3 ways freelancers can build trust with clients

by Robyn Roste

As a new freelancer, nothing was more exciting than bidding on and winning a gig.

I’d do a happy dance and bask in the initial adrenaline rush. And then I’d get on with my day.

I’d work on assignments and turn them in when I was finished, but every now and then I’d receive an inquisitive email. The inquiries were always the same, just checking in, wondering how things were going, would I be hitting my deadline?

When I got serious about freelancing I recognized my approach to client communication left room for improvement.

Before jumping into a new assignment I’d check with my editors about their communication expectations and make a point to adhere to them. While some clients preferred weekly updates, others only wanted to hear from me if there was a problem.

On top of doing a better job of meeting client expectations, I also began looking for other ways to build stronger relationships.

Here are three areas that have made the biggest difference for reassuring clients that I’m working hard for them.
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Posted on February 18, 2020 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Feb 11-18

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

  • The Born Freelancer on “It’s All Been Done Before”: A young freelance writer I know was lamenting the other day how hard it was for her to come up with anything original. “It’s so frustrating” she said, “I mean, it’s all been done before”. But even if true, it’s still almost always possible to come up with a fresh, new, lively take on anything. The trick is in finding your own unique, authentic voice to do it in…

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on February 17, 2020 at 6:30 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

The Born Freelancer on “It’s All Been Done Before”

This series of posts by the Born Freelancer shares personal experiences and thoughts on issues relevant to freelancers. Have something to add to the conversation? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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A young freelance writer I know was lamenting the other day how hard it was for her to come up with anything original. “It’s so frustrating” she said, “I mean, it’s all been done before”.

But even if true, it’s still almost always possible to come up with a fresh, new, lively take on anything.

The trick is in finding your own unique, authentic voice to do it in.

Today I’d like to talk about how to achieve this worthy goal.

Spoiler: It is a lifelong pursuit.

The ignorance-is-bliss approach

Most rookie creatives tend to fall into one of two camps: Those who appreciate and study (to some degree or another) the history of their chosen field; and those who plunge into it without any thought of those who have worked before them.

The latter approach certainly has strengths but also a surfeit of weaknesses.
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Posted on February 11, 2020 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Feb 4-10

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on February 9, 2020 at 4:30 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

6th annual SABEW Canada Best in Business awards open for submissions

Freelance business writers, the 6th annual SABEW Canada Best in Business awards are now open for submissions.

There are 15 categories for the awards again this year, including investigative, long-form and short-form feature, and best young journalist.

Freelancers who wish to submit their work must be SABEW members in good standing. There’s a reduced awards entry fee for freelancers of $30.

The deadline for entries is February 21 at 5:00 p.m. EST. Winners will be announced on March 20 and the awards banquet is on April 7 in Toronto.

For detailed guidelines or to enter your work for an award, see SABEW Canada’s website. And for more information, you can email bib@sabew.org.

 

Posted on February 7, 2020 at 9:30 am by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 28-Feb 3

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on February 2, 2020 at 7:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Researcher seeks Millennial freelancers in Toronto

If you were born between 1980 and 1995 and freelance in media in Toronto, you’re invited to share your experiences with a researcher at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Nancy Worth is in the Department of Geography and Environmental Management. She’s conducting a SSHRC-funded project called Home/work looking at the experiences of millennial freelancers.

“Millennials are the largest generation of workers in Canada right now and they’re the generation most likely to be freelancers,” she says. “It’s become sort of a new norm. But if we look at how we measure work and think about work, we still have a social expectation of a regular 9 to 5.”

The study will look at how freelancers organize their time.
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Posted on January 29, 2020 at 8:58 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

National Observer staff officially unionized with CWA Canada

Staff at the National Observer became CWA Canada’s newest members Wednesday with the announcement that an application for union certification had been approved.

The Canadian Media Guild (CWA Canada Local 30213) filed for certification with the Canada Industrial Relations Board in December after a strong majority of workers signed union cards.

The daily news website, owned by Observer Media Group, is headquartered in Vancouver and has offices in Toronto and Ottawa. It was founded in 2015 by Linda Solomon Wood, who grew it from a community blog called Vancouver Observer into an award-winning national online publication that conducts investigative reporting and covers energy, climate change, politics and social issues.

feature article on Wood and the National Observer published in January 2018 by NiemanLab.org said there were 10 full-time employees, “as well as five part-time contractors and a host of freelance journalists.”

In explaining their motivation for organizing, staff said in a statement that they “recognize the hard work, the struggle, and the resolve that it has taken to build the Observer into a recognized national news brand. We recognize the effort its founder and its leaders, past and present, have put in to marshal it to the place where it is today. We are grateful for these efforts and for where they have gotten us.

“We care deeply about our newsroom, the stability of our company, and we want the work we do to move forward in a way that is healthy and sustainable, as we can expand our staff and broaden our journalistic capacity …

“It is in this spirit that we believe a union will be beneficial to our company, to help the National Observer to continue to evolve into a better, stronger, more cohesive, more united workplace.”

CWA Canada President Martin O’Hanlon welcomed the workers into the media union, saying the move will be good for them, for the company, and for journalism.

“As a journalist, I deeply respect what the National Observer has accomplished, and I want to see that fine work continue. We think the best way to make that happen is by giving workers a stronger voice and the power to negotiate wages and working conditions.”

CWA Canada organizer Katherine Lapointe said Observer staff “love the work that they do and want to work with management to strengthen the company.”

There has been a wave of unionization in the North American news industry in recent years. Staff at digital media outlets VICE Canada and BuzzFeed Canada have also joined CWA Canada.

Posted on January 27, 2020 at 7:43 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , ,

Off the Wire: News for the Canadian media freelancer Jan 21-27

Once a week, we gather stories about the media business, journalism, writing, communications, and freelancing—with a Canadian focus—and share them in Off the Wire. Who needs a water cooler?

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From around the web:

Recently on Story Board:

  • Tom Hanson photojournalism award open for entries: Canadian photojournalists with less than five years of experience can now apply for the annual award. This six-week paid internship at The Canadian Press head office in Toronto will take place between April and September 2020.

Spot a story you think we should include in next week’s Off the Wire? Email the link to editor@thestoryboard.ca or tweet us at @storyboard_ca.

Posted on January 26, 2020 at 3:45 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: ,

Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award open for entries

Canadian photojournalists with less than five years of experience can now apply for the annual Tom Hanson Photojournalism Award. This six-week paid internship at The Canadian Press head office in Toronto will take place between April and September 2020.

Students, freelance photographers and photographers employed at regional or non-daily publications are all eligible to apply. The successful applicant will be paid a weekly salary of approximately $875.

The deadline for applications is February 21, 2020. The winner will be selected in March. For more information about the application process, check out this page on the Canadian Journalism Foundation website.

Posted on January 21, 2020 at 8:00 pm by editor · LEAVE A COMMENT · Tagged with: , , , ,