"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Saturday, October 29, 2016

3 of the Biggest Barriers to Your Bottom Line!




Like many of you folks, I receive more than a fair share of pitches for products and services aimed at writers.
Most of them are deleted from my inbox, due to a lack of interest, or the cost exceeds the perceived value, or it's just bad timing financially.

But surprisingly, the other day, I actually discovered an offering for a business book that was reduced considerably, and that I felt would be a smart investment.

So, I quickly clicked on the "purchase" link to move forward and finalize my transaction.
There was just one problem: the company didn't accept PayPal payments.
What a bummer.
I didn't want to use my credit card or mail in a check, or be billed in installments.
So the deal was done, but not in a good way!

Granted, we're not talking about hundreds of dollars for the merchandise here; but multiply $29.99 by hundreds of potential customers that can't use this method of payment, and it adds up to being quite a deficit.

It got me to thinking about how many ways we as freelancers can "shoot ourselves in the foot" in our attempts to earn money for our efforts.

Today let's explore these "barriers" in greater detail.

HERE ARE 3 MAJOR WAYS THAT MOST FREELANCERS SABOTAGE THEIR SUCCESS, IN TERMS OF MAKING MONEY.




MENTAL BARRIERS

This can include things like fear, doubt, or faulty-thinking. One example that comes to mind is the "Starving Artist Syndrome."  Far too many freelancers operate with the mindset that writers are supposed to struggle for their art, or work for free. Don't be one of them. There are many "success stories" of authors who are raking in the cash for their creativity. People like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, Joel Osteen, Terry McMillan, and more.
To elevate your status, elevate your thinking.
How?
Read motivational and how-to books like "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill and "The Well-Fed Writer" by Peter Bowerman.
Practice your craft and submit your work. The more you do, the greater the likelihood of acceptance.  The more you make a sale, the bigger boost to your confidence.
Take little steps for big gains.


HABITUAL BARRIERS

WASTING TIME

Do you spend endless hours each day on FaceBook? Watching the "Soaps"? Playing Solitaire online? In the words of Dr. Phil, "So how's that working out for ya'?"
Behaviorists contend that it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Which means that changing self-defeating habits is certainly within reach.
The key here is to become "intentional" about your goals and to acquire good habits to support them.  As a wise man once said: "If you keep doing what you're doing, you'll keep getting what you're getting." Hello? If procrastination is an issue, you'll want to check out the tips and tools provided at the award-winning site, PROCRASTIWRITER.
Remember, you can't make money if you can't make progress.

BEING CHEAP

There's great validity to the expression, "You've got to spend money to make money." Still, I witness countless freelancers (particularly when I attend writing and speaking events), who expect to flourish without investing any money in themselves or their business. Folks who want everything for free. Really?  Even though these are tough economic times, you get what you pay for. Not spending cash on classes, Ebooks, equipment, marketing, etc. can stunt your professional growth and cause huge delays in reaching your creative goals. You're better than that.

PROCEDURAL BARRIERS

LACK OF PAYMENT OPTIONS

Establishing various methods for getting paid (credit card, checks, Paypal) simply increases your chances for prompt and steady payments. This should be a no-brainer. Remember the example I used in my introductory section of this post? Granted, some people have an aversion to doing business electronically; for many years, I was one of them. Just know that the more options you provide, the more avenues you create for getting paid without hassles and without excuses like "the check is in the mail."

INVOICING PRACTICES

Though there are different schools of thought here, I invoice clients as soon as we enter into a contractual agreement. My invoices include: a specific description of the services to be rendered, a project start date, a due date for fees, the payment amount, and any discounts provided. Yours should too. For monthly clients, you could designate a specific day of the month to be automatically billed (the 1st, 15th, etc,).
Be consistent. And be sure to keep accurate records and a reliable back-up system for optimal results.


One of the major "pain points" for freelancers today is steady pay. 
By following these timely tips, you'll break down common barriers to making money and build a more secure financial future.

Wishing you a prosperous and progressive week ahead!


Thoughts? Agree or disagree? Are you guilty of any of these?

Image credit: Freedigitalphotos.net

4 comments:

  1. You are certainly right about investing in ourselves and our craft. These are wonderful tips.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your feedback here, Lin.:-)

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  2. Excellent points, Jen. These items are timely and helpful, and things I need to remind myself of frequently.

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