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The Hustler's Guide to Freelancing: August 2015

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The Hustlers Guide to Freelancing

August 2015

www.peerhustle.com

 

This book was brought to you by Peer Hustle, an on-demand freelancer marketplace. Join the hustle and download the app at www.peerhustle.com.

 

[] Table Of Contents

How Is Freelancing Better Than a Job? 3

Freelancing Lessons From the Avengers: Are You a Superhero or What? 7

Freelancing Isn’t for The Faint Hearted: How To Handle Uncertainty 10

5 Irrefutable Freelancing Laws You Should Obey, While Starting Out 13

#
p={color:#000;}. Instances Of Bad Freelancing Advice [What You Should Do Instead] 16

What Does It Take To Succeed As a Freelancer? 18

#
p={color:#000;}. Mistakes You Should Never Do As a Freelancer 20

Small Habits, Huge Gains: How Little Things Push You to Succeed With Freelancing? 22

Productive Freelancing: How to Ensure You Control Your Time 24

How To Plan Your Finances as a Freelancer 26

4 Things Every Freelancer Must Have 28

Freelance Success: How to Shore Up Freelance Firepower 30

Freelancing Success: How to Build a Stable Life Around Freelancing 32

How to Master Negotiation for Better Freelancing Deals 34

6 Awesome Blogs Every Freelance Writer Must Bookmark 37

Managing Clients: How to Pick and Choose the Dream Clients to Work With 39

How To Use Social Media For Freelancing Better 41

How to Manage Freelance Pricing Blues 43

How to Promote Your Freelance Business, The Smart Way 45

Bold Ideas To Get More Clients For Your Freelancing Business 47

Email Marketing: Why Freelancers Should Stick to It? 49

Freelancing Blues: What Should You Do When You Are Down The Dumps? 51

How to Unleash Positivity Into Your Freelancing Career 53

Freelancing Pitfalls: Big Holes Freelancers Should Stay Away From 55

How to Start Freelancing in Style 57

How to Master Sales and follow up for Freelancing 59

Self-Driven Initiatives Every Freelancer Should Take 61

How to Build Credibility as a Freelancer, the “Giver” Way 63

Simple Ways To Use Email Marketing To Grow Your Freelancing Business 65

How to Handle Scope Creep In Freelancing 67

[][] How Is Freelancing Better Than a Job?

 

So, what do freelancers really do? Do they really wear pajamas? Are they the hidden workforce that the world believes they are?

 

Alex Altman of Time.com believes that the future of work is like no one’s ever seen before -- it could be a bit of cloud computing, nanotechnology, or even Genomics.

 

While no one can predict the future accurately, the Internet has brought in a revolution of sorts, where the nature of work is concerned.

 

We now have freelancers, and there are a lot of them at that. Ever so slowly, there’s been an up rise.

 

According to Jeff Wald, cofounder of WorkMarket -- who wrote a guest post on Forbes.com -- the number of freelance workers is expected to outpace full-time workers by 2020, worldwide.

 

Contingent, temporary, freelance, flexi-workers, and pay-as-you-go vendors are the new normal with more than 42 million independent workers in the U.S alone and that’s up from 10.3 million workers in 2005.

 

As for the rest of the world, the numbers are a lot more but vague. [+ Freelancers Movement+] puts up a few numbers. Italy and Germany have about 1.68 million workers and 1.53 million workers.

 

Australia has about 2.1 million people and counting. India and Philippines have no official count yet but the numbers are rising.

 

If freelancing is the future, and if so many people do it, does that make it a better choice than a full-time job? Is it really that good?

 

Yes, it is. This is how freelancing is better than a job:

 

 

 

Freelancing is semi-entrepreneurial

 

 

We call it semi-entrepreneurial only because there isn’t any form of leverage in freelancing. This is where it’s almost similar to a job. So, freelancing is all about a skillset you wield, and you get paid for that.

 

There’s only so much time and effort you can expend to get paid in return, just like it is for a day job. However, that’s also where the similarity ends.

 

Everything a freelancer does is entrepreneurial.

 

For one, there’s the question of figuring out what to do, deciding the scope of services to sell, packaging services, and setting up shop, and there’s marketing 101.

 

Then, there’s the daily hustle, the uncertainty, numerous pitches, getting things done all on your own, actual work, delivering work, and getting paid (and making sure the payments come through).

 

Full-time employees don’t have to lift a finger in comparison. They’d just have to work on what they’ve been hired for.

 

 

 

Freelancing Has No Second Chances

 

 

Employees are hired. They then go through rigorous onboarding sessions; training phases, and continues with on-the-job training. All along the way, mistakes are treated as lessons and employees usually get mentors, coaching, and tons of opportunities for skill development and to get better at the job.

 

As a freelancer, you are on your own. Skill development is your prerogative. You don’t get any onboarding sessions. You won’t be trained. You won’t have fancy meetings. Of course, you’ll not have the privilege of doing mistakes.

 

The best that you’ll get is a project brief.

 

Freelancers have to hit the ground running. If you are a freelancer, clients presume that you know – and have the skills – for the job you are hired for.

 

You are your own mentor. You are your boss. You have no second chances.

 

 

 

Freelancing Makes You an Expert on Handling Uncertainty

 

 

Ever seen any of those forums where people complain endless about late salary payments? You do know that stress is a common ailment that the American workforce suffers from, don’t you?

 

Full-time employees don’t have to worry about the paycheck. In fact, they plan an entire lifetime around that paycheck.

 

As a freelancer, you don’t get a chance to do that.

 

You can’t whine. You can’t complain. In fact, we’d be surprised you actually got the time to post a whining comment anywhere about how life treats you.

 

You’ll wallow in uncertainty.

 

You thrive on the fear of non-payments, no shows, and occasional vanishing acts that clients do.

 

You become a pro in cash flow management. You handle uncertainty like most people handle breathing.

 

 

 

Freelancing Makes You Rich

 

 

A job is never the path to real riches. While freelancing also isn’t the real path, at least it’s better than doing a full-time job and depending on a singular source of income.

 

You have windows of opportunity with every client you manage to source. You have a chance to work as hard as you like, charge as much as you like, work for as many hours as you like, upsell services, and experiment with alternative sources of income on top of all this.

 

You have a choice to make as much money as you want, given your own personal constraints. Plus, you can claim expenses when paying taxes.

 

 

Freelancing prepares you for the Big Game

 

 

If you work hard at a day job, the best you get is to move up the ladder. You get promoted.

Possibly, you get paid more (your employer decides that).

 

If you do well with freelancing, however, you are in preparation for the big game. You understand business, you have an ever-growing list of contracts, and you are already in the throws of uncertainty. You manage hustle, sales, cash flow management, vendor management, customer relationships or client management, tax payments, and more.

 

This is the door to real entrepreneurship. You’ll know how to build systems, start any business, and scale businesses the right way.

 

How do you find your freelancing stint to be? What’s your take on freelancing?

 

 

 

 

[][] Freelancing Lessons From the Avengers: Are You a Superhero or What?

 

If you’ve had enough of watching The Avengers and the sequels, the interviews, and burnt enough cash on the Marvels Merchandise, it’s time to do something else with it.

 

Let’s start with this, from IMDB summary of The Avengers:

 

Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

 

 

Guess what? There are lessons for everyone from the movie series. That includes hardworking, worried about-that-elusive-paycheck, and industrious freelancers just like you.

 

 

If you thought you had nothing more to learn from the likes of the blue evil guys, from the delusional Loki, from the smashingly handsome guy who wields the hammer, The Hulk, The Black Widow, The Iron Man, Captain America, and all others, you are wrong.

 

You are a freelancer. You are an entrepreneur. You run a business. You are, in effect, a superhero.

Even superheroes can pick a lesson or two. Here are a few freelancing lessons from The Avengers for you:

 

You have power. Use it well.

 

 

Thor is from another planet with a hammer that only he can lift. Captain America has everything he must have to save America from bad guys. The Iron Man has a suit. You don’t want to mess with the Hulk, and he doesn’t need a suit.

 

What do you have, you think? To start with, you have guts. You have the tenacity to keep it going with projects, deal with clients (sometimes crappy ones), you pick lessons fast, and you are productive.

 

You are a wonder freelancer who does marketing, packages, produces, sends out invoices, manages time, manages yourself, and then does some more marketing.

 

Plus, you have infinite potential to be anyone you want to be and do anything you set your heart to.

 

Use it wisely. Use it well.

 

When questioned or when in doubt, you have the answers

 

 

Hulk goes off hiding somewhere in Kolakata, India until The Black Widow comes to retrieve him. The Iron man is always questioned for his brash nature and his occasional frivolous nature. Thor temporarily loses his hammer power because his dad deploys a curse. Captain America is unsure of himself when confronted by the absolute disinterest his superhero team shows at some point.

 

As a freelancer, you’ll hit the bottom of the barrel. You’ll run out of cash with $2 in the bank. You’ll starve. You’ll even cry when no one’s watching.

 

Yet, you’ll get back to your hustle the next day. You’ll do the hustle. You won’t give up. You have all the answers you need. You’ll eventually find those answers.

Don’t be at war all the time

 

 

You’ll notice that the superheroes aren’t always fighting. They aren’t always at war. They discuss, plan, strategize, and often take a step back only to lurch forward. They get away from the scene to find someone they love, they visit someone important, and they often talk to a mentor. They work as a team. They sometimes vanish altogether.

 

As a freelancer, you’d think it’s normal to work all days of the week. You’d think it’s almost blasphemous to say “no” to a client. Chances are that you don’t discuss much about work with your family.

 

Change that. Step back. Wait for the right time, every time, to get back into action.

 

Know What to Do With the Evil

 

 

The Avengers know what to do with their enemies. As a team, they decide the best course of action to take to tackle all sorts of evil their enemies come in – huge, ugly, flying ships? Funny semi-robots? Or just a good guy turned bad thanks to Loki’s spear?

 

For you, the evil could be clients who have “scope creep” as their middle name, or those that don’t pay you (or on time), or those that question everything you do and act like they own your soul just because they paid that last invoice.

 

Or, the evil could be all others who suck your time out of the day, your team, other vendors, other businesses, and more.

 

Don’t get aggressive. Cut your losses. Just be strategic. What lessons are you going to run with?

