I was in my private reading room, relaxing on my personal (porcelain) throne, when I found an article in Success magazine about the author/actor/Hollywood legend Stephen J. Cannell. The article, titled Character Development, was written by Michelle Medley, and provides a brief look into the life of the man that gave us many of the shows that we’ve seen over the years. The Rockford Files, The A Team, and 21 Jump street – just to name a few.
In the article, Canell shares a few Footnotes to Success, and I couldn’t help but notice how each of them applies directly to the life of a freelancer. Continue Reading
Freelancing can be one of the most rewarding career paths in this technology-dependent age we live in. Earning your own money based on your own sweat and hours laboriously poured into your work – there’s just no better feeling!
What many beginners get caught up in are the details of their enterprise. Freelancing is a very general term and there are so many routes to take. You may ask yourself, how do I find a niche that’s right for me? How do I know what skills I will excel at? 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
Freelancers are given the opportunity to work for either clients within their respective areas or clients coming from abroad. Personally, as a freelancer living in Asia, I’ve worked only with clients who run their businesses a hundred miles away such as those in the US, the UK, and Australia. I’ve never seen their faces, heard their voices, and of course never tried visiting them at their offices since our only mode of communication is either the email or the instant messenger. Yes, the work is still being done from home as how it is with on-shore freelancing, but international freelancing has certain characteristics that makes it more difficult in terms of communication and security, and I had to learn this the slow and hard way. Continue Reading
As a freelancer, it’s sometimes easy to do a deal on a virtual handshake and feel confident that you know exactly what your client wants. Usually, this is because they told you exactly what they “think” they want – but that’s a post for another day. For the most part, doing business this way is just fine.
CYA (Cover Your, er, Butt) is a common term in business, and freelancing shouldn’t be any different. Misunderstandings about the work expectations can be costly in either your time or your money, or both. Many people think contracts and NDA (Non Disclosure Agreements) are only there to protect the client, but if you set them up properly, they can cover your butt when you need it most.
What kind of legal agreements should freelancers consider?
- Confidentiality Clause – Contract stating that no confidential information will be shared about you or your clients business.
- Statement of Work – What the project consists of. A very specific document to outline exactly what the client is paying you for.
- Terms of Payment – information that should be on each invoice as to how and when you should be paid. And from a previous post, here are eight things that you should include in your Terms of Service agreement.
- Change Order Agreement – a document that covers the specifics of a change outside of the original scope.
It’s not fun to formalize everything, but it’s a lot less fun to not get paid for the work you’ve done, or lose a client over a misunderstanding.
If you sign up with elance.com, you are allowed to use these sample contracts if they fit your needs.
There are some freelancers who have already learned the hard way the value of some of these contracts, and I’d love to know any tips or tricks you use to ensure you cover your butt while communicating your needs to your clients. Continue Reading
Is it a loving spouse that goes to work every day, providing your family with the extra income you need to make sure the mortgage is paid, food is on the table, and your kids are not dirty urchins picking the pockets of the fine folks on the streets of London?
Maybe you’ve got a good friend that promotes you to his customers and business associates, and his influence is so vast that you doubt that you will ever be short of work from these contacts.
Or perhaps you have an amazing client that loves what you do, pays you handsomely for it, and trusts you to spread your creative wings on every project.
Have you said thank you to these folks lately? Continue Reading
One of the obvious must-do things as a freelancer is to market yourself. The concepts of self-promotion and marketing are in just about everything we read when looking to improve our businesses. We are constantly being told to promote ourselves, develop business, toot our own horn, boost client relations…the list goes on. We’re told a lot of what to do, and in many cases, how to do these things. What is often missing is learning about the ways to make these concepts work.
Something I’ve learned since I started freelancing full-time–by trial and error, of course–is that you cannot simply market yourself aimlessly. Instead you have to really think about where your clients are. And how to reach them.
For example, you’ve probably been told to make a website. And chances are, you have one. Fantastic. But what happens next? How do you get the people you want to attract to see it? Better yet, who are those people? Continue Reading
Ask FreelanceSwitch is a 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 email@example.com.
You’ve probably met those people who say that they get all of their business through referrals and word of mouth. And, admit it, when you encounter someone from this nirvana, don’t you feel a bit jealous? Not to mention annoyed? Continue Reading
If you’re active in the freelance forum, you might be aware of what’s going on there. For you who aren’t that active (myself included), might want to check out some of the most notable discussions that took place last week. I’ve been browsing the forum a lot these past days, but I actually haven’t got around to post anything yet. If you find a really interesting topic, make sure to post a link to it, and I’ll check it out.
Freelance Web Developer Rates. This is a quite interesting thread for all web devs about what kind of freelance rates developers charge which turned out to a full blown discussion. If you haven’t read any post yet, I strongly suggest you do. You might get a nice insight on others opinions and experiences.
Go to the Gym? Started little over three weeks ago, but just a couple of days ago, it got turned back on. Very interesting topic in my own opinion, who does work-out and who dosen’t? I for one, I really need to start again – been awol from the gym for almost a full year now. Someone to kick me in the right direction? Continue Reading
I’m sure any freelancer that started his or her career while they were still in school has dealt with this at one point or another—the “student” factor. Call it what you may, but once a client or potential client knows you are a student doing freelance work, something changes. What is it about being a student entrepreneur that seems to be a turn-off for potential clients?
What is it that makes us freelancers the way we are? Is it our will to reach our goals? Or do we strive towards being the best in our field? No matter what drives you, we all need some help getting there – so what could be better than listing our Top 5 Freelance Essential articles? Wait a second, this is exactly what I´ve done – With no further ado, here they are, our top 5 articles on Freelancing Essentials.
Why Doing Your Homework Leads to More Sales by Martha Retallick. I know, homework are horrible! But this kind of homework, is actually really usefull but most of all, it´s essential for a freelancer. Learn from, Martha´s own experience and always remember – Knowledge, Is King!
Setting Your Standards as a Freelancer: A Few Suggestions by Thursday Bram. No matter if you´re new to freelancing, or you´ve been in the game for a while – we all could need some tips on how we should be Setting Our Standards as a Freelancer. I, for one, found this article usefull as well as inspirational. Continue Reading