you will learn from my mistakes and not be doomed to repeat them.

So I’ll let you in on a little secret….as a freelancer your job is to complete your assignment in the allotted time (or before if you really want to impress some people) and adhere to the client’s specifications.  This is true even before you’ve landed the job when you promise your prospective client some samples.

A few weeks ago I called a woman that I’d met and asked if she needed any assistance writing a newsletter for her organization.  She asked is she could see some of my work and told her I’d have some samples to her within a couple days.  Here’s the rub – I don’t have the samples.  So I have to write brand new samples and get them to her in a couple days.  With a 12 month old in the house under my care 24 hours a day that was impossible, as I would soon learn, since I still have not gotten those samples to her.

I am still working on the samples and I will send them to her along with my sincere and heartfelt apology for taking so long.  I will try to make her understand that this is not how she should expect me to handle business in the future, and that I am usually very punctual with my assignments and deliver quality material on or before the time discussed.  But needless to say I probably will not be getting her business, no matter how flawless my samples are or how sweet my apology is.

The lesson to be learned here?  Don’t take on a project you can’t handle.  And always under promise what you can deliver.  Even if you’re absolutely positive you can have that piece done in a week, promise to have it done in two (or three)- just in case.  Either something will come up and you’ll be right on time, or you’ll finish early and your client will be pleasantly surprised.

In the future I will be taking my own advice.

  1. You know as a writer deadline is everything!

    This is funny, because to make it work w/twin toddlers I have to wake up at the crack of dawn (5am) and forgo a shower to write!

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