|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:35 AM|
In the last article, I looked at per piece and per hour project pricing models for freelancers. Today, it’s time to look at pricing per project. This strategy offers protection for both freelancers and clients, but you have to do it right.
Image credit: 401K
Pricing per project
Give a project price and both you and your client know exactly where you are. The question is, how do you create a good project price? The work you have already done to set your target hourly rate will help you with this process. The other thing you need to know is how long it will take you to do key project tasks. It’s always a good idea to time yourself for a while when doing projects so you know what’s realistic. You’d be surprised how much ‘working’ time is spent on searching for gigs, updating social media and random web surfing. If you want to have a handle on the real figures, use a time tracking tool such asRescue Time. Tools like this work in the background and give you reports on what you’ve been doing and how productive you are.
Fine tuning the project price
Once you know how many hours you spend on a freelance project multiply this by your hourly rate to get the basic price — but hold on: that’s not the price you’re going to charge. That’s because most projects don’t go completely smoothly. Add in a couple of hours for revisions and unforeseen extras that always come up; that should give you a project price you can live with. A word of warning — you don’t want to price yourself out of the market. Check out your competitors’ websites and the results of freelance income surveys to see how your rates compare. If your rate is double everyone else’s then you’d better have a good reason why, which brings me to the next point.
Pricing by expertise
There’s another factor that will affect your pricing strategy. If you are an expert, you can charge more. Your client isn’t just paying for the project but for the wealth of accumulated knowledge and skill you will use to deliver their project. The risk here is that the client will go to someone almost as good and much cheaper, so you need to have your credentials ready to display. A great freelancer portfolio and a narrative about why you are worth every penny will help you here.
Raising your rates
The final piece of the pricing puzzle is adjusting your prices from time to time. Every year your costs rise with inflation, so your prices have to increase to match. You also become more expert in your field. And you may also branch out into additional services that add value for clients. How do you increase prices without losing clients? Here are some tips for letting your clients know what they are getting:
* Get a great freelancer portfolio and share it everywhere. Make sure that you show off the full range of your skills, include recommendations and have links to other online hangouts like Twitter and LinkedIn.
* When you write up your services on your website or portfolio site, highlight the benefits to clients.
* Include testimonials from happy clients.
* Focus on attracting clients who value expertise over price.
* Make it clear either on your site or in your client communications that you raise rates from time to time so there won’t be any surprises.
If you have the experience in your field and can prove it, then you can be confident in raising your rates when the time is right. One option if you’re not sure is to raise your rates for new clients and give existing clients a temporary discount. You can use this method to test what the market will bear. If there’s no pushback, then you can implement the rates raise across the board. What strategies have you tried?
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:35 AM|
Finding a project you love is only half the battle of freelancing; landing it is more of a challenge. One of the biggest headaches for freelancers is how to price your services. This is not just a problem for new freelancers, who often find pricing a struggle, but also for experienced freelancers branching out into a new area. Here are some tips on setting the appropriate price for the job.
Image credit: 401K
Preparation: what do you want to earn?
Sometimes it’s tempting when bidding for a project to:
* see what others have bid and match it
* pull a figure out of the air, cross your fingers and hope
While we’ve probably all done this at some point, in the long run it’s not a sensible way to operate. Matching what others have bid doesn’t make sense because you might have different skills and different costs from other freelancers. Pulling a figure out of the air doesn’t work because it has no relation to the amount of work you will do (or the taxes you will have to pay on your income). As a professional freelancer, you need a better pricing strategy. Here are some options.
Pricing per piece
Some freelancers price per piece of work. For writers this might mean a per word rate; for designers it might mean that a logo of a certain size costs the client a certain amount. That can work for some projects, where you know that you are doing roughly the same amount of work and using the same amount of resources each time for a particular job. But be careful with this. Any freelance writer knows that charging 8 cents a word for a 300 word article only works out if you don’t have to do complex research or multiple revisions. If the job parameters change, even a project you thought would pay well might not be good business.
Pricing per hour
Other freelancers charge on an hourly basis. If you do plan to charge per hour, you need to know two crucial pieces of information:
* how long the project is going to take you
* how much you need to earn to collect your target hourly rate.
Let me explain that last one. When you map out the year ahead, there are certain figures you need to have in mind:
* how much money you want to have in your pocket each month and for the year as a whole.
* how much extra you need to earn to cover taxes, health insurance, vacation time, marketing, equipment, administration and unexpected expenses.
* how many weeks you plan to work each year and how many hours you plan to work each week.
You can use those figures to come up with a target hourly rate. Don’t be surprised if you find that the rate you thought you needed to earn is a little on the low side. Ask any experienced freelancer and you’ll find that this is part of the learning curve.
Pricing per hour can work for freelancers, but some clients are unhappy with that model because they think the final bill has no ceiling. As a freelancer you can address that by giving clients an estimate of the number of hours needed per job so they know they can control their costs.
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:30 AM|
Bidding for freelance projects is not an exact science. Especially when starting out, we can accept a rate for a project and then realize that we’ve actually undercut ourselves by not taking into account all of the little extra things we do on projects that we don’t count on the bid. Here are a few examples of costs we may forget to think of when pricing a job.
Mistake No. 1: The Cost of Research
When I first started freelancing, I was happy to get a gig writing 100 articles on an aspect of the finance industry. As many new freelancers do, I hunted around for what I thought was a suitable rate per article, placed my bid and was very pleased when I landed the gig. However, by the end of it, I wished that I had charged more. Because of the specifics of the job and demand that the content needed not to flout restrictions about financial probity, I had to do a lot more research on the topic than I would have normally. – That took considerable time; time that I wasn’t being paid for. Of course, I completed the job for the agreed rate, but I never made that mistake again.
Solution: Include a couple of hours of research time when you’re deciding what to bid; more if it’s an unfamiliar subject.
Mistake No. 2: The Cost of Communication
While it would be wrong to charge your client for communication that’s in the normal run of business (things like submitting progress reports and confirming receipt of project details), communication on some projects can spiral out of control. Micromanaging clients or those with whom you haven’t worked out a clear brief can mean you spend extra time on emails, reports and phone calls — and that time is a cost, too.
This was one I learned from an older, wiser freelancer when I was new to the game. We met to discuss a project, concluded the meeting successfully and worked out a project price. Then she said: “And don’t forget to add on an hour for travel and the time spent at the meeting.” That was all it took to remind me to include a missing piece of the bidding pie. Remember, if you are on the phone or in a meeting with one client, you are not actually earning money unless you have included that time in your bid.
