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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hot Freelance Tip of the Day: Create Templates

Your most valuable asset as a freelancer (besides your brain, anyway) is your time. If you have enough of it, you can reach just about any goal you may have. If you don't have enough--or you don't manage the time you have--you'll struggle in this business. 

I work fewer hours today than I have in the past--partly by choice (I'm the mostly stay-at-home-mom of two little kids) and partly because I don't need to work as much to make my monetary goals. (I will say, though, that promoting two books right now is definitely hurting my bottom line. How to promote a book and not go broke will be the subject of an upcoming post!)

I use a lot of techniques to help me make the most of my time. One that new writers often overlook is creating templates for pieces you'll use over and over. (I posted a whole month's worth of templates back in January, 2011.) If you already have an LOI, for example, on your hard drive, it only takes a few minutes to "tweak" it for a particular market or client. Same goes with sending an invoice, simple contract/letter of agreement, or a follow-up letter. When you have a template, you're freed from recreating the wheel each time, which makes you more efficient. 

So the Hot Freelance Tip of the Day is: Create templates for your freelance business--and use them whenever you can. 

**If you want a dozen templates for your business, along with how to use them (and 89 other keys to building a lucrative career), check out my newest freelancing book, Writer for Hire: 101 Secrets to Freelance Success. Just want the templates themselves? Then download Dollars and Deadlines' 10 Essential Freelance Templates via Kindle or Smashwords. And don't forget about Dollars and Deadlines' 10 Truths for Every Writer Who Wants to Get Published, which will be FREE for only four more days!