 

 

[][] Freelancing Isn’t for The Faint Hearted: How To Handle Uncertainty

 

Rachel L. Swarns of The New York Times writes about How Freelancers in the Gig Economy find a mix of freedom and Uncertainty.

 

She writes a story about Josh Springer – a New York City based freelancer – a member of The Freelance Union, and one of those many freelance workers hoping to find gigs to support their fledgling freelance businesses.

 

When asked about handling uncertainty, this is what Josh has to say:

 

 

It’s great, it’s scary, it’s worrisome, it’s stressful, it’s exciting,” he said. “It’s every extreme adjective I can think of. You really don’t know what to expect. Every day, you’re hit with something new.”

 

 

Freelancers have anything in their lives, except certainty. You have no way to expect anything for sure by the end of the month. You have no recourse. You always walk along dangerous edges. You are perennially at the end of a cliff.

 

Freelancing isn’t for the faint-hearted. Here’s how handling Uncertainty in freelancing is done:

 

Accept the fact and embrace uncertainty

 

 

It’s irony, but it is what it is.

 

Every freelancer, small business owner, and even large corporations have to handle uncertainty. Although it might not seem like regular employees and everyone else do not face anything remotely similar to uncertainty, they all do.

 

Uncertainty is a part of human life. No one knows a thing about the next minute. Just embrace uncertainty instead of fighting it, getting frustrated, or getting stressed.

Work with the numbers

 

 

You could be a writer, designer, illustrator, developer, or whatever else it is that you freelance on.

 

Your skill isn’t as important as your ability to “market yourself” and get paying clients for the skillset you have to offer.

 

For that, you’d need to sell, pitch, apply, bid, network, and be on the constant lookout for projects. You’d need to be more of a marketer than what you really are or what you are an expert at.

 

Assuming an average conversion of about 10% (you’d land one project out of every 10 applications, pitches, queries, or cold emails), you’d need to set time aside everyday to go neck deep into this hustle.

 

The more you pitch and sell, the more clients you have. The more clients you have, the less you’d have to put up with uncertainty.

 

Build Alternate Sources of Income

 

 

If you are making good money now, find out ways to make that money work for you in the form of regular savings, dividend paying stocks, returns from other investments, real estate, etc.

 

While doing freelancing, start other businesses on the side and build them to the point that each of those businesses makes you money.

 

If you are a designer or developer, for instance, build website templates and sell them on online marketplaces like Envato.

 

If you are a writer, write a book, go the self-publishing route, or create eBooks and reports to sell them using GumRoad, Amazon, or elsewhere.

 

If you’ve been a service provider, dabble with selling products online.

 

No matter what your skill set is, you can always build another business (that has nothing to do with your core skills).

 

Sell on Value. Go on the retainer mode

 

 

First, stop charging by the hour and don’t sell on price. Pitch your value instead. Read Breaking the Time Barrier: How to Unlock Your True Earning Potentialby Mike McDerment and Donald Cowper of Freshbooks.

 

While you are out selling, get away from one-time, low-value projects and focus on retainers and long- term contracts. This way, you get paid for a long-time and more consistently.

 

How do you handle uncertainty? What do you as a freelancer to get away from the worry mode to the

 

productive mode?

 

 

 

 

[][] 5 Irrefutable Freelancing Laws You Should Obey, While Starting Out

Freelancing is hard, as it is and you don’t have to make it harder than it already is.

 

I wish I knew better”

 

“You only learn from experience” “God, How did I not see through this?”

“I didn’t realize it’d turn out to be this way”

 

 

Statements like these are common, but you don’t have to go through this if you knew better. As it is for every kind of business, freelancing has some irrefutable laws you should obey.

 

Note that you don’t have to agree, like, or see the point with these laws. Some of them might make sense to you, and some won’t. In fact, some of these rules could be counter-intuitive to what you know. Yet, these are laws. They exist to make you a happy, rich freelancer.

 

Here are some of those irrefutable freelancing laws from our experience:

 

 

Know what your clients really want

 

 

Stop being a “freelancer”, a “vendor”, and a “service provider”. The world has enough of those. Your clients really need problems to their solutions and they are looking for “partners”.

 

They want you to look in their eye and tell them when they go wrong, or help them with their strategy, or solve their problem for them. They don’t want you to go ad nauseam about your skills, your Behance portfolio, or how many of those 10,000 hours you spent perfecting your art.

 

Always Hustle

 

 

Yeah, we have thing for the word “Hustle”, as you can see, our company is also called Peer Hustle.

 

We love hustle because it’s what makes money. It’s the only thing a business or an individual does that brings in the cash. Everything else you do is to “support” your business.

 

Hustle is the only thing you do that “gets you business”.

 

You could be a caricature artist, painter, writer, developer, designer, sports coach, or even a doctor. You’d still have to hustle -- every single day.

 

Never do free work

 

 

The web is awash with advice on how and why you should start for free, build up a portfolio, and then start charging clients. We all know how hard it is to do just that.

 

You have the skills, and the entrepreneurial mojo. There’s no question about the fact that you’d not have thought of freelancing if you didn’t have the requisite skills or at least the hunger and drive to learn on the job.

 

This alone disqualifies you to do any kind of free work for clients. When you go looking for work, state your price.

 

Stop doing free samples, free work, and wait for the world to come to you. Instead, experiment with paid trials. Even if it’s a dollar, charge your client that dollar.

 

Value your skills and time

 

 

Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t devalue your own work. It’s one thing to be awesome for clients by doing little things they didn’t even ask for – that’s called “Value Added”.

 

However, setting yourself up for failure by giving away unlimited revisions, letting go of unpaid invoices, and letting clients get away with “scope creep” are not tolerated.

 

From the start, work to get deliverables, milestones, and results clear. Set the right expectations with your client and work towards awesomeness.

 

Cut your losses

 

 

If you’ve experienced Clients From Hell, welcome to the club. Sooner or later, you’d end up walking hand in hand with monster clients who’d want you to be on Skype all day long, call you multiple times in day, and expect you to slave for them without even bothering to pay you enough or on time.

 

There’s only one rule when you deal with clients from hell: fire them.

 

Don’t be afraid to cut your losses and move. Chances are that you’d end up making more money and retaining your sanity without those clients around.

 

What are some of those irrefutable freelancing laws you abide by?

 

 

 

 

#
h1)))<>{color:#000;}. [][] Instances Of Bad Freelancing Advice [What You Should Do Instead]

Look up the web and you’ll find a sea of advice on freelancing (across all genres) and not all of that advice is good.

 

Thanks to the ease of putting up information (and consuming it), it’s easy for almost anyone to write up anything they like.

 

If thousands of freelancers do something, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing to do.

 

A lot of freelancing advice you see on the web is all right. Some of that advice is terrible. Your job is to take stock of your own situation and carefully wade through that advice taking each snippet of advice with a pinch of salt.

 

We did some of that muck wading for you. Here are at least X instances of bad freelancing advice and what you should be doing instead:

 

 

Freelancing isn’t stable or reliable

 

From the time you decide to do freelancing and all along the time you actually do it, you’d hear this from your family friends, acquaintances, and even fellow freelancers. There is a hint of truth in the “unreliable” and “unstable” part.

 

However, you can make freelancing as stable as you like and make it a reliable source of income.

 

All you need to do is to hustle enough to make sure this happens. Build a pipeline of clients; keep those conversations going with potential clients, and work on developing a system to get projects regularly. Read more on how to handle uncertainty.

 

When a set number of projects flow in, thanks to your regular marketing, freelancing cannot be unreliable or unstable.

 

Freelancing is a business

 

Yes, freelancing is a business – a one-person, mostly service led, zero-inventory business. However, it could also feel like a fancy job if you just kept at it without doing anything else.

 

While it’s up to you as to what you want to do really, freelancing is mostly a one-person business. If you want to call it “business”, freelancing doesn’t technically fit the bill because:

 

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. You are the technician, offering services for cash.

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. Scaling up this “business” is hard.

 

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. You are trading your time and skills for cash. So, you only have a few productive hours a day.

 

Real businesses can scale up. They have built-in leverage. While freelancing is a business, it’s not the “real” business.

 

You should note that.

 

It’s too late to do freelancing

 

It’s never too late to do freelancing. It’s true that there are thousands of freelancers all over the world and there’s stiff competition. But the cake is too big and you are sure to make a tidy living off the little pie you get.

 

New businesses sprout up everyday, clients move from one freelancer to another, and some freelancers go out of business. Also, a majority of freelancers aren’t as good as you are. So, almost always you have an edge over your competition.

 

What are some of those pieces of bad advice you got? Or the “good ones” that you realized were bad for you? Tell us about it.

 

 

 

[][] What Does It Take To Succeed As a Freelancer?

 

It’s the neo economy you are in, and it’s time to disown anything to do with the old.

 

Freelancing is the new normal. It’s the ultimate answer to an ever-growing need for many entrepreneurial souls to stand on their own feet and to start their own thing.

 

What was once a fancy job is a reality today. Millions, who were once a part of the regular workforce, now throng to the bright prospects of freelancing.

 

According to Quartz,

 

“ In the EU, 14.5% of the workforce fell into the category “self-employed” in 2010. In the US, every 3rd person was self-employed in 2006, and forecasts predict this will increase to 40% by the year 2020.”

 

 

However, freelancing is just as anything entrepreneurial. It has its share of ups and downs. Freelancing can prove to be draining, exhaustive, and downright scary.

 

Not if you knew what it takes to succeed:

 

 

Have guts

 

 

Freelancing isn’t for the faint-hearted. It’s not for the meek. It’s not for the lazy. It’s also one of the worst ways to make “quick money”.

 

Freelancing is everything entrepreneurial. You’d start with nothing but passion, a vision, and sheer tenacity. You’d have nothing but guts and skills. Glory follows only if you follow through.

 

Successful freelancing requires you to talk (and pitch) to complete strangers, network like there’s no tomorrow, attend conferences you never knew about, and to generally stay on top of you game.

 

That isn’t easy.

 

Be ready to say No

 

 

Success is more about saying “no” than it is about saying “yes”. Saying yes to everything that comes your way, taking the plunge with every project offered to you, agreeing to work with every client, and not

 

being selective with your projects generally puts a lot on your pretty little plate.

