Many of the freelancers I know stay active on Facebook, Twitter, and Google +, but they ignore one of the most powerful professional networks out there: LinkedIn.
Maybe it’s because they think LinkedIn is for job-seekers. Maybe it’s because they like procrastinating by reading celebrity gossip or watching the viral video du jour on other social networks. Maybe it’s because they don’t know how to leverage their LinkedIn profile to land new clients (believe me, they can and you can too!).
Whatever the reason, freelancers who aren’t on LinkedIn are missing out on opportunities to network, share useful content, and otherwise grow their business. Here are five reasons why you should use it.
By now, thousands of freelancers tweet, growing their brand and connecting with others 140 characters at a time. It’s an important tool for promoting your freelance business. And one of the most powerful aspects of promotion on Twitter is to get retweeted (or RT in Twitterspeak).
It’s the Twitter equivalent of forwarding an email or sharing a link you enjoyed in Facebook. RTs benefit freelancers by helping them spread content, grow their followers, and position themselves as experts. So, how can you help ensure that your tweets get retweeted and (hopefully) go viral? Follow these tips.
Whether they’re designers, developers, copywriters, or some other creative professional, most freelancers ask themselves the very same question: How can I find more clients?
We’ve updated our monster list of over a hundred ideas designed to help you do just that. Not all of these ideas will make sense to everyone, but we hope you’ll find at least a few to help you find newer and better paying freelance opportunities. Here we go … Continue Reading
Like corporate website, which use phrases like “innovative strategies” and “leading-edge solutions” ad naseum, many freelancers’ online portfolios tend to use some of the same tired phrases again and again. I combed through dozens of freelance websites (many of them discovered through FreelanceSwitch’s Find a Freelancer Directory) to create this list of over-used and ineffective phrases.
If you’re using these in your own portfolio, consider finding other phrases so you can stand out from the pool of eager freelancers. Continue Reading
January is National Mentoring Month in the United States. Wherever you are in the world, I suspect that many of us have a mentor (or five) to thank for our freelance successes. I personally have a handful of generous, wonderful people who helped connect me with potential clients, find my voice as a writer, and navigate contract negotiations when I was first starting out.
I still turn to several of these mentors for advice periodically, but I’ve also found myself on the other side of the table, mentoring up-and-coming writers as they build up their confidence and client base.
Here are some of the tips I’ve learned about being a good mentee. Continue Reading
Last month’s post, Are You Dating Your Client?, covered the stages of commitment from flirting to marriage. But the road to long-term freelance bliss is paved with clients who aren’t quite right, because, to paraphrase Greg Behrendt and his famous dating book, “they’re just not that into you.”
Maybe their boss is on their back about cutting costs. Or perhaps they’re not really sure what they need. Either way, it’s not you, it’s them. And if you don’t carefully manage him or break up with Mr. Wrong, then there’s a real possibility that you’ll end up with a broken heart. Or at least, shattered confidence and the sick feeling that you’ve just wasted your time.
Here’s our field guide to identifying and coping with these types of clients: Continue Reading
Previous blog posts have extolled the time-saving benefits of subcontracting. Sure, if you’re the person subcontracting work, it can help boost your income, keep clients happy, and prevent from you turning away new work even when you’re busy. But is it a sweet deal for the subcontractor, too?
A mid-summer look at my income spreadsheet showed that I earn much of my income through subcontracting agreements. I hadn’t thought about my patchwork of copywriting, blogging, and journalistic projects it in those terms, but much of my work is (either formally or informally) structured this way. So I can say from personal experience that subcontracting with advertising and PR agencies, creative staffing firms, and other freelancers is a mixed bag. Here are some of the pros and cons. Continue Reading
With back-to-school season in full swing, now’s the time for freelancers to bone up on their skills or perhaps learn new ones. But you don’t have to shell out for pricey college courses to get the benefit of professional development. In fact, a lot of great information is available for free or very inexpensively if you’re willing to invest the time and do a little digging. Read on to discover several affordable avenues for professional development. Continue Reading
It happens to the best of us. Sometimes it’s because of budget cutbacks or communication issues or some other reason. But eventually, most of us experience the loss of a steady client. Fortunately, losing one client isn’t usually as devastating as getting laid off from a full time job. Sure, it’s a blow to your ego (and your bank account), but often it’s also an opportunity to grow your business and take on new challenges. Here’s how to handle the transition.
A recent thread on a forum I follow centered on how to ask for referrals to new clients. Some posters mentioned that they are reluctant to ask their existing clients for referrals because they don’t want their clients to know if they’re struggling. And they don’t want to ask other freelancers, because they don’t want their competition to think they’re weak. I admit that I sometimes grapple with these concerns, but existing clients and fellow freelancers can be great resources for referrals.
Here’s how to make the ask without making yourself look desperate:
Photo by Noël Zia Lee.
Since freelancers tend to spend long hours hunched in front of a computer, it makes sense that many of them have also congregated on Twitter. Think of it as a virtual watercolor where you can chat about new projects, catch up on industry news, or just take a quick break. Some freelancers are also using the microblogging platform to find new clients and promote their business.
For those who are new to Twitter or just need some new follows, we’ve rounded up 50 users who often tweet about freelance-related topics. Not surprisingly, writers are very well represented on Twitter, but we’ve also uncovered some designers, developers, and other freelance folks. Obviously, there are many more than 50 freelancers on Twitter, so feel to leave your username in the comments.
One of the joys (and frustrations) of being a freelance writer contributing to multiple magazines, newspapers, and websites is the need to come up with a constant flow of new ideas for articles.
This is not always an easy task by any means—often it seems downright impossible—so we’ve compiled a list of ways to find articles almost anywhere. Continue Reading