The following is a guest post by Elizabeth Phillips, a freelance technology writer.
Over the years, we’ve gained some desk space, thanks to technological advances. Computers are less invasive than they once were. Towers are smaller, if you even have one. In an age of flat-screen monitors and laptops, there’s much less bulk, less mechanical hum and fewer wires stretching over, behind and around your workspace.
The trend continues, with a box full (a small box, at that) of gadgets that’ll cut down on your desk load even further. What will you do with the extra space? We’ll guess more photos, an expansive bobblehead collection and bigger sandwiches at lunch time.
The following is a guest post written by Sonja Mishek, a Social Media/Interactive Marketing Consultant:
Businesses of all types and sizes are recognizing the importance of being on social networks such as twitter and Facebook to build brand awareness and connect with their customers.
Social media is no longer a fad. It’s now a necessary part of doing business and a credibility issue. Years ago, a business simply had to have a website. Now, they are required to be on google maps, Facebook, Twitter, and so forth for customers to find them.
Unfortunately, businesses tend to be behind in the social media race. Most are not familiar about how to implement a social media strategy, let alone have experienced employees to tackle the task.
That’s where YOU come in – even if you have no experience.
Here are 7 steps to start your own freelance social media consultant business:
First of all, this is not an advertisement. I’ve been using FreshBooks for a few months now and I absolutely love it. It just works so perfectly and saves me so much time and allows me to collect more from clients in my freelancing business. This is my honest & sincere endorsement.
As a freelancer like me, your time is extremely valuable. You’ll need software that is straight to the point and easy to use. This is where FreshBooks comes in. FreshBooks is cloud-based accounting software primarily for service-driven small businesses, which is perfect for freelancers and small agencies. To us freelancers, it’s a timekeeping and billing service allowing a variety of uses such as invoicing, expense tracking and time tracking. It also has accounting reports and tax features.
Many creative, independently-minded people find, when they finish schooling and get out into the workforce, that they do not enjoy holding a staff position at an agency or publication. These individuals may find they have a need for autonomy, or would like to work a more flexible schedule than a 9-to-5 job provides. For such a person, self-employment is often the answer to their needs and desires. Instead of going in to an office, working at the same desk all the time, and always doing the same types of projects, a freelancer enjoys the freedom of doing business on his own terms; and no one employer is there to restrict his potential creativity. Due to these perks, more professionals across a broad spectrum of industries are choosing to pursue self-employment.
Freelance work means you can earn money without dealing with a boss. Although this is a dream job for many, you need to be able to survive the stress that accompanies it. Like any other job, freelancers can experience enormous amounts of stress and anxiety. Here are some survival tips.
If you want to have a full schedule of projects and a list of solid clients to draw from, there is one key ingredient that many newcomers to freelancing do not budget enough time for – that’s prospecting for new projects and new clients.
In my book, The Fast Track to Freelance Success Online, I made the statement that my bidding ratio is 30 to 1. That means that I may bid on an average of 30 different projects in order to be awarded one. One of my readers commented on that statistic. She had given up after bidding on less than six projects on the freelance bidding sites. She’s going to go back and will put a bit more effort into the process.
That ratio is simply my own estimate and does require some qualification. First, one project might mean doing a single press release, it might mean a set of six blog articles, or it might mean an ongoing order for 10 articles a week. Not all projects are created equal.
Being a freelancer is ideal in many ways: you can set your own schedule, you can work around emergencies that pop up and you can be in control of your time and the money that you make. However, freelance work can sometimes fluctuate and be undependable. People turn to freelance work for a variety of reasons. Mothers may want to make a little extra money while their children are at school. Parents may prefer to work from home to maintain a better work/life balance. A slow economy may make it difficult for someone to reenter the work force. Regardless of the reason, by following some basic rules, you can become a successful freelancer.
Owning a freelance business is a dream come true for many people. It gives you complete control of your life and your own schedule. It is ideal for those with family obligations that make a “normal” work schedule difficult. Freelancing can be ideal, but it is business ownership, so you must work hard to create success. In addition to your projects, you also need to market your business, and handle administrative tasks, all while maintaining your health and home. Achieving this balance is challenging, but it is easier if you focus on a few important things.
There are all sorts of reasons to want to go freelance. You want to be in charge of your daily schedule, your income and every area of your life. Of course, becoming a successful freelancer is really difficult, as it takes time to build a solid client base. It all starts, however, with that very first job. It all starts with one person saying yes to what you have to offer. So how do you do get that first paycheck? Here are a few techniques to help you reach this goal.
There are a million awesome things about freelancing. You are your own boss. You set your hours. If the weather’s nice, you can stop and take the dog out for a jaunt in the park. You get to do what you love, every day, and nobody else takes credit for your hard work. Having built your own business gives you an incredible feeling of accomplishment.
It’s not all butterflies and roses and three-hour lunch breaks, though. I’ve found that some of the biggest—and least expected—challenges I face as a freelancer have been problems of perspective, of priorities, of wondering if this really is a legitimate career. In other words, the “mental” side of freelancing.
Below are three things I’ve struggled with, along with some solutions that work for me. If you have anything to add, either a problem or a solution, please leave a comment!
Work wherever you want — one of the priceless benefits of freelancing
The Priceless Lifestyle
Freelancing is not just about the money or the potential to make money. Actually, it’s mostly not about the money. It’s about the fantastic, liberating lifestyle that accompanies it. It’s the magnificent freedom to…
- Do the work that I love
- Work when I want
- Work where I want
- Work with who I want
- Be my own boss
- Have no limits
We freelancers often have an unsteady, unpredictable flow of work to do for clients. One month might be painfully slow and the next crazy busy. If you’re going through a time when you don’t have much client work to do, here are 5 highly productive tasks you can do to improve your knowledge & skills and to attract new projects from new and existing clients.