ALWAYS carry business cards

You've probably heard this before. Well, let me tell you: always means ALWAYS, as I discovered today.

I had a couple of doctor's appointments this morning for a medical research study I was participating in. I usually bring my laptop to these types of things, in case of any downtime. I have a lovely new bag with compartments for both my laptop and the stuff from my purse, which is what I've been using whenever I bring my laptop with me.

Unfortunately, when I switched my stuff over from my purse this morning, I neglected to bring my business cards. I actually thought about it, but decided that since I was only going to the doctor's office and then back home, it was highly unlikely I'd need them.

Highly unlikely doesn't mean definitely not, as it turns out.

It might have been the least likely of places, but the woman who was doing my PFT asked what I did for a living, and when I told her, it turned out they might need someone to do the writing for their new website. When she asked for my email address, I had to write it down for her instead of giving her a card. While I know (having been in there a few times already) that she is pretty laid back and didn't care — in fact, we ended up commiserating over how we never seem to have business cards on hand at opportune moments — I was somewhat embarrassed by my lack of professionalism.

My business cards are actually quite attractive, and it is always quite satisfying to hand one to a prospective client, or even a colleague. Too bad I didn't have any on hand today... but I've learned my lesson! In fact, I just dug up my extra business card holder and slipped it into the new bag, so that from now on I won't have to worry about it when I switch purses.

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By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, September 30, 2009 At 9:48 AM 0 comments

Taking the freelance writing rates survey

Yesterday a commenter on Lori Widmer's blog mentioned a survey she is doing, on freelance writing rates. It's a quick, anonymous survey, on a frequently visited topic for my blog as well as others, so I thought I'd pass it on.

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By Katharine Swan On Tuesday, September 29, 2009 At 10:35 AM 0 comments

Long time, no read

I just realized I've barely posted this month — on this blog, anyway. It's been quite a month, actually! After I was sick (which really took it out of me), I got kicked by my horse and spent several days hobbling around on a swollen, bruised leg. And then of course I fell on said leg during Friday's lesson... Although that last one wasn't a big deal (other than the time it cost me tending to Panama's injuries), I really got my butt kicked this month.

In more ways than one, unfortunately. My income also took a bit of a hit this month. Partly it was being either out of commission or moving really slowly because of the above-mentioned events, but I think two other factors contributed: summer is over, and I got burnt out from being so darn productive.

First things first: summer. I've mentioned before that summer is always my busiest season. I've noticed during other years that my workload usually picks up like crazy during June, July, and August. And sure enough, September dropped the ball — I think my total income will be less two-thirds what last month's was. (And although I forgot to blog abut it, August was a very good month, nearly as good as July.)

If I'd been feeling more up to it, I probably could have done some marketing and quickly made it back up (since I knew early in the month that it would be slow). But as I said, I was a bit burnt out. And even if I could have overcome this (which I probably could have), getting sick and kicked almost certainly did not help.

Well, here's hoping for a better October!

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By Katharine Swan On Monday, September 28, 2009 At 8:12 PM 0 comments

Taking sick days

I was extremely ill over the weekend. If what I had wasn't the flu, then it was the worst cold I've ever had. I was pretty much incapacitated for both Sunday and Monday, and although I felt better yesterday, I was still weak and lethargic. Therefore I decided to take the day off and spent it camped out on the couch, watching movies.

While I was sick (and over the weekend, I might add), I got an email from a client asking about his article. This brought to mind a question that I wanted to put to my readers: How do you deal with sick days? Do you let all of your current clients know you're taking time off because you're sick? Or do you only let them know if it's going to interfere with a deadline?

I tend to think only the latter is necessary. Particularly over a holiday weekend. But what are your thoughts?

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By Katharine Swan On Wednesday, September 09, 2009 At 10:05 AM 5 comments

Katharine Swan is a full-time freelance writer with more than 5 years of professional writing experience. In addition to maintaining several personal blogs, she writes a variety of online marketing materials for clients, including company blogs, articles, and press releases. In her free time, she spends time with her horse, reads, and writes fiction.

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