Can a ‘Diva List’ Make You a Happier, Wealthier Freelancer?
On her fabulous Copyhackers blog, Joanna Wiebe writes:
“…I started out like most freelancers.
“I started out terrified that I’d scrounge around for clients my whole life and be lucky to get $25/hr.
“The reality has been anything but that.”
She goes on to say one of her secrets to finding happiness and financial success as a freelance copywriter has been her development of what she calls a “Diva List.” What is a Diva List, you ask? And can it help you, too, find happiness as a freelancer? Here’s my take.
What is a Diva List?
According to Wiebe, a Diva List consists of several requirements that make it challenging for prospects to work with you. She says, “The harder it is to hire you, the more your best prospects will want to hire you.” If that sounds counterintuitive, well, I suppose it might be. I have to tell you, though, I’ve found this to be true time and again.
Wiebe’s Diva List consists of seven “rules of engagement” she plays by. I won’t run down the entire list (because you really should go read the original post yourself), but I will tell you where I stand on some of her Diva List items.
Rule #1: Never be immediately available
I wholeheartedly concur. There’s an old saying: “If you want to get something done, ask the busiest person you know.” The theory here is busy people are actually doing something (i.e.: producing) while others are dithering.
As Wiebe advises, never respond to an email too quickly because it might make you look desperate for work. That makes you appear less desirable in the eyes of the prospect and puts you in a bad negotiating position.
This is a rule I myself enforce out of necessity. Lately I’ve had the good fortune to be knee-deep in work, so I literally can’t be immediately available to prospective new clients even if I didn’t have a Diva List (which I do). But even when I wasn’t so busy I still waited a while before replying to emails from prospects.
Rule #3: Charge an uncomfortable project fee
If you’re comfortable quoting the project fee, it’s too low. Bump it up enough that the figure sticks in your throat when you say it out loud.
Rule #7: Be 100% ready to say “no”
Again, Wiebe hits the mark. If you ever hope to charge what you’re worth, you have to be willing to walk away from “opportunities” that don’t meet your income requirements. On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, you also reserve the right to refuse service to people who show up with a boatload of cash. If they want you to write about something that makes your skin crawl, you get to say “no” to that no matter how much they’re willing to pay you.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire blog post. Go ahead; I’ll wait.
What is your take on Wiebe’s Diva List? Can you picture yourself developing and using one? Tell us in the comments!
Wishing you well,