Top Ten Reasons Your Client Dropped You Like a Ton of Bricks

Posted: May 24th, 2010

There’s nothing like true client relationships. Yet one second you’re riding high from the hefty paychecks and the next second, poof. Gone. Nothing left but a polite email wishing you well but your services are no longer needed. The only thing we ask is why have you done so on thee? Here are the real reasons:

10. Convinced you were cheating with other clients.

9. Knows you’re a gold digger looking out for another with more money.

8. Seems to think you have some sort of time commitment issues.

7. Couldn’t afford you any longer.

6. Saw misspelling in portfolio. Instant deal-breaker.

5. Felt you weren’t giving enough (white) space.

4. Couldn’t get over finding out about those bad porno websites you made some years back.

3. “Sorry, you’re just not working out for me.”

2. Long lost freelancer suddenly came back into the picture.

1. You never called. EVER!

Top Ten Reasons Why Freelance Marketing Efforts Haven’t Gone As Planned

Posted: May 3rd, 2010

It’s a safe bet that if you are freelancing, you are pretty good at what you do. Marketing yourself, however, is probably a whole different story. Well, here are the top ten reasons why marketing efforts don’t go as well as you like, just in case they happen to pop into your head:

10. Neighbors weren’t home.

9. 10 year layaway plan wasn’t such a great idea.

8. Damn Wal-Mart undercutting my newspaper ads!

7. Too many clients taking advantage of $1 happy hour.

6. Having trouble cashing in food stamps.

5. Maybe Facebook photos of that donkey incident in Tijuana had something to do with it.

4. Post-Christmas sale wearing out its welcome.

3. The economy. Yeah, it’s the economy’s fault!

2. No one going for free toaster with purchase.

1. Keep forgetting to leave business cards in public toilets.

Top Ten Reasons For Freelancers To Return To Their Old Job

Posted: March 8th, 2010

At some point or another, freelancers contemplate going back to the jobs they left, having missed the security of steady paychecks. Did you know there are other reasons, you may not have heard of, for making a beeline to that now coveted job? Yep, these are true.

10. The need to contend for the employee-of-the-month title.

9. Freelancing plus the side gig at the Burger King wasn’t working out as you hoped.

8. Thought your old boss was actually kinda cool.

7. Access to the free coffee machine again.

6. Hourly wages rock!

5. Get to hear jokes again from the fat, smelly guy in the next cubicle.

4. You could use some new stolen software anyway.

3. You can finally stop eating ramen and raid the stale donuts and leftover birthday cake around the office.

2. Get back those medical benefits then get that nasty tumor thing looked at.

1. They wouldn’t survive a day without me anyway.

Top Ten Freelancing Crimes (You Probably Are Guilty Of)

Posted: February 12th, 2010

We like to think of freelancers as independent, honest and hard working individuals. Yeah right… we join the rest of society by committing our own crimes as well. In fact, here are the top crimes that even you (yes you) probably are guilty of:

Vandalism: That first website you created all by yourself would have to count here.

Curfew Violations: Stop working, step off of Twitter and get to bed already.

Disorderly Conduct: C’mon, look at your desk. Geez!

Money Laundering: Putting all that under-the-table cash towards that new Mac. Clever.

Insider Trading: Being nice and telling Mr Jones how to use Photoshop so he can save a couple dollars later is a real nice favor isn’t it?

Prostitution: How can you live with yourself after giving Mr Jones a website, new logo and writing all his page copy for $10? Shame on you!

Arson: Better watch out. Mr Jones has a vendetta ever since you burned that bridge some time back.

Shoplifting: Got a receipt for that new Photoshop CS4 I see there?

Murder: Killing off your real social life in cold blood so you can finally have that “other” social life on Twitter.

Tax Evasion: Bet you thought I was joking up until now, eh?

Top Ten Rules In Freelancing You Probably Shouldn’t Break

Posted: January 22nd, 2010

Freelancing has its sort-of ten commandments (actually its more like 387) that we should all follow if we want a nice, long and healthy career. In my experience, the following are THE top ten rules, coincidentally, written in stone and propped up to hold my bookshelf.

10. Eliminate distractions while working: Your friends and followers on Twitter demand your full and complete attention.

9. Take advantage of social media for networking: Look, if you are going to stay cramped up in your house, working all hours of the day, you might as well have a social life, even if it is only (somewhat pathetically) online.

8. Keep your day job while starting out: That way if a client happens to tell you “Don’t quit your day job” then you can smugly reply “Hah! I didn’t.”

