Photo by Podknox.
So you’re sick of the cubicle, middle management and 9-5 hours. You dream of quitting and freelancing full time but there’s one thing holding you back: the company health plan. This is by the far the most common reason I hear from Americans on why they won’t quit the full-time job.
However, there are options available. In this article, we’ll look at several solutions to keep yourself covered without the backing of a full-time employer. Continue Reading
Photo by Angela7dreams.
Last month, I spoke at my alma mater about freelance writing. The request letter from the high school was helpful and precise: I was to inform the students about a “typical day.”
So I gathered several digi-photos of me at a book signing, me wrapped in a tipsy embrace with my Random House publicist, me propping my computer up against a thatch-shaded picnic table on the sugar shores of Cocoa Beach. And then I digi-ditched them. I had half an hour to address fifteen-year-old me, and she was going to hear the truth of it all.
What is my day? This is my day. Continue Reading
Hard to believe fifty Freelance Freedom comics have come and gone.
Seems like I just started the comic last month and I’m still tweaking how I want it to look, but I guess it’s been almost a year. ‘Freelance Guy’, as he has come to be known in my head, is now fully fleshed out complete with shaggy unkempt hair and a suspicious lack of pupils. Continue Reading
Image by Thiru Murugan.
As a freelance designer, your income will be dependent upon the ability to find potential clients and secure the opportunity to do the work they need. There are plenty of different ways to find potential clients, and in this article we’ll take a look at 12 things you can do to increase the number of leads you receive.
Methods for Increasing Your Leads:
1. Maximize Your Portfolio
An extraordinary portfolio is a designer’s best friend, and for obvious reasons. Potential clients will be able to gauge your skill level and quality of work from your portfolio. In order to maximize the benefits from your portfolio, put only your best work in the spotlight. Think about how your portfolio is organized and make sure that your best pieces of work are sure to be seen by potential clients. If your work has improved over time, keep your best and most recent designs in the portfolio and consider removing older ones.
Also, don’t simply keep your portfolio on your own site. You can showcase your portfolio at plenty of CSS galleries. If you’ve done work for a well-known client there may also be a justification to submit a press release about a re-design or some other significant change to the site. Continue Reading
A few months ago when Skellie took over FreelanceSwitch I suddenly found I had a heap of time on my hands (well my idea of a heap of time anyway!) As our sister site PSDTUTS needed a bit of attention I’ve spent the last couple of months working hard to expand and develop it.
All the extra time has paid off and if you haven’t visited PSDTUTS for a while, I highly recommend paying a visit as we’ve had some amazing tutorials published there. And it’s been so successful that we’ve branched out into a second “tuts” website: NETTUTS!
Tutorials for Web Designers and Developers
The site is basically tutorials and occasional articles on everything for web designers and developers. From CSS and HTML to Flash to CMS’s to things like S3. We’re just getting cranking over there, and I thought I’d highlight a post I’ve spent the last two days working on, in case anyone over here feels like taking a look!
It’s a two part piece, half on PSDTUTS and half on NETTUTS:
- Create a Sleek, High-End Web Design from Scratch – Part 1 goes from scratch to a slick little photoshop design, and then …
- Build a Sleek Portfolio Site from Scratch – Part 2 goes from PSD to HTML with lots of extra tips and explanations along the way!
Anyhow so the site’s up, if it’s up your alley, pay us a visit!!
Photo by Argenberg.
This post is the second half of our two-author, two-part series on smart saving.
Along with the health insurance dilemma, some full-time employees can be reluctant to quit their job to freelance full-time because it means giving up such perks as a pension and company-sponsored 401(k) retirement plan.
So, in this article, we’ll examine some ways you can keep saving for your future without being backed by a company.
But first, the obligatory disclosure: I am not an accountant or a financial planner, nor I am pretending to be. I’m just a writer whose done a fair bit of research. Please consult a financial professional before placing your savings into any one place.
Also please note that while the terminology in this article is specific to the United States, many other countries have similar options available under different names. Continue Reading
The very lucky thirteenth episode of Freelance Radio, the official FreelanceSwitch podcast, is now available! I apologize for the delay, folks! This episode, we discuss a number of freelancing issues, including dealing with feedback, how to deal with great (unrelated) ideas, getting past general malaise and more!
Photo by decor9.
This post is the first half of our two-author, two-part series on smart saving.
Many Freelance Switch readers are probably aspiring professional freelancers with a day job. Shama Hyder earlier provided 5 steps for switching from side gig to full time. There’s one really important step that Shama alluded to and that I’d like to expand on: savings.
Before you jump into full-time professional freelancing, you want savings. (Read further below for an explanation why, beyond the obvious.) Do not venture into full-time freelancing without savings.
General Savings Tips
- Save for the future.
Don’t save for next week, next month, or later this year. Lean periods in freelancing careers can and do ruin marriages and family relationships. Think like a business owner, not like one person constantly looking for freelance work. Use longer-term investments such as bonds or blue chip stocks (that you’ve researched well). Continue Reading
Photo by wili_hybrid.
Most freelancers I know work from home. It’s often seen as one of the perks of freelancing: it means having a five second commute to work and being able to work in one’s pyjamas.
However, there are plenty of downsides. It can be hard to focus, especially with the lure of the television or the video game console. Plus, it can be lonely, given the limited social interaction.
There are, of course, means of changing the scenery and gaining a little more interaction. Some freelancers will work out of a Wi-Fi equipped coffee shop while others will rent office space elsewhere in search of a better place to focus.
But there are still disadvantages. Coffee shops aren’t very private and they aren’t a real workspace while renting an office can be fairly cost prohibitive if the businesses isn’t bringing in a lot of money.
So, enter co-working, a middle ground between the two. Continue Reading
Muhammad Saleem is a social media consultant and a top-ranked community member on multiple social news sites.
This post is the final part in our groundbreaking series on how freelancers can use social media and the principles of simplicity to build their businesses.
Day 10 – The 10th Law of Simplicity: The One
Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.
This entire series has been about extending your existing life as any kind of freelancer or even a full-time web worker and adding a social media perspective to it without being a victim of information overload. In achieving this goal, this series consists of two distinct kinds of of posts. The first is the immediately actionable advice and the second is more holistic. Continue Reading
Photo by Hamed Saber.
If you take a look back through the comments here on the ‘Switch there seems to be an uneasy current of tension that appears whenever anyone mentions working with freelancers who live in less than first world countries and charge rates of $10-15 per hour (or less).
You typically hear cries of “You get what you pay for”, “You’re exploiting them” or “You’re devaluing the work of professionals in your own country”; they’re classic defensive statements.
The problem is that with the globalisation of the economy and the increasingly internet-enabled population in less developed countries, it’s opening up many industries to growing competition from all parts of the world.
And as a freelancer and business owner, it’s not good enough to simply sit there and say “It’s not fair”… it is what it is and only the savviest of freelancers will not only secure themselves and their business against the threat, they may even find a way of turning it to their advantage.
So here’s why the defensive statements just aren’t going to do you any good – and how you can turn the threat into an opportunity: