Freelancers in every field face a constant challenge to achieve and maintain a high level of productivity and quality in their work. One of the ways that you can improve your results is by developing systems or routines for various aspects of your work.
Most likely you do some of the same things day-after-day and week-after-week. Having a proven system for getting these things done can bring several positive benefits. In this post we’ll look at why you would want to develop you own systems and some areas of freelancing life that lend themselves to systematization. Continue Reading
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Maximizing productivity is a never-ending task for most freelancers. There’s always some way that we can improve or some area that’s lacking the attention it deserves. This post serves as a guide and a reminder for ways that we can get more done and make better use of our time. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments.
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Having the ability to work from home rather than in a traditional office setting was probably one of the major attractions to freelancing for most of us. However, working solo from home can be a real challenge due to the lack of personal interaction. Although the peace and quiet of working alone is a great benefit, there are times when most of us would prefer to be around more people. If this is ever the case with you, here are ten things you can do to get more interaction as a freelancer.
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Handling the legal aspects of doing business has got to be the most dreaded part of freelancing. Most of us have very little knowledge in this field without taking the time to do some research, and even then it can be confusing and frustrating.
Of course, this isn’t one of the core functions of your freelance business, and it’s easy to see any time spent on legal issues as a loss in terms of available working hours. For this reason it’s good to take advantage of the legal resources that are available to freelancers.
In this post we’ll take a look at a number of resources, both online and off, that may be able to make your life easier and help you to achieve more productivity while protecting the legality of your business. Feel free to add your own favorites in the comments.
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One of the realities of being a freelancer is that you will have a wide variety of responsibilities in regards to running a successful business. You won’t have the luxury of passing duties off to another department, and your success depends on your ability to wear multiple hats and develop some versatility. The dizzying amount of responsibilities can be overwhelming at times, but it can also be one of the perks to being a freelancer. You’ll have the opportunity to try your hand at every aspect of business, and you won’t get bored from doing the same repetitive tasks over and over again. Whether you see this diversity as a positive or a negative of freelancing, you can increase your productivity by realizing all of your responsibilities and setting a plan for success.
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Freelancers are always facing the need to find new work and keep moving forward in their business. Most of us read a lot about productivity, marketing, pricing, customer service, and these aspects of business are all important. But it’s also important to enjoy the work that you do.
Being a freelancer is a great opportunity that allows you to shape and customize your ideal workstyle. Here is a look at some things you can do to help make your work more enjoyable.
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Having a killer online portfolio is obviously invaluable to freelancers. The portfolio will show the quality of your work and get potential clients excited about what you can do for them. A great portfolio will sell you and your abilities–you just have to get people to see it.
Publishing a blog at your portfolio site can accomplish many of the same things, it just takes a different approach to get the results. Much like the portfolio, the blog will demonstrate your expertise, only it will do so by sharing knowledge instead of by displaying your work. Potential clients that have read the posts on your blog are likely to feel more comfortable with you and appreciate your experience and your abilities more than they would if they had never seen your blog.
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With well over 25,000 subscribers, there’s obviously a great deal of variety in terms of the types of freelancers and approaches to developing a career among Freelance Switch readers. However, if you take a look at the team of writers you may notice that many have taken, or are attempting to take their careers beyond typical freelancing. In fact, let’s start with Collis himself. Through the last year or two he’s been involved in building a number of successful and profitable websites, of course including Freelance Switch, PSDTUTS, NETTUTS, FlashDen, and a few more.
Collis was able to successfully transition himself from freelancer to business owner. Many of the other writers, me included, are working on building a website or business of their own to supplement or even replace their freelance income. While I do enjoy freelancing, I don’t see it as something that I want to do for the next 40 years. Some of you may not share my view and you may look forward to freelancing for the foreseeable future. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, I feel that it’s a good idea to at least explore some opportunities to work on your own projects on the side. Maybe you’ll want to invest more time on your own projects, and maybe you’d rather focus on just freelancing.
