Every freelancer needs a website, no matter your specialty.
A website gives you a way to provide information to interested parties that are searching for your services online. However, a website launch can be both expensive and time-consuming, which is why some freelancers shy away from it. Fortunately, there are options for creating a free website and you can get it launched in less than a day!
This is where WebStartToday.com comes into play. It is an amazingly simple site builder tool specifically designed for freelancers and business owners with little technical experience. The process of launching a website with WebStartToday is intuitive. The other great benefit is that they allow you a free website for an entire year (with the domain name of yourbusinessname.webstarttoday.com).
For those of you who would like to give WebStartToday a try, use this tutorial for tips on how best to go through the process for creating your own freelance website in less than a day. Continue Reading
For freelancers, especially those just starting out, it can be difficult to find the time and money needed to launch your website.
Many, in fact, simply opt to use social media sites in place of a website in the beginning of their career. This can be quite detrimental to a small startup, however, and end up causing your career to grow more slowly than necessary.
A dedicated website shows prospects that you are serious about your business – that you believe in yourself as a viable resource. A website adds legitimacy to your freelance work; without it prospects may turn away, scared you may be just another scam artist. Also, a website makes it easier for would-be clients to find you on the web.
You may already know just how important a website is, and your only drawback is that your budget cannot afford to hire a professional web developer. Or maybe you know a little about web design and development but simply do not have the time to put together your own site.
This article helps to solve all of these problems for you with step-by-step instructions on launching your own freelance website in a single day – or less – by gathering the right supplies and using a site builder.
So set aside a day, and be prepared to complete your website launch by the end of this article. Keep in mind that even those of you who have no technical experience at all can still easily walk through these freelance tips in a matter of hours.
Are you tired of slaving over your blog posts, only to find you end up with seven readers?
If so, you need to change what you’re writing about. Probably where you’re publishing it, too.
That’s the word from Copyblogger associate editor Jon Morrow, whose own new site is the wildly popular Boost Blog Traffic.
Jon is a longtime mentor of mine, and I had the privilege of meeting him in person and attending his presentation on how he gets big traffic at the New Media Expo (formerly BlogWorld).
He’s the author of three separate blog posts that have notched over 100,000 views, including On Dying, Mothers, and Fighting for Your Ideas.
In his NMX session, he analyzed the success of his big posts and spotlighted five elements the posts all have in common that helped them get massive traffic: Continue Reading
Have you got big plans for your freelance career — but nothing’s happening?
Somehow, you’re not moving forward and marketing your business. You’re not getting out and finding the clients.
Or maybe you’ve got a freelance assignment, but you’re frozen at your desk, worried you can’t deliver.
If any of these sound like you, it’s time for a self-confidence boost.
Fortunately, there are plenty of concrete things you can do that should help you leave the fear behind and move your freelance career forward.
Here are my ten best confidence-building tips:
1. Experience your fear
Do you live in terror of pressing “send” on that pitch letter because you dread negative feedback? Toughen yourself up by having a friend read and ridicule your marketing.
Toughen yourself up by having a friend read and ridicule your marketing.
This can be a transformative experience. You’ll realize two things: One, you’re unlikely to get this kind of rude feedback in real life. And two, if you did, you would survive it.
Fear is our fight-or-flight response kicking in when we feel our lives are threatened. After you do this exercise, you’ll realize you aren’t really in danger. Nobody ever died from an editor’s rude remark. That should help you move forward. Continue Reading
If you’re just diving into the world of freelancing, welcome aboard. It’s an exciting time to be a new freelancer, with loads of opportunity out there as companies continue to downsize and outsource many types of services.
The bad news is it’s also never been easier to get ripped off.
The Internet is just bursting with scams that ensnare freelancers of all stripes. Too often, new freelancers look up after grinding out a long work week, do the math, and realize they’re earning well below the legal minimum wage.
How can you avoid being exploited and start earning real money? Here is a quick tour of the most common ways new freelancers end up getting stiffed: Continue Reading
There’s quite a fetish for failure-as-fodder these days. Search “failure” on popular business sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, or Inc, and you’ll get loads of articles on how it can be a great teacher.
I have to admit: I used to party on this bandwagon. Rally people to feel free to fail, as if it encourages higher-levels of creativity. Self-destruct certain projects just to see what happens.
Then the Harvard Business Review released their Failure issue. And I saw the cult of failure for what it was: a misguided attempt to ease anxiety.
This got me thinking. Do I have to fail at being a first-time freelancer to learn to be a successful freelancer? The answer is an unequivocal NO.
Listen, failure can be a great teacher—especially if you learn from someone else’s failure.
