It’s my great pleasure to announce today that FreelanceSwitch has a new editor in chief! She actually took over a couple of weeks ago but wanted to get into the flow of things before formally announcing on the site. Of course most of you already know her from her fabulous articles, I’m speaking of none other than Skellie!
Skellie not only has a great nose for blogging, but coincidentally is also Australian (though she’s from Melbourne which we all know to be not as fabulous as Sydney, but nice all the same). She also writes and edits at Problogger, NorthxEast, DailyBlogTips and her own blogs Anywired and Skelliewag, making her just about the most experienced blogger around
So I’m sure you’ll join me in welcoming Skellie aboard and wishing her well with the site! I think FSw will really flourish with her content direction. I myself am working busily on our Rockstar brand and books with some imminent releases and also on FSw’s sister blog PSDTUTS. Nonetheless I’ll still be posting the odd article here happily and announcing things and working on upgrading and improving the site!
Use our simple calculator to help put together an hourly rate for your freelance work to break-even and to achieve the level of profit you’re after. You may also wish to read through these Nine Factors to Consider When Determining Your Hourly Rate
Enter clients and details about them to have the client analyser use the 80/20 or Pareto principle to let you compare and contrast their benefits and drawbacks.
We surveyed 3700 freelancers and compiled the data into a stunning report that uncovers buckets of interesting data. From how much freelancers earn, to how happy they are, the global freelancer survey has enough numbers and analysis to be well worth the small fee for its download.
Getting paid by the hour is pretty neat, but it’s even better when you have income that comes in when you’re taking time off too! Freelancers are uniquely positioned to be able to spend time creating sources of passive income while still getting their main money earning work done. Visit our Not-By-The-Hour subsite to learn about passive income and find useful sites for doing so.
On this page you can download free FreelanceSwitch wallpapers to remind you of us while you’re away. Use them to spice up your desktop – unless of course you’re still working full-time, in which case they may get you into trouble!
If you’re a creative type and want to create a FreelanceSwitch wallpaper, then Upload your wallpaper here. If we like it we’ll add it to the collection with a link to your website.
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We also have banners available in case you’d like to link up to the site and help promote the ‘Switch!
Notice: Due to overwhelming numbers of articles, we are not currently looking for contributions on the site for a while, as we go through the backlog of great stuff! Thanks so much for your interest, we appreciate your time!
Getting Started as a Freelancer
Whether you’re in the process of setting up your freelancing business or are still weighing up your options, these articles will help you take the first steps in freelancing.
A Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Freelance Career
This is the article that started it all. Before we even thought about launching FreelanceSwitch, Collis wrote an article about what he’d learned during his freelancing career. This article will give you the basics of branding your freelancing business, finding work, quoting and estimating, getting paid, and client liaison. If you’re right at the start of your freelancing journey then start with this article!
On the Side or All the Way?
A big decision for would-be freelancers is whether to pack their job in or begin by freelancing on the side. This article offers the pros and cons so you can make a more informed choice.
Freelancing 101 – The Basics
In this article, Mathias, German developer extraordinaire discusses what he sees as the most important issues for a new freelancer. In this article he covers issues with finances, working environment, holidays, your portfolio and the fear you’ll doubtless feel when you first go out on your own.
Naming Your Freelancing Business – To Personalize or Not? (With a Poll)
One of the fun things all new freelancers get to do is to come up with a name for their business. In this article, you can find out whether personalizing your business name (eg. John Smith Design Agency) is right for you.
Pricing your services correctly is so important to any freelancer – it can be the difference between staying in business and going bust. Below are a few handy resources to help you charge what you’re worth.
The FreelanceSwitch Rates Calculator
This very handy tool will help you figure out how much you should be charging per hour.
Nine Factors to Consider When Determining Your Price
Figuring out how much you should charge isn’t just about the numbers. In this article you will learn the other issues you must consider when determining your price.
Hourly vs. Fixed Pricing
Should you charge by the hour or by the job? Mathias sheds some light on the issue in this article.
The Price Is Right
A practical guide to making both you and your client happy with your rates.
Figuring Out How Much To Charge
Here you can get a short insight into how Collis quotes a web design job.
Finding work when times are quiet is a challenge for any freelancer. Happily, here at FSw we have just what you need!
The Monster List of Freelancing Job Sites
At last count this list had over 80 job boards for you to check out to nab a brand new job.
101 Ideas to Get More Freelance Work and Generate New Client Leads
Here are 101 great ideas to help you get some new client leads! The great thing about this list is that you can pick out the options which suit you and go for it. Many of them are free, and lots of them will take less than an hour or two to do.
How to Get More Referrals
Most often the best new clients will come from referrals. In this article Cyan discusses what you can do to encourage more referral leads.
