Photo by orangeacid.
How many of you have had jobs or freelance gigs which you billed for once a month? It often takes an act of financial yoga to balance your checkbook each month, right? Wouldn’t you say that being paid weekly or bi-weekly makes life more pleasant?
- You’re more relaxed about when your next paycheck is coming.
- You can take a few days off without worrying that you will not earn as much this month. You’ll be relaxed as a result. (See #1)
- Being paid weekly makes it much easier to ensure that there’ll be enough funds when a bill is paid through automatic deductions from your bank account. You’ll be more relaxed. (See #1. Again.)
Photo by boldiest.
A freelancer’s life isn’t always as glamorous as it looks from the outside. Working in pajamas and bunny slippers may seem like a welcome break from a soul-crushing corporate job, but the pressures that freelancers face can cause stress levels as high (or higher) than your typical 9-to-5 employee. The rush and responsibilities of managing a freelance business cause more than a few rising stars to burn themselves out before their time, and it’s never pretty. If you’re not feeling the love you once had for your freelance freedom, use these tips to unwind before you implode.
“Don’t stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed.” – George Burns
Let’s be honest. Who of us isn’t interested in money? Which of us wouldn’t love to be making six figures or more while Freelancing? But how many of us really know how to tap the market to best take advantage of the skills we have, turning our precious time into cash?
With the staggering number of self-help titles on the market today, each promising secrets, tips, and guarantees, there is an obvious desire to achieve these elusive ends. Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett recognized this need, and with their 2008 “Problogger: Secrets for Blogging You Way to a Six-Figure Income” hope to inspire others to accomplish their dreams. The verdict on their 220 page manual of blogging advice? Read on to find out.
Photo by emdot.
Landing new clients can be one of the most time-consuming tasks for the overworked freelancer–and it doesn’t pay you a single penny. Spending countless hours on the hunt instead of being billable isn’t the most effective strategy for the self-employed, so knowing how to increase the value of each and every client you have is a skill that you absolutely have to master.
Fortunately, doubling the income you get from your clients isn’t rocket science–it all comes down to using a few time-tested strategies for boosting their spending. Here are 3 smart things you can do after you land a client that can pad your paycheck for months (or years) to come.
Photo by SqueakyMarmot.
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.
Photo by ^Vanessa^.
You’ve heard it before: “live within your means,” “a penny saved is a penny earned,” “don’t break the bank.” But do you actually put those ideas into practice? Or do you just pull out your plastic, figuring you can write it off at the end of the year anyway?
I used to roll my eyes when my parents lectured about money. But now that I’m writing full time, I consider my Yankee upbringing to be a blessing. With a recession looming in the United States, it’s time to get serious about saving money in your personal and professional life.
Heres’s how to get started… Continue Reading
Photo by N_Creatures.
I had a client meeting this morning. This means I tossed on my best khakis, grabbed my portfolio and darted out the door feeling the rush of new business possibilities. Having already spoken to this potential client on the phone, I knew it wouldn’t be an easy sell. He had a tall order of information he wanted me to bring along. But I knew I’d be all right—I spent the night before updating my portfolio and working on rates for him.
Rates. I knew that would be the kicker.
While this new client will probably be a wonderful one, I did struggle to devise a set pricing scale for him. Why? Because he wanted a set rate for projects. Meaning one lump sum for website content. Another for brochures. One fee for a press release. And so on. Although my rates don’t vary too much, I usually give clients who want ongoing work a rate range, which gives me some flexibility in my pricing. Not this guy—he wanted one-rate fees for different projects. Continue Reading
Photo by rick.
A note before we get Will’s post started: winners of our birthday bash competition will be announced tomorrow! Now, for our regular programming… — Skellie
Although many experienced freelancers generally price on a project basis, there is still an hourly rate lurking behind their calculations, much of the time. We tend to derive those project rates from estimates of how much time a standard project typically requires. And we bid on new projects, that don’t fit established patterns, or tweak our project rates to fit unusual situations, all relying on some concept of an hourly rate — even if we don’t share that with the client.
Especially when you are new to freelancing (although it’s a lingering issue even for people who have been at this a while), the question of where to set that hourly rate consumes a lot of mental energy, and generates much stress.
Now, I’m not about to tell you what you should charge per hour of your time for the kind of work you do. But even more fundamental than the question of your “hourly rate” is the question of whether you calculate your bids based on your rate, or on your rates. Continue Reading
Photo by Argenberg.
This post is the second half of our two-author, two-part series on smart saving.
Along with the health insurance dilemma, some full-time employees can be reluctant to quit their job to freelance full-time because it means giving up such perks as a pension and company-sponsored 401(k) retirement plan.
So, in this article, we’ll examine some ways you can keep saving for your future without being backed by a company.
But first, the obligatory disclosure: I am not an accountant or a financial planner, nor I am pretending to be. I’m just a writer whose done a fair bit of research. Please consult a financial professional before placing your savings into any one place.
Also please note that while the terminology in this article is specific to the United States, many other countries have similar options available under different names. Continue Reading
Photo by decor9.
This post is the first half of our two-author, two-part series on smart saving.
Many Freelance Switch readers are probably aspiring professional freelancers with a day job. Shama Hyder earlier provided 5 steps for switching from side gig to full time. There’s one really important step that Shama alluded to and that I’d like to expand on: savings.
Before you jump into full-time professional freelancing, you want savings. (Read further below for an explanation why, beyond the obvious.) Do not venture into full-time freelancing without savings.
General Savings Tips
- Save for the future.
Don’t save for next week, next month, or later this year. Lean periods in freelancing careers can and do ruin marriages and family relationships. Think like a business owner, not like one person constantly looking for freelance work. Use longer-term investments such as bonds or blue chip stocks (that you’ve researched well). Continue Reading
Image by Seeding-Chaos.
This post is part 5 of 5 in our four-author series on perfect pricing and rates.
Most freelancers hate dealing with pricing. We would rather focus on what we do best, and as a result, pricing sometimes doesn’t get enough thought and attention.
Pricing obviously has a huge impact on how much money we make, but what about its affect on potential clients?
Ways that Pricing Impacts Clients
While these items are not absolutes, they certainly should be examined and taken into consideration as you are developing a pricing structure for your services.
1. Their Level of Expectation
When clients see a high price tag they’re going to expect a high quality of work. Of course, it’s possible that the client will not have an accurate idea of what price is high and what is not, but most will also look at the prices of some other freelancers and compare.
If clients expect a higher level of quality with a high price, is it safe to assume that they will expect a lower quality of work with services that are lower priced? Not always. Continue Reading
Image by Richard Moross.
This post is part 4 of 5 in our four-author series on perfect pricing and rates.
Getting ready for a seminar I was presenting in February, I needed to get some t-shirts printed in a matter of days. I had the files ready to go and was looking for a service that could run off a quick batch for giveaways.
As I surfed around, I stumbled upon VistaPrint.com’s website and, being somewhat obsessed with sales processes, started to play with it.
I was blown away by the way they cross-sell products.
I wanted to see just how much they would try to cross-sell me, so I uploaded an image and went through the process of ordering a T-shirt, in an effort to see just how much extra stuff they would try to get me to buy.
Here’s what happened. Continue Reading