The business of freelancing
The freelancing movement has been waiting for you. Clients, pricing, landing projects, getting paid, managing revisions (those endless revisions), and finding clients and connecting with them in a way that feels right for you. If you’re like most freelancers, it’s the business stuff that keeps you awake at night, not the actual writing, programming or designing.
I went from a college dropout to creating a job for myself in the 1990s that’s more stable than any corporate career. My online programs have been taken by over 10,300 students. My career has gone from $35/hour sub-contracts from big agencies to $10k+/project working with some of the biggest entrepreneurs and companies like Danielle Laporte, Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Marie Forleo, and Warner Music.
Now I want to help you with the articles below, get better at freelancing.
Want more articles about the business of freelancing? Hop onto my weekly newsletter:
How to be an introverted or awkward salesperson
To sell well, you need to do three things: Ask questions, shut up and listen, then repeat the answers back.
Never ignore existing customers
You can’t just spend all your time doing business, you have to spend some of your time working on your business too.
Freelancers make the best products
Starting with client-work is the best and most natural progression to becoming a great product maker.
What does it take to go pro?
Being a pro has little to do with what you know, it has to do with how you think.
The most important part of your business
How can you make your own customers the stars of your business? How would your business change if they became your focus?
On being profitable
In order to become and stay profitable, you’ve got to be lean in your expenses and you have to resist the urge to scale up expenses at the same rate that your revenue is scaling
How to get clients as a freelancer
Want to get freelance clients? Most people do it incorrectly. As in, most freelancers start out their business like this: They get great at what they do. They build a website that talks about their expertise They set up their social media profiles and start promoting at people. They wait for clients to come to […]
The business of creativity (part 2)
Selling what you’ve made makes you brave as hell and someone who’s done more for the world than probably every asshat who’s complained about creative people making money from their “impure” art.
The business of creativity (part 1)
If you are interested in having a long-term career in trading creativity for commerce, then you’ve got to figure out how you’ll get paid and how you can ensure that you getting paid will happen – consistently and bring in enough to support your life.
Specifician to a generalist?
Should you focus on just one skill and master it 100% inside and out? And then, just outsource the other pieces you need, as you need them? Or should you become a generalist with all the skills required?
Choosing the wrong clients can mean the difference between a profitable future and wasting your time for months (or years) on work that won’t go anywhere or help you in the long run.
The surefire way to turn a profit as a freelancer
Let me spoil the whole article for you in the first sentence: if you spend less money than you make, you’ll be profitable.
Why you shouldn’t take a client’s money
As a freelancer, you’re not obligated to work with anyone.
Positioning yourself as a freelancer
You can find a freelancer labourer on Fiverr or eLance who charges just a couple bucks an hour to complete a task (from web design to copyediting 1,000 words to rapping the lyrics you write).
Setting Client Expectations
If both parties aren’t perfectly clear about the deliverables, process, timeline, and shared responsibilities — in writing, before there’s money on the table — you’re basically jumping out a window and hoping it’s not the 27th floor.
Common mistakes freelancers make with their business
As good as we are at making our art, freelancers miss one of the most important requirements for running a business: representing ourselves.
User onboarding: not just for HR and growth hackers
Are you aware of the steps it takes for a client to hire you? What’s involved on their end, and on your end?
You’re going to need to wear a lot of hats
Wouldn’t it be great if being a brilliant artist was all it took to earn a living?
“What do you do for a living?”
Really, it comes down to this: describe what you do in the context of the people your business serves.
When you work for yourself, your boss is probably an asshole
Bosses can suck when you’re self-employed (aka: when YOU are the boss of yourself).
A manifesto for creative professionals
We are amplifiers. Clients need to bring their skilled craft to the table for the project to succeed.
You are not a large corporation
A manifesto for the self-employed. You are a unique badass who’s thrown down the shackles of cubicle life and been liberated by your own ambition to take things into your own hands. You now have tremendous power, so use it to your own benefit.
Lessons in creativity for freelancers
I’ve spent a decade and a half getting paid for creative work and running my own show (also called being a freelance designer). There’s a weird intersection of creativity, business and money, that can be hard to navigate at times. Here are a few things I’ve learned about making a sustainable living being creative.