Responsiveness

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kim4b

I was speaking w/ my former employer about the possibility of freelancing for them. They're definitely interested. My former supervisor said that there has been frustration among the staff in the department with other freelance writers because of a perceived lack of responsiveness. She said that staff members were frustrated because they had a hard time getting in touch a freelancer. She was concerned because '...freelancers operate on their own schedules.' Of course, as we all know, the purpose of freelancing is to be able to work on your own schedule. However, it seems that corporate clients also want freelancers to be available during business hours. How does one handle that challenge? Any advice? I want to create an understanding upfront, but I'm not sure how to go about it. I don't think, however, that I should be chained to my desk waiting for their call?
 

mammamaia

i don't see any problem...

email should take care of that for both sides... if you give out an email address that you check for new mail every morning and evening, and get a pop-up announcement on your screen whenever new mail comes in while you're working, you can get back to clients within minutes of their request for contact and deal with any work-related requests either immediately, or asap after you finish what you're working on at the moment...

it's what i do for those i mentor all over the world, and any others who want to contact me for some reason... no one waits more than a few minutes for a reply, no matter what i'm working on [or overnight, if the mail comes in after i shut down for the day at 9-10pm]...

love and hugs, maia
 

kim4b

Re: i don't see any problem...

You know, I offered a similar suggestion to my former employer/new client while we were speaking. I tried to reassure her by telling her that my email is on all of the time and that I check it several times a day. I was also thinking of printing my cell phone number on my business cards so that if I'm out gathering up the kids, etc., I won't miss a call. It just seems like the term 'non-responsive' is one of the worst things a freelance writer could be called. I don't want that to happen to me. Thanks again!
 

jazziz1

Re: i don't see any problem...

Kim,

Providing several pieces of contact info (email, home phone, cell phone) is always a good idea. I would also think that if you were reliable on the job when you worked for your former employer that your ex-boss(es) would trust you to be responsible as a contract employee.

When they send freelance work your way for the first time, return all attempts to contact you promptly and try to beat the deadline. Go the extra mile and if they are pleased with your work, they'll certainly call you again.

Good luck!

Cassie
 

Tish Davidson

Home Phone

I would think twice about giving a client my home phone. I have clients many time zones away, and they tend to forget about the time change and call in the middle of my night - scares me to death, since I think something dreadful has happened to someone in the family.
 

jazziz1

Home phone

That would be scary experience, since typically NO good call comes at 2 a.m.

But, if you're working with local clients (or don't have a cell phone) it should be ok.
 

Bizwriter

Re: Home phone

Have you put a profolio together and given it to your previous employer?

It would be good to follow up your discussion in writing. why not send or take over a letter setting out your skills and abilities along with samples of your work?

I agree that giving people the option of contacting you by email is the best way to go. And yes, if they already know you then you should remind them of how much cheaper it is to hire a freelancer, especially one that they already know. :)

Let us know what happens.
 
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