 

Too much on your plate leads to reduced efficiency, suffering productivity, and the possibility of working with clients from hell.

 

When you ever get into situations like these, you are facing an all-too-common burnout phase.

 

That’s something you can avoid just by saying no. Remember, you are in complete control of how you feel by choosing what (and with whom) you work with.

 

Upgrade Skills. Upgrade Skills. Upgrade Skills.

 

 

Successful freelancing isn’t so much about what you know than it is about what you are willing to learn. One of the common traits found among successful freelancers is their willingness --- and speed – to pick on new skills.

 

Writers eventually learn some HTML5 and CSS3. Designers end up learning how to blog. Almost every freelance does learn a thing or two about digital marketing (and they must).

 

The ability to adapt

 

 

There’s never a day in a freelancer’s life that looks alike. Days change, clients come in and go out, and you’d never know when you are going to get paid. For some freelancers, you don’t even know where you are going to work from.

 

That’s a stark contrast to regular job goers and full-timers. Successful freelancers handle uncertainty well. They adapt quick. They make do with what they have, and they plan for unforeseen events that unfold anyway.

 

DO you have it in you to succeed? Are you already successful? Would you like to share your story with us?

 

 

 

#
h1)<>{color:#000;}. [][] Mistakes You Should Never Do As a Freelancer

 

Freelancing is the single best answer to non-capital intensive, location-independent, global business opportunity you’d ever get your hands on. It’s the best answer to be on your own and never have to sell your soul, mortgage your home, and go neck-deep in debt.

 

It’s also disaster-prone.

 

If you don’t get your marbles in the bag right from the start, you’d be spending a lot of time wading through the muck your mistakes would leave you in.

 

While doing mistakes in freelancing isn’t expensive money-wise, they can damage the energy, gusto, and the enthusiasm you started with (plus, a lot of time and a little money here and there).

 

Here are some freelancing mistakes you should avoid:

 

 

Not marketing yourself enough

 

 

Freelancing is less about your skills and more about marketing. Apple wouldn’t have been what it is today (especially with the thick of the dust clouds that its competition kicks up) without brilliant marketing. That applies to Starbucks, AirBnB, and many others.

 

Freelancing unshackles you from the [+ misery of a day job+] but it still pushes you to do something you’ve never done before: sell.

 

Marketing for a freelancer isn’t about ramping up pitches, cold emails, cold calls, networking, bidding, and applying when the projects aren’t there. It’s about doing it all the time, no matter what.

 

Selling yourself short

 

 

Thanks for your proposal. Please do this free trial for us to complete this application”

 

You are too expensive for us. No one we are interviewing currently is charging the rates you do” “Work with us for a week, for free, and we’ll then consider your application”

 

Run for cover if you see (or hear) any of the above. Go hungry and wing it without projects if you have to but don’t ever sell yourself short.

 

Consider this: if you were a writer, you’d have to work hard and produce “excellent”, “impeccably- written”, “original”, “magazine-style” content anyway. You’d have to do that whether you are being paid $5 per article or $50.

 

You are better off doing the $50 post for that effort, right?

 

Learn to “fire” customers

 

 

Too many freelancers get “stuck” with deadbeat clients, low wages, and other obvious come-ons such as “scope creep”, disrespect, and more. The reason why you chose freelancing is because you could be on your own, choose clients worth working for, call your shots, and be a boss.

 

Freelancing isn’t slavery. Don’t ever take any sign of disrespect from clients.

 

Strike one or strike three, learn to fire your clients at will. There’s always another one around the corner.

 

 

 

Contracts, NDAs, and the Legal Stuff: Do it

 

 

Freelancing contracts are saviours. While providing you legal protection for not getting paid on time or not getting paid at all, they are also ways for you to protect your own craft -- be it legal documents, NDAs, receipts, invoices, or credit notes.

 

Keep everything organized and handy. You never know when things turn nasty. When you find yourself facing clients gone underground or when legal nastiness shows up, it’s these boring documents and signatures that’ll save your skin.

 

What mistakes are you doing in your freelancing career? Share it with us.

 

 

 

 

[][] Small Habits, Huge Gains: How Little Things Push You to Succeed With Freelancing?

 

Small is underestimated.

 

Our society looks up to the “big”. Bigger is usually better. Big is flashy, gets us attention, and big is preferred.

 

Anything big starts with small though. So, it goes like this in reality:

Small gives way to big. Simplicity is hard to achieve.

The power of compounding helps your saving corpus grow huge despite small sums of money invested periodically.

 

In freelancing too, you can achieve humongous gains by doing those hundred little things you never thought were “that” important.

 

Here are some of those small things that give you huge gains and the path to succeed with freelancing:

 

 

The Speed of hitting “reply”

 

 

How long do you take to reply to your clients? Is it something like 24 hours?

 

Did you know that the chances of a client hiring you shoot absurdly northwards when you respond quickly?

 

Let’s take customer service as benchmark: According to [+ Jennifer Beese of SproutSocial.com+] , a 2012 study points out that over 32% of customers expect a response within 30 minutes.

 

Customer service comes in “after” products or services are sold. Can you imagine how quick you’d have to be to respond “before” products or services are sold?

Being Yourself

 

Too many freelancers do the mistake of being too clammed up, “professional”, and almost stuck up.

 

Clients aren’t just looking for help with their projects; they are also looking for some real people. They need humans to work with them; not machines.

 

Stop being a bore. Be who you are, complete with the smileys, occasional jokes, and dare to even poke your clients.

 

Life is fun that way.

 

Respect. Respect some more

 

 

Freelancers want to be respected for their work.

 

You, we are sure of this, obviously want to provide value through your work. You clients get it. They ask for it. They pay you for it.

 

But often, this respect is lost somewhere. Clients tend to disrespect your time, for instance, and you’d revert back with a couple of emails trying to train clients on how this shouldn’t happen or that.

 

You’d do well to respect yourself first. What does that mean for freelancing, you ask?

 

Don’t let “scope creep” happen. Don’t ever do anything for free.

Stop being the “vendor”. Be a consultant.

Try to become a partner instead of being a freelancer.

 

Walk Those Extra 10 Miles

 

 

Walking the extra mile is out. It’s now time to walk at least 10 miles more for your clients. If you do web design, give your clients a heads-up on how to use their website for better conversions. If you are a PPC marketer, give your clients a couple of free landing pages.

 

You get the drift, don’t you?

 

What are some of those little things you do to make freelancing work for you?

 

 

 

 

[][] Productive Freelancing: How to Ensure You Control Your Time

 

Time is money, and it’s all right if it’s clichéd or if you have heard that a million times.

 

Time is still money and hourly projects are a good testament to that. Productivity is important not because it’s a measure of how effectively you use time to your benefit but also because productivity determines how much you get paid.

 

The more work you pack into an hour and the better you do it, the more you make. So here’s how to do productive freelancing and how to make sure you can control your time:

 

 

Let those goals flash

 

 

You won’t put in the commitment and dedication needed to get more productive if you don’t know why you’d have to do it in the first place. Have goals? Make sure they flash, all day long, from where you sit.

 

Was it a home at an exotic location that you wanted? Was it to get out of debt? Did you want to travel the world?

 

Make sure you put up this on your desktop background or office walls (if allowed).

 

Wakeup early

 

 

Early risers are often more productive. There’s just something about early mornings, in the eerie silence as the rest of the world sleeps, that makes that block of time extremely productive. Some freelancers we know reserve that precious time for the most important tasks of the day such as pitching, applying for new projects, or getting some brain-intensive work done such as writing, designing or coding.

 

Take breaks while you work

 

 

It might seem counterintuitive but taking breaks makes you more productive. It helps you get a breather, re-energizes you to get back to work again, and gives you a break. Sitting is the new smoking, in case you didn’t know. Follow the Pomodoro Technique and take breaks of 5-10 minutes every hour or so. Now, for that one hour you put it, you’d pack in a punch.

 

Pull away from Internet and phones

 

 

 

 

The fact that you are connected to the Internet while you work and that your smartphone is in your pocket makes you vulnerable for distraction. Once you drift and surf on those links, there’s no coming back.

Apart from research, and finding information related to the task at hand, do not use the Internet. Don’t go reading blog posts or magazines. Also, avoid picking calls, chatting, and playing with the apps on your phone.

 

All that can wait.

 

Don’t let anyone barge in

 

 

You are lucky if you work alone. If you work with teams or if you sit at a co-working space or a shared office, chances are that your time will be sitting duck to people who’d want your time for anything from opening doors (no access cards?) to asking for help.

 

If success is more about saying “no” more than saying “yes”, here’s your chance to say no, now.

 

This also holds good for friends, visiting acquaintances, and family members. No one holds your time as precious as you do.

 

It’s all in your hands.

 

 

 

 

[][] How To Plan Your Finances as a Freelancer

 

A freelancer doesn’t have a regular income. Even retainers don’t seem like regular income since you never know when clients run out of budgets or stop projects.

 

Living paycheck to paycheck is exactly the thing you wanted to get out of. However, due the nature of freelancing, it might just be what you’d subscribe to. Leo Babauta of Zen Habits shows [+ how to stop living+] [+ paycheck to paycheck+], and you should read that blog post first.

 

We’ll wait.

 

While everyone should plan finances, save or invest money, freelancers have the greatest need for it. Here’s how to plan your finances as a freelancer:

 

Get out of debt and don’t get into again

 

 

It’s a pain to get out of debt. It takes conviction, commitment, and complete dedication. It also takes sacrifices. It’ll force you to take a minimalistic route.

 

First, use your credit card only when you know can pay off that loan with cash. Second, get extra gigs (or even a full-time/part-time job) just to close your debt accounts faster.

 

Being in debt sucks. Get out and never get into bad debt again.

 

Keep a stash of cash, always

 

 

You’ll have emergencies. You’ll run out of projects, and hence payments. However, you’ll have your commitments such as unpaid bills, regular mortgages, investments, savings, and actual emergencies.

 

That’s why it makes sense to stash at least 6 months worth of your average monthly earnings in a highly liquid savings account or a term-deposit.

 

Increase your rates, gradually

 

 

One of the biggest advantages you have over salaried employees is that you are in control of how much

 

you make. While you have the disadvantage of unreliable income, you do have the advantage of increasing rates or work as hard as you’d like.

