Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Results Part II: 2008 Resume Writers' Digest Subcontracting Survey

The first part of the survey results can be found here.

Why Writers Subcontract
While income is one of the primary reasons cited by survey respondents, it's certainly not the only reason. Reasons given in the 2008 subcontracting survey include:
  • Flexibility/Convenience. One writer likes the flexibility of working "off hours." Another says, "Local clients for my own business want to meet, which is difficult for me with two small kids." Subcontracting "allows me to work from home." "I can control the work flow -- and take breaks from work easily." Another says, "I like being able to accept/reject projects at my discretion."
  • The Opportunity to Focus on Writing, Not Sales. "I'm not a great salesperson, so I like having that part already done," says one respondent. Subcontracting offers "less client contact, less stress, and a steady pipeline of work," volunteers another. "I can focus on the work instead of seeking it out -- I can better concentrate my efforts." "To avoid or eliminate it altogether: client contact/management, billing issues, and sales and marketing." One writes, "I hate dealing with clients directly." Another says, "I don't like marketing myself."
  • To Get Additional Experience. "I subcontracted to learn resume writing and to do sales before I set out on my own. Now I subcontract just to fill in lulls in my business." Writes another: "I did it to get started and hone my skills in a part-time writing business in retirement."
  • To Experience Diversity of Projects. "I do all kinds of business writing, and the bulk of my work right now is either technical writing or marketing communications. This is a good way to stay involved with resume writing without having to do any marketing," says one writer. "I enjoy the variety of projects."
  • The Volume of Work Available. I subcontract "to supplement my workload," writes one. "Because it provides steady work," says another. "It keeps me busy." "Steady work is nice, because I live in the middle of nowhere."
Subcontracting can be a good alternative to a local market area that doesn't supply a viable source of clients. One writer noted, "I cannot charge as much as I could like to locally. I live in a very depressed area -- I make much more subcontracting than I could from local clients."

It can also be a bridge for resume writers starting their businesses (although many firms prefer writers with some experience).

"I'm new to the field, need to work from home, and subcontracting is a feasible solution," says one writer. Another writes, "My website sucks and my SEO (search engine optimization) skills suck and I need to work."

The economies of scale large companies have to offer helps them attract clients, one resume writer pointed out.

"A large, national company can afford huge marketing and promotional campaigns, bringing in thousands of clients per year, [while] a small individual operation ... can only afford a telephone book ad and some Google 'pay per click' marketing," she writes. "I wouldn't bring in enough customers on my own to make the money I want to make. Subcontracting is two-thirds of my salary."

You can read more of the results here.

Interested in subcontract resume writing? Purchase the "Making Money as a Resume Subcontractor" special report from Resume Writers' Digest.

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