Here are 7 reasons why I think you should consider taking on some projects of your own.
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Freelance Folder recently published a post on 5 Surefire Ways to Meet Deadlines for Freelancers and Web Workers by Abhijeet Mukherjee. If you haven’t read the post, it gives a nice breakdown of the topic. I’d like to take this opportunity to build on that post by looking not only at how we can increase our productivity in our day-to-day work, but also how we can change our mentality towards deadlines to create a healthier and more efficient workflow.
Abhijeet’s points and suggestions for meeting deadlines are:
1. Set expectations… with yourself.
2. Prioritize your work.
3. Keep track of dates and occasions.
4. Analyze your accomplishments every day.
5. Try to work only five days a week.
These points are great for keeping yourself on track and maintaining a proper balance in your work. From my experience I’ve found that it can also be helpful to turn the tables and put deadlines to work for you, rather than working against you. Continue Reading
Freelance designers have a number of different methods for finding work. In many cases, simply getting your profile and your work exposed to more people can lead to an increase in work. There are a number of sites that provide excellent opportunities for designers to show-off their work and send visitors back to their own portfolio site.
Some of the sites on this list require more of an ongoing effort in order to truly produce results. I don’t suggest trying to use all of these sites. For the best results, choose a few that you think will work best for you, and become an active user.
1. Behance Network
Behance Network is a huge, “free platform for the world’s leading creative professionals.” You can set up a profile, share some of your work, network with other designers and professionals, and even look for work.
While flickr is primarily a place for users to store their personal photos, it’s also used by a growing number of designers to display and share their work. Users can set up their own accounts and profiles, and they can also join groups, such as the PSDTUTS group.
A good percentage of Virb users are in the music industry, but it is a home to all things creative, and many designers are setting up profiles. The pages can be completely customized to show off your creativity if you’re ambitious. Continue Reading
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Freelancing is often a juggling act. Not only are you working on several different projects at any given time, but you’ve probably also got projects that are all at various stages of development.
Starting new projects, finishing others, and diving deeper into even more can make organization and planning a difficult task. You’ll constantly be facing the challenge of managing your time effectively to balance all of your clients and to keep completing jobs.
If you’re like me, there’s nothing more satisfying than completing a job and crossing it off of your to-do list (well, getting paid is pretty rewarding too, but that’s getting off track). Personally, I function far more effectively when I have a challenging but realistic list of tasks for each day and each week. Without planning for the use of my time I tend to lose focus and spend my time less productively.
As I’m creating my task list for each day, and throughout the day as I determine how to allocate my time for each task, I have to prioritize. Effective prioritizing is a necessity for freelancers to maximize their efficiency and productivity. Because we’re all different, what works for me may not work for you. There’s no right or wrong approach, but we all need to find our own ideal method of prioritizing. Continue Reading
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One of the biggest struggles for many freelancers is finding a way to stand out from the crowd of others providing similar services. In many cases there really is a huge difference from one freelancer to the next in terms of quality of work, quality of service, specific services provided, experience, and turnaround time.
However, potential clients often seem to have the perspective that we’re interchangeable and all created from the same mould. Therefore, they usually see price as the main point of difference between freelancers.
If this is something you’ve been struggling with, you may reap significant benefits from developing a plan to successfully differentiate yourself from others. If you’re finding the intense competition to be limiting your workload or forcing you to lower your rates, take a look at what truly makes you different from the other freelancers out there waiting to land your would-be clients. More importantly, be sure that whatever makes you different is clear to those potential clients.
Differentiation can help freelancers in a number of important ways. The obvious benefit is more business, but there is also the ability to help you to avoid competing solely on price. If you’re tired of pricing your projects too low in order to secure and retain clients, find a way to be different than the others competing for the business. If you really are different, price comparisons become less effective for the customer, because they know they’re not paying for the same product. Continue Reading