If you’re working for an employer, your career patch can be pretty clear: work hard and move up the corporate ladder, hopefully winding up somewhere near the top. But when you’re freelancing, your career path can be a lot less clear. We all want to land more clients and earn more per hour, but where do we want to wind up?
Ask FreelanceSwitch is a new regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing. If you have a question about freelancing that you want answered, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s go time!
Twitter seems to have a very polarizing effect on people. Some love it and some hate it. Some even love to hate it when they haven’t even tried the service yet. What makes Twitter so divisive?
Recently, actor Sir Patrick Stewart came down on the usefulness of Twitter in his life calling it too simplistic to reduce life to 140 characters. But whether you agree with the Captain or not, Twitter – when used correctly – can be a extremely beneficial tool for your freelance business.
With its growing list of books, Rockable Press recently released Twitter Up Your Business: How to Market Your Business on Twitter. The mini-book promises to teach you how to use the service, and explains how Twitter can help your business. Let’s see how it delivers.
Human beings are creatures of habit. (Yes, even freelancers like you.) We tend to wake up at the same time each morning, go through the same basic routine of tasks every day, and go to bed at the same hour every night. Routines are comforting and familiar.
Oh, and they could destroy your productivity.
The latest episode of Freelance Radio, the official FreelanceSwitch podcast, is now available! This episode, the panel (John Brougher, Dickie Adams, Kristen Fischer and Von Glitschka) talks about full-time experience and its value for freelancers. Subscriptions to the podcast are available via iTunes and an archive of all podcasts will appear in the podcast section. We hope you enjoy it!
Over the weekend and into Monday we unfortunately experienced some pretty severe downtime on all Envato WordPress blogs and here on the FreelanceSwitch Forums. The downtime was due to problems in the data centre of our current hosting company which was out of our control.
It seems to all be resolved now, but I just wanted to make a quick apology for the inconvenience and interruptions. We’re going to be re-examining our hosting setup to make sure we avoid this situation in the future and to generally try to pull up the quality of service across the board.
In the meantime there may be some further minor interruptions as we shore up the setup. Thank you for your patience!
For freelancers, there’s a direct correlation between how many hours you work and how much money you make. Increasing your income can be tough because there are only 24 hours in any given day and most of us have to do things like sleep and spend time with our family at some point. Even when we’re working, we have to spend hours on administrative tasks that we’re not actually getting paid for. There are a few ways to increase the number of hours you can devote to paying work — without cutting the number of hours you sleep each night. Some require a little up front investment of time, but a few extra hours can be worth it.
Fellow Envato site GraphicRiver is running a competition for its first birthday, and it’s perfect for aspiring freelancers with over $4,300 in prizes aimed at helping you make a living from what you love doing.
To enter, you need to create a collection of GraphicRiver’s best files in a certain area and submit it for selection:
To be eligible, simply create a collection of files showcasing the BEST files on GraphicRiver—this can be the best business card templates, the best icons for websites, the best Twitter backgrounds, best web elements, best character vectors…the possibilities are endless! Don’t forget to give it an eye-catching image, a snazzy description, and make it viewable to the public.
Here’s what you could win by participating:
- A one year bookkeeping package from Less Accounting
- 6 months ReviewSpace Package
- A one year subscription to the FreelanceSwitch job board
- $100 of marketplace credits
- Rockable Press “Twitter Up Your Business”, “Rockstar Freelancer” and “Rockstar Personal Branding”
- Plus a one year subscription to Tuts+
It doesn’t take a long visit to FreelanceSwitch to figure out that many of us were unhappy employees.
Some of us made dramatic exits from the job world–stomping out of the office after a fight with the boss, telling an especially demanding client exactly what you think of her micromanagement of your design work, or, on a Friday afternoon, walking out of that toxic waste dump of a workplace and making your weekend permanent.
Are you supposed to be doing something else right now?
You’re probably in the midst of a complicated project and had planned to take just a minute to send a tweet or update your Facebook status. Then you saw the link to this article and figured that reading about how to manage distractions would be a good thing to know. Hot Suzy in a basket of muffins, you’re distracted!
One of my favorite shows on television is called “Flipping Out,” and it’s about a California house flipper with obsessive-compulsive disorder named Jeff. He drives everyone nuts and is, let’s just say, extremely detail oriented.
In one of the episodes, his assistant talks about dealing with Jeff’s ups and downs. She says that sometimes you “take it.” Meaning, in any job there will be things you don’t like—and sometimes you have to just accept it. Sometimes, you take it. Not all the time, but sometimes.
I think about that saying a lot, because I see a lot of freelancers that don’t “take it” or take, well, anything. While there’s nothing wrong with ditching a client you don’t like, some freelancers bail the second they are told what to do or feel uncomfortable. That’s not such a bad thing if you really are not feeling it, but if you get into that mode, you’ll never develop client relationships.