Friday, August 26, 2022

Every Day Should Be Freelancer Appreciation Day

My recent post about "quiet quitting" had me thinking about how clients can show appreciation for their freelancers.  And then, in writing the title of this article, it occurred to me: IS there such a thing as Freelancer Appreciation Day?

Close.  It turns out there's an entire week for freelance writers: the Freelance Writers Appreciation Week, which takes place the second full week of February every year.  (Hopefully other types of freelancers have a day or week to celebrate them as well.)

But honestly, just like many other holidays we celebrate, there shouldn't be just one day or week where we show our appreciation.  Freelance writers create probably a majority of the words you read every day.  So if you hire freelance writers to help you with your business, now is a perfect time to consider whether you show them enough appreciation for what they do.

Need help with ideas to show your appreciation?  Here are a few.

  • Say thank you.  You have no idea how seldom we hear this.
  • Provide positive feedback.  Usually we don't hear any feedback unless a client doesn't like something, so it's nice to hear from time to time what a client did like.  Not only does it make us feel really good, but it also helps us to improve what we write for you.
  • Pay well.  Yes, we writers know you have a bottom line and need to ensure you maintain a profit.  The thing is, so do we.  Most of us depend on our income and need to make sure we can earn a living wage with our writing.  Show us that you value our work by offering that living wage up front.  Don't make us beg or negotiate, and certainly don't belittle us with offers for "exposure" or a chance to "do what you love" in lieu of making enough money to live on.
  • Acknowledge us on the holidays.  The best clients I've worked for have all at least acknowledged us on holidays and special occasions.  It's not necessary that you know every detail of your freelancer's life, but wishing us happy holidays, and if you know the date, a happy birthday can go a long way toward making us feel like we're people in our clients' eyes.  I've even had some clients send me holiday cards or little treats for the holidays.  Of course, if you can provide a holiday bonus, do that too, as there's nothing like a surprise bonus for making a freelancer truly feel appreciated for everything they do.
Freelancers may be just contract employees and not permanent members of your staff, but we still deserve (and crave!) recognition for our work.  And if we don't feel like we get it from a certain client, that's the first client we'll drop if we get a better offer.  Remember, the whole point of being a freelancer means we can work for whomever, whenever we choose.  So if you value your freelancers and want to continue working with them, make sure they feel appreciated for the work they give you!

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