What is an Elevator Pitch? Is Your Elevator Pitch Ready?

Debbie Swanson | Freelance Marketing

When was the last time you’d heard that phrase? I hadn’t heard it in years, until a recent assignment for a magazine article led me to sit in on a local networking meeting. As I took my seat, the woman I was sitting next to drew me aside.
“After the general business, each person can stand up and give a 60 second elevator pitch,” she whispered.
I hoped my confident smile hid my panic. The last time I’d even thought about an elevator pitch was back in college. As I listened to the other members, I felt some relief. Some speeches were smart and polished, like the business designer who opened with “Is your brand in black and white? I can provide the color..” but others were completely informal “I’m laid off, I’ve been cleaning out the attic…”

By the time it was my turn I had worked out something better than the attic cleaner’s speech but not as good as the polished designer’s. Happy to have gotten past that, I was left with a nagging sense of unfinished business. I realized that when friends or acquaintances ask me what I do for a living, I don’t take the opportunity to boost my business. I decided to take my ‘elevator pitch’ more seriously.

What is an Elevator Pitch? Leer más “What is an Elevator Pitch? Is Your Elevator Pitch Ready?”

My customers are paying their bills late!

http://freelanceswitch.comGetting Paid by Freelance Clients

Freelancers have the most unusual type of obstacles when it comes to getting their clients to pay them. Beyond customers going M.I.A. or claiming they forgot, sometimes freelancers find clients refusing payment because they are unsatisfied with the work or not sure if it’s what they wanted. Yet, the work was done, so you deserve to be paid. End of story.

As a freelancer, you need to take proper and effective precautions to make sure you don’t find yourself in a position where a customer is paying you late or not even paying you at all.

1. Do Your Research

Get to know as much as you can about a client before you agree to do business with them. Get references from people who have worked with them and even pull a business credit report on a client if necessary. You must find a way to verify their financial behavior. You don’t want to bother wasting your time with someone who is notoriously a deadbeat.

2. It’s About the Contract

Never do any work on a freelance basis without having a well-structured, detailed contract. Although this takes time to prepare, it can end up saving you time (and huge amounts of money) in the end. Verbal agreements, handshakes, etc., these kind of agreements will never be enough. You need it ALL in writing.

You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy.

Be sure the contract specifies exactly what the payment terms are. Do they owe you money up front? When is the exact due date of the payment? And of what amount? Don’t leave any room for questions. Make sure a customer knows exactly when and how much they have to pay and signs to acknowledge this.

Include in the contract that “opinionated oppositions” will not be accepted. Specify that customers are paying for the service provided regardless of final reactions and that you are promising to deliver the service to the best of your ability in line with everything they ask.

Include in a note that if a customer decides that the original service was not what they had intended, or if they’ve changed their mind, that is to be considered a separate process and transaction. You need to make the customer sign to the fact that, basically, they won’t be wishy-washy. This video provided by the “Don’t Get Screwed Over”campaign highlights exactly what I mean by “wishy-washy”.

3. Utilize the Invoice

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Video Pick: Best Tips to Work Better, Not Harder


View engaging conference lectures, interesting how to discussions, and high quality freelance advice via video here on FreelanceSwitch.

This week we look at Best Tips to Work Better, Not Harder byLifehacker. In this video Adam Dachis and Adam Pash show us how to improve our freelance office setup, with ergonomic setup advice, cable management hacks, and processes for sinking your laptop and mobile phones. There’s more tips in this episode, including a hack on how to save money at Starbucks while getting the same caffeine buzz. Leer más “Video Pick: Best Tips to Work Better, Not Harder”

Build a Better Tweet

35% of respondents thought tweets that fall in this category were worth reading, either because they thought it was a good use of Twitter or that the topic gave them pause to think about the question posed.

Information Sharing

A little over 30% of respondents liked these kinds of tweets. How many tweets did you see this past week about the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood debacle? Information surrounding that situation went viral on social media sites.


A little more than 35% of respondents liked these tweets—which include links the tweeter created, rather than banter about how awesome they are.

Random Thoughts

The same amount of people who liked self-promotion tweets also favored this category, which just goes to show that people don’t just use twitter to spread the news or find information. Adding humor to a random thought post got even better results.
What People Didn’t Like

A new study from Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science called “Who Gives a Tweet: Evaluating Microblogging Content Value” has unveiled what we like to read, and what we don’t like to read, on Twitter. I have to say, the results aren’t all that surprising.

A team of researchers from Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Georgia Tech launched a site asking for anonymous feedback from people like you and me in exchange for rating their tweets. Users had to sign in to their website and rate 10 tweets before getting any feedback on their own tweets.

Luckily for these researchers, their project went viral. Sites like Mashable, TechCrunch, and CNN wrote about their study. The analysis of the study was taken from data received between December 30, 2010 and January 17, 2011. They had over 43,000 responses to work with. Here’s what they found:

What People Liked

Questions to Followers… Leer más “Build a Better Tweet”