 

The folks at Freshbooks wrote on how to increase your prices without losing your clients. And they do have good points to make:

 

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. Emphasize on value you provide, and stick by it.

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. Expand the scope of your sale.

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. Don’t be apologetic about increasing rates reasonably.

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. Increase your rates and test the market.

 

Automate your savings and Investments

 

 

Your finances will never be in order if you don’t have a system in place. You should ideally be taking out about $100 per paycheck and reroute it into a savings account or any other investment you planned for shoft-term, mid-term, or long-term.

 

If you rely on yourself for writing out checks or doing online transfers, it’s not going to happen. Also, it isn’t a reliable system this way.

 

Automate your investments and savings by giving mandates to your bank to make auto-debits off your savings bank. You’ll be happy you did.

 

Stay insured

 

 

Since your emergency stash of cash has to stay that way, you have your bills to pay, and you should also be saving for retirement and anything else in between, you have no way to spare cash for any unforeseen consequences. You can’t afford to spend on a new laptop if it gets stolen (or you lose it), for instance.

 

Insure everything that’s an asset, and that includes your self.

 

How do you plan your finances? What are some of those tips you can share?

 

 

 

 

[][] 4 Things Every Freelancer Must Have

 

Freelancing is your entry point to the new era of work – the kind of work where there are no geographical boundaries, no commute, and no fixed time frames for work, and there are no 9 to 6 jobs, and there’s no boss looking over your shoulders.

 

According to Dana Ardi of Fast Company, everything we all knew about the workplace is already outdated.

 

The talent pool – your fellow peers – has already grown. Marketing automation, the presence of marketplaces, a global talent pool available on the human cloud, and projects are all done online today.

 

That’s where your freelancing world lies. Online is where the market is (because offline eventually gets online), and remote collaboration will be the new norm.

 

As such, what you needed just about10 years ago to succeed with freelancing has changed. What you need today with freelancing basics is different, and is changing.

 

Here’s what you need as a freelancer:

 

 

A rich portfolio

 

 

You can’t even get started as a freelancer without a portfolio and case studies. The only way you can communicate your real value and the kind of impact your work brings is through your portfolio. Since most of your pitching and dealing is virtual and since your client can’t see you in person most of the time, your work should speak for itself.

 

Your portfolio, however, doesn’t come about just because you decide to freelance. You need to do some real work for that portfolio to take birth.

 

If you are just starting out and if you are still looking for your first gig, don’t get too hung up over a “real” portfolio. Instead, start doing work on your own and create your portfolio to begin with.

 

For instance,

 

If you are a writer, pick up subjects you are most confident about and write up a few posts/articles and publish them on your blog.

If you are a web designer/developer, create a few websites or landing pages and file those in.

 

Capacity to do more than freelancing

 

 

 

 

If you were a web designer, and if you were to apply for a job and get it, you’d do just “web designing” for as long as you had that job. That applies to writers, translators, virtual assistants, illustrators, graphic designers, and pretty much all genres of freelancing.

 

But for real “freelancing”, it’s not just the technical skill (whatever you are good at) that’s important.

It’s also your ability to manage clients, vendors (if any), keeping books, doing odd things, and marketing.

 

Ability to think on your feet

 

 

Presence of mind is a necessary skill for most jobs. For freelancing, it’s a savior. You’d constantly need to keep your eyes, mind, and soul open for opportunities.

 

You’d need to do the extra work of analyzing opportunities as they come, and be smart enough to say no. You’d need to get a feel for clients and recognize “non-opportunities” as they come by.

 

Master of almost everything

 

 

In the due course of work, you’ll find yourself venturing out into different domains. If you were a freelance digital marketer, for instance, you’d have to write, setup ads on Google Adwords, work with web developers to help tweak clients’ websites for conversion rate optimization, do social media management, and also manage email marketing.

 

While you are at it, you’d have to work with numerous tools, project collaboration software, Google Analytics, Google Tag manager, web hosting accounts, and a lot more.

 

Writers will have to code. Designers will have to write [http://blog.webflow.com/4-reasons-designers- should-write]. Everyone has to sell.

 

Freelancers have to be great at everything. Are you?

 

 

[][] Freelance Success: How to Shore Up Freelance Firepower

 

As a freelancer, you’d be spending a lot of time pitching, bidding, applying, and hustling. You are a freelancer, and you are a sales person. You do freelancing and you’d do hustling.

 

That’s just the way it is.

 

There’s no escaping the rigorous routine and the constant battle to get projects. You’d forever be under the mercy of destiny if you don’t embrace the fact that you’d have to move the earth to grow your business.

 

Freelancing today needs you to marshal enough firepower. How do you do it? How do you make sure you get the best of freelancing success?

 

 

Your timeline is now

 

 

Freelancers who hustle and have it their way know and understand only one timeline: it’s called “now”. It’s one thing to send out cold emails, pitches, and do cold-calls. It’s all right to wait on a potential client for a while ( say 3 or 5 follow-ups).

 

But you aren’t going to lounge around waiting for your clients to get back to you. You hunt for more while you wait.

 

Winning through follow-ups

 

 

The gold is in the follow-ups. Where follow ups are concerned, this is exactly the point when most others lose steam and give up. You do see where your opportunity lies now, don’t you?

 

As Steli writes:

 

The follow-up is where winning really happens. It’s when everyone else stops running, and you’re the only person still in the race. It doesn’t matter how slow you run—you are going to win because everybody else stopped running.

 

 

Start with your cold emails. Ice the cake with structured, planned, and persistent follow-ups.

 

Zero tolerance policy for nonsense

 

 

 

 

Freelancers are basically service providers. As vendors or while we are at service to our clients, we automatically assume that we are on the receiving end. You might be. Or maybe you don’t have to be.

 

Your predisposition and behavior with clients – along with your tolerance levels – are determined by your experience, knowledge, and basic characteristics.

With that out of the way, no one said you’d have to practice servitude. There’s no writing on the wall that you’d have to tolerate late invoices, brash behavior, or put up with anything that’s below your levels of acceptability.

 

Stand your ground when things go bad with clients. You owe that much to yourself.

 

Have systems in place

 

 

Without proper systems and well-documented processes, you’d be running a circus and think that you were running a business. As a freelancer, you’d need to work on your business; not “in” it.

 

To get there, you need systems. As Sam Carpenter, author of Work the System , advocates:

 

“You need to reclaim your life. Spend time as you like, but don’t get enslaved by your business. The only way of that self-imposed slavery is to develop a systematic way of doing things”

 

 

Build your business in such a way that you can do it for as long as you like and be able to get away from it when you can.

 

How do you prepare to run your freelancing business? What do you tell yourself to keep this going?

 

 

 

 

[][] Freelancing Success: How to Build a Stable Life Around Freelancing

 

Freelancers trade time for money. While it’s not the best way to make money, it’s a definite starting point.

 

As Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha write in their popular book, The Startup of You, it makes sense to have three plans to do well in your career.

 

Plan A – This is what you do, at this time, right now.

Plan B – a slight pivot of what you can do. This includes anything experimental you might want to do. If you were a web designer, for instance, you’d want to try your hand at writing. Or develop a new web language.

Plan Z – This is the ultimate backup for you. Whatever this plan is for you, it’s built to hold your life together and give you ultimate security.

 

The book advocates these plans for everyone – including people who hold full-time jobs, freelancers, self- employed professionals, and entrepreneurs.

 

We believe that freelancers and self-employed professionals along with entrepreneurs need these plans more than anyone else.

 

Fickle, dicey, and unpredictable that your life as a freelancer can be, it makes sense to build plans that hold ground while other plans are likely to fail. Here’s how you can ensure freelancing success:

 

 

Prepare. Embrace. Plan

 

 

The moment you step into the world of freelancing or entrepreneurship, you’d meet Mr. Uncertainty. You have no way to deal with it without being prepared for it. You’d have days when you wonder where your next paycheck is going to come from. You’d often be tempted to drop everything and get a job instead.

 

Any of those thoughts, however, are detrimental to your psyche you need so much for freelancing success.

 

That’s why, prepare from the start. Build an MLP (Minimum Livability Plan) as startup culture likes to call it.

 

Make marketing a priority

 

 

 

 

Have what we like to call as the 15 × 10 rule. By the time it’s ten O’ clock on any given day, you should have sent out 15 applications, bids, cold emails, or pitches. These don’t include follow-ups, by the way.

 

Your typical day should start with the hardest part of your day knocked off your to-do list first. This way, you’d have the rest of the day to focus on deadlines, tasks, and managing clients.

 

Get that cushion -- A comfortable one

 

 

As a freelancer, you have no means to get a paycheck at the end of the month. You fight uncertainty. So, you need stability more than anyone else. The moment you get paid, for the next 6 months, route a part of that payment to another savings account to build for an emergency corpus. You’d need to dig into this on any given month when you don’t have any payments coming in or if your payments are delayed.

 

That’s step 1.

 

After that, you goal is to build a short-term plan, and a long-term plan to ensure that your zigzag journey of freelancing doesn’t derail your regular life – including paying for bills, insurance, mortgages, and covering your living expenses.

 

Devour opportunities. Make Deals.

 

 

Be on the lookout for opportunities while you hustle, get projects, work with clients, and manage your life. The moment you stop, you’d invite trouble.

 

Let’s say you get a call from a prospective employer about a career opening they have. Don’t just say no. Instead, arrange to meet up with the employer, have a casual chat, and see if you can work your work around to get the work without having to work full-time, onsite.

 

You can negotiate your way for a remote working opportunity on a retainer with that employer. Or you could train, coach, or consult for a pay-as-you-go feel.

Never close doors on opportunities, simultaneously work with adequate financial planning to ensure stability, and always work on marketing to ensure nothing stops you in your quest to freelancing stardom.

 

 

 

 

 

[][] How to Master Negotiation for Better Freelancing Deals

 

We’ve all bee taught to be humble, nice, and forgiving. We’ve been taught to believe in others, work your socks off, and be the best you can be.

 

Things are rarely that nice in the real world, especially in business. When you deal with clients and vendors, you are literally out there on the street. You are working with a bunch of unknown parameters. You are literally in the thick of wilderness and operate around thousands of blind spots.

 

You key to freelancing success and to make sure you have a sustainable freelancing business is to negotiate and make more money for every hour spent.

