Tips for Freelancing
Hey Friends, in this section, I will be posting everything related to freelancing from; Job Boards to Find Remote Work, Freelance Taxes, Keeping financial records as a Freelancer, Making Clients Happy, Guide to Pricing Freelance Design Work, Self doubt Overcoming Self-Doubt as a Freelancer, Guide to Impressing a New Freelance Client, Elements of the Developer Mindset, When a friend Becomes A client and many more!
Freelancer is a term for a person who is self-employed and not necessarily committed to a particular employer or client for the long term. A self-employed person works for herself and is not considered an employee for tax purposes. An independent contractor is a person who provides goods or services under terms specified in a written contract or verbal agreement.
What is Home Jobs, Telecommuting, and Remote Work
Remote work is any job that doesn't involve being tied to a specific office or workplace. Remote work is a catch-all term that applies to work that can be done from anywhere in the world (assuming the location has access to electricity, internet access, etc.).
Telecommuting jobs typically allow people to work from their home (or elsewhere) for companies or organizations that are still in their immediate area.
7 Steps to Overcoming Self-Doubt
Finding ways to deal with and overcome persistent self-doubt. Although there is no single "solution" to self-doubt, there are some simple steps you can take to eliminate self-doubt from your daily life.
1. Create a title for yourself.
Claim your title, and you'll begin to feel more at ease with your new identity.
2. Begin tracking your positive press.
Maintain a folder full of compliments, ranging from client testimonials and notes from superiors to kind blog comments and thank you notes from friends.
3. Look for an opportunity to share your knowledge.
You can teach someone if you only know ONE thing that they need to know! Teaching demonstrates to yourself that you are not an imposter, and you DO have the skills.
7 Steps to Overcoming Self-Doubt (No: 4-7)
4. Locate a community
When you realize that EVERYONE, no matter how accomplished she is, has dealt with self-doubt, it will be much easier for you to push it aside and concentrate on your work.
5. Stop comparing yourself to others (and yourself)
Some of the things you say to yourself are probably not things you would say to others. Concentrate on congratulating and encouraging others.
6. Accept credit.
Get rid of the phrases that diminish your knowledge, and you'll find yourself feeling more confident as well.
7. Discover something new.
CHECKLIST FOR ELIMINATING SELF-DOUBT
1. Strike a commanding pose.
Did you know that your body language is more than just a reflection of your emotions?
2. Express gratitude.
When you are the center of attention, self-doubt tends to strike. The words you say will eventually become the words you believe.
3. Enlist the help of a friend.
Say what you're thinking aloud – getting it off your chest and out into the world will help you overcome negative thoughts.
4. Go through your happy folder.
Remember that folder full of compliments and positive feedback? Make sure it's easily accessible at all times, and skim it the next time you feel self-doubt creeping in.
Guide to Impressing a New Freelance Client
With just a little preparation, the initial stress around your first client meetings can be nipped in the bud. Here are tips for making a great first impression and taking this process from nerve-wracking to "no big deal", so you can start making money.
1. Start Off With a Little Small Talk
Small gestures of politeness and genuine interest in things that matter to your client are a great way to set yourself apart from the competition. They'll remember the white glove service you offer them.
2. Make an Agenda or Welcome Packet
Use an agenda or welcome packet to make sure you cover everything you need to during this important initial meeting. This small way of showcasing your organization skills gives the client reason to trust you. And as an added bonus, both you and the client leave with documentation of your first meeting.
3. Ask Open-Ended Questions
There's no one "right" script when it comes to asking client questions. Just be sure to keep your questions polite, direct, and friendly. A good tactic is to pepper the conversation with questions of your own.
4. Research the Client and Their Business
You should never be shy about asking a client clarifying questions. Doing your homework and showing that you care helps gain the trust of a new client and makes them feel good about starting a project with you.
5. Research the Client’s Competitors and Peers
The more knowledge you bring to the table, the more your client will trust you to make sound decisions throughout the course of the project.
6. Take Notes and Repeat Their Answers Back to Them
Taking notes ensures you won't leave anything out or forget what was talked about (which you'll thank yourself for later), but it also shows the client that you're engaged and focused.
7. Say “Yes,” But Manage Expectations
Establishing where you stand with certain aspects of the project early on is a great way to solidify an honest relationship.
8. Be Aware of Your Body Language
If you're a freelancer meeting with a client for the first time, be aware of your body language. Body language can set the tone for the entire relationship.
