Is Your Freelance Career Fueled by Fear?

December 9th, 2010 (24 Comments)

“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” – Benjamin Franklin WARNING: do not read the following sentence. Yes, this one! Why did you read it when I asked you not to? Don’t even think of reading the next line either. Are you blind? You just did it […]

Call Off Black Friday

November 19th, 2010 (24 Comments)

10-plus money-saving tips for the frugal freelancer! My mother must have had a Master’s Degree in Money Management. As a child, I hated it. At the supermarket checkout there was always some whiny kid in front of me, pointing at the strategically placed sweets. “Mommy, I want a lollipop!” cried the boy. The little brat […]

It’s the stupid economy!

October 27th, 2010 (19 Comments)

If we blame the economy for all of our freelance failures, perhaps it’s only fair that we should credit the economy for all of our successes. After all: we’re hopelessly helpless. It’s the economy, stupid! In 2000, Cleanthi Peters sued Universal Studios for $15,000. Cleanthi claimed to have suffered “extreme fear, mental anguish, and emotional […]

Landing jobs without auditioning: the Claire Dodin interview

October 20th, 2010 (7 Comments)

When Claire Dodin was about seven years old, her mother built a theater in the attic of their apartment. Claire and her sister started putting on plays for her friends. Claire: “It was such a happy time, and I decided I’d just have to play for the rest of my life!” Fast-forward a few years, […]

Cold Calling is Dead

September 20th, 2010 (41 Comments)

Is there a cure for the common cold call, or should we just let it rest in peace? Before you start reading, let’s do a quick experiment. In a moment I am going to list four things. As soon as you see number one, simply label your very first response as either positive or negative […]

Dealing with non-English speaking clients

September 3rd, 2010 (18 Comments)

Thanks to the internet, any business is now a global business. Getting through to non-native English speakers can be a serious challenge. But just because your client knows a few English words, doesn’t mean he understands everything you’re saying. Here’s how not to get lost in translation. “I have a good one,” I said to my friend […]

FU, or the Power of PR

August 12th, 2010 (17 Comments)

Here’s a question for you: Can ten minutes make a ten thousand dollar difference? Not so long ago, a colleague introduced me to a client in need of a narrator. His institute was searching for a European voice and for someone who could read an audio book full of names and quotes in German, French, […]

Never Bite the Hand

July 26th, 2010 (4 Comments)

“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, why didn’t I become a photographer instead of a voice-over?” That was typical Bill. No “Hello” or “How are you”. Bill always comes in with some kind of wisecrack. “Why do you look so happy?” I asked. “Just watching you makes me miserable.” “I think I nailed that […]

The Yin and Yang of Freelancing

July 15th, 2010 (13 Comments)

IMPOSSIBLE CLIENTS. We know who you are! You’re searching for a specialist who can handle almost anything. Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? Does your family doctor make a great brain surgeon? Can a novelist write irresistible advertising copy? Yet, some clients are looking for a be-all, do-it-all freelancer with young, fresh ideas and years […]

How I Beat the Recession

July 2nd, 2010 (17 Comments)

RECESSION DEPRESSION… I don’t think it has made it into the DSM-IV yet (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Give it some time and the American Psychiatric Association might include it in the next edition (together with Orthorexia nervosa, a harmful obsession with health foods). If your plate or glass always appears to […]