Mistake No. 3: The Little Extras
There are always extras in every freelance job. For writers, it might be an extra round of revisions because there was a misunderstanding about the brief. For bloggers, it might be the expectation that you will be on hand to answer all comments for your post. And generally, many clients like it when you give the articles you write for them a bit of social media love (unless they are ghostwritten and sometimes even if they are). Let’s be clear — all of this takes time and time is money. If this is going to be part of the package, then include some time for them in your bid. Tweeting one article might only take a couple of seconds, but what if it’s ten, one hundred or more? And let’s not forget about health insurance and tax — as a freelancer your project rate needs to take these outgoings into account.
Solution: Build in remuneration for those “extras” into your bid.
Bonus Mistake: Undervaluing Your Skills
This mistake often affects freelancers who price by the hour, rather than by the project. The more you develop your writing skills, the faster and more accurate you will get and the quicker you will be able to do a project. Pricing by the hour focuses on the time element and ignores the skill element, so you actually lose more money the better you get. When you pay big bucks to your doctor, you’re not paying for the 10 minute consultation, but for the 10+ years of training that got him to that chair. It’s the same with freelancing skills – and you’d better remember that when you set your price.
Solution: Price by the project, not by the hour.
The overarching lesson in all of this is to be clear on what a project really involves. To do that, the next time you do a typical project, write down the different steps from start to finish. Keep track of the time everything takes. Is your rate reflecting the actual time you spent? If it is, then you’re on the right track with project pricing. If not, check your bidding process again and see whether you’ve made any of these mistakes.
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:10 AM|
The thing about being a freelancer is TIME.
Because the minute you decide to put your slippers on and become a freelancer, you’ve suddenly become more than just a designer, developer, writer… or whatever it is you rock at.
Now you’ve also got to keep track of your hours, expenses, purchases, taxes, meet with clients, communicate with them etc.
It’s tough. But there are some great tools out there that’ll make that stuff so much easier.
We asked hundreds of awesome Donanza freelancers what are their favorite freelancer tools, and put together this comprehensive list of the best tools for 2013.
Check them out, use them, share them with your other freelancer pals, and let us know if there’s anything we missed that MUST be on there, before the year is out.
First thing you need to take care of when you’re freelancing is tracking your time.
Key Feature: Literally get started right away.Such good UI that you don’t even need a tutorial to start.
Key Feature: Really easy to create and edit time sheets. Plus the timer opens up in a new window which makes you less likely to forget you’ve got it on and ticking away.
Key Feature: If all you’re after is a basic time tracker then the this is it. (They have a pro account but you’re better off going for Harvest or Freshbooks if you want more tools).
Keeping track of all your accounts is no walk in the park.
Using an all-round accounting tool will save you a ton of time dealing with your company’s invoices, estimates, expenses and bookkeeping. AND guarantee you get paid on time.
Key Feature: Practically replaces your accountant and with a brilliant User Interface you’ll get everything done in half the time.
Key Feature: It’s free, and so comprehensive that it alerts you if your current spending doesn’t match your usual spending habits change. The only thing is that it’s only available in the US right now.
Key Feature: It’s free! And what’s nice is that it’s got a great user interface that lets you send out estimates, invoices and get paid online. Plus for a more complete accounting package you can upgrade for as little as $5 a month.
Key Feature:You can connect all your other tools with Freshbooks (like your basecamp, BatchBook PayPal accounts), for invoicing and online payment.
Key Feature: Let’s you get paid instantly. Plus it’s generally a great accounts tool that’ll help you stay organised and on-track with your invoicing and expenses.
Key Feature: So easy to use every aspect of Harvest that you practically have fun doing so. They’ve also got you covered when it comes to connecting your other tools to Harvest.
Key Feature: Makes accounting easy, accessible on all devices and shareable.
Key Feature: connects to your bank account to keep track of your overall finances.
Key Feature: Let’s you offer automatic online payment direct from invoices.
It’s so easy to lose track of all your expenses.
And it’s a huuuge hassle having to sit down and manually insert a massive pile of receipts into an invoice.
So these tools’ll do it for you…
Key Feature: You can get faster and cheaper cross-currency reimbursements as they support Bitcoin. Plus you can import expenses from credit cards and bank accounts.
Key Feature: Scans all your receipts and turns them into invoices plus automated receipt management
Key Feature: As well as scanning your receipts, Lemon offers an easy and secure digital wallet.
There’s always that point when you’re working on a project where half the team hasn’t seen your updates, you’ve forgotten what’s next on the schedule and everything feels like one big mess.
Project management tools keep you and the group collaboration organised, and in one place.
Key Feature: Free task manager. Easy to see and update tasks in order of priority and see who’s working on what, keep people updated and generally collaborate in an organised way.
Key Feature: You can store all files on Basecamp so that everyone knows where to find them. And you can see exactly who’s worked on what.
Key Feature: It’s free. You get updated in real time. Less comprehensive to Basecamp but let’s you work together, get the whole picture of projects and easily assign people to each task.
Key Feature: Great if you’re an Evernote user already. Also really easy way to gather all project material and collaborate together.
To Do Lists
Staying organised is the name of the game. Having your own personal to-do list is a big help.
Get The Milk
Key Feature: Its Free. Map where your tasks are located and get reminded of tasks you don’t forget a thing. Plus it works with Siri.
Key Feature: Its free and beautiful but also lets you invite friends or colleagues to view and help with tasks.
Key Feature: Its free and so easy to use and makes viewing all your lists possible in one glance. Perfect for in-depth list making
Key Feature: Free, basic and laid out in a weekly format. A great tool for short lists
So you’re well into a project and you’ve got some big-ass files you need to share with the rest of the team.
Key Feature: The quickest and easiest way to share and sync files on the cloud with specific groups and teams.
Key Feature: Lets you collaborate and share with a whole team without them having to sign up. Also a beautiful interface where you can drag and drop files, and even create a slideshow of what you’ve done.
Key Feature: Perfect if you’re all Chrome users and work with Google Docs. And it syncs with all your files on your computer for back-up
You’re gonna start building client relationships that need to be nurtured. A good CRM tool will come in handy.
And will help you keep track of proposals and deals.
Key Feature: Works together with email so that you can save conversations. You can also store all your contacts in one place, with all their information together on one screen.
