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Surprising 
Tips 
for 
Freelance 
Success 
1. Network 
with 
other 
freelancers; 
nobody 
can 
take 
on 
every 
assignment...
Checklist 
for 
a 
New 
Freelance 
Client 
Signed 
contract 
containing: 
o The 
scope 
of 
assignment 
(word 
count, 
top...
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Katherine Reynolds Lewis handout on freelance writing success for National Press Club bootcamp June 2014

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This is the handout for my talk at the National Press Club bootcamp on freelance journalism success, in June 2014. You can view the talk here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CK_7aqEUNzk&index=4&list=UUCzZgBJNene1BKBCBiHoXNA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5SyGptQki8&list=UUCzZgBJNene1BKBCBiHoXNA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wMkVBltNYs&index=2&list=UUCzZgBJNene1BKBCBiHoXNA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOrqAFZRHQQ&list=UUCzZgBJNene1BKBCBiHoXNA&index=1

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Katherine Reynolds Lewis handout on freelance writing success for National Press Club bootcamp June 2014

  1. 1. Surprising Tips for Freelance Success 1. Network with other freelancers; nobody can take on every assignment and you'll benefit from comparing marketing and negotiation strategies & problem clients. 2. Turning down poor-­‐paying gigs is your quickest path to financial success. Become ruthlessly efficient. Your time is your most valuable resource. 3. Don't count on your stable of clients remaining the same. Always be seeking new clients and planning for the possibility of losing an anchor client. -­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐-­‐ How to Calculate Your Freelance Rate 48 work weeks in a year (You'll need the vacation and sick days) 40 work hours in a week (Do you want to work more than this?) 1920 work hours in a year Assume 30% on marketing, networking, professional development, keeping records 1344 hours remaining 112 hours in a month 28 hours a week for revenue generating work To make a gross income of $50,000, you'll need to bill at least $37.20 an hour To make a gross income of $75,000, you'll need to bill at least $55.80 an hour To make a gross income of $100,000, you'll need to bill at least $74.40 an hour To make a gross income of $150,000, you'll need to bill at least $111.60 an hour etc. Assumptions: • no down time during your work week • marketing consumes the assumed amount of time • your clients pay on time and in full Don't forget about taxes, overhead, health insurance, retirement! That gross income must stretch further than a salary you would earn as an employee. Prepared for National Press Club Journalism Institute by Katherine Reynolds Lewis Katherine@KatherineRLewis.com * www.KatherineRLewis.com * @KatherineLewis Writing on money, work and family for Fortune, NY Times, USA Today, Washington Post, others
  2. 2. Checklist for a New Freelance Client Signed contract containing: o The scope of assignment (word count, topic) o Deadline o Rate o Copyright and contract terms acceptable to you. Red flags: "work for hire" or indemnity. o Payment terms • Will you be paid on delivery, acceptance or publication? • If the piece isn’t used, will you be paid the full amount or a kill fee? Written documentation of: o Agreed upon editorial timeline and expected number of revisions/edits. o Any items above that aren't in the publication's standard contract. Verbal understanding of: o The story's style and approach; any sidebars you'll need. o Whether you'll be asked to help to create artwork. For instance, find subjects for photos or provide data for graphics. o How much reporting the editor expects, such as number and types of sources. How much material (if any) you will need to provide for the publication to fact check. o Whether you should check in during the reporting process for reshaping the piece. o The best way and times to communicate: email or phone. It's good to know whether the editor has an anticipated busy time of day/day of the week/week of the month. o Any times when YOU will be unavailable, especially if the deadline is close to a planned vacation or other big project. Prepared for National Press Club Journalism Institute by Katherine Reynolds Lewis Katherine@KatherineRLewis.com * www.KatherineRLewis.com * @KatherineLewis Writing on money, work and family for Fortune, NY Times, USA Today, Washington Post, others

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