Don’t work without a contract!
I recently received information about freelance opportunities from a writer. In one, on craigslist, I discovered a fashion designer that needed a bio for her website. I contacted her and she hired me to complete the project, giving me some details to use. Within an hour I sent her back a first draft, with additional information being requested. Big mistake!
She did not communicate after that with me, for days! I did send her messages from other email accounts I have and she responded there – to who she thought was a customer. Yes, I acknowledge this was not the greatest way to get her to talk with me. However, I felt trapped by my own lack of critical thinking skills.
Finally, I started contacting people and asked what to do. I am still new at freelancing and let my enthusiasm run my brain. This is why I did not think to get her full contact info. first and why I did not spell out the full terms before I sent the draft. Since I finally convinced her to communicate with me, she claimed her webmaster needed to approve the work, and then I would only be paid if she decided to use it. When I sent her yet another email, she agreed to half of the payment as a “kill fee”.
I really wanted to do a good job and see my work posted. However, I think I received more than exposure for this; I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. The people advising me agreed too and confirmed I did the right thing. I know I made mistakes in this mess, and I will definitely handle matters better next time. If you could use part or all of this as a lesson learned piece for others, before they make a mistake like I did, then maybe something good would come out of this!
I can’t list all the helpful and lucrative opportunities that I’ve stumbled into, thanks to WritersWeekly. But here are two biggies:
I’m finishing a four-month gig for a textbook company that’s averaged out to about $400 income per week, thanks to an ad in WritersWeekly.
The June 20th issue article on construction trade magazines has made my month! I’ve been shopping a story, rooting through bookstores and the web trying to find construction trade mags (I actually found five or six paying markets that way). Now I have five more places to query!
I justed added an RSS feed to WritersWeekly to my home page (My Yahoo) so I’ll be terminating my email subscription. This seemed like a good time to say Thank You!