Key Feature: Works and syncs across all devices making it easy to track all your relationships and sales on your smartphone or tablet.
Key Feature: Have a custom database to suit your size. Generally a great and reliable tool for strengthening your customer support and relationships
Key Feature: Customer support and relationships have gone social which is what makes batch-book so great because that’s where they are too: You can integrate you Hootsuite, MailChimp and other accounts for an up-to-date way to keep track of your customer relationships.
Somehow there always comes a point in a project where you need to source some awesome image for a presentation, your design work… etc.
Key Feature: An incredible range of photos, illustrations, videos and audio files to buy.
Key Feature: Pay-as-you-go option if you’re only looking for one image.
Key Feature: Great option if you buy royalty free images on a regular basis, they’ve got good plans and nice extras if you sign up like, “free image of the day”.
Key Feature: Get one-off images for free to download (you’ve just got to make sure there’s permission to download and use… you’ll normally have to credit the photographer).
Key Feature: If you’ve got a huge budget you can get your hands on some really amazing images here. But beware of the license expiration.
A blog is the perfect way for you to show off what you’re made of , plus your understanding and passion for the industry you’re in.
It’s also a fab way to create a following and a community where people can follow what you’re up to.
Key Feature: Free. Reliable, tons of templates and widgets, and really easy to use.
Key Feature: Simplicity rules with tumblr. It’s also free. Great for microblogging and as an image-rich, social blog. But not easy to customize and personalize the templates.
Key Feature: Beautiful templates but at a cost. A good choice for a personal blog with style.
Key Feature: If you want a basic very simple blog with an easy start then blogger is for you.
It’s all very well emailing to stay in touch but sometimes you just gotta see hear each other and see each other.
Key Feature: Free when you Skype-to-Skype. Use Skype for regular calls, video calls and written chats. Plus group calls.
Go To Meeting
Key Feature: A perfect tool if you’re going to hold large scale video meetings (up to 25 people)
We couldn’t find anywhere to put these tools but they’re too good not to be in here.
Key Feature: Makes wireframing your ideas to clients so easy and effective.
Key Feature: Heard of the Pomodoro technique? The idea is to help you focus and work by working in 25 minute increments and then taking a 5 minute break. Focus Booster times you and lets you know when it’s time for a break.
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:05 AM|
While big brands have long sought to be recognized as thought leaders in particular business areas, it’s now just as important for your own personal brand. Quora provides the platform for you to show your expertise across multiple subject areas and get you noticed, not just by your CV, but by the quality of your writing and knowledge.
In this article, I’ll look at how Quora can help you to find the right opportunities and have the right opportunities find you.
What is Quora?
Quora is a real-time questions and answers service. Launched in June 2009, it soon found a core audience in the Silicon Valley tech industry. This proved pivotal in driving uptake, as questions, especially from journalists, were getting answered by the people uniquely positioned to answer them. It has managed to stay relevant and authoritative as it has grown, blossoming into a vibrant and energetic community.
Quora: there are questions on a variety of topics, here it’s ‘How to get started as a freelancer’.
In Quora, anybody can post a question or an answer. Questions are divided into topics to make them easy to locate, and users can choose to follow individual questions or topics, receiving notifications whenever the question is updated. Answers can be voted up or down by users, dependent on their quality. The result of this is a series of questions with the best and most popular answers most visible.
Two newer additions are boards and credits. Boards allow users to curate content into pages where they can save interesting content from within Quora or on other sites. Other users can up- and down-vote content on a board in the same way that they can vote on a standard answer.
Credits are an in-service virtual currency. Credits can be earned by answering questions, getting your answers up-voted and also getting users to follow questions that you have asked. These earned credits can then be spent asking individual users to answer questions directly. All new users start with 500 credits to get them started. Both of these features can be used to your advantage.
How do I make the most of Quora?
1. Play your part
To establish yourself as an expert, answering questions is more important than asking them. By answering questions you start to build your online brand and create a marketable presence. Make sure you answer questions regularly, perhaps daily or weekly. To get people to vote your answer to the top of the pile, your answers should be considered, timely and authoritative. This is all about showing the depth and breadth of your knowledge. However, you should also choose your questions carefully; it may be difficult to make your answers stand out on overly popular questions. Find questions where your voice can be heard.
2. Follow the right topics
Identify the topic areas in which you have expertise – it will be where you can make the most impact. Follow them and make sure that you check each topic for new questions on a regular basis – getting the first answer in isn’t imperative, but it certainly helps get you noticed.
Other users can see the topics you follow on your profile, so these can form a good basis for showing others your interests. For each topic you follow, it’s also possible to write a short description of your experience in that topic. Make use of it to show people why they should read your contributions; the description gets shown next to your answer.
3. Follow the right people
Follow the thought-leaders within your own sphere of expertise and influence. These power users have a lot of followers, which will in turn get your answer a lot of visibility. The most erudite and revealing answers are not always from the most prominent users. Getting more up-votes on answers than established industry thought-leaders can be a powerful personal branding opportunity. Like many of the social networks, there are also many people who follow back if you follow them, so use them to swell your follower numbers.
4. Create your own board
Creating your own board is another good way to highlight your expertise and interests. Boards can include your own questions and answers on Quora, personal blog posts, paid blog posts and external articles, so can be used to showcase your contributions across many channels. Don’t be afraid to show your own work, even if it deals with niche subjects, Quora is a social network that relies on people’s expertise. If you have it, make sure that people know it. A good portfolio will help give your contributions more impact.
5. Fill out your profile
The profile section within Quora is pretty basic, but should not be ignored. A good title and bio is essential, and don’t forget a picture, it’s a crime to be seen with the ‘anonymous’ default image. If you want to stand out, make sure that people can put a face to the name. Finally, to increase visibility, make sure your contact permissions are open (allowing people to contact you and comment on your posts) and you’ve connected your other social networks.
How do I know I’ve been successful?
You’ll have some catching up to do to get as popular as Robert Scoble, but there’s no doubt that his influence is massive. He’s topical, opinionated and active.
While all success is relative, here are four ways to measure your influence.
People pay you to answer – if users are paying you their hard-earned credits to get your opinion, then you are definitely sending out the right messages.
People vote up your answers – good answers do get voted up, so if you find that your answers are regularly getting user’s votes, you can be sure that they are doing their job.
