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Sheryl adds, “You have to be more on call for them. You have to prove yourself a little
more because you’re not there. You put in more hours -- you work harder. They don’t call
you unless they need you. So it’s going to be a tough assignment.”
Changing Loyalty: The Focus is on People Not Companies
Sheryl expressed that the downside of freelance is the last minute aspect. She says,
“They’re never prepared when you come in. It takes two days for you to find a computer
because it’s all happening so fast. At the big agencies, you have to do all the paperwork.”
Yet, I mentioned that this is a conscious choice and wondered why? She comments, “I like
not being beholden to anybody but myself because I think my values are stronger than
theirs.” And then continues, “Years ago companies treated you with respect more like
family. Today you could have been at the company for 30+years and they’ll walk in your
office and say you’re fired tell you to leave immediately and they escort you out. In the
old days, they’d give you an office for a month. They sure don’t do that now. I decided
that I’d never be loyal to a company again. I’ll be loyal to the people within it wherever
they go.”
A Leading Software Campaign
Her description of the rush campaign for a leading software company demonstrates the
fast-pace required in the advertising industry. Sheryl notes, “I worked freelance at large
nationally recognized advertising agency. They normally wanted me there. They were
paying me $700 -- maybe $500 a day. It was a while ago. They had a special rush project
for major international computer company -- they were introducing an application to the
world. They said ‘would you stay the weekend?’ I said sure if you pay me the $1,500 like
you’re paying all these other people you’re bringing in. They said no. So I said I’m not
working there for the weekend. But I said basically, you’re going to be sitting around
scratching your butts all day not getting anything done and I’ll be up in Woodstock and
have a campaign done. They said okay. They had small and medium sized business.
They said, you take the small business and go to Woodstock and do what you do. We’ll
have these $1,500 a day freelancers do the large business. So I came up here. It was 250
pieces of copy. Everything from direct, to outdoor, to Web, to emails, to print ads -- TV
and radio. I figured out how to do it, using some already client-approved copy and lines.
Rather than reinvent the wheel -- I would set up each medium and plop in what the client
approved and tweak it for the medium.”
Sheryl continues, “When it came back, the client loved it. It won all kinds of awards. Of
course my name wasn’t on it. The $1,500 a day people had nothing on paper. NOTHING.
Not a word. They said,’ you did so well on this would you take the big business?’ So I
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