Useful lessons for freelancers – #10: Try everything

Try everything. You can’t predict where you will find work, or where work will find you. Explore your business world.

Try a little of everything and see what works. Fortune favours the brave.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #9: Volunteer Your Services

Volunteer your services. Better to be working for nothing than working at nothing. Most charities would love to hear from you. Help people. Make a difference. Do something wonderful.

And you don’t have to volunteer for charities – many small businesses struggle to exist. Help a friend or a friend’s friend to succeed in their new venture. Each bit of experience you collect has massive potential benefits:

  • CV enhancement
  • New contacts
  • Karma credits
  • Testimonials

So I recommend that you embrace any opportunity to get involved. Of course, be careful not to get a reputation as the person who does things for free.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #8: Market yourself

Without regular, persistent, thoughtful marketing, most freelancers would not last long out of regular employment.

So don’t forget to market yourself. You are a brand, a business and a person. All three are marketable. Some people shy away from marketing, perhaps because it sounds too American and corporate, but to me ‘marketing’ just means telling people that you exist. If you’re offering a good, professional service there’s no reason why you shouldn’t let people know.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #6: It’s a fight

This thought is probably more useful to people considering a freelance career, rather than those who’ve already taken the plunge:

Freelancing is not an easy option. Freelancers are constantly finding jobs, losing jobs, finding jobs, losing jobs… Freelancing means fluctuating fortunes, financial roller-coaster rides, and a constant fight for success.

And I love all that – but it’s definitely not easy.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #5: Don’t rely on anything

Don’t rely on anything.

Projects fall through, get put back. If you’re relying on one project or one client then you’re in a dangerous position. Have fall-back options. And sometimes it’s better to be slightly doubled-up with work because so many things get delayed. If you space everything out too much you will probably find yourself waiting for things to happen, earning nothing.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #4: Adopt a Karmic attitude

Adopt a karmic attitude to life. Be awesome to people. Do great work.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #3: Do admin

You need to spend time doing administrative tasks (filing, record-keeping, paper-work – call it what you will).

It’s a nuisance, but it has to happen. Keep everything tidy, and file things systematically on your computer.

Book-keeping is boring but necessary.

Useful lessons for freelancers – #2: Make ’em pay!

If you don’t value your skills, nobody else will. So make sure people pay for your time!

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