Get Started! Freelancing On The Rise

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Freelancing

Ahhhh, the life of a freelancer. Sipping on Starbucks, while surfing the Internet, sending emails and working on projects on a park bench among the company of singing birds, trees and lots of sunshine. While freelancing does carry some appeal because of the freedom it offers to independent contractors, it’s not for everyone. It requires a firm grasp of organization in your financial and professional life. Whether you work in the editing, photography, graphic design or writing industry, having a degree of self-discipline and a strong sense of initiative are essential traits as well.

Amy Levin-Epstein of MoneyWatch on CBSNews.com wrote a recent article on how freelancers can get the most out of their tax return. If you haven’t even thought about filing your taxes yet, read on. Below you will find a few suggestions from freelancing professionals who have been around the block.

Create A Virtual Portfolio

If you are working in the graphic/web design or game-creation industry, it is possible that you already have an online portfolio or website, but if you are an editor, writer or photographer, you should have a virtual portfolio or website as well. Econsultancy.com suggests that freelancers use their own name or their company name as a domain name and use WordPress.com to create an easy to update site. If you are looking for a reliable hosting company that offers a virtual private server that will allow you to back up files and organize your contacts and other data, Windows VPS hosting at MyHosting is a possible option that is affordable and offers you the professional edge you need to stoke a client’s interest.

Build a Network

Author of “The Freelancer’s Bible” and founder of the advocacy group, Freelancer’s Union, Sara Horowitz told Marketplace that the smart freelancer will consider their network to start with family and friends and then branch out from there. Contact old colleagues on LinkedIn and get them to endorse your abilities and endorse them as well. You will find that potential clients can be sought after through the existing connections that you already have and keep in close contact with all of them, checking in regularly to see if there is any work to be had.

Contracts and Payment

Freelancing

Just because you freelance doesn’t mean that the work you do is free. Even if your first couple of jobs are freebies, make sure you have the client sign a contract stating the terms before you spend time on a project. FreelancersUnion.org offers sample contracts that you can download, change and use as your own. One good way to ensure that you can receive fast and easy payment for your services is to set up a PayPal account or another form of online payment. If your clients insist on paying you by check and will not do direct deposit, let them know that this will push their project down to a lower level on your list of priorities. Be strong and let them know that your time is worth money and that you will accommodate their needs if your needs are met.

To find out more useful information on health insurance for freelancers and more tips on how to get clients and referrals so you can stay in business year round, visit FreelancersMedical.org and WorkMarket.com. Remember, freelancing works best for people who love what they do and do what they love, not for slackers or the faint of heart.

About Bridgette Denis

Bridgette is a photographer who designs and creates dog and kitty costumes. She love dressing up her pets and the pets of her clients. She also writes regular blogs on how to create your own pet costumes.

  • Andi Leeman

    I am yet to get a freelance job but I am ready! My time is worth money and I will make sure people know that. Payment via Paypal only… :-) none of that waiting for cheques in the post kerfuffle.

    Thank you for the link to the site where you can get contracts from, that is worth a lot and definitely worth a look. Just having a contract looks like you mean business and not one to be messed around which I think is a great way to start.

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Not only do contracts look more professional, but they protect you. When you aren’t dealing with a client face to face, it can be a risk not having a contract set up as they could do a runner without paying.

  • https://www.facebook.com/MissClairT Clair Trebes

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve done a bit of freelance work here and there since starting my Social Media business, and it is great to have that kind of flexibility. My work has mostly been one off jobs and sessions with people, but that kind of suits me. I like the variation and wondering where the next job might be / what it might be!

    Great link like Andi said for the contracts part of things, that will come in really useful for me too.

    And yes, payment via Paypal ….. what a godsend, how did any of us ever manage without paypal! I only use my cheque book now to pay parking fines! ;)

    It takes a lot of discipline and patience to work freelance and as much as I’d love to be outside in the garden or in starbucks, the reality is i’m locked away in my little office or sat on my sofa reading ….. I think the ideal of the glamour is way better than my reality of it! :D

    Clair

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      What people “think” freelancing is like and what it “actually” is like is VERY different. Yes, it may sound great to be able to work in a coffee shop, but the vast majority of people don’t. It’s just like a regular job really, just that you have to find the actual work yourself.

      That said, it can be a great income source if you implement it. I do some freelance work for clients now and again and it’s one of my best income generating streams.

  • http://twitter.com/JohnBanksBlog John Banks

    Yes, I have often thought about this – this has really helped set me on the right track. I will be studying this further – thanks to Bridgette!

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi John! Glad Bridgette’s post helped, certainly helped me :)

  • Nirmala Santhakumar

    Yes, freelancing is getting popular among the people now days. Having strong basic skills with patience would let to earn a consistent online income in the near future. Nice post, thanks for sharing.

    • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

      Hi Nirmala,

      You’re right, there are more people doing freelance work these days. It’s so much easier to find work online than it used to be. I would imagine more people will do it in the near future as well

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  • http://onlineincometeacher.com/ Matt Smith

    Hi Crystal,

    I’ll have to check that site out. Thanks for letting us know :)