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Podcast: Riding the Tide of Technical Communications Consulting

by Tom Johnson on Jan 21, 2010 •
categories: podcasts

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Length: 90 min.

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 [email protected].

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About Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson

I'm a technical writer based in the San Francisco Bay area. In this blog, I write about topics related to technical writing and communication — such as software documentation, API documentation, visual communication, information architecture, writing techniques, plain language, tech comm careers, and more. Check out simplifying complexity and API documentation for some deep dives into these topics. If you're a technical writer and want to keep on top of the latest trends in the field, be sure to subscribe to email updates. You can also learn more about me or contact me.

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