Re: Telecommuting freelancers

Subject: Re: Telecommuting freelancers
From: Jonathan Leer <jleer -at- LTC -dot- MV -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 1996 09:26:11 -0400

Bill Brucksch[SMTP:bbruck -at- HALCYON -dot- COM] recently wrote:

Hello, all,

My name is Bill Brucksch, and I'm new to the list. I'm a freelance
technical marketing writer, currently working as an employee of a local job
shop. I live sorta in the boondocks of Western Washington, over an hour's
drive to Seattle, and I'm considering moving even farther out
(geographically, not politically).

The job shop have been tremendously helpful in getting me work in the
Seattle area, but so far a lot of it has required being on site. My goal is
to work from home over 90% of the time.

I'm putting in my two cents worth because I'm interested in connecting up
with other telecommuting freelance tech writers. I'd like to make contact
with other telecommuters and share ideas on getting work, convincing
potential bosses of the value of telecommuting, etc.

If you have already gained the trust of your client, see if you can ease into the offsite relationship.

Have a few plans of attack:
(1) work offsite and come in for meetings and testing
(2) work offsite a few days a week.
(3) work 1 day offsite.

Start with (1). If that is met with total disapproval, try idea (2), and so forth.

Once you get offsite for part of the time, your "odd" schedule will be taken for granted... as long as you produce. Then, after a while, you can progress to more time offsite.

Each client is different. But usually once they are used to you and like your work, it's just a matter at working out the kinks.

A few comments about producing. You should assure the client that you have their interest at heart. Set up some way of reporting your progress (e.g., weekly status reports...).

Also make sure that you have the tools you need for offsite work, and tell your client that you are prepared (e.g., high-speed modem, access to Web, email, ftp, etc.).

The bottom line is that you have to sell the idea of offsite work to your client. Lay out the benefits:
you won't be taking up valuable office space
you won't be using their valuable computers
if necessary, reduce your rate for offsite work.

If you client is adamant about no offsite work allowed, start looking for other clients. They are out there.

Remember, if you are a freelancer and you want offsite work, you have to think of your effort as a business. In order to get the work, you have to sell it.

Jon Leer
Leer Technical Communications
Bedford, NH
USA

Freelance writer and loving it!


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