People follow you – like any social platform, good content drives followers. If you are producing good answers on a regular basis (or asking good questions), you should see the number of followers swell.
People start to contact you – best of all, if you’re getting involved and making an impact, you should get people contacting you. Make sure you have included a link to your personal homepage or to another social media account in your profile; users will not always contact you directly through Quora.
Why wait? Get started!
If you want any more proof, a certain editor not far from this blog once said to me: “I actually got in contact with a number of freelancers by seeing their answers on Quora.” For me, that seals the deal.
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:05 AM|
As a freelancer, you’re going to find yourself working with a multitude of clients. In some cases you’ll work with them just one time, while in others you’ll have the opportunity to develop lasting business relationships. Regardless if a client is new or old, it’s important to treat each project as new and be sure to understand exactly what the client wants.
Don’t ever make assumptions
Understanding the client’s expectations is crucial. Do not work based on assumptions. It’s vital to gain as much information from the client as possible before beginning and in some cases before accepting the job. Sometimes, a client may know they want an app, but have no idea what kind, what it should be for, or even whether it’s a reality. Other times you’ll have a client capable of providing you with in-depth details but doesn’t due to time constraints or communications issues.
It’s important to ask the client to explain their vision of the completed project. If they can articulate details, chances are they have done their homework and will provide you with a comprehensive framework of their vision. If their answers are broad in scope, vague or full of uncertainties, you may find yourself working with someone who is uncertain of the realities behind their request. These types of clients will depend upon your expertise for industry insights and project completion.
Question, Question, Question
To help fully analyze a client’s wishes, ask a few questions to gain a better perspective. You may need to adjust the questions based upon the project or the industry, but they may include question such as:
Who is the target audience the app/article/website?
What do you expect this project to do for your business?
Where do you expect this to go live or be published?
How did you come up with this project? Are any of your competitors doing something similar?
What is the time frame for completion?
What voice would you like this completed in? (Although this seems like a question for writers, this is essential in nearly all industries. The voice can be serious, whimsical, casual, or just about anything else.)
In addition to getting detailed information from the client, as a freelancer, it may be in your best interest to develop an outline or contract detailing the stages of the project. Consider having the client sign off on the project’s progress at pre-defined stopping points. For example, a website developer may want to have the client agree to the design structure after just a few pages are completed. This will help ensure the designer’s interpretation of the client’s wishes is truly in-line with what they want. By giving clients the opportunity to give feedback along the way will minimized the risk of them scrapping the project after completion because it’s not meeting their expectations or visions.
Unrealistic clients are par for the course
Inevitably, you’ll end up working with a client who has unrealistic expectations through all phases of a project. There may be some tell-tale signs, like constant phone calls or emails asking for updates, pressing for completion before the due date or nitpicking each and every detail. Despite extensive pre-assignment communications, you may also run across the know-it-all client who asserts his “knowledge” throughout the task, attempting to force your hand in a direction that may or may not be good for the end results.
As a freelancer, developing a communication protocol for each and every project is essential to fully understand the desires of each client. You may find that a stock template of questions works or you may need to customize your queries for each client or job. Regardless, communications before, during and after the project are vital to your success and your client’s happiness.
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM|
There is no doubt that a person’s gift of gab can take him to inexplicable career heights that even he might not be expecting. Communication skills, both in writing and speaking, can help a freelancer acquire numerous jobs; each of which has different nature which gives him options and growth opportunities as a home based worker. This proves that now more than ever is the best time to learn to be a good English speaker, writer and– listener? Read on.
We’re certain that we have caught your attention there. Here is a trivia: If you have not noticed yet, transcription is on the fifth spot in Donanza’s September Top 10 Most Popular Searches but it is not in Donanza’s 50 Most Required Skills. Puzzling, right? Whether there is demand for this service or not is definitely no issue. The result can only mean that freelance job transcription opportunities are just around the corner completely unnoticed.
Now, you might argue that if clients need transcription jobs, then why don’t they post job openings for it in freelance bidding sites? Well, it may sound unfair, but unless it is really urgent; no client will proactively reach out to you to send you projects— and this does not only apply to freelance job transcription opportunities, but to all other freelance jobs as well. Therefore, as frequently mentioned here in www.donanza.com, keep in mind that jobs won’t find you so you should be the one to do the looking. This said, we have prepared the following tips to help freelancers address the growing need for freelance transcriptionists by finding their job ads and taking advantage of them.
1. Utilize Google
Never underestimate the power of your fingertips! The reason you may not be seeing transcription freelance jobs a lot in bidding sites is because they’re not posted there at all! They may be on the ‘Careers’ page of a potential client’s website for all we know. Therefore, you may need to exhaust all of your resources– and these resources include search engines. Simply type in the relevant keywords in the search bar and hit go/search. Should you need help with keywords, we’ve listed some that you can use in your search;
- General Transcription
- Legal Transcription
- Court Reporters
2. Network with fellow transcriptionists
Nothing beats a good network that won’t only help you find freelance jobs, but can also share valuable tips and advice that can motivate you to keep going with your search and eventually, find these elusive freelance job transcription opportunities. Forums such as that in www.TranscriptionEssentials.com is a good venue to where you can start realizing your professional networking goals.
3. Read through advertisements
This is fairly easy. All you’ll need to do is to read through the advertisements available in the page where you get your daily dose of freelance job transcription tips, advice and tricks or even on the same page where you get your job leads.
Finally, it is also crucial that you understand that finding freelance jobs is not yet the end of your journey— it is only the beginning. You need to have prerequisites prior to it such as a resume and cover letter that converts and/or skill enhancement. And the most challenging amongst all these: You’ll need to keep your clients. After all, it has not been easy for you to find them. Make the most out of your efforts.
|Posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:00 AM|
Are you a freelance Web Designer? Looking for some extra cash to help you attain your goal to be financially independent in the near future? No time for more work? If your answer to all these questions is a BIG YES, then read on (Don’t worry, this is not a get rich quick scheme!).
A lot of Web Designers would be delighted to know that they can ‘passively’ earn a good sum of money in the Web. What you are about to read here is not at all a secret for most tenured designers, but can absolutely be a good reference for new Web Designers with budding freelance careers. So here we go with some of the known ways for Web Designers to gain passive income;
Affiliate Marketing – This one is the most known option amongst all others listed here. This is in no way a surprise for most of us because affiliate marketing is viable money making option not only for Web Designers, but also for ‘almost anyone’ who owns a blog. Web Designers have an edge over all others however because they have been gifted with skills to alter a page’s design for an affiliate banner to blend well with the other elements of the blog.
