As a business-focused freelancer, how do you feel about the area of personal development? Have you found it useful in reaching for success in your freelancing business? Or do you switch off or cringe when you hear Tony Robbins’ gravelly voice start to speak?
If you’d asked me this as a hard-nosed strategy consultant 4 years ago, I’d have scoffed in your face. Ask me this today and you’ll likely get a very different response.
I understand why it provokes the response it sometimes does … the advice you read is usually centred around the notion that “you have special and unique talents that no-one else has and you can do anything you want”.
Fluffy clap trap? Quite possibly. Does it help you in your freelancing business? Not always.
There is one concept I read recently however that makes so much sense that every freelancer should read it and remember it… Continue Reading
What’s the biggest benefit to you in being a freelancer?
For me, it’s the beauty of having the freedom to choose what I work on, especially when maintaining multiple skills. That means that you can mix entrepreneurial endeavors with your freelancing. In fact, if you have expert skills in something, creating expert content between projects builds up a long-term stream of revenue.
For example, take a look at a Peter D. Marshall‘s website, Film Directing Tips. Whether or not you have any interest in being a filmmaker, it’s worth a visit to his site to see how he’s supplementing his income.
I have no idea whether he’s a freelancer or not, but he is a veteran filmmaker of over three decades. He’s taken his knowledge and created expert content and made it available for sale via his website. The website’s blog is a good example of blogging as a vehicle. The blog’s posts exist solely to promote his knowledge and his paid content, which includes audio files, video, PDF reports – all geared to the aspiring director.
This is a model you can adapt for almost any expert knowledge or skill that you have. If your freelance career is based around these skills, you’re likely to be something of an expert in them. Continue Reading
If freelancers could invent our own clichés, one might be: no two jobs are the same. Each gig we take on brings with it new personalities, new challenges and new rewards. Despite these differences, most any freelancing gig will fit into one of these twenty types.
Where does the job you’re (supposed to be) working on now fit in?
Have you done each of these kinds of jobs before?
My guess is that most experienced freelancers will have encountered quite a few!
1. The magnum opus
The job you’ve always wanted, the job you’ll tell your grand-kids about. You get asked to write a book, land design work for a super-company like Coca Cola or get an article published in Business Week. The money doesn’t really matter — though it’s probably pretty good! Because this kind of opportunity doesn’t come along every day, you make this job personal, you obsess over it and make sure every single detail has been polished to a brilliant shine.
These kinds of jobs can feel more like play than work. They’re hard to forget for all the right reasons, and can take your credibility and perceived value as a freelancer to the next level.
Magnum opus jobs can be time vacuums. Being paid $X,000 for a project doesn’t work out to much if you spend a hundreds of hours polishing up the bells and whistles.
Effectively taking on a huge freelance project can be daunting if you don’t know where to begin. This article shows that by breaking the project down into bite-sized deliverables, combined with leveraging the experience of outsourced, professional specialists, can yield positive results in terms of both quality of output and freelancer happiness.
The most treasured of all freelance consulting gigs are the ones that offer huge pay and high prominence. Successfully implementing one or two of these types of projects can be a huge boon to your portfolio and can help garner you even bigger and better contracts in the future.
Photo by jaaron.
As a freelancer, you have a wide variety of marketing options available to you. Just which ones will bring you the clients you prefer to work with depends — it’s important to make sure that the methods you use allow you to reach the places prospective clients will be.
It’s worth considering a wide variety of options. For that, it’s useful to have a list of options to consult:
As a freelancer (or potential freelancer), you live and die by your ability to sell your services. And unless you’ve got some kind of agent or marketing firm doing your marketing for you, you’ve got to be your own marketer. If you’re like me, that doesn’t come naturally.
But by focusing, learning and practicing these 10 essential freelancing marketing skills, you can be a natural self-promoter and get more work than you actually need.
Let me first say that when I say “marketing” I don’t mean you should be one of those pushy, spammy, overhyping marketers that you see so often on infomercials and on spam websites and knocking door-to-door. Don’t be a huckster or a con artist.
The real way to market yourself is in a natural, professional, honest manner — show that you’re good, interact in a positive way, find ways to let people know about your services and talents without coming on too strong, and let your talents sell themselves. This gets easier as you’re more established and better known, but it can be done by anyone.
