September 2010 Book Club Discussion – The Wealthy Freelancer

Let's get to this month's book club discussion about The Wealthy Freelancer. As usual, I'll pose 10 questions below. You can respond to all or just some of them in the comments below if you've read this book. You can also ask questions of other readers in the comments if you feel these don't cover something that was important to you. The discussion will remain open, so if you haven't finished the book yet (or even purchased your copy), go ahead and do that and then come back to join us!

  1. Overall, what was your favorite piece of advice given in The Wealthy Freelancer? Why?
  2. Was there anything in this book that you disagreed with strongly? Why?
  3. Do you see The Wealthy Freelancer as the type of resource you'll go back to again and again? If so, what features or specific information makes it a valuable resource in your eyes?
  4. To help us get an idea of your own background in relation to your thoughts on this book, what level of your career are you currently in? Are you a brand new freelancer looking for startup advice, or are you already an established freelance writer who turned to the book to help you kick your income up a notch?
  5. What are your thoughts on buzz pieces (starting on page 55 in the book)? Did you get any good ideas to create your own that you hadn't thought of before? Do you already have one or more buzz pieces to help you promote your freelance business?
  6. On pages 95-97 the authors talk about itemizing your services in your marketing material, and having a fee schedule available. Both let prospects know exactly what types of projects you're willing and able to take on. What are your thoughts on itemizing and having fee schedules available? Do you employ these tactics on your website or in other marketing materials? Why or why not?
  7. On pages 19-22, the authors discuss the concept of setting standards for your freelance writing business. Do you do this for your own freelance work? After reviewing the sample there and reasoning behind the process, are you considering it? How do you think not having standards laid out (whether on paper or even in your head) has affected your freelance writing business?
  8. Starting on page 139 the authors talk about what freelancers can do when clients say their professional rates are too high. Have you put any of these negotiation or follow-up tips to the test? How did they work out for you? If you haven't yet, do they sound like ideas you'd like to try the next time the issue comes up? Why or why not?
  9. On pages 195-196 of the book you'll find an "open letter to spouses and partners of freelancers." What are your thoughts on some of the requests laid out there? Can you see your own partner being willing to accept them? Is there anything you would add?
  10. In chapter 12 (secret 12) the authors talk about the "wealthy triangle" concept where you can balance a high freelance income with enough time to still enjoy life and pursue other interests. Where would you say you fall currently on the time-income curve? Where would you like be fall in that spectrum a year from now? Or are you already in the Wealthy Triangle (and if so, how did you get there)?

Remember, you can answer all of these questions or just a few if you prefer. You can discuss your thoughts on the book in the comments below, or pose your own questions for other readers.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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4 thoughts on “September 2010 Book Club Discussion – The Wealthy Freelancer”

  1. First of all, I love The Wealthy Freelancer! I’m not entirely done yet (but am half way through). However, from what I have read so far, it’s really a great book.

    1. This is a tough question. All of the advice given in the book (that I’ve read so far) has been truly wonderful. The introduction itself is very inspiring. I absolutely love the Matrix for Mindset Mastery idea though, where you put your performance level into 4 quadrants: Absorb, Expect, Invest and Develop, mainly because it has helped me find motivation – which, has in turn, increased my productivity. Motivation has always been a problem for me, since I’m constantly overworking myself. The Matrix for Mindset Mastery section has helped me to balance out my time.

    2. So far, I can’t say I disagree with anything yet.

    3. This book is designed so that it’s hard to NOT not go back to reflect on what you’ve read. Again, everything from the introduction (to help with inspiration) to each chapter is valuable to me.

    4. To be honest, I’m a brand new freelancer. I have been blogging for a few years, but I’m now in the process of starting a copywriting career.

    5. Unfortunately, I haven’t made it to this section yet. This is actually the section I left off at.

    7. Though I haven’t yet set a standard for my freelance writing business (since I’m just getting it started), I do plan to do so. Not from the very beginning, but once I have more experience and clients.

    Christina

    Reply
  2. 1. Overall, what was your favorite piece of advice given in The Wealthy Freelancer? Why?
    I don’t have the book in front of me, but what I most remember is that freelance writers are skilled professionals and should act like it, market like it, and price themselves like it.
    2. Was there anything in this book that you disagreed with strongly? Why?
    No.
    3. Do you see The Wealthy Freelancer as the type of resource you’ll go back to again and again? If so, what features or specific information makes it a valuable resource in your eyes?
    I already have. I bought/read the book last spring. I have re-read and highlighted many times since.
    4. To help us get an idea of your own background in relation to your thoughts on this book, what level of your career are you currently in? Are you a brand new freelancer looking for startup advice, or are you already an established freelance writer who turned to the book to help you kick your income up a notch?
    Already established and reading the book and applying its principles kicked my business up several notches.
    5. What are your thoughts on buzz pieces (starting on page 55 in the book)? Did you get any good ideas to create your own that you hadn’t thought of before? Do you already have one or more buzz pieces to help you promote your freelance business?
    I have created and distributed buzz pieces almost monthly.
    6. On pages 95-97 the authors talk about itemizing your services in your marketing material, and having a fee schedule available. Both let prospects know exactly what types of projects you’re willing and able to take on. What are your thoughts on itemizing and having fee schedules available? Do you employ these tactics on your website or in other marketing materials? Why or why not?
    I worked very hard on my rate sheets. I do not quote “off the cuff”; rate sheets are included in proposals when appropriate. All quotes are based on my rate sheets. Makes things easier, more professional, and I either get the job or I don’t.
    7. On pages 19-22, the authors discuss the concept of setting standards for your freelance writing business. Do you do this for your own freelance work? After reviewing the sample there and reasoning behind the process, are you considering it? How do you think not having standards laid out (whether on paper or even in your head) has affected your freelance writing business?
    After reading this book, I spent time setting and/or refining my standards. Thinking and acting like a professional has been so helpful.
    8. Starting on page 139 the authors talk about what freelancers can do when clients say their professional rates are too high. Have you put any of these negotiation or follow-up tips to the test? How did they work out for you? If you haven’t yet, do they sound like ideas you’d like to try the next time the issue comes up? Why or why not?
    If my rates are too high, then people can’t afford me, period. After we have come to a “good place” in the negotiations, then maybe a little wiggle room is possible. My previous clients have “grandfathered” agreements. The one time I didn’t follow instructions I was screwed. The client owes me almost $1,000 and I doubt I will see it–that’s what I get for being “nice”.
    9. On pages 195-196 of the book you’ll find an “open letter to spouses and partners of freelancers.” What are your thoughts on some of the requests laid out there? Can you see your own partner being willing to accept them? Is there anything you would add?
    My husband is already very supportive; maybe it’s the $5,000 – $7,000/month in billings that keeps him happy…twice as much as before.
    10. In chapter 12 (secret 12) the authors talk about the “wealthy triangle” concept where you can balance a high freelance income with enough time to still enjoy life and pursue other interests. Where would you say you fall currently on the time-income curve? Where would you like be fall in that spectrum a year from now? Or are you already in the Wealthy Triangle (and if so, how did you get there)?
    I’m getting there. You MUST work your business as a business.
    The one thing I am really working on is working my own schedule. I am a very early riser and I fade in the afternoon and evening. I am finally learning that I can work at 4am, make necessary calls at 9am, take a 2-hour nap in the afternoon, answer any other emails/calls at 3 pm and then shut my office door. Clients/prospects don’t disappear in a couple of hours and I don’t want to talk when I’m working anyway. So why not work when I’m most alert–4-7 am? I don’t have to work 9 – 5.

    Reply

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