Wednesday, November 16, 6:30-8:30PM
6:30 - 6:40 Pizza & Networking
6:40 - 6:50 Group Icebreaker & Updates
6:50 - 7:00 Reflections from our Executive Director, Sara Horowitz
7:00 - 7:15 Achievements from the past year!
7:15 - 7:30 Member Spotlight
• Tom Benson
• Dee Dee Dailey
• Arlene Roberts
7:30 - 8:20 Member to Member Problem-Solving
7:30 - 7:35 Group Breakout & Individual Solutions
7:35 - 8:00 Group Discussion
Group 1, Social Media: How could you use social media to network and
build your business?
Group 2, Non-payment: What tactics could you use to get paid by a
Group 3, Work/Life Balance: What are the best ways to draw clear
boundaries with new clients when negotiating and to preserve personal time?
Group 4, Finance: What are effective ways to manage your business
8:00 - 8:20 Group Report-Back
8:20 - 8:25 Parking Lot/Reminders
8:25 - 8:30 Member Announcements & Meeting Adjourned
8:30 - ? Networking at Jay Street Bar!
November 16, 2011
Facilitator: Joseph Caserto, Member Representative on the Freelancers Union Board of
1. 6:30 p.m.: Meeting started on time with pizza & brief mingling.
2. Everyone goes around in a circle and says their name, what they do, and the answer to
the icebreaker question, What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
3. Member Simone describes Contract Creator for new members and notes that the tool
has been very successful so far, with over 300 contracts created.
4. Chris announces that Brooklyn Brewery has invited a small group of members for a tour
and tasting, and asks that anyone interested in attending this Friday, November 18
should sign up on the sheet he will pass around.
5. Kaitlyn gives everyone a heads-up that the December fundraising drive for the Political
Action Committee will be taking place soon, as we begin to ramp up our efforts to raise
$100,000 by the 2012 elections. She will soon be sending around a request to have
people sign up to help phone bank for one day in December, and asks for everyone’s
6. Executive Director Sara Horowitz reflects on the successes of the past year and asks
how we can begin to expand to different states. She points out that Contract Creator is
an example of innovation and collaboration between Freelancers Union staff and
members and that we are all learning from this process, and will continue to learn as
member-driven work will play a bigger role in the upcoming year.
7. In honor of the 1st Anniversary of Monthly Member Meetings, Joe does a “Year in
Review” presentation that highlights the many achievements that have come out of the
meetings. The entire Powerpoint can be viewed here.
8. Member Lynn puts up a photo montage of pictures from the past year and plays “Happy
Birthday” in the background as Freelancers Union staff hands out cupcakes to all
9. As everyone is finishing up with their cupcakes, members Tom,
Dee Dee and Arlene each take a few minutes to give their
reflections as participants at Monthly Member Meetings on the following
• Why did you start coming to the meetings?
• What is your favorite memory from past Monthly Member Meetings?
• What do you hope comes out of the meetings in 2012?
Tom came originally because his friend was on staff and then became involved in a
Working Group. Dee Dee first saw Sara on TV and then saw the subway posters; has
always been a freelancer and felt like an outsider but now freelancing has become the
new normal. Her favorite memory was lobbying in Albany, and she would like to
continue to learn, share, and spread the word. Arlene first read an article about Sara
and was looking for a role model who was a non-traditional lawyer. Has continued to
attend out of a sense of loyalty and her understanding of what it takes to sustain a
movement, based on experiences she had advocating outside of Freelancers Union.
10. After the last speaker wraps up, Joe introduces the main activity and the meeting
transitions into small groups. Attendees pick their groups based on which of the four key
topics on professional freelance life and business they want to discuss (see above
Meeting Agenda) and engage in group conversation.
11. Groups discuss for 25 minutes and then pick a new attendee from each group to report
back on what solutions and ideas they came up with to address each topic. (Responses
are listed at the end of these minutes.)
12. Announcements are made that the next Monthly Member Meeting will be held
Thursday, December 15. People with questions about insurance products should email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Lynn is interested in starting a freelance support
group. Joe invites other members to speak with him or Kaitlyn if they are interested in
facilitating and planning future meetings, and thanks Kaitlyn for her hard work over the
13. The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m. Some members reconvened at Superfine after
to continue networking.
Group Problem-Solving Activity Notes
Social Media: How could you use social media to network and build your business?
• Most people think of it as Facebook and Twitter but there’s so much more out there
• Use specialized communities/networks that cater to a particular discipline (such as flickr
• Connecting with friends in traditional ways, then leveraging Facebook and Twitter
Non-payment: What tactics could you use to get paid by a deadbeat client?
• Set up culture of payment and expectations before you begin
• Charge in advance if possible
• Work/pay incrementally: phase 2 doesn’t happen if not paid for phase 1
• Have attorney send threatening letter (hopefully is inspiring enough)
• Embarrassment - find a way to professionally shame a client who behaved poorly
(someone saw video of freelancer who made a sign and stood in front of the client’s
headquarters. (Kaitlyn highlighted the idea of a freelancer solidarity network to
coordinate these actions.)
Work/Life Balance: What are the best ways to draw clear boundaries with new clients
when negotiating and to preserve personal time?
• Setting an expectation
• Articulate to client, or graphically chart how incremental freelancers’ process is
• Keep to personal schedule regarding personal family time, do not check or answer
email in the evening and have discipline
• Drawing up contracts to itemize what client can expect and drawing up timelines and
goals on both sides of table
Finance: What are effective ways to manage your business finances?
• Cash flow/ budget
• Pay yourself first
• Keep fixed costs as low as possible
• Separate business and personal finances, accounts, and credit cards
• Seek alternate streams of revenue
• Utilize small business advocates/resources, SBA, SCORE
• Get EIN/tax ID number
• Put money away each month and be consistent