Freelancers have the most unusual type of obstacles when it comes to getting their clients to pay them. Beyond customers going M.I.A. or claiming they forgot, sometimes freelancers find clients refusing payment because they are unsatisfied with the work or not sure if it’s what they wanted. Yet, the work was done, so you deserve to be paid. End of story.
As a freelancer, you need to take proper and effective precautions to make sure you don’t find yourself in a position where a customer is paying you late or not even paying you at all. Continue Reading
Do you wish you had more freelance gigs? One way to get more work in your pipeline is by collaborating with other freelancers and creative agencies that might hire you when they’re overloaded.
Networking to grow your rolodex of freelance contacts can help you line up subcontracting assignments.
I’ve had several gigs that involved subcontracting — I’ve been a subcontracting writer for an agency that had a Fortune 500 client, I’ve split big projects with other freelance writers, and I’ve served as project contractor and paid subcontracting writers I hired. So I’ve seen this setup from all sides.
Subcontracting work out allows you to take on bigger projects than you could otherwise tackle alone. For instance, I had a large government-agency writing project I once split with a writer because the tight deadline wouldn’t allow a single writer to complete all the needed research and interviews.
If I hadn’t been able to find another qualified writer in my local market to share one recent freelance project, I would have had to pass on an assignment that netted me over $6,000. Hopefully that little example whets your appetite for the earning potential you can unlock by collaborating with other freelancers.
Now that I have your attention, let me say not all subcontracting arrangements are created equal. You will fare better if you ask some key questions before you sign on, either to be a subcontractor or to subcontract some of your own work out to other freelancers. Continue Reading
No matter what kind of freelancer you are, you need a way to accept payment from your clients. Out of all the payment options available, how do you choose the right one?
Being able to collect credit card payments is key. While some of your clients will still prefer to pay by check, many would like the opportunity to pay by credit card. Wouldn’t it be nice to run a credit card payment right from your own website, without having to push your client off to a third party site to process the transaction?
Stripe is a simple way to accept payments online. It was created by developers who believe that accepting credit cards on the web should be easy, inexpensive, and efficient for everyone.
Many freelancers work with clients in some capacity or another to create a brand identity. But few enough of us actually invest a lot of time in our own brands — it’s a case of the shoemaker’s children going barefoot more than anything else.
But a brand can be valuable, making it easier for prospective clients to find you and reassuring them that even if you’re just one individual working on their project, you’re a consummate professional.
Brand experience is what your clients will feel at every point of contact with your freelance business. It starts with a strong brand identity, but requires quite a bit of implementation, such as: crafting a relatable persona, communicating expert status, and delivering excellent customer service. It’s up to you to craft a brand experience for your clients. Continue Reading
Remember those bad old days in the job world? When you had to check your personality at the door so you could be a good corporate droid?
Now that you’ve been freed from that jail, you’re more than welcome to bring your personality to work as a freelancer. This article will show you how to capitalize on your uniqueness and develop your individual brand personality.
Along the way, you’ll meet a photographer who’s developed an international reputation for documenting the decay of a major American city, an award-winning logo designer who has added “clown” to his job description, and a radio deejay who is required to comply with station rules concerning self-promotion.
For many freelancers, developing your freelance brand identity is about creating brand you and injecting personality branding into your freelancer image. Continue Reading
Looking for a new client? The FreelanceSwitch job board is a great resource of freelance gigs and opportunities. These opportunities are in various fields, from development to writing to design, and come from a wide range of potential clients. The job board is hand-moderated by dedicated staff and volunteers from the freelance community.
Each week, we’ll feature a selection of the best job opportunities posted for the week. This week, we’re featuring jobs in Rails Development, WordPress Development, Blog Writing and more!
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
As freelancers, we sometimes tend to think that branding is only about being different enough to attract clients. We want to stand out, so we spend hours adjusting our logo.
But great brands are more than an attractive symbol alone.
Great brands have values. They’re passionate about these values too. They respect the goals of their customers and they keep their promises. They strive to make a positive impact. They tell stories and capture the imagination of those they speak to. Brands that believe in the work they do for others are the exceptional ones.
Nike+ doesn’t tell you that wearing their shoes will make you the next Michael Jordan. They focus on helping their customers be the best athletes they can be because they believe in human potential.
Creating a great brand is essential to the success of your freelance business. Go beyond the skin and dig for the core of your brand identity. It’s a story, a feeling, and a goal to create things of value. That’s where your brand exists.
Here are 101 branding tips to help you improve your freelance identity and help your business succeed:
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a freelancer is to ignore building and promoting your brand. Starting my freelance business in 2010, I shrugged my shoulders at the thought of branding strategy. It sounded like something that only larger businesses engaged in, not freelancers.
Over the years, I’ve learned that brand promotion is actually a critical part of a freelancer’s overall business, no matter how small. With a little effort, you too can build a better freelance business with strategic branding.
Branding promotion as we see it used by big companies (e.g. Apple, Ben and Jerry’s, or Starbucks) and branding for freelancers are similar in many ways. Essentially, branding is everything you do as a business that makes others remember you. For freelancers, however, branding takes on a very special meaning. As a freelancer you are your business. So, in effect, you are your own brand. 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
Most freelancers dread collections.
We’ve been promised this money in good faith by clients we’ve already worked for and we shouldn’t have to chase after the funds to get payment. But collections are a necessary evil for any freelancer who doesn’t get payment in full before starting work (and those rare freelancers may still face difficulties from bounced checks).
It’s important when working your way through the the collection processes to know when to send a nice collections letter versus a letter with punch. You need to have a handle on when to use a collection agency and when to fight for the money your owed with your own two hands. Continue Reading