Here are the essential marketing skills for any freelancer:
A freelancer’s efforts can be roughly divided into two areas: working toward a contracted project, and taking steps to keep your business strong. When you’re occupied working for a client, it’s easy to focus only on that effort. Deadlines should always take high priority, but don’t let the other areas slip too far, or you’ll be scrambling to catch up down the road.
So just how do you balance the two? One approach is to make a checklist of business-minded tasks that you need to do each week, regardless of how busy things get. Continue Reading
A few years ago, I did a couple of projects under the table for a local company. They paid me in cash, with a quiet understanding that they didn’t plan to issue me a 1099 and I didn’t plan on declaring that income.
I don’t work that way anymore, but I know the appeal.
There are a lot of negatives to such an arrangement — which led me to make sure my income taxes actually reflect my income — and it’s worth giving them some consideration before going one way or the other for cash-only arrangements.
Editorial Note: A few times a month we revisit some of our reader’s favorite posts from throughout the history of FreelanceSwitch. This article was first published in March 3rd of 2009, yet is just as relevant and full of useful information today. 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.
If you know me, you know I love a good study. And I found the findings in the 2012 Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study to be fascinating.
Titled The Influence Game: How News is Sourced and Managed Today, the study shows the deepening penetration of digital and social media into all areas of newsgathering and production.
The study was conducted in April and May of this year and surveyed 613 journalists who work for a variety of different media outlets (from broadcast to blogs) in the following countries: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, the U.K., and the U.S. On average, 38 journalists were surveyed in each country.
The global economy is affecting newsrooms
The study found that journalists in Asia, Brazil, and Russia had a sunnier outlook on their news organization than those living in Western Europe and North America.
This year the study found that 12% of respondents globally believed their publication would go belly up, down from 21% last year. Check out how individual countries and regions fared when asked the question of falling (or growing) revenues:
- Europe: 43%
- Brazil, Russia, China, North America: 21%
- Spain: 67%
On a more upbeat note, journalists in Russia, Brazil, and China seem to be doing great. Advertising revenue, audience, and editorial staffing is all up in these countries. According to this study, the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China will experience double-digit growth in ad spending during 2012. France will see a scant 2% and the U.K. will see 3.4%. Continue Reading
There are roughly 1.6 million freelances who live and work in the United Kingdom—that’s about 1 in every 20 workers.
A study by Kingston University and PCG, the UK’s largest professional association representing freelancers, found that of that 1.6 million, roughly 265,000 freelancers work in the arts, literary, and media roles; 161,000 in management; 110,000 in teaching and education; and about 93,000 in IT/telecommunications.
“More and more skilled and talented individuals are opting for freelancing as a work-lifestyle choice, or because of economic circumstances. Freelancers are offering industry and commerce a flexible talent stream when and where it is needed.”—John Brazier, managing director of PCG for FreelanceUK
To help celebrate the UK’s 1.6 million freelancers, who contribute £82 billion to the GDP, a new project is currently underway called 7 Days in June. A series of seven films are being filmed in Media City UK and around Salford University from June 23 to the 29. Each of the films will highlight a different aspect of freelancing and the team of freelancers will be required to research, write, and produce all in just seven days. Continue Reading
I recently wrote a blog post about how New Orleans will be the first large U.S. city to not have a daily newspaper, as the owners of The Times-Picayune reported that they will be going to a three-times-a-week publication schedule this fall.
A new company will take over the publication of the newspaper as well as its website, www.nola.com. That company, the Nola Media Group, will focus on producing larger newspapers on the three publication days (Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) while ramping up their website with stories published daily. It’s a bold move, but something I believe other newspapers will adopt over time.
The move has many upset, as you can imagine. Recently the publisher announced that the paper will cut 201 jobs—32% of its workforce. Almost half of the editorial team is being canned.
In addition, all the newspapers’ other employees will be required to take new jobs at the newly created Nola Media Group — in some cases with different responsibilities, less pay or fewer benefits. Some columnists are being asked to contribute on a freelance basis. —MediaPost.com
This is not an uncommon procedure, but it sucks. I worked for a newspaper that was going through similar cuts and people were taking the offered buyout left and right. Who wants to work more for less money? Continue Reading