Monday, April 19, 2010...8:30 am

Top tips for media freelancers #1

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[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]
Things are getting a tiny bit easier in the media employment world – more subbing and production shifts are on offer, and some freelance writing is starting to surface.
But we’re hardly out of the woods. So this week I’m going to be running another round of top tips for media and publishing freelancers.
We’ve visited this territory before, in Freelance Unbound’s Four Pillars of Freelance Success, but this time let’s canvass a wider range of input. Here is some excellent advice from some other freelancers – in both production and writing, print and online.
First off, Bristol Editor is a newsroom-trained media blogger with more than 12 years’ experience in newspapers, magazines and the web, who also consults in PR and social media.
He’s also been causing something of a stir in the South West with his one-man campaign against alleged shoddy practices by Kwik-Fit, showing that you don’t have to work for Watchdog to stand up for consumer rights. Here are his tips.

  1. Build a diverse pipeline
    Don’t invest everything in 1 client, ensure that you have a range of smaller and larger projects running. If one drops off, although it might be inconvenient short-term, it won’t cause huge financial and professional stress. Protect your sales pipeline.
  2. Work on your terms
    Make sure that the projects you work on are on your terms, and not totally dictated by the client. I recently worked with a global brand on a short-term project, and had to keep moving the boundaries back to a comfortable place for myself professionally. If you let yourself be treated like an employee, the project will usually be far more enjoyable, profitable and sustainable.
  3. Agree payment schedules before you start
    Before you put any work into a project, ensure that you have agreed (in writing) the payment you’ll receive, how you’ll receive it, and when. I usually get clients to transfer electronically by BACS on a set date each month. No chasing payment, no stress.

More to come. If any freelancers have any tips for survival in these tough times, please feel free to share…
[Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5]

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