 

As for most things in life, you can learn the art of negotiation skills for freelancing. You’d just have to start with the following:

 

 

Know what you want clearly

 

 

You can’t enter any kind of negotiation if you don’t know what you want out of that interaction. Meeting clients, vendors, or anyone else puts in various situations that you’d need to know how to get out of, in a way that works for you.

 

If you walk in unclear, you’d walk out with a deal where you don’t win.

 

Get tough

 

 

If you were any degree more meek, needy, or hungry for the deal than the other party, the other guy would eat you for lunch. Don’t be someone else’s lunch or dinner.

 

Eat others alive, if you should, or stay clear.

 

Successful negotiation requires a certain mindset that stems from mental toughness, lessons from the street, and the ability to take risks.

 

Always negotiate from value standpoint

 

 

Never try to negotiate deals with your personal stories at stake. It doesn’t matter if you’ve had sleepless

 

nights, unpaid bills, and even if creditors were knocking on your door. Also, don’t negotiate based on price.

If you ever find yourself saying anything like:

 

I am the cheapest in the market…”

Show me another freelancer who charges less than I do….”

 

 

Stop it. Now. Negotiate on the value you provide -- nothing more; nothing less.

 

Keep those numbers on your side

 

 

If the first step is to negotiate from a value standpoint, the second step is to know your numbers. You should know not what you do (which you do know), but how your contribution adds value.

 

If you were a web designer or developer, you’d say:

 

“[_ My website design can easily bring about 350% more conversions and increase your ROI by…” _]

 

 

If you were a blogger, you’d say:

 

“[_ A single, SEO optimized blog post stays on the web, getting you at least 400 visitors per day, growing at 20% each month, to get you sales equivalent to…” _]

 

 

 

Numbers are everything in business. Don’t underestimate the confidence you get with numbers on your side.

 

Be willing to walk away

 

 

At the end of it all, you either win or lose in a negotiation. No act of negotiation is a zero-sum game. Lose if you have to. Or, be willing to walk away from the deal if you find yourself on the losing side.

 

With experience, you’ll develop a sense for it when you are about slide into the losing side of the game. But whether you get it or not, you get an amazing sense of power when you are in a position to walk away from it all.

 

How do you negotiate? How has the negotiation skill help you with your freelancing?

 

 

 

 

[][] 6 Awesome Blogs Every Freelance Writer Must Bookmark

 

Consider some of the most successful self-employed professionals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs and you’ll realize there’s one thing you’d find in common with all them: they are all voracious readers.

 

For some entrepreneurs, in fact, the volume of reading they do is directly proportional to their success. We’d go as far as to say:

What you read is what you become”

 

 

While there are books, magazines, and newsletters you can always subscribe to, we believe that every freelancer should add a few blogs to their reading list each day.

 

Here are some of those blogs every freelancer should read:

 

 

Kristi Hines

 

 

 

 

 

What’s a better source to learn from than someone who’s been there and done that? Although Kristi is a freelance writer, she’s also a source of inspiration for freelancers across genres. Kristi writes for big- ticket clients such as KissMetrics and many others.

 

Kristi is an example for how hustling and continuous marketing can do for a freelancer.

 

Contently

 

 

 

 

While Contently.com is an awesome way to showcase your portfolio and market your writing skills, the “resources” section at Contently (along with their newsletter at The Freelancer) are a must-have for every freelance writer. Along with stories, timely inspiration, and tips, there’s also a strong community for freelancers you can tap into.

 

Renegade Writer

 

 

 

 

Linda Formichelli is a popular writer, magazine columnist, blogger, and an entrepreneur. Almost as if

 

she’d hold your hand and parley you into a passionate rally, Linda can literally put your career on steroids, overnight.

 

Her blog is full of tips and advocacy for better freelancing. She is a staunch believer in freelance writers getting what they are really worth.

 

Pro Blogger

 

 

 

 

The old school blog on Blogging by Darren Rowse is still one of the best resources to learn the best on blogging, writing, and monetizing your efforts through blogging. Apart from years of archives and some of the best content for freelance writers, there’s also a popular job board for you to pick jobs from.

 

When was the last time you visited it?

 

CopyBlogger

 

 

 

 

Copyblogger isn’t just a prime resource for freelancers; it’s also a great source to improve your writing, learn the art of copy writing, master the skill of marketing, and more. Owned by the CopyBlogger Media, it’s one of the most premium places every freelance (writer or not) to bookmark.

 

Bliss Bombed

 

 

 

 

Stephanie is a freelancer writer who blogs at Bliss Bombed. With a fresh perspective, a straightforward voice, and with oodles of entrepreneurial trips, humor, personal experiences, and collective learning, she is an influencer with flair, passion, and tons of experience to show for.

 

 

 

What are some of your favourite blogs for freelance writers? Can you recommend some?

 

 

 

 

[][] Managing Clients: How to Pick and Choose the Dream Clients to Work With

 

Clients make you money. You might as well say, you have a tacit understanding with yourself that you’d do everything you can to serve your clients well, deliver promptly, give your work the best chance to shine through, and maybe even go out of your way to serve them.

 

Apart from the act of “getting clients”, the only thing that determines how sustainable your freelancing business is how you manage your clients. The better your relationship is with them, the richer you get.

 

Not everyone you work with will turn out to be your dream client though. In fact, before you know it, you’ll soon end up with a few clients from hell that you can boast of.

 

While you can’t completely avoid such clients, you can do a lot to minimize the presence of such clients. Here are a few tips on managing clients:

 

 

Screen clients as they screen you

 

 

You see a brief, you send out a pitch, and you wait for a response. It’s a delight to see replies to your proposals. However, don’t get too carried away. You know you are in the limelight when clients consider your proposal or ask you for a quote. Similarly, you should use the initial emails, calls, or meetings to screen clients too.

 

Most freelancers freeze at the thought of “screening clients” (that’s not normal, is it?), but it’s the best way to avoid clients from hell.

 

Pick cues and the little red herrings

 

 

In the normal course of a pre-sale communication, you’d normally be able to pick red flags, little red herrings, and tons of clues about a client. First, you’d get to know their business and your clients’ approach to their business. Is your client asking for discounts? Are they taking too long to reply your messages for seemingly simple questions?

 

Are they clear about the scope of work? Are their expectations realistic? Do they want the moon and still want to pay you peanuts? Do they bargain too much on the price?

 

Think about it.

 

The Ball? Whose court, exactly?

 

 

Here’s a great way to make sure you get what you want and your client just gives in: put the ball in their court.

 

What do we mean by that? On the very first call (or any form of communication you use), screen your client. Look for the clues. If they pass the first two tests, then throw in a bunch of rules that are to be mutually acceptable by both parties. A few examples could be:

 

Pricing, terms and conditions, frequency of payments, and form of payments Deadlines, delivery, and how exactly you should work.

Whether you would work hourly, for a fixed price, or on a retainer?

 

If your potential clients see enough value in your offering, if you are reasonable enough, and if your potential client is serious about doing business, you should get a “yes” at best or a serious of “negotiations” at least.

 

If you flinch or if your heart tugs at you for any of the points above, you are likely to be heading straight for trouble.

 

As you work the numbers, spend your soul on the hustle, and work hard to build your freelancing career; bad clients are not worth your time and effort. They aren’t even worth the money they pay.

 

How do you handle bad clients?

 

 

 

 

[][] How To Use Social Media For Freelancing Better

 

Freelancers need every possible opportunity they can get as a channel for marketing. Nothing works to a freelancer’s benefit in multiple ways than well-set up and well-managed social media accounts can.

While social media can’t beat the power and longevity of email marketing, it’s certainly an almost free (you are still spending effort and time) and impactful way of marketing your freelancing business.

 

First things first: social media isn’t for selling. It’s not a place for you to pitch your products and services. It’s not meant for you to be a hawker of sorts, peddle stuff, and come across as pushy.

 

As Jay Baer of Convince and Convert puts it:

 

There’s social in social media”

 

 

He can’t be more apt than that.

 

With that out of the way, let’s see how you can make social media work for your freelancing business:

 

 

Social profiles: set them up right

 

 

It’s the starting point, and it’s often overlooked. Many freelancers start off with Twitter handles, Facebook Fan Pages, and LinkedIn accounts but they don’t work to optimize each of those accounts. After you decide which social profiles you want to stay active on, you’d have to use what each of those social accounts give you.

 

Make sure you fill up your information right, setup cover photos and profile images. Be sure that your logo is optimized for social media (usually smaller in size than your usual logo size), and more.

 

You don’t want to start out half-baked and unprepared.

 

Hunt for the right people to follow

 

 

On one hand, you’d want to follow people, companies, and online publications that have direct relevance to the niche you operate in. Whether you are a transcribing specialist, designer, developer, marketer, or writer, you usually have a set of publications, individuals and other social accounts you ought to follow.

 

Beyond this, from a marketing perspective, connect with clients, vendors, other freelancers, and potential clients.

 

Get into conversations

 

 

If you were to think from a purely business perspective, you’d wonder what random conversations have anything to do with business, ROI, revenue, and profits.

 

We, however, forget that it’s people who finally buy from us. Your random conversations on social media are for those people. It’s for them to like you, trust you, and then buy from you.

 

Have conversations, build up your network, and get to know as many people as you can.

 

Use hash tags

 

 

Every social account today runs on hash tags. These little #hash tags have the power to make your account be visible to many others ( who aren’t your fans or followers yet). You’d have the power to amplify every single update you make on social media.

 

If you think of social media as a loud room, hash tags are like a public addressing system. How do you use social media for freelancing? Share your thoughts with us

 

 

[][] How to Manage Freelance Pricing Blues

 

If knowing what to do is one thing, knowing how much to charge for what you do is something else, and not everyone gets it right.

 

Pricing your freelancing services is almost an art, and you’d have to go through multiple experiments with self, your work, and with clients.

 

Mastering the fine art of pricing, however, allows you to be well on your way to freelancing mastery. It allows you to earn more, and maybe even get away from the clutches of daily work lead your self towards financial freedom.

