Yesterday a Biznik colleague asked me asked me how things were going and I replied, mentioning that I haven’t been doing much networking within the group because I’ve discovered the best clients for my web writing services are mid-size (50 -100 employee) businesses, not small ones.
It’s just a year since I left Apple to put together a freelance webwriting business, and I’ve discovered quite a bit. I’ve had some great contract gigs, and some disappointing ones. Because I’m underwriting 2006 and 2007 from my Apple savings, I still have the luxury of picking and choosing my contracts, focusing on people and areas I like or new opportunities I want to explore.
I check several freelance and contract listings daily, and have learned to recognize the lousy pieces of work. It’s easy to spot the obvious ones — the advertiser has no idea what he or she wants, or expects to get writing work for peanuts. But some of the least desirable pieces of work (for me, at least) are the ones where the job description has been written by someone in an HR department: The ad’s about two pages long, sternly describes the job duties in a long list of jargon-laden bullet points, asks you to submit a resume that goes back to your summer jobs during college, and requires that candidates have “min. two years experience” working with a piece of web-publishing software that most bloggers could master in 15 minutes. My blood runs cold at the thought of interviewing with, much less working for, this type of organization.
Late yesterday afternoon I spotted a job posting, five sentences long, in which the head of a Seattle-area company was looking for an experienced web content writer. The ad clearly defined the work. I replied (in five sentences and some hyperlinks).
I’ll report later in the week about what happened next.