Around the Horn: Week of February 2nd

Posted: February 8th, 2009

Big week… did anyone catch if that Punkytawny Fred saw his shadow in Pennsylvania? OK, me neither so we’ll go right to the happenings in freelance for this week.

Anywired: Hands up if you have a website or blog with a “hire-me” page in it (ahem… mine is not, sigh). Maybe it can get you (and me) an extra client or two in the process.

CNN: Freelancers love the freedom of working at home. Then that gets old really quick since they eventually turn themselves into lonely hermits. Coworking is catching on to alleviate the loneliness and bring back the social atmosphere of the office.

Daily Blog Tips: Still haven’t jumped on the blog bandwagon? How about some convincing reasons and tips to get started?

Freelance Folder: Sure, we may be freelancers and work and receive a check here or there but do we really take ourselves seriously?

Freelance Folder: Some of the worst times a freelancer has is when they make mistakes. Sometimes it’s big and other times small but there are ways to deal with the situation.

Freelance Switch: Most freelancers would say they enjoy what they do. After all, they ARE doing what they want. Here are ways for freelancers to get the most out of their work and enjoy it even more.

Freelance Switch: The lines of communication with your clients need to be crystal clear. Quite often, they are not clear themselves when trying to determine what they want from your services. Here are ways to bridging that communication gap.

HR World: This site has compiled a list of ten jobs that are worse then you thought and ten jobs that are better than you thought.  Guess which is the number one job that is better than you thought?

The Simple Dollar: Trent Hamm abandoned his typical 9 – 5 job to start freelancing. He gives an assessment after his first four months in which can accurately summarize what most freelancers go through when they make that jump, themselves.

Zen Happens: Freelancers often do not stick to doing one particular thing in their work. For instance, you may be a graphic designer who moonlights as a blog writer. If you do not find your balance while multitasking, though, you could be cheating yourself out of happiness in your career. Worth the read a few times over.

Around the Horn: Week of January 26th

Posted: January 30th, 2009

The scoop in freelance for Super Bowl week.

Avalonstar:Distortion: Not everyone is cut out for freelancing.

A Blue Flavored Blog: Pricing a project is not always an exact science. Sometimes its a chess game of what you think a client can afford versus what they are actually willing to pay. Here is how a design agency approaches the touchy task of pricing.

Designers Mind: Freelancers are successful because they have the right habits. These good habits can be boiled down to the fact that they work hard.

Just Creative Design: The primary reason freelancers choose their profession is the freedom it provides in the direction we take with our careers. One of these freedoms is the ability to work wherever the hell we want to. It doesn’t matter whether it is at the local library or China, we shouldn’t take this for granted.

Freelance Folder: Making mistakes as a freelancer is normal. It helps to hear stories of other freelancing mistakes so you don’t have to repeat them either.

Freelance Switch: It is important for freelancers to give their very best service to their clients. You are also entitled to your own needs from your clients.

Freelance Switch: How does the sound of ultimate flexibility sound to you? Become a freelance “Web Worker” and you can work from anywhere in the world instead of nailed down to a single location. Skellie has the concise, but useful tips to be able to do this.  Here are Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4, too,  so you don’t get lost looking for them.

Freelance Switch: If you are a freelancer and work alone at home you definitely have had the “lonely freelancer syndrome” at some point or another. Here are some ways to beat it. Best tip: get a pet.

Project4Hire: An important lesson to all freelancers is do not take all jobs that come your way. Here’s how to spot those shady freelance jobs.

You The Designer: Ever bid on a project and thought you had it in the bag? Then you come to realize you never had it in the first place. Here are reasons why you didn’t get that project. This refers to graphic designers but applies to all freelancers, too.

As a added bonus, here are some funny work related jokes.

Around the Horn: Week of January 19th

Posted: January 26th, 2009

Sorry, I’m a little late on the posting. The other day job took precedence unfortunately. So as we salute the pilot we all know as the U.S. Airways waterskier, I give you this week’s freelancing tidbits.

Arbenting: Ever think about what you give up when becoming a freelancer? Though it’s a little on the pessimistic side, they hold truth to them.

Being a Starving Graphic Artist Sucks: The best piece of advice I’ve seen in a while (not the part about being a starving graphic artist sucking). Short, right to the point and 100% true.

DESIGNM.AG: The 16 business lessons for freelancers and spoken from a wise man. Study each one because they all will be an issue with you at some time or another. Best one in my opinion: #4 Charge up front. Helps keep a steady cash flow.

Freelance Folder: One flaw of freelancers is their tendency to be a do-it-all to please their clients. For instance you may be a web designer and a client may ask you to write the web content which seems hard to pass up. This can get you in over your head, too.

Freelance Folder: Hey, I got on the bandwagon though fairly recently. Here are three reasons why every freelancer should have a blog. So now you have have the hang of freelancing, are making nice income but want to take it to the next level. Here’s an article that outlines how to reach the top in what you do.

Freelance Switch: One of the biggest challenges to a freelancer is figuring out how to make themselves productive. Well, here are 46 tips for you, so take a few minutes to read through them. You may not get around to all of them but there are several that will be helpful to you. For me: Listing 3 – 5 things to do the next day and checking email just twice a day.