 

Here are a few tips on how to manage the blues that comes with freelance pricing:

 

 

Don’t start with low pricing

 

 

Contrary to popular advice, which goes something like:

 

Start with a low price, build your portfolio, and then slowly raise your prices…” “Always start low, because you have nothing much to show in terms of portfolio…”

 

 

Stop, right there. If you don’t have a portfolio, build one. If you never had a client or if you are just getting started, create a speculative portfolio with self-initialized work.

 

Whatever you do, don’t start with “low” prices. Instead, start with prices that are justified for you. Look at your competition, take the average price, and mark your price at least at an average of the price your competition (fellow freelancers) charge.

 

Get away from hourly jobs

 

Hourly jobs are usually the norm. They are also convenient and give both the clients and freelancers a well-channeled and well-delegated work to achieve. Hourly jobs make no difference for a client (especially if they are looking for long-term, well-planned work). For a freelancer, however, hourly jobs are bad on many counts:

 

Hourly projects punish freelancers for efficiency. If you can finish a job in 20 minutes, what do you do for another 40 minutes?

There are only so many hourly projects you can pick in a day since you have limited time in a day.

 

Your prices are non-negotiable

 

 

 

 

Almost every other day that you spend hustling, pitching and working to get clients, you’ll be expected to lower your prices. You’ll hear something along thes lines:

Other freelancers are charging so less. Why are you so expensive? Can you give us a discount?

We’ll give you work in bulk, can you give us a better rate?

 

Assuming you are good at what you do, and if you didn’t know this earlier, we’ll say it now: your prices are non-negotiable.

 

Take it or leave it

 

 

You decide your terms and conditions, work quality, and portfolio. Your general feeling about the client, clients’ business, and the work itself, holds true for you and you don’t need justification for that.

 

You determine your pricing too. Increase prices as much as you need to, as long as you can justify the price with the value you provide.

 

When you are freelancing, you are in business. The reason why you wanted to be on your own and do freelancing is because you wanted to be your own boss.

 

In your freelancing business, you call the shots. No one dictates terms for you.

 

 

 

 

[][] How to Promote Your Freelance Business, The Smart Way

 

Freelancing isn’t going to work for you without marketing. Irrespective of the skillset you posses, marketing is a mandatory skillset you ought to espouse.

 

Simply put, marketing puts food on the table. It helps you keep the lights on. It allows you to pay the bills, and is the main pillar of support for your freelancing business.

 

If you embrace marketing, you’d never have to go through the usual peak and trough cycles most freelancers have to put up with. Also, you’d be learning precious lessons, which enables you to handle any kind of business tomorrow.

 

Whether you are a veteran freelancer or a rookie, you’d need to promote your freelance business. Here’s how:

 

 

Cold calling and cold-emailing

 

 

Meeting clients offline is fine, and you’d still do well doing it. However, reaching out to potential prospects using cold emails and calls is still a great way to land your initial basket of clients. Although most people frown at the thought of having to call strangers, it’s still the good old way to add a few good clients at least when you are starting.

 

The blogging thing

 

 

Whether you are a designer, a writer, or an illustrator, starting a blog is mandatory. It’s a direct way for the world to see what you are capable of and it’s a great window for your clients to peep into your work. Apart from enhancing the appeal of your offering, acting as a portfolio of your work, and helping you to network, it’s also a great way for you to establish your credibility and build authority.

 

Your social/community presence

 

 

The trouble with your blog is that almost no one knows about it, unless it’s already popular. Assuming that your blog is popular, most people just forget that it exists.

 

That’s where your social media presence along with your constant presence in forums, groups, and communities helps.

 

Strategic partnerships

 

 

Chances are that you could partner with businesses selling products and services are related to your offerings but don’t directly compete with your services. For instance, web designers or developers can’t form strategic partnerships with digital marketing agencies. Marketers can tie up with web designers. You get the drift?

 

Finding Creative Ways to Market

 

 

We know a fashion designer who was struggling to find high-quality, profitable ecommerce and traditional businesses that deal with fashion goods and accessories. She realized how hard it was to find new clients for her freelancing business and so she went looking for these businesses off affiliate networks such as Commission Junction, ShareaSale, and others.

 

Normally, these affiliate networks are frequented by merchants and their affiliates. We just don’t realize that those same networks are also niche directories with contact information that freelancers can use to directly reach out to those companies.

 

Img Credit: Robert Baker on Flickr

 

 

 

 

[][] Bold Ideas To Get More Clients For Your Freelancing Business

 

Apart from the fact that PeerHustle connects with you small and medium sized businesses in the U.S, you’d always find the need to get as many clients as you can, and perhaps more than you can handle.

 

Since the churn rate is omnipresent, and because you can never be too sure of any client (or anything at all), you should always be on the lookout for new business.

 

But what exactly should you be doing to get new clients? How can you make sure you have your bases covered? Apart from doing [+ basic marketing to get clients for your freelancing business+], what else can you do?

 

You can do a lot more if you stop being boring and do things everyone does. It’s time to shake things up a bit. Drop red-hot coal into ice tea, so to speak.

 

Here are a few bold ideas to get more clients for your freelancing business:

 

 

Knock on virtual doors

 

 

If you are a freelancer in the modern context of work, you’d more likely spend a lot of time online – be it work, recreation, or when just looking around or browsing about.

 

You’d continue to do that, except this time, you’d lounge about but do it with intent.

 

First, what you’d look for depends on your area of freelancing. While browsing the Internet, for instance, a few possibilities could include:

 

*
p))<>{color:#000;}. Freelance copywriters can look for copy on websites. When you see a scope for improvement, you’d reach out to the website owner.

*
p)<>{color:#000;}. Designers can keep an eye out for chances to improve web design quality.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Translators can put up an offer to turn the existing content in English to another language. All you have to do is to reach out and make an offer your potential clients can’t refuse.

Go offline

 

 

Given the ubiquitous nature of the web and the presence of so many sources of opportunities for freelancers, it’s almost stupid to think of spending any time offline at all. But that’s where you have opportunity.

 

What would happen if you were to spend a bit on business cards, business mailers, direct mail pieces, or even walk directly into your prospect’s offices (with or without appointment?).

 

Here’s what David LaMartina did and how he cracked over $11,000 worth of freelancing work with direct mail pieces.

 

Partnerships, Channels, and Joint Ventures

 

 

There’s a thing or two you can learn from the good old Internet marketing scam gurus or anyone from the “make money online” niche. The good thing about any of the forums there is that you’d see a feverish energy around the possibilities of doing Joint Ventures with fellow marketers.

 

Go out and create new channels of business, form partnerships, and initiate joint ventures with non- competing businesses.

 

But it’s not just them who do strategic partnerships. Some well-known companies also do it. Check out Moz Perks, for instance, or Unbounce Partners.

 

Whether you choose to go the usual route, or you choose to go bold, one thing is for sure: you’d always have to work to bring in the rain.

 

How are you going to do some bold marketing? How exactly are you going to step out of the way?

 

 

 

 

[][] Email Marketing: Why Freelancers Should Stick to It?

 

Social media is hot, glamorous, and sexy. It’s what everyone talks about and most freelancers believe that it’s the best way to get business.

 

It is. Maybe it also isn’t.

 

Social media has “social” in it. What that means is that your social media account can give you exposure, branding, impressions, and help you build relationships. It might also get you an occasional sale.

 

Social media, however, isn’t like a marketplace where you could pitch, sell, and sell some more.

 

If you had to depend on a marketing channel for sales on a consistent basis, plus everything social media could give you, trust email marketing.

 

Email marketing is the old workhorse. It’s not hot but it works (and how). For freelancers, using email marketing paves the perfect inroads into inbound marketing.

 

Here’s why you should learn to depend on email marketing for freelancing:

 

 

Email Marketing is the bridge for your marketing funnel

 

 

With email, you could do automation. You could set up full-blown marketing funnels or even micro- funnels and nurture leads that way. Automated emails using auto responders, for instance, can be completely automated. A few email programs also offer behavior-based emails, transactional emails, and more.

 

With an ROI of 4300%, you can’t ignore the real best email marketing is.

 

Email marketing Helps Nurture Your Leads

 

 

Freelancing is basically into B2B. Say, if you are a freelance copywriter or blogger, your primary market comprises of other businesses (whether they are single personal businesses or major conglomerates).

 

B2B buyers typically take longer time to close sales since the decision-making process involves plenty of stakeholders.

 

Nurturing leads for B2B segment can get real expensive with paid ads or traditional advertising. Meanwhile, the shelf life of your updates on social media is just about three hours or so.

 

That’s where email shines its magic. Email messages stay longer in inboxes. Emails invoke more trust, and they are easier to manage.

 

Email has a huge ROI

 

 

According to Graham Charlton of Econsultancy , more than 68% of companies rate email as an excellent channel for digital marketing investment. In 2014, businesses attribute about 23% of their total sales to email marketing (which has grown by 28% since 2103.

 

Email marketing is affordable

 

 

Ever spent trying time to keep up those updates on social media? Ever tried writing blog posts each day?

 

Compared to the time and effort those activities take, email forces you to take a mean and lean approach. You’d spend way less effort, money, and time on email marketing to get whopping returns for what you spend.

 

If you started with MailChimp, for instance, you’d not even have to spend on Email marketing if you are just starting out. MailChimp offers you a free plan limited to 2000 emails and 500 subscribers.

 

Go roll.

 

Do you do email marketing? Tell us all about it.

 

 

 

 

[][] Freelancing Blues: What Should You Do When You Are Down The Dumps?

 

Feeling down the dumps? Lost your mojo? Is the act of getting yourself motivated an uphill task everyday? Have you lost the fire, the intensity, and the energy to wake up every morning because of a few instances of unpaid invoices, bad clients, or because no projects are showing up at your door?

 

Welcome to freelancing 101. You are now a part of a huge, growing group of independent contractors and what you are feeling now (or might feel later) is as common as common cold.

 

It could be so unsettling to work so hard and not get paid for it due to a client’s vanishing act. It could be heartbreaking to not be respected for what you do and when there are instances of project scope creep.

 

But unlike most people, you have amazing choices to combat with your freelancing blues. Since, throwing your laptop away or yelling at your dog are not options that help, here’s what you do:

 

 

Accept & Embrace

 

 

This is freelancing. It’s a business. Ups and downs are common in business. Entrepreneurs are special because embrace and accept this as reality. They work their mindset around uncertainty and challenges. Because things are the way they are in freelancing, the only way you can you keep yourself sane is through pure “hustle”.

