"Consultants" and "Freelancers" (was: Re: 1099 -- What to ask?)

Subject: "Consultants" and "Freelancers" (was: Re: 1099 -- What to ask?)
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: techwr-l digest recipients <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 09:39:35 -0700

"Elna Tymes" <etymes -at- lts -dot- com> wrote:

>Generally, companies distinguish between "freelancers" and "consultants" based
>on the strength of their resumes. Where freelancers get more attention than
>employees is when their experience set differs from the employees', and it
>ffers the company experience (not necessarily expertise) that offers a
>different perspective.
>
>
>Consultants, on the other hand, frequently have more experience - and in many
>cases expertise - than a company's employees in certain key areas. While they
>also may have the different point of view that makes them valuable, they may
>also have developed expertise in particular areas that happen to be needed at
>the moment.
>
All I know is that when I started being referred to as a
"consultant" rather than a "freelancer," my hourly rate increased
by 75%. :-)

Seriously, your distinction agrees with my experience. When I was
a freelancer (and what a romantic name that was!), my skill set
was confined to technical writing. Then, I added marketing
writing to my repetoire. Then, I added product management to my
skill sets. Although I've done some business development, I'm
still doing most of the same things I did as a writer, such as
strategic planning and overseeing production, but now I'm doing
ior the whole company and entire product lines, not just for the
documentation department and manuals. Only about half my time is
spent writing, but, because of my other skills, my writing is
treated with more respect, too.

All of which seems more than a little crazy. Wasn't my writing as
good (or as bad) when I was a freelancer than now, when I'm a
consultant?

But I admit that status - as opposed to respect - doesn't mean
much to me. I never have seen why people have scrambled after
empty titles such as Manager of Publications or Director of
Technical Communication. Plain "Writer" or just "Bruce" has
always been good enough for me. Maybe that attitude is why I've
become a consultant: since I tend to assume an equal footing, the
higher-ups tend to treat me as once of them.

All I really know is that, if people are willing to pay me more,
I'll take the money and run. I don't understand their motives,
but who cares?

--
Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"Their armament is being right (seeing right, doing right),
The armament of Righteousness is going to save the world."
- OysterBand, "The Generals Are Born Again"




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