Consulting Services – Offering a service such this is another viable source of passive income for Web Designers. We are pretty certain that a lot of ‘traditionally employed people’ would want to know how you earn at the comforts of your home. Give them a helping hand while gaining monetary benefits in return. Now, you may argue that this is in no way a passive source of income as it will require you to spend time teaching others to learn your craft. You are partly right, but just think of it this way: No matter how busy you are, you’ll need some time off work and you’ll need a social life. Spend some time socializing while still earning by sharing to others what you enjoy doing.
Resell Hosting – Now is the time to see the opportunities right in front of you! You are designing websites so why not consider being a one-stop-shop to your clients? Well, this is not at all too laborious to do. Simply tell your client that you also offer hosting (and make sure you really do!). Saves them time spent on looking for a reliable hosting provider.
Sell themes – Again, you may argue that this option is not at all a source of passive income because you will obviously need to spend hours designing a theme. But hey, we’re certain that once in your career, you’ve done some experiments and you’ve come up with some mediocre work. Why not do some touch up on these designs and sell these themes at an affordable price. Not only will this help you build a brand of your own, but will also help you raise some funds for business expanding purposes.
This list contains the options that will help you gain extra income while keeping a constant and more reliable stream of earnings through freelance jobs. This post not only serves as a resource for you to find more opportunities, but also serves as an eye opener towards seeing the web as a good start for any business endeavor.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:55 PM|
Big businesses get big attention for the work they do in their communities. Companies like Microsoft, Pfizer, Oracle and Merck rank atop the list of organizations committed to charitable giving. These companies donate large sums of money in hopes that will pay off in the long run, both for their organizations of choice and their businesses.
As a freelancer, how can you make a difference in your community without having the resources of a Fortune 500 company? The answer is simple: Offer your services pro bono. It’s a win-win situation. You gain the satisfaction of helping the nonprofit and, in many cases, can leverage the work you do for press coverage.
As an independent freelancer, taking the initiative to help out a local organization is a great way to provide a much-needed service that may fall through the cracks during budget negotiations. For example, the local women’s shelter may have an outdated website that needs restructuring, but lack the funds to hire a web designer and don’t have the skill sets to do it themselves. A freelance designer could easily transform the site and in return reap the benefits of the in-kind donation.
The opportunities are nearly endless. More than likely, your skill set matches an unmet need within an organization. For instance, if you’re a developer you could help optimize a mobile website for the Alzheimer’s Association or create landing pages for donations and volunteers for a local Habitat for Humanity project. Or maybe you can develop an app specifically for the organization’s cause, which can be used at the local level or possibly instituted nationally. Photographers and videographers can work with animal shelters to help spotlight the animals in need of homes on social media sites like Facebook and YouTube. Freelance marketers can work to maximize digital content or offer to write press releases for the local branch of the American Cancer Society.
Most charitable organizations have needs that span beyond cash donations. It’s not hard to find a group that could benefit from freelance design, business development or marketing services. Do a Google search for nonprofits in your area, or check out sites like Idealist.org and seek out those with missions in line with your own values. Brainstorm how you can help them, reach out to their director and before long, you could be making a valuable contribution to a local or national charity.
Once your project nears completion, or you’re ready to announce your contributions, it’s perfectly acceptable to promote it. Nonprofits don’t shy away from the limelight and will gladly help promote the work you’ve done in support of their cause. Showcasing your altruism and your abilities may lead to new opportunities. Post it to your website, Facebook, and Twitter. And don’t forget to network with the people you meet while working on the project. As a freelancer, you never know where your next job may come from.
A word of caution: Don’t offer to do the work if you don’t believe in the cause. If you’re simply looking for the free publicity, think again. Your passion – or lack thereof – for the organization’s mission will show through in the work you produce. Seek to create partnerships with groups supporting causes you firmly believe in, and you’ll produce quality work that you can be proud of and will benefit all parties.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:55 PM|
Whether you have just decided to join the shift from the regular nine-to-five work schedule to the flexible hours of freelancing or have been around in the home based industry for quite some time now; setting up your rate will still appear to be quite tricky. Consider these factors to be able to come up with a rate that is not too low nor too high.
This is one of the most obvious and critical factors to consider when setting up your rate for a freelance job. Make sure you are not working for nothing. Sure, there are limited expenses to take care of in freelancing since it is home based, but you need to bear in mind that the work you do now requires you to use your own resources and these only means having higher bills for phone usage, electricity and computer maintenance.
YOUR ROI & PROFIT
This is business so you surely are to expect some return of investment and some profit on top of it. It is critical that you keep a watch of your earnings to make sure that you are gaining monetary value from your freelance job.
THE DEMAND FOR YOUR SKILLS
There are some skills that are currently of great demand (refer to Global Freelance Market Trends – July 2009). If your skills appear to be somewhat hard-to-find, then you surely deserve some rate extras. However, if you feel that your skills demand is on a decline, it is necessary for you to lower your rate a bit in order to compete amongst those who does the same freelance job as you do or is in the same boat as you are.
This is what most of us refer to as industry standards. This is a little difficult to determine as it varies depending on most factors considered. Additionally, there are very few resources to refer to on the web that has the statistics with regard to the rate of freelancers. Therefore, the best thing to do is to look around and ask. Doing so will at least give you the idea of how much the others charge and compete for the freelance job that you are aiming for accordingly.
Most often think that it is quite unfair to not be able to get a freelance job simply because of lack of experience— this may have a basis. However, with regard to setting up your rate; you can never really argue even if you feel that your skills deserve the same rate as the experienced freelancers charge. This is a privilege that they get to enjoy for staying in the industry. Additionally, clients are more comfortable to pay higher for services of those who are considered tenured as they feel these people are more capable of arriving at quality outputs.
You should never charge below your standards, however, it is also to be noted that there will be times when you will need to adjust depending on the kind of client and of the freelance job. A job that will allow you to grow in your field should be given considerations despite a lower rate. Similarly, a client who has been very good to work with should also be given considerations during rate negotiations. This won’t simply come out as an act of goodwill, but as an effort to maintain a good relationship with a priced client.
