Notice: Due to overwhelming numbers of articles, we are not currently looking for contributions on the site for a while, as we go through the backlog of great stuff! Thanks so much for your interest, we appreciate your time!
Getting Started as a Freelancer
Whether you’re in the process of setting up your freelancing business or are still weighing up your options, these articles will help you take the first steps in freelancing.
A Comprehensive Guide to Starting Your Freelance Career
This is the article that started it all. Before we even thought about launching FreelanceSwitch, Collis wrote an article about what he’d learned during his freelancing career. This article will give you the basics of branding your freelancing business, finding work, quoting and estimating, getting paid, and client liaison. If you’re right at the start of your freelancing journey then start with this article!
On the Side or All the Way?
A big decision for would-be freelancers is whether to pack their job in or begin by freelancing on the side. This article offers the pros and cons so you can make a more informed choice.
Freelancing 101 – The Basics
In this article, Mathias, German developer extraordinaire discusses what he sees as the most important issues for a new freelancer. In this article he covers issues with finances, working environment, holidays, your portfolio and the fear you’ll doubtless feel when you first go out on your own.
Naming Your Freelancing Business – To Personalize or Not? (With a Poll)
One of the fun things all new freelancers get to do is to come up with a name for their business. In this article, you can find out whether personalizing your business name (eg. John Smith Design Agency) is right for you.
Pricing your services correctly is so important to any freelancer – it can be the difference between staying in business and going bust. Below are a few handy resources to help you charge what you’re worth.
The FreelanceSwitch Rates Calculator
This very handy tool will help you figure out how much you should be charging per hour.
Nine Factors to Consider When Determining Your Price
Figuring out how much you should charge isn’t just about the numbers. In this article you will learn the other issues you must consider when determining your price.
Hourly vs. Fixed Pricing
Should you charge by the hour or by the job? Mathias sheds some light on the issue in this article.
The Price Is Right
A practical guide to making both you and your client happy with your rates.
Figuring Out How Much To Charge
Here you can get a short insight into how Collis quotes a web design job.
Finding work when times are quiet is a challenge for any freelancer. Happily, here at FSw we have just what you need!
The Monster List of Freelancing Job Sites
At last count this list had over 80 job boards for you to check out to nab a brand new job.
101 Ideas to Get More Freelance Work and Generate New Client Leads
Here are 101 great ideas to help you get some new client leads! The great thing about this list is that you can pick out the options which suit you and go for it. Many of them are free, and lots of them will take less than an hour or two to do.
How to Get More Referrals
Most often the best new clients will come from referrals. In this article Cyan discusses what you can do to encourage more referral leads.
How NOT to Apply for a Freelance Position
If you’re not having any luck responding to job ads, then you may need to work on how you’re doing it. This article gives some tough-love guidance to those of us searching for work online but perhaps not having much success. This article also has some practical tips for designers looking for new work.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Selling To Clients
Tim Wall gives some great tips on what to do (and not do) to tell your services to potential clients. Check this out if you know you need to refine your pitch.
10 Essential Steps to Making the Perfect Pitch
This article is geared primarily to writers, but these tips are applicable to all freelancers. This article will go further to help you sell yourself and your work.
Dealing with Clients
Successful client liaison is the difference between more work and no work. One happy client can lead to dozens of new jobs and a prospering business. However, some clients aren’t that easy to work with. Below are some articles to guide you through what can be a minefield of client relations.
12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them
This is one of our most popular articles ever. It is not only very funny, but also has some good tips for dealing with common types of clients.
Pitching and the Decision-Making Styles of Clients
This is a short article, but has some interesting insights into how clients think, based on recent scientific research.
The Ultimate Design Brief
This great article by Shaun is a step-by-step guide to creating a thorough design brief.
An Ounce of Professionalism
Being professional goes a long way to impressing client. In this article Steve discusses the importance of professionalism to freelancers when dealing with clients.
We all want to be more productive. Getting home an hour earlier or making more money per week are dependent on us being productive – and without a boss keeping an eye on us we need some tricks to keep us away from the tv and at our desk!
