Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Freelance Writers: Don't Sweat the "Competition"

No, I have not abandoned my beloved blog even though it appears that way. But you would not believe how incredibly busy I was last week! Clients seemed to step out of the woodwork, and I am glad that I have gotten control over things this week. I'm telling you, marketing works!

I did want to share an interesting incident with you – this happened about a week or so ago. An interested prospect called me up after receiving an email I'd sent her offering my freelance writing services. She asked me to visit a couple of her websites first, and then get back in touch with her if I thought I could deliver quality copywriting like the portfolio of samples on those sites.

I looked at the sites and felt confident I could indeed deliver. So I responded by email as she instructed. For some odd reason the emails kept bouncing back, so I just decided to give her a call. She seemed genuinely interested to hear from me. We started the conversation discussing my website, my portfolio and writing experience. Then suddenly out of nowhere she completely flipped the script (I like saying that) and asked me if I was planning to start my own business.

Confused, I explained to her that I was already in a sense running a business as a freelance writer. That wasn't the answer she was looking for. She asked if I had plans to start a business like hers where I would find large corporate clients and outsource the work to other freelance writers like myself. By now I was starting to get that funny feeling that something wasn't quite right. She continued saying, "I'm not sure what I can do for you honestly. Usually I work with writers who don't really feel like looking for work; they want someone who will supply projects for them so they don't have to go out and find clients themselves."

But wait – it gets better. Then she said, "I don't want to teach you everything I know and then in a couple of years have you turn around and become my competition." I was left speechless for a second. Then I suddenly realized that I should be thanking this lady for showing me upfront what I was about to get involved with.

I politely thanked her for her time, wished her much success with her business, hung up the phone and sighed one of the biggest sighs of relief I'd ever sighed! I'd say I dodged a bullet right there. I know that as writers we are all trying to find work, and that to some degree there is a spirit of competition. Still, I firmly believe there is more than enough well paying work for all of us out there. But you do have get up off of your bum (I like saying that too) and go get it!

Before I forget, I want to wish all of my fellow Muslim writers out there Ramadan Mubarak. Happy writing everyone!


Amy said...

Ah, the experiences we have, eh? Just when I think I've heard it all I hear just one more weird thing. Oy.

Glad to see you are still blogging, and that you are busy with work and not something bad. :-)

Yes, marketing works. Sometimes a little too well, I'd say. ;-)

avid writer said...

Well freelancing is never boring, that's for sure - lol.

Amy said...

Very true. I tell people I'll never have to pay for entertainment again. :-)

Hope you're having a good weekend.

HotWebTopics said...

Good for you Kimberly! Most would be bummed at this exchange b/c they missed out on work. But a true sign that you're a full-fledge business owner and not "just" a freelance writer is when you can be relieved to blow off people like this.

Well done!


avid writer said...

Thanks, Yuwanda.:)

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