Re: independent contracting

Subject: Re: independent contracting
From: BurkBrick -at- AOL -dot- COM
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 1994 09:51:27 EDT

> How do find your niche and market yourself?

I spent five years working in Ventura on electronic, industrial control
equipment. That was pretty much my niche! I also had worked for a company
that did documents on both the Mac and the PC, in Word for Windows, Word for
the Mac, MacWrite, Pagemaker, and Ventura. I had to support all of these
documents, which has also been great experience.

When I first started my database (BTW, I created my own in Microsoft Access -
works well), I got names from the help wanted ads. I looked in the
engineering and programmer sections - I figured if they were looking for
engineers and programmers, they'd need writers sooner or later. I also used
the Regional Thomas Directory (the name's not exactly right here, but look in
the library for this and other sources).

I did three mailings, and right now I'm not doing any advertising - I've got
several regular clients that keep me too busy as it is. Word-of-mouth is
starting to work, too; I've gotten three calls in the last two months from
potential new clients. One of them has turned into a client; one I turned
down (but there might be future work from them); and the other turned me down
(rates too high).

>Are you able to find steady work in your area?

Yes. BTW, I won't work on a customer's site anymore. It's too difficult to
keep in touch with my other clients, and I usually have two to three projects
going at any given time. Right now, I have five projects, which is two too
many. I normally quote flat-rate, so clients don't worry about watching over
my shoulder.

>How much experience did you have in technical
>writing when you started working as an
>independent contractor?



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