I love your blog, tips, and all of the knowledge you share and look forward to your emails.
I was wondering if freelance writers should charge for meetings? I have a client whom I regularly meet with weekly, which is fine, but recently she’s been asking to meet with me three or four times a week, and they tend to run long and often not need me for much (when they also involve others); this is time I’m losing from other projects I’m working on. What would you do?
Also, the same client has me writing and sending daily e-mail blasts including weekends, which was simply assumed that I would do. I know it’s my own fault for not clarifying what “daily” meant in the first placeon my own part, I had made an assumption that daily meant week days!and making it clear that I don’t want to be up at six AM every single day sending these things (especially on holidays), but I’ve been doing it for a couple of months now and don’t want to be a jerk about it! What would you do in this situation?
Thanks Anne, you rock!
Sara (in comments)
I’m so glad you like the blog!
You’re not the first to learn through experience about getting clear on contracts before they start. And it will go on as long as you’re a freelancer. You’ll get better at your contracts, but then the situation will change.
You’ve really got two problems – the extra meetings and the seven days a week email. The first question to ask yourself is if you really want this particular gig. It may be easier to let it go than to change it. If you really want to keep the job set up an appointment with her, probably in her office so she can shut the door.
Then tell her briefly and succinctly you need to change the way your working for her. Don’t explain why, even if she asks. (If she does ask simply say something like “the extra work doesn’t work for me.”) Spell out that for the fee they are paying you you’re willing to have one meeting a week and send emails daily, Monday – Friday. Tell her you’ll have the emails out by 9 a.m. You might, although I probably wouldn’t, tell her this new schedule will start in a week.
Now, once you’ve said this briefly and clearly, shut up and let her talk. Stay quiet until she speaks. There’s no telling what will happen, so be prepared for anything. Have in mind a price for extra meetings and a price for weekend emails. It may not come up. She may surprise you and agree, or she may fire you or something in between.
Jobs do change and both of you have let this one change more than either of you should. No blame. Truly. It happens.
Assuming she agrees, the next time she wants you to come to an extra meeting remind her gently you’re going to charge for it. If she insists, and you decide to go bill her. The same thing is true if she wants weekend emails – remind her it’s going to cost her. Remember too, you don’t have to do more than you promised. You can simply say ‘no.’ ‘No’ is a magic word.
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