Freelance Switch: So you want to go about starting out in freelance the right way? Actually, even if you are a freelancer, have you done these 7 things to kickstart your freelance career? I know I don’t have my hand up but probably should.

Ink Thinker Blog: One thing that makes everything go smoothly in freelance work are contracts. They make sure you do the work you say you will (and no more) and you get paid what you were promised (and no less). They should be in use by EVERY freelancer, too. Here is a super resource for contract samples and tutorials. Have a look.

Innovative: You probably wouldn’t ever work for free but here are the only four times you should ever work for free.

Around the Horn: Week of January 12th

Posted: January 16th, 2009

What’s going on for freelancers in this shitty economy for the week of Jan 12th? I’ll try and make this as positive as I can.

CNN: Are you a freelancer and want some good news for a change besides the economy? Well, freelancers actually benefit in this recession. Here’s a little proof.

Chris Blassternardone: Thought about being an escort at one time or another, but chickened out? Try being a virtual online escort then.

Fast Company: One of the most pressing issues facing freelancers is the need for health insurance coverage which is hell expensive for an individual. The Freelancers Union has created their own insurance company that serves thirty one states and is currently in a trial phase. Let’s hope for the best.

Freelance Folder: Good reality check for freelancers… do your own excuses hold you back? If you are not where you want to be in your career then you may want to dig in on why.

Freelance Switch: Generally freelancers don’t like to spend money for their own business needs. Its sensible to cut costs whenever we can, but as a business you have to dig in those pockets and make sensible purchases, too.

Freelance Switch: Here are the top ten signs you may be charging too little. Hopefully, none of these apply to you.

Jon Bergan: On a more serious note, the top ten reasons why many freelance designers and start up design firms fail. Most of these don’t just apply to freelance designers but to all freelancers as well.

Rubiqube: How to create an addiction to your services, instead of the other “services” you may have in mind.

TravelBlogs: Flashpacking.  Ever heard of it? Me neither, but a couple quits their jobs and set off travelling the world with their laptops. The key to them… travelling light and  “backpacking with bucks and toys.”

U.S. News & World Report: Podcast interview with Michelle Goodman. She mentions the benefits of freelancing in a bad economy and tips to start out even right now. Major point: companies may be laying off, but if they aren’t closing shop they still need work to get done. That’s where freelancers come in.

Around the Horn

Posted: January 9th, 2009

What’s going on in the world of freelance? Here are the chosen ones for the week of January 5th, 2009.

FreelanceFolder: You think freelancers have it made because they can get up at noon, take fifteen breaks in a day or even call it a day after just an hour of work? Well, hell yeah we can! The ones that make money though have a little thing called self-discipline that helps them through.

Freelance Folder: Alright, alright we don’t exactly get up at noon and take fifteen breaks a day. Freelancing is pretty damn hard because… “Despite how magnificent it can be to work for yourself, there are some things about freelancing that just plain suck.”

The Wealthy Freelancer: Has five tips for freelance success. Number 3, becoming an expert in your niche, should actually be of the most interest. Most freelancers take it for granted but it is being an expert and getting the word out that helps you get work and good pay out of it.

CMD+SHIFT: Want to know some of the reasons why some freelancers thrive and others fail?

ZenHabits: You’d probably kill to be able to work at home under your own rules. Classic case of grass is greener on the other side… the home office can actually drive you insane. These are tips on keeping yourself from the end of your rope while slaving away at thome.

Authentic Boredom: Cameron has ten things he learned after half a year of freelancing. I couldn’t agree more with all of them. Best advice: say ‘no’ as often as you say ‘yes.’

Authentic Boredom: Whoa… Cameron posted ten more things he learned after a FULL year of freelancing. Funny enough, he sounds like he matured ten years as a freelancer.

Around the Horn

Posted: November 28th, 2008

  • From Freelance UK: Freelance graphic designer Andrew Chipperfield explains a typical client we should all be aware of: “Then came the turning point for me. He asked to meet up to discuss some bigger opportunities he might have for me. So i went to meet him, as it turned out, at his shop. I turned up to see his £80,000 LandRover with personalised number plate, and a few people working for him. At that point, I decided to get the meeting over and done with, and that I wouldn’t be doing any more work for him. I didn’t want to work with someone who blatantly lied to me.”
  • From Kate Lorenz interviewing freelancer Ryan Saale on trying out freelancing part time: “A lot of people don’t want to commit full-time skills to a part-time or temporary gig. In this economy though, it can allow you to not only try on a job for size, but to also improve your skills, impress a potential long-term employer and network like crazy with people in your chosen industry,” she says. “Instead of nervously waiting for the right full-time career, you can potentially make something better happen in the short term.”
  • Here’s how I earned my riches as a freelancer… so can you!
  • Still squinting while reading this?
  • I can’t deny the fact that self-employment has its perks. Some of these perks are the guilty pleasures that make you say “I’ll never go back to that 9 to 5″, whenever you see an interesting full-time position on one of those job boards.
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