Podcast: Riding the Tide of Technical Communications Consulting

Lyn Worthen presented to the STC Intermountain chapter tonight on running your own business as a technical communications consultant. She covers almost everything you need to know as a consultant, including rates, billing, contracts, marketing, taxes, business structures, hours, salary, tools, locations, niche services, portfolios, client communications, and more.

Here’s her presentation description:

Unlike the consistent schedule, workload, and wages of a 9-5 technical writing job, going it on your own as a consultant or contractor is a lot like riding the tide. Sometimes the tide is “in” and you have plenty of work to keep you happily tapping away on your keyboard; the projects are queuing up, the money is flowing, and all’s right with the world.

Other times, the tide is “out” and you find yourself walking on a desolate beach, staring out at the horizon, waiting for your ship to come in — and, if you’re lucky, picking up the occasional small job still lurking in a hidden tidal pool; money is scarce, and as the siren song of Corporate America tempts you back into the relative stability of captured employment, you question the wisdom of continuing to go it alone.

And then there are the “tsunamis,” those times when you have more work than one person should ever be expected to handle; yet in spite of the fact that you’re barely keeping your head above water, you’re reluctant to say “no” to any of it because you don’t know how high the floodwaters will rise or how long the drought that is sure to follow will last.

About Lyn Worthen

Lyn Worthen’s company is Information Design Co: Technical Communications Consulting, based in Utah and serving local, national, and international clients. Lyn is a member of the STC, the Utah Women Tech Council (WTC), and National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). You can find out more about her through her Linkedin page. To contact Lyn, send her an email at lynw@xmission.com.

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By Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer working for the 41st Parameter in San Jose, California. I'm interested in topics related to technical writing, such as visual communication, API documentation, information architecture, web publishing, JavaScript, front-end design, content strategy, Jekyll, and more. Feel free to contact me with any questions.

  • http://www.scooter-shoppen.dk/ Scooter Casper

    Nice presentation description, its well informative and very true. Let me hear whats there in the complete audio…

  • http://poetslife.blogspot.com Bruce Curley

    Lyn does a great job explaining the many challenges of being an independent writer and the myriad tasks any small business owner must juggle each day. She sounds like a true professional. She has that fierce independence, capacity to learn new things, and drive that make independent writer’s successful.
    That she did all this while raising four children makes her all the more impressive.

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  • http://www.velux.dk/Private/Produkter/Solvarme Solvarme

    I read about her and her activities some days back. My wife was like an addict to her always connect with her on linkedin.