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.