Finally, it is always best to keep a good head on your shoulders whenever you bid or quote a fixed price or hourly rate for a project. Keep everything as standard as possible while keeping in mind the important exceptions that are necessary to be done every now and then. A couple of cents difference is not bad anyway if you get to keep a very good client in the long run.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:55 PM|
Freelancing Isn’t Free
To make a living as a freelancer, you need to be paid for the work you do. Setting your rates is an important but difficult decision for many creatives entering the market; you don’t want to undercharge but you don’t want to miss any opportunities because your rates are too high. Knowing what you need is the first step in determining what your rates should be.
When I made the decision to go full-time freelance, I looked at my expenses from the previous year to see how much I would need to maintain my lifestyle. Once I had an annual amount, I broke that down into a monthly and daily increments. This allows me to review my earning each day. If I didn’t hit my daily target, I know that tomorrow will need to be more productive.
Estimating Expenses and Hours
Many freelancers use the following basic formula as a starting point for setting rates:
(Annual expenses + savings) ÷ billable hours = expected minimum hourly rate
For example, if you need to cover $25,000 in expenses, want to save $5,000, and expect to bill 1,000 hours, your rate should be $30 per hour.
Here are some tips for estimating how your variables plug into this equation:
Take a look at what you spent last year, but keep a close eye on your expenses on a weekly/monthly basis or else you’re likely to have a nasty surprise at the end of the year. Expect your expenses to change from your pre-freelance days, as there are some things you might not have to pay for now that you’re working from home, such as transportation, parking, lunch/coffee break treats, etc. But you’re probably going to pick up a few new expenses, like software, communications, office supplies (stealing from work is no longer an option…), motivational treats, gym memberships to burn off the motivational treats, etc.
Now that you’re self-employed, there’s no employer deducting the proper amount from each paycheck. True, being self-employed allows you to enjoy more tax savings through allowable write-offs, but for US and Canadian freelancers, expect to give at least a third of whatever you collect back to your government. Make sure to account for your taxes in your annual expenses. Depending on where you’re working, you might also have to collect taxes on the services you’re providing. The taxes I collect go straight to a specific bank account, and I don’t touch them until it’s time to remit them to the revenue agency.
Choosing to become self-employed means losing some of the financial benefits general employees often take for granted, such as corporate pensions, medical insurance, sick days, and benefit plans. Whether it’s a 401(k) or another kind of retirement fund, it’s critical that you invest your profits so that you can enjoy something better than cat food during your retirement years. Build a specific amount into your formula to ensure you’re putting money aside every year, and then don’t touch it until after you retire. The higher your expenses, the more you should be allocating to your savings.
If you work 40 hours per week and take two weeks off per year, you’re looking at about 2,000 hours per year. Do not think you will be able to bill for every hour you work. It’s not going to happen. You’re going to invest time in emails, phone calls, meetings, prospecting, accounting, administration, and more. Your clients are hiring freelancers so that they don’t have to pay an employee 2-3 hours per day to hang out at the water cooler.
This is an opportunity for you to improve your accounting skills – track your time on a daily basis in terms of billable and non-billable hours. In your first year, or first few years, you’re going to probably spend much more time on the non-billable hours. As you progress in your freelance career this will probably change, but if you aren’t tracking it, you won’t really know. A reasonable range to target for your first few years might be 750-1,000 billable hours.
Adjusting your price
Since you’re running your own business, you can set your rates to whatever you like. If you’re finding that you don’t have enough work, you might choose to drop your hourly rate a bit, and make up for the difference through additional billable hours. More work should be more pay, and you’re going to need to experiment a bit to find out what the market will bear. A good rule of thumb, if 30% of your clients aren’t questioning your price, you’re probably not charging enough.
Be realistic about your expenses, billable hours, and savings. These three factors can make the difference between a successful freelance career and one that involves too many ketchup sandwiches and ramen noodles. Once you know how much you need to make for each billable hour, you can start looking for projects that will pay you the rate you’re expecting.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:50 PM|
Now that you’ve made the decision to become a professional freelancer, you’re going to need to get your name out to prospective clients so that they’ll know you’re open for business and start hiring you.
There are many ways to do this, but here are five simple ways you can increase awareness about you and your services.
Improve Your Website
Your website is your online resume and often an important demonstration of your skills. If you’re a web designer with a boring (or dated) website, it’s unlikely anyone will hire you based on what they see. If you’re a writer, grammatical and spelling errors on your website will lose you clients. If you’re an SEO consultant, but they can’t find you through Google – well, you get the point.
Regardless of your area of expertise, you need to have a website. This will help prospective clients find you, whether they’re just googling experts in your field or doing background research before they hire you. There are many free ways to do this, but if you don’t invest in your business, why should your clients?
Leverage Local Media
Many local media outlets – radio, television, and print – like to feature the efforts of local businesses. Provide them with a well-crafted press release to share who you are, what you’re doing, and why you’re the best option in town. Writing a press release isn’t rocket science, but it does take a bit of finesse to ensure it’s not seen as a purely marketing effort. Local media is looking for a story, not to run an ad for you for free. Provide them with something interesting and you might benefit from the free exposure. They may also want to contact you to weigh in on a story they’re doing on your area of expertise.
Even if your local media doesn’t pick up your story, you can submit it to one of the many free press release sites available on the internet. While it’s unlikely to expect these articles to become an actual news story, these free sites do provide useful linking to your website (you do have a website, right?) and will help increase your presence in search engine results.
Expand Your Social Media Presence
In the early days of your freelance career, you’re going to have much more time than money. Use your time effectively, and create profiles on all of the available social media spaces – if you’re going to be active on them. If you create a profile and never come back to that site, it’s not going to give you any benefit, so choose a platform where you expect to participate.
Social media is a great way to share value with your contacts, but it’s a good rule of thumb to listen at least twice as much as you talk. Pay attention to what’s going on within this channel. Retweet and share information you think is useful, but don’t be a spammer. If the only thing you’re talking about is you, just like in real life, you will find that that only people listening are just as spammy as you. And spambots aren’t going to hire you.
Be an Active Participant
There are conversations about your industry going on all the time. Find these conversations, and provide value to them. Find out where the experts in your field are spending their time online, and go there and listen. If you can provide a useful opinion, feel free to share it, but be careful. In many online forums, self-promotion can result in very unwanted feedback, or even worse, get you completely ignored. Forever. Whether in online forums or social media, if you become known as the expert, people will do business with you. (One quick hint, calling yourself an expert is a sure-fire way to ensure that nobody else does.)
