I’ve been working with an online virtual assistant for almost a year now. My current virtual assistant is a whiz at getting repetitive tasks off my desk and letting me focus on the creative work my clients pay me the big bucks for. If you’ve got a growing freelance practice, a virtual assistant may be able to help you handle the work load. These tasks are all relatively easy for virtual assistants to take on, letting you focus on landing and completing projects that pay. Continue Reading
I did my first trip as a traveling freelancer in June and July, spending 35 days traveling around Spain and Portugal. The traveling part was great but the freelancing part was much, much harder than I thought. I had read plenty of articles about freelancing while traveling but being on the road is a whole different thing. And so I’ve put together some resources for the traveling freelancer. This first article is about finding places to live that feel like home, mostly spending less than one would at hotels.
Hostels have been the traditional option for long-haul travelers because of their low price and sociable atmosphere but they’re not known as the most secure places for gear and usually don’t offer the most peaceful of spots for sleeping and working. They also don’t feel much like home . When the traveler’s on the move for a long time, he starts getting homesick. There are some options worth looking into where you can find real, welcoming homes as well as potentially friendly hosts who will give you tips and share insider knowledge of their cities. Continue Reading
It’s rare that you’ll see a well-rested, socially adjusted, and emotionally fulfilled individual publish rants to a blog or Twitter page. But if you take sleep, confidence, and satisfaction from the happiest of people you’ll quickly see sniveling, snapping beasts emerge.
They’re not evil. Just fatigued. Unfortunately, “I was tired” won’t fix the damage caused by unsightly outbursts. You can avoid many of their mistakes by putting the following into practice: Continue Reading
One of the great things the internets gives us is the ability to track and analyze anything and everything. You can find out how many people are on your website, commented on your blog, or liked your Facebook status update, and it doesn’t take much more than a few clicks.
Whether you are looking at it from a competitive, professional, or personal point of view, you’ve probably figured out that you should start using Twitter tools to check your stats.
Here are a Twitter analytics tools to help you determine where you are in the Twitterverse:
Klout - Your Twitter presence is graded based on 25+ variables, including how well you engage with your audience, how often your posts are retweeted, and your level of twitter activity. Nice tool, measures quickly, and the results actually seem to be useful.
Tweetreach – Based on your last 50 tweets, Tweetreach will show you how many people you’ve reached. Simple, dead simple.
Twitrratr – Are you constantly worried about the opinion of others? Twitrratr checks your most recent tweets, and will let you know if they are positive, neutral, or negative. Just for fun – enter Tiger Woods
Twitalyzer – Need to know what your impact is, or what kind of influencer you are? Smoking fast results from twitalyzer on 15 day old data. Slightly longer for real time results. The most commonly used hashtags is nice as well.
Followcost – How annoying is it going to be to have this person follow you? Super simple tool to find out what you are getting into by blindly following someone. Of course, this tool doesn’t measure the quality of the prospective followers tweets, just the quantity.
Have you got a Twitter tool that you can’t live without? We’d love to know what it is, and why you think it’s the best!
I haven’t punched a clock in more than 10 years. And even when I did, I never cared much for the idea.
I guess I didn’t like the message it sent out: that I was being paid for my time — not for my ideas, creativity, excellent customer service and added revenue for my employer.
I still feel that way as a freelancer. I believe my clients hire me for my insights, ideas, creativity, results delivered and commitment to their success, not for my time.
If time is what you’re after, you can buy time anywhere (and for much less!).
That’s a big reason why I don’t price most projects by the hour. Instead, I quote flat fees 95% of the time. I want to keep the focus on the project deliverables, not on the time I’ll spend doing the work. Plus, I want to take on some of the risk and not create a scenario in which the invoiced amount is a big surprise to the client.
However, I still track time. Even when doing flat-fee work, I find that there’s tremendous value in knowing how much time I actually spend on every project. Specifically, a good time tracking system provides me with: Continue Reading
The sun comes up and for most of us, it’s time for work. Or is it? How you start your work day can have a huge impact on the rest of it. Your morning routine is the lynchpin for either reducing or increasing creativity and productivity.
For example, on days I meet with clients, of course I get showered, dressed, and ready to head out as soon as possible. But on days when I need to get creative work done, I start right away. And I mean, as soon as I get up.
If the very first thing I do in my day is sit at my computer with a coffee, work seems easier. I can get many writing ideas and a short article together in an hour or so. Yes, in my pajamas. Only later do I move on to getting dressed and so on.
On the flip side, If I get up, shower, get dressed, and answer all my email before sitting down to write, work doesn’t come so easily. My capacity for creative work seems to decrease as the sun rises higher in the sky. Continue Reading
If you have read The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, you won’t be surprised by the number of things that you can have a virtual assistant complete.
If you haven’t read his book – go read it – but until then, here’s a quick list of some of the things you can have a virtual team perform. Continue Reading
Being a freelancer has its perks. You are your own boss, meaning you can work at home and set up your own hours. As great as that sounds, working at home also has its downsides. The main problem is that it’s hard to be productive when you keep getting distracted by the 7 billion wonders of the internet.
We at FreelanceSwitch have offered many tips to increase your productivity, but these tips can only take you so far. Sometimes you just need a good tool or two to keep you on the right track. Here are some personal productivity tools guaranteed to enhance your performance. Continue Reading
My wife and I decided a long time ago that we like children but don’t really want any of our own. Luckily, the rest of my family appear to be breeders, and now we have seven nieces with another on the way. I suppose there’s a chance that this one could be a nephew, but it’s pretty unlikely.
One of the things that we like to do in the summer is to grab one or two of the girls, and let them hang out with us. It’s funny how quickly the parents are willing to share their “pride and joy,” especially if it’s with an out-of-town relative!
Now that I’m a full time freelancer, I am trying to think of ways to entertain the girls, while still managing to get some of my work done. Continue Reading
One of the things that comes along with the freelance life, especially early in the game, is a “feast or famine” cycle, both in terms of revenue, and in terms of time. Sometimes you are scrambling to keep up with your work, pulling all-nighters to keep several projects on track. Two weeks later you have little to keep you busy.
Can a “Swiss Cheese” method of scheduling your project scheduling can help you manage your time and get you off the feast and famine roller coster? Continue Reading
Poor PC freelance users, we never get the love we deserve! So to help rectify that, I took some time to round up the best 50 PC apps that freelancers can use in their business, in no particular order. Everything from time tracking apps and online storage apps, to anti-virus apps and instant messaging apps, well-known favorites to new-comers in beta, we got a comprehensive list of PC applications to help you organize your digital workflow.
Freelancers are great list makers, and it is little wonder. Running your own business, handling multiple clients and projects, leaves you with lots of things to manage and remember.
I know that I start every week, and every day, with “to-do” lists. I consider what needs to get done, what I want to achieve in a given time span. Then I generally end up with a list that is too long, and cut it down to focus on priority items.
Unfortunately, for a long time I found that items I dropped from the day’s “to-do” list didn’t really go away. Continue Reading