On the morning of Memorial Day, I turned on my air conditioning, and heard a very large flapping noise. I shut it off and determined that the offending noise was coming from the HVAC system inside the house (not outside). I took the cover off the unit (I don't even know what it's called) and pulled out a piece of paper, but when I turned the air back on, the flapping continued. So I called an expert. I agreed to pay a holiday rate for service because I wanted my air conditioning to work, but also if they needed to order a part, I wanted it taken care of before I left for vacation three days late.
A few hours after my call, a nice gentleman went into my basement, took the same cover off, reached his hand up into the blower, and pulled out a chewed up plastic baggie. He diagnosed and fixed the problem in under five minutes. For this, he charged $180.
On one hand, I felt silly that I spent $180 to fix what, in hindsight, was a basic problem. On the other, there's no way I could have known to reach up into the blower. I didn't even know what a blower was until he told me. I paid this company for that specific knowledge and ability to troubleshoot, and then fix the problem, in a time efficient way.
As freelancers, we should think of ourselves in the same way. We have unique skills/abilities/knowledge to fix a problem, whether that's as simple as "we need a story to fill this space" or "we need a writer with knowledge of HVAC equipment to write a how to guide." Writing sometimes seems like something anyone can do, because most people do it in some capacity. But making that writing look effortless but also direct, engaging and informative is not always easy. We are professional communicators. We should be paid for our unique talents.
On my way back from Maine, I drove by the headquarters of a surgical center that paid me a lot of money to revise their website's content. Originally they thought their intern could write it himself "because it looks easy." It's not. And they paid me enough to repair the content that $180 looks like chump change in comparison.
Your skills are valuable. Price accordingly.
"Natural Gas Legislation: What Multifamily Developers, Owners Need to Know" for Multifamily Dive
What I'm Reading
These are reviews from my book blog, so click to see what I thought!
- The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor—The Truth and the Turmoil by Tina Brown
- None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
- The Duke Goes Down by Sophie Jordan
- Girls5Eva. I wrapped up season 2, which is reaching Monty Python level absurdity. I loved it.
- Fire Island. Oh wow did I love this movie, which is a take on Pride & Prejudice. I also knew about Fire Island, but didn't know everything about it. Even if you're a straight person like me, I think you'll enjoy it, and should check it out to learn more about a culture that may not be familiar to you.
- January 6 Hearings. Yes I'm watching them. I hope you are too.