How NOT to Apply for a Freelance Position
If you’re not having any luck responding to job ads, then you may need to work on how you’re doing it. This article gives some tough-love guidance to those of us searching for work online but perhaps not having much success. This article also has some practical tips for designers looking for new work.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Selling To Clients
Tim Wall gives some great tips on what to do (and not do) to tell your services to potential clients. Check this out if you know you need to refine your pitch.
10 Essential Steps to Making the Perfect Pitch
This article is geared primarily to writers, but these tips are applicable to all freelancers. This article will go further to help you sell yourself and your work.
Dealing with Clients
Successful client liaison is the difference between more work and no work. One happy client can lead to dozens of new jobs and a prospering business. However, some clients aren’t that easy to work with. Below are some articles to guide you through what can be a minefield of client relations.
12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them
This is one of our most popular articles ever. It is not only very funny, but also has some good tips for dealing with common types of clients.
Pitching and the Decision-Making Styles of Clients
This is a short article, but has some interesting insights into how clients think, based on recent scientific research.
The Ultimate Design Brief
This great article by Shaun is a step-by-step guide to creating a thorough design brief.
An Ounce of Professionalism
Being professional goes a long way to impressing client. In this article Steve discusses the importance of professionalism to freelancers when dealing with clients.
We all want to be more productive. Getting home an hour earlier or making more money per week are dependent on us being productive – and without a boss keeping an eye on us we need some tricks to keep us away from the tv and at our desk!
10 Ways to Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are rampant for any freelancer, and they are the enemy of flow and efficiency. Happily our productivity guru, Leo, has lots of ways to keep you on the straight and narrow.
How to Work in Bursts to Get More Done
We all have projects we just wish would go away. This article will help you accomplish them quickly and easily, so you can move on to something a little bit more fun.
10 Ways to Make Laziness Work for You
Sounds too good to be true? Well, these tips actually make sense, so if you’re a lazy one (aren’t we all?) then read this article!
20 Time and Energy Drains You Can Eliminate
Do you while away your working hours by accomplishing practically nothing? Well then this article is for you.
A Guide to Simple Project Management
Even the simplest of jobs require project management. This article will help you stay on top of your projects and keep your clients happy.
14 Essential Tips for Meeting a Deadline
If you’ve been chucking a lot of all-nighters recently then this is the article for you. With a few simple habits you can keep your deadlines under control and meet them effortlessly. (Clients everywhere breath a sigh of relief!)
The Lighter Side
Okay, so you’re bored and you don’t want to work any more. You want to be entertained! If that’s you, then here are some articles to take your mind off your worries…
Top Ten Signs You May Be Charging Too Little
This is another of our most popular articles of all time. If you’ve been told you could charge more, check out this article and see where you stack up.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job Today and Become a Freelancer
A good one if you need some convincing to take the plunge into freelancing, or just want to remember why freelancing is so awesome.
15 Web Addresses for Wasting Time … View At Your Own Risk!
Here are some of our favourite places to slack off when we just can’t face another client revision.
More Surefire Ways To Get Yourself Fired By The Readers Of FSw
We ran a little competition and discovered FSw readers were a pretty funny group of people. If you want to get yourself fired in the most outrageous and offensive way possible, then check these suggestions out.
If you have questions regarding the job board, the book, or require any other technical support, contact our Eden Support Center.
Get Your Product Reviewed
A review on FreelanceSwitch puts your product or service before our audience of many thousands of Freelancers. Your review will stay permanently in our archives meaning you get a permalink on a high-traffic, high-SEO site.
You can purchase an impartial review through Sponsored Reviews. We only take on reviews which we think the FreelanceSwitch audience will benefit from.
Would you like to be interviewed?
FreelanceSwitch is always on the lookout for talented freelancers who are interested in being interviewed. If you have a fantastic bio and are interested in sharing your experiences, Request an interview.
Suggest an article or link for inclusion in a Linkswitch
If you have written a great article or have launched a new site that you think our readers will enjoy we’d love to hear about it! Make your suggestion here.
Questions about Freelancing
If you have a question about freelancing please post it on the forums. Because of the number of emails we receive we cannot reply to everyone individually, but on the forums you can get the feedback and advice of many seasoned freelancers.
212 Pages of Expert
Covering everything from getting started to expanding your business, How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer is the official FreelanceSwitch book. Written by Collis & Cyan Ta’eed – the founders of the site – it’s packed with new information, advice and insights not covered on the blog.
Sample Pages and Contents
You can view the first 15 pages of the book including the contents and some sample pages at the Lulu Book Preview.
If you experience any problems, send a support ticket to our eden help desk at Eden.Helpserve.com.
Copyright (c)2007, All Rights Reserved, Registered with Library of Congress, USA.
Become an Affiliate
Got an audience who you think will be interested in freelancing like a rockstar? Help us sell the eBook and receive 30% of each sale (US$8.70). You can sign up to be an affiliate at e-Junkie and we’ve got a range of banners available to help advertise the book. (Shown Below)
As an affiliate you will be sent an email for each sale originating from your website. Each month’s earnings will be paid via PayPal within 15 days of month end.