10 Ways to Eliminate Distractions
Distractions are rampant for any freelancer, and they are the enemy of flow and efficiency. Happily our productivity guru, Leo, has lots of ways to keep you on the straight and narrow.
How to Work in Bursts to Get More Done
We all have projects we just wish would go away. This article will help you accomplish them quickly and easily, so you can move on to something a little bit more fun.
10 Ways to Make Laziness Work for You
Sounds too good to be true? Well, these tips actually make sense, so if you’re a lazy one (aren’t we all?) then read this article!
20 Time and Energy Drains You Can Eliminate
Do you while away your working hours by accomplishing practically nothing? Well then this article is for you.
A Guide to Simple Project Management
Even the simplest of jobs require project management. This article will help you stay on top of your projects and keep your clients happy.
14 Essential Tips for Meeting a Deadline
If you’ve been chucking a lot of all-nighters recently then this is the article for you. With a few simple habits you can keep your deadlines under control and meet them effortlessly. (Clients everywhere breath a sigh of relief!)
The Lighter Side
Okay, so you’re bored and you don’t want to work any more. You want to be entertained! If that’s you, then here are some articles to take your mind off your worries…
Top Ten Signs You May Be Charging Too Little
This is another of our most popular articles of all time. If you’ve been told you could charge more, check out this article and see where you stack up.
Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job Today and Become a Freelancer
A good one if you need some convincing to take the plunge into freelancing, or just want to remember why freelancing is so awesome.
15 Web Addresses for Wasting Time … View At Your Own Risk!
Here are some of our favourite places to slack off when we just can’t face another client revision.
More Surefire Ways To Get Yourself Fired By The Readers Of FSw
We ran a little competition and discovered FSw readers were a pretty funny group of people. If you want to get yourself fired in the most outrageous and offensive way possible, then check these suggestions out.
If you have questions regarding the job board, the book, or require any other technical support, contact our Eden Support Center.
Get Your Product Reviewed
A review on FreelanceSwitch puts your product or service before our audience of many thousands of Freelancers. Your review will stay permanently in our archives meaning you get a permalink on a high-traffic, high-SEO site.
You can purchase an impartial review through Sponsored Reviews. We only take on reviews which we think the FreelanceSwitch audience will benefit from.
Would you like to be interviewed?
FreelanceSwitch is always on the lookout for talented freelancers who are interested in being interviewed. If you have a fantastic bio and are interested in sharing your experiences, Request an interview.
Suggest an article or link for inclusion in a Linkswitch
If you have written a great article or have launched a new site that you think our readers will enjoy we’d love to hear about it! Make your suggestion here.
Questions about Freelancing
If you have a question about freelancing please post it on the forums. Because of the number of emails we receive we cannot reply to everyone individually, but on the forums you can get the feedback and advice of many seasoned freelancers.
212 Pages of Expert
Covering everything from getting started to expanding your business, How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer is the official FreelanceSwitch book. Written by Collis & Cyan Ta’eed – the founders of the site – it’s packed with new information, advice and insights not covered on the blog.
Sample Pages and Contents
You can view the first 15 pages of the book including the contents and some sample pages at the Lulu Book Preview.
If you experience any problems, send a support ticket to our eden help desk at Eden.Helpserve.com.
Copyright (c)2007, All Rights Reserved, Registered with Library of Congress, USA.
Become an Affiliate
Got an audience who you think will be interested in freelancing like a rockstar? Help us sell the eBook and receive 30% of each sale (US$8.70). You can sign up to be an affiliate at e-Junkie and we’ve got a range of banners available to help advertise the book. (Shown Below)
As an affiliate you will be sent an email for each sale originating from your website. Each month’s earnings will be paid via PayPal within 15 days of month end.
Cara Williams’ post on the dangers of accepting credit card payments with PayPal struck a note with a lot of people. I thought it would be worth introducing some PayPal alternatives/back-up options, in addition to one tip that will do a lot to keep you safe: think of PayPal as a transit account, not a savings account.
