Monday, November 3, 2008

Interesting Dilemma

As I begin my journey as a freelancer, I'm sure there will be many situations I'll encounter that I wasn't expecting. One of these occurred in my first official week of freelancing.

On Friday, I had a meeting with my sole client and representatives from another organization that has agreed to market my client's services to their members by making them a preferred vendor. The meeting was to determine what type of marketing materials I needed to create to provide the information to their members.

Since I had never met either of the representatives before, they gave me their business cards when we began the meeting. I had printed business cards specifically with my freelance contact information on them, so I gave each of them one.

The meeting progressed, and I didn't think anything else about it. However, when my client and I spoke after the meeting, he told me he'd like to get an e-mail address set up for me on their server so I could give that e-mail out and people would know I'm their PR/communications representative.

He has mentioned getting me an e-mail address in his company's system before, so I'm not sure how much it was a reaction to me handing out my business card. He was very nice about it, though, and certainly didn't say "don't hand out your personal business card" or anything like that. I also have to admit that it did cross my mind that I was ever so subtly marketing myself when I handed out my card.

I wasn't really disturbed that my client wanted me to have an e-mail address with his company's name, and if he has a real problem with me handing out my business card at our meetings, I will refrain from doing so. It just reinforced the idea to me that I don't know what the etiquette is in this situation yet. Clearly, I wouldn't spend a lot of a client's time trying to market my services to other clients, but I'm not sure what to do in a gray area like this.

I'm going to do some research in this area and see what I can find. What about you, have you encountered this situation before? What did you do about it?

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