 

There’s no point in question the nature of freelancing, your life as a freelancer, and why things are the way they are.

 

Fire Away

 

 

One advantage you have over most people who have day jobs is that you can “fire” at all. Fire your clients if you think they don’t treat you well, pay you on time, or if they don’t treat you with respect.

 

Don’t entertain freeloaders. Don’t do free samples. Don’t go over the board for a prospective client, especially if they have a bad reputation or if you don’t know any better.

 

Do this only if you can bring in new clients.

 

It is what you make of it

 

 

 

 

Just as it stands for most things, your freelancing career is what you make of it. How well you do freelancing depends on your skill level, ability to communicate, the pace at which you land new clients (while retaining the old ones), and how much value you provide.

 

Above all that, your freelancing career also depends on the strength of your character, your inner resilience, positive attitude, and more.

 

It’s only the beginning

 

 

Freelancing is all you need if you wanted a better alternative to full-time jobs. It also makes sense if you are happy with what you do in terms of freelancing and if this is enough for you meet your goals (long- term and short-term). If you want to get truly rich (if that’s what you want) or build a business that can scale and grow, freelancing only introduces you to the big world of business.

 

There’s more that you have to do (if you intend to) than this. So, why stop now?

 

 

[][] How to Unleash Positivity Into Your Freelancing Career

 

Entrepreneurship is awesome and freelancing is a great start for your entrepreneurial journey.

 

However, it isn’t going to be an easy task managing yourself, your freelancing career, find clients, deliver work, get paid, and then go find some more clients only to deliver more work, and then chase invoices all the more.

 

As you can see, actually going through this cycle isn’t as easy as it was to write it out. We all come with our biases, emotions, likes dislikes, and our own ways of doing things.

 

Often, it gets a little too much to handle. Days seem short, your effort seems incomplete, the value you provide can remain unappreciated, and you might not get what you really wanted from it.

 

Here’s the thing: if you aren’t getting what you wanted, it’s not because of the economy, the clients, your work, or anything else. It’s all because of you.

 

Since “you” are so important, you have a need to unleash a great degree of positivity into your freelancing career (and hence into your life).

 

Let’s see how to build up that freelance career positivity:

 

 

Bring in that pride

 

 

If you were half as good as you thought you were at your freelancing career (the actual work that you do and the real person that you are), you are worth every dime you make.

 

Don’t let clients who hunt for cheap work affect you. Don’t let competition deter you. Don’t suffer the wrath of others’ reflection about you. Don’t even bother to question yourself or wallow in self-doubt.

 

You are what you are. You only get better from here.

 

Put yourself at the epicenter

 

 

Not happy with the work you picked up? Not satisfied with the progress you are making in your freelancing career? Do you find yourself too much to do each day but you come off with just a little more than half of your to-do list? Unhappy with the amount of money you make each month?

 

You are the reason why that happens. We aren’t about to prophesize any self-help stuff here, but owe it

 

yourself to identify causes and resolve your problems, one after the other.

 

Believe. In. Yourself

 

 

Do you believe in the law of Attraction? If you haven’t bothered with it, now is a good time to start. If you already do, now is a good time to commit yourself to a lifetime of following.

 

Since you have no onboarding, training, motivation sessions, and no mentors to speak of, you are your own mentor. You are your own trainer. You better believe. In. Yourself

 

Protect your time

 

 

Be it now or later, time is going to be so precious that you might want to start guarding it right now. Don’t allow common distractions like the phone, other people, family, acquaintances, the Internet, and those pesky telesales people.

 

Ward them all off. When it’s your time, it’s your time. The world will come around to either hate you or respect. Both the outcomes are fine.

 

How positive are you? What do you do to uplift your own freelancing career?

 

 

 

 

[][] Freelancing Pitfalls: Big Holes Freelancers Should Stay Away From

 

During that big journey you’ll take in the course of freelancing, you’ll meet these big holes you are likely to fall into. Some of these you’ll be very well aware of (as those are obvious), and you won’t even know a few of these even if they are the size of a big mac truck.

 

Freelancing pitfalls can be easily avoided, if only you knew better. Here are some of those and how to get out of out those. Even better, try not to get into any of these:

 

 

Working Hourly

 

 

We know that working hourly is one of those popular ways of making money selling your services. However, it’s one of those major pitfalls you should avoid right from the start. According to Mike McDerment and Donald Cowper of Freshbooks who wrote the book Breaking the Time Barrier: How to Unlock Your True Earning Potential, doing hourly projects undermines your efficiency, locks you to your work and time), and punishes you for working fast.

 

If anything, you should consider working on fixed priced projects where you determine the price based on value.

 

Getting Busy

 

 

If you get busy with the sheer number of projects you managed to hustle and get, it’s a good problem to have. It’s a problem nonetheless.

 

If you get so busy that you’d have to refuse working with more clients as they come, you are shunting your own growth potential. When you are at this stage, it’s a clear case of hitting the time plateau.

 

Outsource your work – especially the kind of work that takes your time away from what you really do. For instance, if you are a writer, don’t even bother learning design, or development, or dig your head into admin work.

 

Spreading Yourself Thin

 

 

Freelancing makes you a multi-tasking genius. You’d pick up writing projects, end up dabbling with

 

HTML, build landing pages, tweak your own website, manage your social media accounts, and more.

 

As if that wasn’t enough, you’d be forced to continue looking for clients, send them quotes, deliver work, send out invoices, and make time for those gazillion skype calls and endless litany of emails.

 

Chances are that you’d spread yourself thin, doing all this work (which isn’t really work that pays).

 

Stay organized, use a project collaboration software, and make sure you allocate time and/or resources to get things done faster.

 

Don’t say no to technology

 

 

Most freelancers don’t touch a website with a totem pole. Why, you ask? They are intimidated by technology. HTML/CSS3, PHP, JavaScript, and cloud computing are all Greek speak to them.

 

But, don’t be. Today, technology has leveled the playing field. You have access to the same tools some of the biggest companies in the world have access to. Plus, technology is affordable.

 

Are you falling into any of these holes?

 

 

 

 

[][] How to Start Freelancing in Style

 

There are two kinds of the kind of start you can give for your freelancing: the normal way and the fantastic way. You are reading this now, and that tells us that you’d obviously want to start the fantastic way. Since life is too short to be “normal” and since you obviously owe it to yourself, the onus is on you to make the most of what freelancing has to offer.

 

If you are looking for a great start with your freelancing career, you should aim to get away from the “run- of-the-mill” and “met too” strategies almost everyone else is guilty of.

 

Here’s how you do it:

 

 

Where you look for work matters

 

 

First, join Peer Hustle and set yourself to work with some amazing clients.

 

Second, don’t bother with content mills – you know the kind of sites that’d make you write and then you’d get a share of income from Google AdSense earnings.

 

Third, consider branching out to freelancing bidding sites. They a great way to start your freelancing career but don’t make that your bread and butter (you’d need to eventually move away from bidding and winning projects).

 

Aim and reach out to the right influencers

 

 

Who you know matters in business. Right from the start, aim to build your network and real relationships. You got to have friends in this industry.

 

Look for influencers off social media and other channels available to you and plan to reach out to them. You don’t need to have an agenda. You don’t need to take help right away. Your intention is to build your network, and not to pitch.

 

Make a big bang with your portfolio

 

 

Although you might have to spend quite a bit of effort initially, setting up your portfolio right can do wonders to your pitching, the hustle, and the sales presentations.

 

If you haven’t worked with clients before or if you don’t have clips you can claim rights for, start a blog.

Since we are talking about a blog, a website would be great to go along with it. You’d typically need a portfolio-style website. Use Wordpress and get started now.

Apart from the blog, reach out to publications that can showcase your work. If you are a writer, start a portfolio on Contently. If you are a designer of any kind, host your work samples on Behance and Dribble.

Make it a point to keep adding your latest work to your portfolio. Half-dead portfolios are as good as “no portfolios”.

 

Keep the engine running

 

 

As a freelancer, you’d never know what you’d end up with this month and then the next. Pure hustle is that one thing you’d need to start your freelancing right, and to sustain it as you go along.

 

You just have to do the following:

 

Get new clients Keep the old ones

Deliver work on time, every time.

 

As long as you keep hustling and working to deliver beyond your clients’ expectations, you’d stay on the course of freelancing success.

 

How do you want to start freelancing?

 

 

 

 

[][] How to Master Sales and follow up for Freelancing

 

Freelancers have a role – among many others – in sales (for themselves), much like sales people work everyday to build a pipeline, manage their sales process, and bring in the cash.

 

Your sales management prowess puts the food on the table. It’s the only way to make sure you get clients. It’s exactly what keeps the lights, pays the bills, and helps you survive.

 

Being that important, it’s surprising that most freelancers don’t it as often as they should. If they do, they don’t bring themselves to do it right.

 

Here’s how to bring in a semblance of a system to your sales and follow up for freelancing business:

 

 

Pitch everyday

 

 

Here’s how a typical freelancer does sales: call up, email, or meet prospects. Close deals. Get busy with the mountain-loads of work that you’d now need to do to meet deadlines.

 

As a result, your sales activity will now see a slow death while you’d spend the entire day on actual work.

 

The trouble comes when any of your clients leave (for any reason). When that happens, you are back to square one. You’d have to start looking for work again.

 

That’s why it’s critical to [+ keep the sales engine going+], whether or not you have clients.

 

Use a CRM

 

 

The CRM market is crowded, and that’s good news for us freelancers. You have a ton of options to choose from and you’d not need anything fancy at all.

 

A CRM system allows you to track every piece of communication, phone call, and actual in-person meetings so that you’d never lose sight of every interaction you have.

 

CRM tools also allow you to make special notes on every client, set up to-do tasks related to that lead, and mark the sales call as “hot”, “warm”, “cold”, “converted”, “deal”, etc.

 

Using a CRM helps you keep a tight control on your lead data. It allows you to follow up thoroughly, and ensures that you have a system in place.

 

Follow up until you get a response

 

 

As Steli Efti of Close.io puts it, most people who have anything to do with sales and follow-ups give up after the initial calls and a few random follow-ups.