Cara Williams’ post on the dangers of accepting credit card payments with PayPal struck a note with a lot of people. I thought it would be worth introducing some PayPal alternatives/back-up options, in addition to one tip that will do a lot to keep you safe: think of PayPal as a transit account, not a savings account.
Amounts over $150 can be transferred to your bank account free of charge, so wait until your account hits the tipping point, then empty it. Keep money in there a little longer if you know you’re going to buy something soon, but once the money is safely in the bank, PayPal no longer exercises any control over it.
And now, for your back-up plan:
Google Checkout — a popular PayPal alternative but only available to U.S. based freelancers at the moment.
Neteller — an oft-mentioned PayPal alternative.
Moneybookers — a money-transfer service targeting Europe.
iKobo — interesting and popular alternative where payment is delivered through a Visa pre-paid card.
If you’ve found a great PayPal alternative, let us know about it!
Shane Pearlman is offering FSw readers exclusive invites to the beta version of Sproutwire, a content aggregating service for small business. Here’s your top secret invite. For those who want a little more information, Shane says: “We put together Sproutwire because we want good small business content vetted by people we trust (not the 10,000 angry teens on digg). We collect and post digestible reviews of small business content from the best blogs, newspapers, ebooks, presentation slides, journals, audio & video, newsletters, and anything else that we think will help you be better at what you do and live a happier life. Our goal is to keep it fresh, smart and personal.”
Bootstrapper shares fifty professional networks for freelancers (or, in other words, cool acronyms to put on your CV).
If you’ve been sidelined by all the talk of David Allen’s Getting Things Done, you might want a quick beginner’s guide to the book behind the phenomenon. Here’s a 43 Folders guide to help: getting started with GTD.
Freelance writers might like this calm-inducing advice on uncluttering your writing with self-imposed limitations.
And, finally, David Airey has assembled a mammoth list of 70 top-notch logo design resources.
Image by kaibara87.
1. “I can do it for cheaper” — If you could do it for cheaper, why did you quote me a higher price in the first place? You may think that this is what a client wants, but it can really undermine your professional standing in their eyes. Don’t drop your prices if you are confident in your abilities. It will backfire.
2. “I am not the best…” — You may not be the best, but this isn’t exactly awe-inspiring for a client to hear, is it? I see lots of very successful independent professionals play down their strengths — sometimes to the point where the client looses confidence in them. If you have a hard time talking about yourself, check out the book Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn, Without Blowing It by Peggy Klaus.
3. “Umm…uh..” — Okay, it’s not exactly a phrase, but umms and uhs can really kill a conversation. One of my MBA professors would never let us finish a sentence if we used sound fillers. It was agonizing at first, but really paid off by the end of the semester. If you feel speech is really a problem for you, get some coaching. Most universities with communication programs have PhD students who work with the general public for a great price. Continue Reading
Image by j / f / photos.
Oh we so love e-mail. It’s fast, it’s a nice archive. We don’t have to get out of bed to send our first e-mail of the day (sometimes). But is e-mail the best way to communicate with your clients? Is it the best way to do business and send proposals? I don’t think so — and here’s a few reasons why.
The Digital Divide
As most of us are web workers, communicating via e-mail, VoIP and IM is second nature. The freelancer lifestyle in most cases means that we do the bulk of the work ourselves. Fast communication in these cases is crucial, but sometimes it can cost us projects. Why e-mail is bad:
Lack of emotion. Business is business, but people get emotional. No — I’m not talking about crying over your invoices or clients giving you a big hug when you finish their logo. I’m talking about the voice, the face, the stance, the actual reaction. You don’t get any of this via e-mail. Is the client really happy with the logo? Is he really that ecstatic? Does he hate your press release proposal or just think it needs a few tweaks?
Magnification. The purest form of communication, the written word. One word, one sentence can mean so many things to so many people. Find a potential client who doesn’t know (and doesn’t need to know) how to write well and you’ll really enjoy those e-mails… Continue Reading
Image by Claudecf.
You may have heard about the Pareto Principle, or the 80-20 rule, before. It holds that 20% of causes result in 80% of outputs, 20% of the work causes 80% of the results, 20% of the clients yield 80% of the profit, and so on. The percentages aren’t exact, of course, but the basic premise (that a small percentage of what we do yields most of the results) is an incredibly useful analytical tool for your business.
If you want to learn how to apply the 80-20 rule to client liaison, your choice of clients, your prices and the work you do, this article will explain how to do that. 80-20 freelancing could allow you to do less work while making the same amount of money. If you’re lucky (and savvy), you could end up increasing the profitability of your business by doing less and focusing only on what’s important. Continue Reading