Up until now, my roundups have been about content. But I’m also a freelancer whose career depends on keeping up with what’s happening in the independent workforce as well as in my specific industry (marketing and content). I’ve been coming across a lot of useful information on freelancing lately and thought I’d share. Here’s a collection of tips, tricks and hacks for and about us.
Feel free to read, share and tweet your best tips about freelancing (even if you’ve written ‘em!) to me and I may include them in a future roundup – I’m @aesmithwriting.
Assertiveness for Freelancers
Having confidence in ourselves and being assertive can help us build great relationships with clients, negotiate better rates and become better self advocates. In this comprehensive guide, Acuity Training offers concrete, actionable steps on actions to take before and during meetings, as we negotiate our rates and while working with clients.
State of the Union Report on the Freelance Industry
Freelancing has become a billion dollar industry. Here’s a rundown by The American Genius of where we’re headed, from economic growth to where we’re finding work. A sample stat: By 2020, we’ll drive the economy – there will be over 60 million of us, just in the United States.
I’m putting a shameless plug in here for my own project. I co-host Freelance Foundations, the podcast for the indy workforce that delves into the personal practices of Allison Smith (me!) and Trevor Twining (a mentor to me and many other freelancers). So far we’ve covered everything from referrals, contracts and tools to fighting the isolation factor and dealing with difficult clients.
Not Good Enough: It’s a Lie We Freelancers Tell Ourselves
This post comes from the mentor, freelancer, friend and independent workforce advocate mentioned above. Many of us have put off marketing our services (or even launching our freelance careers) until we’re “better”. Trevor reminds us that we’re good enough now and talks about A Freelancer’s Core Philosophy. This is my favourite one of his so far, but you should read all of them.
How to Save Money, In Spite of Yourself
A lot of us freelancers find saving tough. But it is possible to make it a habit if we have the right mindset – that it’s a decision we make every day. In this article for Freelancers Union, Certified Financial Planner Pamela Capalad offers her takeaways from a podcast episode on do’s and dont’s of saving.
10 Essential Tools Every Freelance Business Needs
Technology makes it easier for freelancers to find work and knock off tasks. But which tools should you invest in? Freelance business growth expert Abdullah Muhammed’s piece for Forbes gives a run down of the 10 essential tools we all need to run a successful practice.
5 Tips to Help You Become a Better Freelancer
Communicating openly, jumping on social and knowing how to manage your clients’ expectations will go a long way to helping you succeed as a freelancer. Freelancers Robyn Davis Sekula and Dana Neuts discuss the five things they wish they knew before they started.
How to Create a Freelance Portfolio That Pops
Another great piece from freelance business growth expert Abdullah Muhammed, a contributor to Forbes. If you need some creative ideas for putting together a freelance portfolio that pops, he has some fantastic, specific pointers (like creating pieces for imaginary clients).
*A caveat: I don’t agree with his suggestion that you take on a project for free for this or any other reason – it sets an unsustainable expectation on the client’s end for your industry, can result in cash flow problems and his other ideas will yield plenty of opportunities to beef up your portfolio.
4 Mistakes Freelancers Make When Selling Themselves
If your selling techniques could use some work, here are some areas to take a look at (I’m guilty of not always including a call to action in my conversations, because, well, I just assume we’ll keep in touch. This isn’t always the case and I need to make more of an effort to define a clear next step).
Read this one for more helpful tips.
Practical Do’s and Dont’s of Landing Freelance Work
Even experienced freelancers sometimes make mistakes as they try to land work. The good news is that most of them can be avoided by doing a little research, putting in some prep time and paying attention to details. Here, freelance digital PM Mark Fromson offers a slew of valuable reminders.
Note: All these tips are great and I especially loved his ones about not being a freelance island and finding other reputable freelancers to work with. I solved that by joining my local coworking space. You can, too!