POP QUIZ: How do you score on freelance success?

by Leo Wiles
04 May 2018

We know, we know… it may sound wanky to work ON your business as much as in it, but could it be the answer to more freelance success?  Take our fun Friday pop quiz to find out…

You know what you’re worth, and have the rate card to prove it.

  1. Yes, and it even has my logo on it! (5 points)
  2. Not quite. I usually offer to call back when I’ve figured out how long the job will take me (3 points)
  3. What’s a rate card? (0 points)

Chasing up late payments is a firm fixture of your work week.

  1. Darn straight (5 points)
  2. More like when my bank account hits zero (2 points)
  3. Isn’t that what debt collectors are for? (0 points)

Your freelance wardrobe is… 

  1. Full of sharp, expensive suits (4 points)
  2. Mainly jeans and a few classy jackets (3 points)
  3. Largely elasticated and lycra based (1 point)

And your desk?

  1. A clear, highly organised space at all times (5 points)
  2. Best described as organised chaos (2 points)
  3. I’m still looking for it under all the clippings, folders, random print-outs and piles of books I have to read (0 points)

Your wall calendar features reminders for BAS, pitching, invoicing and meetings. You replicate this in online calendars or apps and a desk diary that keeps you on track.

  1. Me to a tee! (5 points)
  2. Well, I have a wall calendar… (3 points)
  3. Do post-it notes count? (0 points)

You have regular face-to-face meetings

  1. With existing and potential clients throughout the year (6 points)
  2. Uh, never, but I have at least one freelance friend on speed dial (3 points)
  3. With people who making my coffee or are dropping off pizza / my Coles groceries (2 points)

Every year you do a financial review to make sure that my business insurance, income insurance, home insurance and superannuation are working as hard as you do.

  1. Who doesn’t? (6 points)
  2. I keep meaning to get to that (1 point)
  3. Huh? (0 points)

Project creep makes you drag out your contract to point out that any and all rewrites, extra words etc. require additional payment.

  1. Yes and it’s saved my butt a few times (8 points)
  2. Uh, getting a contract is on my to-do list (2 points)
  3. My M.O. usually involves sucking up the extra work for no pay then I never work with that client again (0 points)

When tax time rolls around, you…

  1. Have all your ducks in a row and are on your way to the accountant on July 1 (5 points)
  2. Know you’ve got til at least Feb next year until you need to worry (2 points)
  3. Realise you haven’t done your tax in three years and wonder if you should (0 points)

You pitch award-winning, bespoke story ideas every week and keep track of them diligently.

  1. But of course (6 points)
  2. I do a mass mail out and see what sticks (2 points)
  3. When I get a great idea I pick up the phone and see who might be interested (1 point)

‘People die of exposure’ is the pithy kind of comeback you like to make to any chancers who ask you to work for free

  1. Yes and I even bought Leo’s mug, t-shirt, notepad and sticker to hammer home the point (5 points)
  2. Uh not quite – I usually chicken out by saying my workload is kind of crazy right now (3 points)
  3. What’s wrong with exposure, it will get my name out there (1 point)

HOW DID YOU SCORE?

40-60 POINTS We bow to your awesomeness. You’re clearly at the top of your business game and prepared to do the hard yards to build and keep your business – well done.

20-40 POINTS You’re no doubt rocking along ok, but you might need to start wearing a few more hats (accountant, marketing guru, PR etc) if you want to increase your income.

0-20 POINTS We suspect you are either a) loaded or b) treat freelancing a bit like a hobby. Hey, whatever works for you (and if it isn’t working, maybe look at implementing some of the higher-scoring answers into your work life).

Leo Wiles

Leo Wiles has worked as an editor, journalist and PR for over 20 years before recently retraining as a photographer. These days, she spends her time behind a lens, juggling her own clients with her work at Rachel's List, and her three gorgeous but lively kids.

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