Amounts over $150 can be transferred to your bank account free of charge, so wait until your account hits the tipping point, then empty it. Keep money in there a little longer if you know you’re going to buy something soon, but once the money is safely in the bank, PayPal no longer exercises any control over it.
And now, for your back-up plan:
Google Checkout — a popular PayPal alternative but only available to U.S. based freelancers at the moment.
Neteller — an oft-mentioned PayPal alternative.
Moneybookers — a money-transfer service targeting Europe.
iKobo — interesting and popular alternative where payment is delivered through a Visa pre-paid card.
If you’ve found a great PayPal alternative, let us know about it!
Shane Pearlman is offering FSw readers exclusive invites to the beta version of Sproutwire, a content aggregating service for small business. Here’s your top secret invite. For those who want a little more information, Shane says: “We put together Sproutwire because we want good small business content vetted by people we trust (not the 10,000 angry teens on digg). We collect and post digestible reviews of small business content from the best blogs, newspapers, ebooks, presentation slides, journals, audio & video, newsletters, and anything else that we think will help you be better at what you do and live a happier life. Our goal is to keep it fresh, smart and personal.”
Bootstrapper shares fifty professional networks for freelancers (or, in other words, cool acronyms to put on your CV).
If you’ve been sidelined by all the talk of David Allen’s Getting Things Done, you might want a quick beginner’s guide to the book behind the phenomenon. Here’s a 43 Folders guide to help: getting started with GTD.
Freelance writers might like this calm-inducing advice on uncluttering your writing with self-imposed limitations.
And, finally, David Airey has assembled a mammoth list of 70 top-notch logo design resources.
When I came up with the headline for this article, I figured that many freelancers are so busy that they probably don’t have any time to organize their tax information before they hand it over to their accountants. We’re all so focused on our businesses—who has time to do nice for their accountant? You do, actually. And the payoffs could be big!
It really doesn’t take much to get things together to make things easier for your accountant, and perhaps save time. If you’re like me and you toss pay stubs and receipts into one large envelope during the year, you may want to break things up so your accountant can easily work through your taxes. This saves your accountant time, and it saves you money. Also, I don’t use anything fancy for invoicing (something I need to change, I suppose) but even organizing your Quicken files can be a huge help for the accountant, save you money, and offer more time for you to ask questions and help your business.
You’ll find that little things will make tax time much more manageable for you and your accountant. Here are some easy things you can do to get organized. Continue Reading
A few weeks ago we reviewed FreeAgent an application that handles your accounts & invoicing and noted that one major drawback was that it wasn’t for international freelancers. I got an email from the company today telling me that this is now changed and they have a new universal version which has a bunch of new features including choose your own currency and date formats, and a new website home at FreeAgentCentral.
And Ed the founder and CEO has offered a special discount to FSw readers:
We’d like to offer your readers to receive a 20% discount if they sign up for a free trial within the next 10 days (so expires after 23 Feb). Juse use the referral code ’13fsw9′ when they sign up.
If you’re interested in more apps for invoicing and accounts, check out our list of 7 Online Invoicing Apps for Freelancers.
OK I think it’s been a little too long since my last linkswitch, because my Delicious folder of links is pretty darn full, so without further delay, here are a whole heap of great sites to visit:
Three new blogs popped up on my radar in the last couple of weeks, two freelancing blogs and one awesome logo blog:
A couple of links for Photographers
- 5 Tips to Get the Most out of Freelance Photography
- Interview with an NYC Creative
- Photopreneur – a really neat site about making money with photography
Neat Links for Developers
- Because open source is the bomb – 10 golden rules for running an open source project and 10 golden rules for starting with open source
- oDesk’s Oconomy – so you can see just how much money is being turned over every minute
- The 10 Most Marketable Web Development Skills – according to Read/Write/Web
And some for Designers
- ReviewBasics – which is a bit similar to ConceptShare. I’m planning writing these two services up properly soon, as they are pretty cool
- Elements of Typographic Style Online
- Typesites – a website gallery that takes a slightly different approach
- An old link, but a good one, Chris Pearson asks How Much Should a Design Cost?
