As a freelancer, you’re often juggling multiple projects at once, creating one of the most daunting tasks for many: Time management. But if you accurately estimate the time commitment required to complete a project, you can safely meet your clients’ needs while maintaining balance in your schedule. Creating a time outline will help ensure you keep those proverbial balls in the air.
Here a few key components to consider when estimating the time needed for project completion: Continue Reading
Taking the leap into freelancing can be one of the scariest decisions of anyone’s professional career. It often means giving up a steady income and benefits to take a chance on a passion or a love that can bring greater joys. But, taking the leap doesn’t have to cause you heart palpitations and panic attacks. Several successful freelancers have penned books to help others ready to take the journey into freelancing.
Here are my top three books that I think can help every freelancer, regardless of industry, should read:
The Principles of Successful Freelancing
This step-by-step guide walks wannabe freelancers through the steps to successfully transition from the 9 to 5 Continue Reading
There are thousands of books on freelancing, and some of them are quite valuable. But sometimes the most powerful teaching can come from books not written for the freelance audience. With the DoNanza Book Club, we are profiling some of the many books that people read merely for the pleasure, but offer valuable lessons in life and business. This week, Moneyball.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis
Disguised as a true story about baseball, Moneyball may be the “best book ever written about business,” according to The Weekly Standard. The challenge facing Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane is one that many freelancers recognize: How do you compete against rivals who have higher profiles and more resources than you do? Continue Reading
Big businesses get big attention for the work they do in their communities. Companies like Microsoft, Pfizer, Oracle and Merck rank atop the list of organizations committed to charitable giving. These companies donate large sums of money in hopes that will pay off in the long run, both for their organizations of choice and their businesses.
As a freelancer, how can you make a difference in your community without having the resources of a Fortune 500 company? The answer is simple: Offer your services pro bono. It’s a win-win situation. Continue Reading
As a freelancer, you’re going to find yourself working with a multitude of clients. In some cases you’ll work with them just one time, while in others you’ll have the opportunity to develop lasting business relationships. Regardless if a client is new or old, it’s important to treat each project as new and be sure to understand exactly what the client wants.
Don’t ever make assumptions
Understanding the client’s expectations is crucial. Do not work based on assumptions. It’s vital to gain as much information from the client as possible before beginning and in some cases before accepting the job. Sometimes, a client may know they want an app, but have no idea what kind, what it should be for, or even whether it’s a reality. Other times you’ll have a client capable of providing you with in-depth details but doesn’t due to time constraints or communications issues.
It’s important to ask the client Continue Reading
Freelancers face numerous potential problems when dealing with clients. A quick Internet search reveals horror stories of non-paying clients, personality conflicts and unreasonable demands. Forward-thinking freelancers can gauge the worthiness of potential projects and clients by asking the following critical questions in advance of signing an agreement.
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- What are your long-term goals? Knowing the long-term direction can help freelancers develop strategies and tactics that can be built upon to continue advancing a business toward its goals.
- How do you see contract talent as a part of your long-term vision? This helps you set your expectations — and your calendar. You will be able to determine whether this has the potential to be a long-term project for your or if you will be seeking new work within the next few months.
Working with Freelancers
- Have you worked with freelancers in the past? What was your experience? Companies that have never worked with freelancers and those with a negative prior experience often require that you spend more time and energy in building trust.
- Have you ever completed projects of this scale in the past? If this is a client’s first go at an e-book, a social media marketing campaign or blog, you may need to anticipate some additional consulting hours to help your client understand the process. Continue Reading
For the hobbyist freelancer, scoring an occasional project or assignment may be merely a way to make some extra cash. You may be helping a friend or business acquaintance out with a fresh website design or taking photos of your cousin’s kids just for a little extra spending money, or to keep your skill set fresh. But for the freelancer who is building his career one project at a time, each and every assignment is an opportunity to build a portfolio, gain networks and experience, and earn a living.
According to the Freelancers Union, nearly 30 percent of America’s workforce is now considered independent workers. Some are just working for pleasure while others are striving to build a lasting career. The two groups seem similar enough but there are a few core differentiators: Continue Reading
Making the decision to leave corporate America and take a chance on owning my own freelance business did not come lightly, especially in this economy. It was just days before I gave my notice when I saw a Facebook status shuffle that gave me the boost I needed. It read, “You have to make the choice to take the chance in order for your life to change.”
In the last few years, I’ve had ups and downs, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have more ups than downs. I’ve gained some great clients and lost a few. I’ve had some not-so-good clients that made work unbearable at times. I’ve had to learn my craft on my own, through books, independent courses and the help of some great peers in the industry. But through it all, I’ve learned some great lessons on how to be a great freelancer and a better person. Continue Reading