So, if you are a first-time freelancer and would like to become a seasoned one without having failed—then read on to learn the top ten mistakes first-time freelancers make and how to avoid them. Achieving success doesn’t require you to fall flat on your face first. Continue Reading
The concept of the minimum viable product is popular among startup founders: what’s the most absolutely basic little project that you can roll out and get users interested in (and hopefully paying for)? After all, the sooner and cheaper you can put something in front of your target market, the faster you can either realize that something isn’t working or you can start bringing in some cash to fund the rest of what you need to build a company.
The same concept is valuable to freelancers, though — particularly if you’re just starting out. In order to build a lucrative freelance career, you need to specialize. That requires just as much testing and tweaking as creating a startup. Continue Reading
Thinking about the freelance life? There are many ways to earn your bread as a freelancer. Fields like copywriting or website design may quickly bring clear pictures to mind. But you may have a hard time visualizing yourself as a “freelance consultant.”
Preconceptions about what it takes to be called a “consultant” often get in the way. You could miss some good ideas and great opportunities simply because you assume you are not in a consulting business. Continue Reading
There are a million freelancers out there. The question is, how are you going to get noticed and help people remember you and the type of freelance work you do?
The answer is branding yourself. As a freelancer, you need to create a memorable way for prospects to easily recall who you are and your freelancing specialty. I’ve reviewed hundreds of freelancers’ websites, and most of them don’t do a good job of presenting a memorable brand. But the good news is, it isn’t hard to improve your branding and gain a higher profile as a freelancer.
There are two basic ways to approach branding as a freelancer:
- Create a business name that tells people what you do in a snappy, artful way
- Use your own name but develop a concise motto or tagline that fills prospects in on your specialty
I know freelancers who’ve had great success using both of these strategies, so it’s not that one approach is always better than the other. It’s a question of which approach appeals to you and works best for the message you’re trying to get across.
Let’s look at how these branding approaches play out as you develop all the building blocks of your marketing toolkit as a freelancer. These are the steps to building a brand each freelancer needs to go through. It’s important to develop a clear brand message for your business.
Your goal is to present a consistent, unified message in all your marketing — at in-person networking events, on your website, on your business cards and other printed marketing materials, and in social media. Repeating one brand message will also help make you easier to remember. Let’s look at key branding tips to consider when creating your freelance brand. Continue Reading
As a freelancer, building a brand is one of the most important aspects of creating a successful freelancing career for yourself. If you happen to be a freelance designer, you will have many opportunities to create a brand identity from scratch, including, perhaps most importantly, your own.
In fact, you may have already given some thought to your own brand design and perhaps even created a brand logo and chosen the color you want or a favored font.
The importance of brand identity should not be underestimated. No matter where you are in the process of creating your brand identity and whether you are a freelance designer or in another field, your brand needs to be a strong visual representation for your clients, one that will inspire an emotional attachment each time they glance at it.
Here are numerous branding tips that will help you refine your thoughts on brand identity essentials. Learn how to build a strategic brand identity that will make customers swoon with satisfaction.
If you have found this website then you have already taken the first step to becoming a freelancer, that of seeking information on how to morph your current job situation into a freelance career you will love.
Follow these ‘ten rules of ten’ to launch your own freelance career:
Write down ten things you do well. They could be work skills, hobbies, things you love to do, things people have paid you to do, topics that make your heart sing, or things you would do even if you weren’t being paid to do them.
Now look at your list and find the common denominator. When you look at these ten items, where do they come together? What type of business can you fashion out of these ten things that you wrote down? That will be your business.
- Now that you’ve chosen your business—or it has chosen you—write down ten goals for your new business. These goals should include a goal income figure, a vision of what success would look like to you, a goal that explains how your business will help others–basically ten goals that give your freelance business a purpose and bring your deepest business desires to life.
- Next, take ten actions that will turn your ideas into a real business. Come up with your freelance business name, get a business license, register a domain name, put up a website, get business cards, set up a business bank account, set up a PayPal account (or devise another way to get paid online), set up an email account, create a brochure, and make up a one-page business plan that outlines the basics of your business (consider: what do you do, who are your customers, what makes you special, how you will market your product?).
If you just read that headline and it resonated with you, then you are probably one of the millions and millions of people who were hit hard by the economic downturn.
After years of punching a time clock and working your butt off to move up the career ladder and get ahead, the rug was pulled out from under you and, again, if you are like many people in the same boat, it probably wasn’t a soft landing.
Now you ruminate at home, puzzle on the internet, and wonder if the world will ever be the same. Will you ever have a nice expense account-funded lunch again? Will you ever have something as basic as health insurance again? Will the next minimum wage job give you a path to higher earnings?
The work world has changed dramatically and not for the better for many people who are forty and older, but you can take control of your life and your income. It’s as straightforward as becoming a freelancer. Here’s how: Continue Reading