7. Always use a contract: We would have to keep lawyers in business otherwise.

6. Raise your rates periodically: A no-brainer… you have to keep up with the minimum wage hikes you know.

5. Never miss a deadline: You might, like, get fired or go to prison or have a hit put out on you. So bad.

4. Carve your own niche: Did you know there’s a market for sex-with-1973-Gremlin-mufflers dating websites? Sorry, that one is taken already.

3. Keep your portfolio up to date: Great way to get the hit counter to finally move forward on your website.

2. Consistently market yourself: Hey, someone will bite, even if it is your parents or that weird next door neighbor that does so.

1. Pay your taxes on time: Advisable if you do not want to be put on a no-fly or terrorist watch list.

Top Ten Last Minute Gifts For Freelancers

Posted: December 18th, 2009

“Christmas, Christmas time is near
Time for toys and time for cheer
We’ve been good, but we can’t last
Hurry Christmas, hurry fast

– Alvin and The Chipmunks

Still in need of something to get a fellow freelancer for Christmas? One of these should do:

10. Hot meal, change of clothes and a warm place to sleep for the night.

9. A new MacBook Pro. Ah, who are we kidding, a $10 gift certificate to Wal-Mart.

8. Hit one up for some work you really don’t need.

7. That overdue payment can double up as a can’t miss gift.

6. Five hundred brand new Twitter followers.

5. Can’t beat a 1099-MISC form a couple weeks early.

4. That book out there that will help a freelancer make six-figures in a month or so.

3. A nice piping hot cup of that premium shit at Starbucks. Throw in a carrot cake, while you’re at it.

2. A cheesy Christmas card that you were going to send anyway.

1. Same as above, but with a $10 Wal-Mart gift certificate or new MacBook Pro stuffed inside.

Top Ten Secrets of Savvy Freelancers

Posted: November 27th, 2009

Don’t you ever want to get inside the heads of the cream of the crop of freelancers? Well, look no further. I bring you ten long-kept secrets of the trade.

10. Always remember to ask your clients if they want to “super size” their orders.

9. Take care of that messy accounting and taxes by conveniently offering payment under the table.

8. The formula for your hourly rate is to take the hourly rate of the last job you had, then add to this the hourly rate they really should have given you. Then add your age to this for good measure.

7. Get a full 8 hours of sleep every 2 – 3 days.

6. Marketing is key so partner up with a Viagra email promoter.

5. Branding is also important so be sure to use a name like BMW Studios, Cisco Creations or Pepsi Productions. They won’t notice.

4. Never ever keep a client in the dark. The dark is for freelancers to lurk with the other vampires.

3. Always require a 125% deposit before starting any project.

2. Improve upon your skills by seeing what those damn 4th graders are doing nowadays.

1. Eliminate distractions in the bud by throwing out your computer.

Top Ten Tips On How Freelancers Can Kill Procrastination Dead In It’s Tracks

Posted: November 13th, 2009

Procrastination is a killer to freelancers. Work sits there waiting and you would rather sit there and pick your nose and wonder how that bug got up there. Time to set the priorities straight so here are ten tips to kill it… well, for the thirty seconds you take to read this, anyway.

10. Remember what happens if you don’t get to work. Your clients leave you, you don’t get paid, you starve and then you die. You don’t want to die do you?

9. Make a to-do list. Look it over carefully. Revise it. Look it over again. Memorize it. Read it out loud in front of the mirror. Maybe start it if you have time.

8. Close your eyes and relax. Now imagine that estimate due yesterday is a nice fat cheeseburger. Mmmm cheeseburgers… and that reply you have to send to Mr. Jones about nothing working is a huge chocolate shake. Vanilla? Ok, vanilla it is. Yeah, don’t lie. You know you’re liking work now.

7. Just so you can get started and not have your friends bother you, send a tweet, “WILL EVERYONE PLEASE SHUT THE HELL UP… I HAVE TO WORK OK?” They’ll get the message.

6. Getting up to make a pot of coffee probably isn’t procrastinating so do that.

5. You know, there are a lot of starving freelancers out there that would like to get just half of what you’re getting for work you are putting off now. Ahem…. WINK WINK.

4. Find a way to get paid for napping, surfing the blogs, tweeting and being on Facebook. Then you won’t have to worry about procrastination any longer, will you?

3. Procrastination is defined as a mechanism for coping with anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision. In other words performance anxiety. Hey look, you have performance anxiety! Ha ha ha ha ha!

2. Procrastination is also seen as an illness so drinking plenty of fluids and getting some rest ought to cure it.

1. There’s always the one tried and true method: dangle a carrot in front of the computer screen.

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