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6/13/14 
1 
Is 
Freelancing 
Right 
for 
You? 
Prepared 
for 
the 
Na2onal 
Press 
Club 
Journalism 
Ins2tute 
Who 
am 
I?...
6/13/14 
2 
Common 
Questions 
• How 
to 
find 
clients? 
• How 
much 
to 
charge? 
• How 
to 
protect 
yourself? 
The 
An...
6/13/14 
3 
Looks 
Good? 
Remember: 
• Assump2ons: 
• no 
down 
2me 
during 
your 
work 
week 
• marke2ng 
consumes 
the 
...
6/13/14 
4 
A 
Word 
About 
Rights 
• I’m 
not 
a 
lawyer 
– 
this 
isn’t 
legal 
advice 
• Red 
flag 
1: 
work 
for 
hire...
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Katherine Reynolds Lewis slides on freelance writing success for National Press Club bootcamp June 2014

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These are the slides 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 slides on freelance writing success for National Press Club bootcamp June 2014

  1. 1. 6/13/14 1 Is Freelancing Right for You? Prepared for the Na2onal Press Club Journalism Ins2tute Who am I? • Katherine Reynolds Lewis • 20 years of journalism experience • Was on staff of Bond Buyer, Bloomberg, Newhouse • Full-­‐2me independent journalist Nov 2008-­‐present • Steady wri2ng clients: About.com, Federal Computer Week, Fortune, USA Today's magazine group, Working Mother • Other freelance bylines in Bankrate.com, Bloomberg Businessweek, Consumer Digest, Money, Msn.com, New York Times, Parade, Slate, Washington Post • Edit and ghostwrite for nonprofits, small businesses Who are you? • Employment status? (Full-­‐2me employed – part-­‐2me employed – looking for work) • Freelance experience? (Freelanced in past – Freelancing now) • Freelance hopes? (Part-­‐2me / on the side – goal to freelance full 2me) Secret to Freelance Success Clarity • Understand why you're taking on any given project or client • Pay -­‐ Pres2ge -­‐ Personal fulfillment • Keep that mo2ve in forefront of your mind • It’s business, not personal
  2. 2. 6/13/14 2 Common Questions • How to find clients? • How much to charge? • How to protect yourself? The Anchor Client • Wri2ng a newslecer or column. • Part-­‐2me edi2ng or produc2on work. • Part-­‐2me non-­‐journalism work (recep2onist, security guard, bartender). • A regular blogging gig. • Contribu2ng editor posi2on or wri2ng contract that guarantees a certain monthly income. • A book contract with a generous advance. • To get you started: a spouse with a steady job, a severance package or a savings cushion. • A grant, fellowship or Kickstarter campaign. Setting Your Rate • Calculate and s2ck to your hourly rate or range • Can shid for project’s pres2ge/personal fulfillment • Es2mate the hours needed and track your work on • Use the new client checklist for an accurate es2mate • Stop working when you’ve hit the budgeted 2me • The first rate is usually the final rate • Don’t be distracted by the per word rate • Never name a rate over the phone – give a proposal How to Calculate Your Rate • 48 work weeks in a year • 40 work hours in a week • 1920 work hours in a year • Assume 30% on marke2ng, networking, professional development, keeping records • 1344 hours remaining • 112 hours in a month • 28 hours a week for revenue genera2ng work • For a gross income of $50,000, bill at least $37.20 /hr • For a gross income of $75,000, bill at least $55.80 /hr • For a gross income of $100,000, bill at least $74.40 / hr • For a gross income of $150,000, bill at least $111.60 / hr
  3. 3. 6/13/14 3 Looks Good? Remember: • Assump2ons: • no down 2me during your work week • marke2ng consumes the assumed amount of 2me • your clients pay on 2me and in full • Taxes, overhead, health insurance, re2rement! • That gross income must stretch farther than a salary you would earn as an employee. Turning Down Work • Oden the best move for freelance success • Stay off the slow hamster wheel! Spend your 2me pitching and marke2ng • Bad clients = low pay, high maintenance, unreliable, unfavorable contract terms. Everything Is Negotiable • Ask for more money • Ask for more 2me • Ask for more rights • Ask for more work • Ask nicely! Protecting Yourself • Get it in wri2ng • Work through referrals • Understand basic copyright terms, libel risks
  4. 4. 6/13/14 4 A Word About Rights • I’m not a lawyer – this isn’t legal advice • Red flag 1: work for hire • Red flag 2: indemnify • Dream big! Could this be your Argo? Managing Yourself • This is the hardest part of freelancing. • Find networks of support. Be generous • Get out of your home office. • Con2nually seek more work from best clients. • Take two hours each week to career plan. Any Questions? • 301-­‐767-­‐9830 • Katherine@KatherineRLewis.com • @KatherineLewis • www.facebook.com/KatherineRLewis

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