- Check out Lumedia for some awesome photoshopping goodness. Kyle of Lumedia, has also written an awesome wood tutorial at PSDTUTS.
- 11 Ways to Get Exposure as a Web Designer at the fabulous VandelayDesign
- Neatorama’s Evolution of Tech Logos makes for an interesting read.
- Extensis Typecaster – Fonts find true love online – because even fonts celebrate Valentines Day
And a few more general ones
- 6 Reasons to Become Self Employed from Wisebread
- TutorialBlog has a couple of great resource posts – Time Tracking Tools and 20 Resources for Freelancers
- And a neat WordPress blog theme called Freelancr!
Finally one for the Writers
- How to Find and Secure Freelance Writing Clients by Chris Bibey, over at Entrepreneurs-Journey
There are millions of freelancers around the globe, but for most, freelancing is something done in isolation. What do other freelancers charge? Do they quote or estimate? How many hours a week do they bill? These and many other questions are what we set out to answer in the Global Freelancer Survey of 2007.
3700 people took part in the survey from 6 continents and 10 industries. The results revealed some interesting facts:
Do Freelancers Work More? And if they do, do they Earn More?
We asked freelancers how many hours a week they worked, and just how that compared to their work as regular employees. Additionally we asked them how their earnings compared to the ol’ nine to five, here’s what we found out:
It almost seems unsurprising that Australians are the most laid back of all freelancers in the world (it must be all the sun and sand we have here).
And just what are other freelancers charging?
Of course the question almost every freelancer will want answered is, just how much do other freelancers charge? In our complete report we’ve gone into a lot more detail of ranges, countries and even genders, but here’s perhaps the most sought after statistics, the average hourly rates according to industry:
Get the full 55 page report
We’ve emailed out the full report to everyone who took part in the survey. For everyone else, you can still get it via Rockable Press.
Why the charge? Close to 300 manhours of work went into hosting, compiling, analysing and reporting the survey. While it has been distributed freely to anyone who chose to participate, we are charging for the results to help pay for the rather large expense of putting it together. We thank you for your understanding.
Quick note to say, as of a few minutes ago, I have completed the last part of the survey. It’s now wrapped up in some nice PDF packaging. Weighing in at 55 pages of data and graphs, there’s all sorts of interesting stats in there like …
4 – The percentage of freelancers whose entire client list is made up of foreign business.
37 – The average number of hours a week Australian freelancers work, the least of any continent.
10 – The percentage of freelancers who have business insurance.
And there’s LOTS more where that came from. Expect the survey to be hitting the inboxes of the 4000-odd people who participated in about 24hrs. For those who didn’t participate, the results doc will be available for a small fee on the site, so don’t worry everybody will have a chance to get survey goodness!
A good business card design is an essential tool in any freelancer’s arsenal. When you’re at a function networking, meeting new clients, or your work comes up in a conversation, your card is the anchor to make sure the discussion doesn’t come to nothing.
It’s important to think about what your business card says about you, as well as what to put on your business card, and whether it passes the business card trash test. But of course as any designer knows, the most important thing is to make sure your business card looks smokin’ hot!
Portfolio’s are so important to a freelancer, and we’ve had a few great articles on the ‘Switch covering them like Portfolio Zen and Build a Killer Online Portfolio. Recently Digital-Web Magazine asked me to write a piece on portfolios for their site and it’s been put up now on the site.
It’s called Creating the Perfect Portfolio and here’s a quick extract:
A web portfolio represents a wonderful marketing tool; whether you meet a lead and refer them to your site, or they simply find you through Google, your site needs to seal the deal and win you the job. To frame your portfolio to a freelance lead, once again you need to ask yourself: what does this type of person want to see?
… A typical lead may be uncertain—unless they have a referral, they are looking at you out of the blue. Moreover, they may not even be sure of what they need beyond a vague idea that they “need a website”. And, of course, just like those potential employers a business lead is short on time. So how do we address these concerns?
The article deals with both freelancers and career portfolios, and hopefully you all find it useful! Read the Article