 

The key is to follow-up until you get a response – no matter what that response is. If it’s a yes, you are in business. If it’s a no, try to find out why (even if you don’t get business, you’ll get insights, referrals, or maybe just a friend you can chat with).

 

Keep In touch

 

 

All of us are busy, and have work to do. Life also comes in between. Your prospects can forget your pitch, end up doing something else that’s high priority for them, and time can pass through a vacuum. It’s important to keep in touch without being pushy or salesy about it.

 

Use social media if that’s what you are comfortable with. Or maybe email marketing? Which of these freelancing sales mistakes are you guilty of?

 

 

[][] Self-Driven Initiatives Every Freelancer Should Take

 

You took a decision; you’ll now have to live by it. You’ll make your money this way, and this is exactly how your career will play out. You’ll have no boss, colleagues, and water-cooler gossip. You’ll not have a steady paycheck, and you’ll know freedom like never before.

 

All of that goodness comes with responsibility. You can’t claim your freedom without a price to pay. Thankfully, there’s “good” even in what you’d need to do to succeed as a freelancer.

 

Every freelancer should start a few self-driven initiatives. Like, right now. Here are a few:

 

 

Become a publisher

 

 

No matter what kind of freelancing you do, start a blog and begin publishing. Keep the range of topics targeted at your customer persona – the typical client who has the problems you have solutions to. Your target market should derive value from reading what you publish. Inbound marketing begins from here.

 

Publishing your blog and doing all of that inbound marketing positions you as authority. It finally makes your clients come to you.

 

Plus, publishing makes you a credible brand. It tells the world you exist, and in style.

 

Expand your skill set continuously

 

 

Designers will end up dabbling with code. Freelance writers will end up doing graphic design -- that’s how today’s demands for expanding skill sets are. Later, you’ll have to learn to manage, handle things you never did, and learn skills you never thought you would.

 

But that’s the key to freelancing success. While it’s good to focus on what you are best at, you’d always stay ahead of competition when you are multi-skilled.

 

Read. Then read some more

 

 

Reading is one of the most common traits found in common with the most successful entrepreneurs, freelancers, and others.

 

Reading good books, blogs, and magazines informs you, helps you stay abreast to change, and provides with you knowledge (and that’s power, clichéd or not). Make it a point to read all the time. For freelance writers especially, reading is mandatory. You can’t write if you don’t read.

 

Power of negotiation

 

 

While all of us find ourselves in situations where we have to negotiation. In the normal course of negotiation we don’t give it much thought. We just go through the motions. For freelancing, however, it’s pure business. You’d always want to come out with the winning hat.

 

Practice “asking” for what you want -- keep it out there clean, short, and clear.

 

Network: because people bring money

 

 

It’s not networking as in counting the number of social media followers or your connections on LinkedIn or Twitter. When we say networking, we mean real relationships. How many people do you really know? How many people are you friends with? Who can you call out today on a first name basis for lunch or coffee?

 

Do all of the above and you have a freelancing career others can envy. Are you doing it yet?

 

 

[][] How to Build Credibility as a Freelancer, the “Giver” Way

 

One of the most popular, untold secrets of the very successful has been this: they are all givers.

 

Takers, as opposed to givers, don’t succeed in the long run. Never before has this little secret been exposed to so much potential. Multiple paths and ways now exist for “giving” – at least in terms of knowledge, wisdom, and insights. In case you were wondering, giving is also alive and well on the mentor front with crowdsourcing communities such as KickStarter.

 

Why are we talking about highbrow philosophical stuff like giving while we should be focusing on freelancing?

 

Success demands giving and as a freelancer, it’s the best way for you to grow your credibility. More credibility leads to more business. Period.

 

How do you build credibility then? What exactly are you supposed to do?

 

 

Embrace giving

 

 

You might wonder – even before getting into the act – as to how “giving” helps. When you give, you get into the motion of dispensing knowledge. You become the source for knowledge, inspiration, motivation, and advice. You get into the beautifully self-serving act of helping others solve problems.

 

People will look up to you (including your clients). You drive, instead of being driven.

You lead, instead of others leading you.

 

You set the course; others tread the path you create.

 

Spread your wings

 

 

Once you determine your customer persona – that is, you find out exactly who your customer is. You’d have to figure out exactly where they are, what they do, the demographics, the geographic locations, and even get down to details such as their interests, what keeps them up at night, and more.

 

Online, this translates to forums, communities, and social zones where conversations take place around the service you provide as a freelancer.

 

Get communal

 

 

Now that you’ve found your communities and you know that are all probably looking for your services, you might be tempted to jump right in and pitch your services.

 

Not yet. In fact, you don’t ever hustle directly when you are either on social media or when you are participating in social conversations.

 

While you are here, it’s time to get communal. Talk, respond to questions, quell doubts, motivate, inspire, and give out your two cents.

 

Go generous

 

 

Apart from your communal participation, a growing presence on social media, and all the conversations you are a part of, you’d also have clients initiating business deals. In comes a client, and out goes a pitch or a proposal. Or so business practices would make you believe.

 

That’s a shortsighted practice that gets you money today but puts you back on the street for more.

 

Instead, offer things of value to your clients. If they asked for a blog post, work on Meta information too. If they asked for a logo, provide extra source files for offline uses such as signboards and print advertising.

 

You get the drift?

 

Do you practice going at freelancing the giver way? Are you generous? Do you go out of the way for clients? Share your experiences with us.

 

 

 

[][] Simple Ways To Use Email Marketing To Grow Your Freelancing Business

Here’s the thing about inbound marketing in general: your content begins to get traffic, you’d work hard engaging with potential customers on social media, and get your potential customers to read up, consume, and get excited about everything you do as a freelancer.

 

The bad news: you are not doing enough. Although you get traffic, get eyeballs, and probably a few leads, you need a consistent system to ensure that leads come in on a consistent basis.

 

For that, you need email marketing. Here’s how you do it and a few ways you can [+ use email marketing+] to nurture your leads:

 

 

Grow that list

 

 

The very process of growing your list puts you into the frame of “giving”. In an earlier post, we wrote about how giving helps you get more business. To grow your email list, you’d need to provide considerable value upfront, and that’s a good thing.

 

Create reports, eBooks, give away a free trial of your services, or provide actual services that you got paid for – no matter what you do, your list grows and that’s a good start.

 

Touch Base

 

 

Selling all the time won’t help. While sending out information regularly certainly helps, there’s another great way to use email marketing: to touch base.

 

Send out an occasional email to your list to do surveys, ask questions, send out your thoughts, point them to something you found, or get them to engage with you ina real conversation.

 

Setup your RSS Campaigns

 

 

Since you are blogging and your blog sees regular blog posts on a weekly basis, there are chances that you’d receive regular traffic to your blog.

 

However, most people (especially your potential customers) don’t remember your domain name to type in and visit directly. Some might remember, and life comes in between.

 

That’s when setting up an RSS-to-email campaign makes perfect sense. The campaign works with RSS feed of your blog setup as an email digest that goes out to your list of subscribers – the perfect way to nurture your leads with more information.

 

Each week. Every week. Without you lifting a finger.

 

Broadcast emails

 

 

Giving offers, running contests, and sending out specials is an awesome way to boost your freelance business. Doing it every so often using the normal methods of marketing can be expensive.

 

Not if you use email marketing. With a big, growing list of subscribers who’ve opted in to hear from you, your broadcast messages can be your way for selling unapologetically.

 

How do you use email marketing to grow your freelancing business?

 

 

 

 

[][] How to Handle Scope Creep In Freelancing

 

Every now and then, you’ll work with clients who’ll expect you to deliver more in terms of work than what you’ve agreed to in the first place. Freelancing Scope Creep is a huge drain on your resources, demands more from you without rewarding you in any way whatsoever, and is also a cause for strain, stress, and potentially debilitating relationship with clients.

 

As a freelancer, you’d do better without any scope creep at all. However, you won’t know when it hits you. So, before it happens (and when it does), here’s how you can manage scope creep in freelancing while working with your projects and clients:

 

 

Work with client expectations and your milestones right

 

 

The sheer excitement of a new project, the rush to start work, and the potential payoffs with a project are understandably evident. In fact, many freelancers deep dive into projects without setting up client expectations first and setting up milestones for projects.

 

Doing your due diligence is your responsibility. After you are briefed, handhold your client and run them through the expected work. Setup milestones immediately after so that both you and the client always know what’s expected.

 

Always start with a contract

 

 

No matter how careful you are with step 1 above, you’ll do well to start every project with a contract. Send out your quotes and proposals.

 

Once your client accepts the quote or the proposal, send out a legal contract (along with other legalese such as NDA, service policies, and other documents) and get them signed by your client.

 

A contract could save your life.

 

Stay calm and be assertive

 

 

Scope creep usually happens while working on the project well into the life of the project. Although you take steps and keep communication clear, you’ll likely step into the big jungle of scope creep. When this happens, don’t lose your cool. Instead, have a chat with your clients pointing them to a scope creep

 

possibility.

 

Be firm, but polite. However, put your foot down and explain why the extra work the client requested cannot be managed with the existing budget.

 

Use scope creep to your advantage

 

 

If your client insists that the extra bit of work has to be done, try to use this to your advantage. Instead of risking a “no”, accept extra work for extra cost.

 

You could say things like:

 

“Sure, I’ll work on the SEO for every blog post for an extra $15 per post” “I’d love to do it. I’ll send out an invoice to accommodate this”

 

 

Send out a miscellaneous invoice to reflect the charges for the extra work your client demands of you.

 

Be willing to fire clients

 

Sometimes, despite everything you do, your client could very well insist that you accept the scope creep. You have two choices: go ahead and do it anyway in the interest of long-term work or fire the client.

 

Don’t choose the first option because you’d be training the client to allow scope creep. If you have to, choose the second option and fire the client.

 

How do you manage scope creep in your freelancing projects?

 

 

 

 

 

This book was brought to you by Peer Hustle, an on-demand freelancer marketplace. Join the hustle and download the app at www.peerhustle.com.

Become an on-demand freelancer, sign up at www.peerhustle.com

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The Hustler's Guide to Freelancing: August 2015

  • Author: peerhustle
  • Published: 2015-09-12 05:20:41
  • Words: 16762
The Hustler's Guide to Freelancing: August 2015 The Hustler's Guide to Freelancing: August 2015