Update Your Online Portfolio
If you can’t get a website up yet, you’ve still got options. Here on DoNanza, you can build a Branded Freelancer page, a space to share content from your portfolio, link to your social media accounts, link directly to your own website (if you’ve got one) and give you analytics to see who is visiting your profile. This web presence can be shared with your prospects, so they can get an idea about the quality of work you can provide. Share your DoNanza Branded Freelancer page with a wider audience to help you get bigger – and better paying – projects more often.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:50 PM|
It is now easier to find a career at the comforts of your home without a steady employer to please or a relatively large money capital to start a business with. With the ever blooming freelance job industry, you are sure to have some source of income sans the usual hassles traditional jobs have.
Now, you may be wondering how you are going to find a freelance job that will help you make ends meet without a regular job. This worry is a little easy to settle— all you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection— and you would certainly be on your way to being a busy bee making honey online.
One of the best options that you have is to plunge into the waters of freelance writing. Freelance writing is one of the easiest freelance jobs available over the web. It is also a good stepping stone in order to make it to the freelance job on which you are really passionate about— say web design or programming— since website creation requires web content. Speak of being a jack of all trades!
Writing tasks available range from the simplest article writing and rewriting up to the ever demanding web content writing. Anyhow, it is undeniable that a gift of gab used in writing will take you a long way through the virtual world of freelancing without much investment.
So, maybe the next question that we may need to answer relates to the how to’s of a starter in this freelance job. Assuming that you already have excellent writing skills (do not attempt to jump into this job if you are not confident of your writing abilities), below are the 4 steps that will take your freelance writing career into a bloom.
Research-Learn-Experiment. As already mentioned earlier, a highly developed writing skill is necessary to be able to land a freelance writing job. However, it is also critical that you realize that freelance writing will have very specific demands and requirements that you may need to meet. As such, you may be required to stuff in keywords into your articles for SEO’s sake or ghostwrite and adapt the website owner’s writing voice. Therefore, you have to be patient and flexible enough to research details which you are unfamiliar with, to learn new skills that will make you more qualified to do a wider range of freelance writing projects and to experiment in order to be not a stereotyped writer which may hurt the quality of your writing and worst, your reputation. Needless to say, similar to all other kinds of job, freelance writing will require you to continuously grow as a writer and as a worker.
Specialize. No doubt that this is very necessary. A writer who does not specialize on anything is similar to a basketball player who does not know his role in the game. You will be lost if you have not specified what you would love to write and what you can write. You can always be a jack of all trades, but it will still be necessary for you to be able to determine the kind of freelance jobs that you enjoy and that you are capable of doing. After all, with the varied and huge number of writing tasks available all over the web, you would really have to know which ones you would want to prioritize and which ones would you are willing to give up.
Self-promote. Promoting yourself and your work is also essential to making it big in this business. Know for a fact that no client will be willing to entrust you with a freelance job without seeing what you have got first. Therefore, your very own website from which you can showcase your portfolio of writings is very much needed prior to making any application for writing posts. Such an investment will need not be a costly pursuit though. You are always welcome for a test drive through a free blog on Blogger or in WordPress. Simply create an account and pour your heart out writing all your thoughts. It is, however, highly recommended that you keep your personal blog from that of your professional. This will not only make your blog more organized, but it will also help you establish samples for both of your professional and personal voice of writing.
Take some time off writing. A freelance job is flexible enough for you to be able to manage your time as you wish. However, it is the same advantage which causes freelancers to be left with ‘accumulated’ work at the end of the day, leading them to feel all tired and ‘isolated’. Now, as a new freelance writer, you are never going to be any different. At some point of your freelance career, you would also feel these negative emotions towards your work. Therefore, it is critical that you prepare for it and even try to avoid it. Take some time off writing. Refresh your spirits, go out of your home office, continue to socialize and be inspired. The more you see of life and the more you experience; the more you will be able to write masterpieces! After all, writing as a freelance job is never meant to box you; it is a means for you to continually explore your options while earning.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:50 PM|
When you find a fantastic opportunity, whether it’s on a job
board or one of the bidding sites, are you confident you can create an
impressive response to show the prospective client why you are the best
freelancer for the job? Will your
response show the level of excellence you bring to the project?
Here are 5 steps you can use to create a killer proposal:
Step 1 – Research
Now that you’ve found the project, it’s time to do a bit of
research. First, read the entire
proposal. Next, check out their website. If they haven’t given you a URL, you’ll have to do some digging. Are they using a custom
email address – e.g.: firstname.lastname@example.org? If they are, then chances are you can find more about them by visiting their
site – in this case, lookingforfreelancers.com. Try to find out more about
the client: who they are, what they do, who their audience is and why they need you. If you can find the name of the company,
check their social media presence. Do
you have any shared connections that can help you get the job?
Thanks to Google, you will likely be able to find a fair bit
about them, and in some cases this can win you the project. In others, it might give you a good reason not to bid! Either way, time spent researching the client and their business is time well
Step 2 – Anticipate their needs
Look at what the client is asking for and think about what
they really need. Sometimes, this requires some analysis on your part. Do they know what
they’re looking for or do they have just enough knowledge to write the project
description? Show them you can do more than what they’re asking for. For example, if they’ve requested a website, check to
see if they have a presence in social media. If they need web copy, suggest blog posts, articles, and press releases
to help them spread their message effectively. You might be able to include additional
services as a value-add or increase the scope – and value – of the project by
showing your expertise. Either way,
demonstrating that you’re able to provide
more than what they’ve asked for is a great way to win the project.
Step 3 – Craft an effective response
Take the time to write a response that answers all of the
questions the client has put into the posting.
Be thorough. If they
ask for examples of your previous projects, test the links to ensure they work.
If possible, give examples that relate directly to their project. If you don’t have anything that specifically
relates to what they need, include a few lines as to why you’re proud to share
this link from your portfolio or Branded Freelancer Page. If your previous client was ecstatic with the
outcome, if you’ve won an award, or if you’ve helped a client achieve exceptional
conversion rates – these are things to share with your prospective client.
Make it as easy as possible for them to find your work by
providing clickable URLs. If they’ve got
to copy and paste, you’re adding an unnecessary step. The client might think this is how you do
everything, and this could be the reason they award the project to someone else. It’s the little things that make a big
difference. Keep it simple and make it as easy as possible for them to choose you.
Step 4 – Don’t keep your rates a secret
In your proposal, be clear about what your payment
expectations are. You might have the
best proposal in the world and willing to work for next to nothing, but if you
don’t say this in your proposal, your prospective client is going to have to
contact you to find out about your rate.
Don’t be shy about your rate; it’s pretty important to your
business. Don’t apologize or justify it in your
proposal. You want them to choose you because you’re the best, not because you’re
the cheapest. There will always be
someone else willing to give away their talent.
Step 5 – Follow up
Unfortunately, you’re not going to win every project. Following the steps above can help you
increase the chances, but there are many factors that will go into the hiring
decision. And that’s okay.
If your client lets you know you were not the successful
candidate, thank them for the opportunity and for taking the time to let you
know their decision. If you’re
comfortable with asking for feedback, you could ask them what the deciding
factors were. “I appreciate your time,
and thank you for the opportunity. I
admire your company, and would like to learn what I can do to increase the
chances of working with you in the future. If possible, can you please share
what the deciding factors were in choosing another provider?” Use any
feedback they share with you to improve your business and your next proposal.
A well crafted response takes time but it’s a great tool to
show your client why you are the best freelancer for the job. Think of it as an audition. You might not get paid for it, but the more
effort and talent you display, the better chance you will get the great jobs.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:50 PM|
You’ve got time to spend 40+ hours a week, plus the time to commute to and from a job you don’t like, but you don’t have time to work on your freelance business? How effective could you be if you were using that time to spend on your own business? Freelancing is hard work, and it’s a serious business, but there are some pretty awesome rewards that you can enjoy if you choose to treat it like a business. In the beginning, it will take some extra time, but this is an investment that you need to make in yourself, and it’s one that will pay off well.
You might hear people saying “the economy sucks” (it doesn’t – that’s just another excuse) or “there’s too many people working at a rate I can’t compete with” (you guessed it – just an excuse). There are clients with projects in every industry, at every price point. Choose one that interests you, and show that client that you are the best freelancer to handle their current and future needs.
If freelancing is truly the direction you’d like to go, you will find a way to do it. Don’t let the people that say it can’t be done prevent you from doing it
Generally, my advice to them is similar to what I’ve already shared here; how to build your brand, how to set your rates, and how to write kick-ass proposals. Some of them listen to the advice and find a way to make it work.
Unfortunately, some of them spend more time making excuses that keep them in their current job.
Today, I’d like to take a look at a few of the main excuses that might be preventing you from finding freelance happiness.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:45 PM|
Everywhere. This excuse is easy to address because your clients are in your community and around the world. You don’t have a lack of clients; you have a lack of confidence. If you don’t think you’re worth it, your clients won’t either. You’ve got to be confident in yourself to charge the rates that work for you (you’re not a charity, you’re doing this to make a living) and you’ve got to be confident to ask your clients to give you their business. They need help, and if they don’t get it from you, they will get it from someone else.
“Fake it till you make it” or “Give a little to get a little” – choose whichever works best for you, and go find your next client.
DoNanza is a fantastic resource for you to find your next project. As you build your portfolio, you start to build your confidence. You will soon find that your projects will start to get bigger — and more frequent. Remember to add your projects to your portfolio on your Freelance Profile page, so your new clients can see the projects you’ve done in the past.
My _______ isn’t ______ enough
This is my least favourite game of Mad Libs. Too often, I’ll hear “My computer isn’t fast enough”, “My office isn’t big enough”, “My website isn’t nice enough.” I’m sure you’ve heard these excuses too, and maybe this is where you’re sitting right now. Sure, you need a decent computer and a semi-quiet place to work, but you don’t need the fastest computer or a private office overlooking the park. If you really want to freelance, you need to find a way to get past these excuses so you can focus on getting your projects completed. As you build your client list, you can start saving up to buy the equipment you need to git ‘r done, but if you’re reading this post, chances are you’ve got the tools you need to start freelancing.
|Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:45 PM|
Freelancers have their own niche, whether it’s writing, photography, web development, design or any other field. They are good at what they do, experts in their respective fields. But just because they can design an innovative app, doesn’t mean they can be successful as a freelancer. Regardless of skill set and background, every freelancer must refine a certain set of skills that can propel them to the next level of success. Soft skills are those necessary characteristics that augment the skills of the trade, enhancing interactions and job performance. Developing soft skills often proves to be useful beyond the freelance world as these skill sets often transcend the work-life boundaries.
Interpersonal Relationship Skills
One of the greatest strengths of any good business owner is their ability to connect on an interpersonal level. As a freelancer, you may feel that your work stands for itself and growing your interpersonal skills is unnecessary. But you need to be able to connect with your clients in order to maintain and more importantly enhance those relationships. Some of the easiest way to grow client and partner relationships is through effective communication. It’s imperative to respond to emails in timely manners, follow through on requests for information and be willing to ask pointed questions when more details are needed in order to complete a job. Communications should be specific and business-oriented. Be cautious including personal information into business communications.
Don’t rely on your memory to keep track of your assignments. Many freelancers are excellent multi-taskers, but the amount of knowledge needed to keep several balls juggling in the air, takes up precious brain real estate. Miss one deadline, one assignment, and you may lose a great client. There are host of tools that can help keep clients and assignments organized including editorial (or assignment) calendars, files with detailed information for each client and virtual office assistants.
Motivation and Self Discipline
Perhaps one of the most difficult skills to master as a freelancer (or any other job for that matter) is staying motivated. There is no boss breathing down your neck and it’s up to you to find the self-discipline to stay off of Pinterest in the middle of the day when work needs to be completed. (However, Pinterest can be a source of motivation. Finding motivational quotes is a great way to remind you of the success that comes with hard work.) Another great way to stay motivated is to develop a 5-year plan. Create specific, measurable goals which can be crossed off as they are completed. For instance, plan to land your first nationally recognized client within 2 years. Develop a step-by-step road map to getting there. As you move through the steps, recognize each mini-success. Creating a sense of accomplishment helps to maintain motivation. Sometimes we all need a pat on the back. In the freelance world, it may be up to you to do it. Being a freelancer provides you with opportunities to grow in your craft and as business owner. There multiple layers which need development in order to escalate you to the next level. Your soft skills are lifelong skills which can be carried from client to client, throughout your career. Developing them is just as crucial and keeping up to date on the latest trends in your respective industry.