9. Dress Professionally, But Not Out of Character
Take care with how you dress for this meeting. You want to look capable, but if you don't normally wear a blazer, don't come decked out in a business suit. If you feel at ease and presentable, it'll also be easier to feel in control.
The Five Elements of the Developer Mindset
Developers come in all shapes and sizes, but they all share one trait: they all THINK like programmers. Developing and cultivating this mindset is an important part of becoming a great developer. This mindset can help you succeed in areas other than technology.
1. Learn to strap in and not come to a halt until the job is completed.
Coding is a test of endurance. You must learn to remain calm, break your problem down into the smallest steps possible, and go through your scripts line by line to find the bug. Most importantly, you must not give up until the job is completed.
2. Come to terms with your pain. Or, at the very least, not fight it.
Reframing how you approach things that we are accustomed to feeling are "painful" is part of cultivating the bliss of coding. When it all comes together, the WOW moment is well worth it, especially if you're learning a new skill.
3. Remember WHY you're doing what you're doing!
Code is a means to an end, not an end in itself. The BEST developers use their technical skills to create amusing, clever, and useful things. Your task is to use the tools available to you to create the MOST AMAZING, MOST Beneficial thing you can think of.
4. Remind yourself that everyone requires assistance. Speak up!
Check out StackOverflow or join an IRC channel to start chatting with other developers. Begin by Googling the answer, and you will undoubtedly come across a plethora of forums, blogs, and threads.
5. Remember that having fun is essential. Remember to have fun!
Programming is difficult. And what is the best way to make difficult things easier? Have a sense of humour.
WHEN A FRIEND BECOMES A CLIENT
As a freelancer, your first clients are often close friends. Working for a friend can be difficult because you may feel awkward charging them for your services. What if they're slow to pay or dissatisfied with your product? It can quickly become extremely unpleasant.
Here are a few pointers to make it as easy as possible:
1. Treat them like any other Client
2. Give them a (small) discount
3. Do it for Free
If you can, that's great, but make sure it won't take up too much of your time and that you truly want to commit. Otherwise, you might become resentful.
4. Establish a timeline
5. Define clear boundaries
When you're a freelancer, you have lots of different types of costs. As long as your computer was used exclusively for business purposes, you could deduct the full cost of it on your return. As a self-employed independent contractor, you may be able to deduct the costs of work-related education or training as a business expense on your Schedule. To be deductible, your education must maintain or improve your job skills. The distinction is far from clear, and whether or not such costs can be deducted depends upon the specific facts of your situation.
Keeping financial records as a Freelancer
- Never deposit personal funds into a business account, and never deposit business receipts into a personal account.
- Get printed receipts for everything you buy or pay for on behalf of the company.
- If you pay cash for something, make sure to get a receipt and keep these receipts for tax purposes.
- Make a habit of writing memos on your business checks; otherwise, you may forget what this payment was intended for.
Making Clients Happy
Making clients happy isn't JUST about building a beautiful website. Even if you do stellar work, the client won't feel comfortable if you b**t heads throughout the project. The client is putting faith in you and investing money and time in your work. There's no "complaining to the manager"-you're the manager.
1. Communicate excessively.
A brief summary of what has been accomplished and what will be started next is a simple way to keep your client informed.
2. Make yourself available.
Inform your client of your availability. Set expectations ahead of time and be consistent.
3. Configure a Google alert for your client.
Be the first to congratulate your client if something significant occurs for the company or for her personally!
4. Give your client a compliment.
A simple compliment can make a big difference.
5. Hand out thank-you notes.
6. Be pleasant to the assistants.
7. Provide them with options, but tell them which one you prefer.
When you need your client's input, give them specific, step-by-step instructions.
9. Prepare for meetings.
Show up to meetings with your homework done.
10. Create an agenda for each meeting.
Consider the meeting's purpose as part of your advance planning.
11. Repeat what they said back to them.
Take the time to restate what your client has asked you to do to ensure that you understand what she is asking for.
12. Be considerate of your client's (and your own) time. Staying within the time limit is beneficial to both you and your client.
13. Take notes during meetings – and then send them out.
14. Create a scope document for your project.
A scoping statement should explain the project's purpose, detail the project deliverables or outputs, and describe the success criteria.
15. Develop a project plan.
16. Ask questions at the beginning.
17. Schedule regular checkpoints.
Keep communication open and your client informed.
18. Show your client drafts along the way.
19. Tell your client before you go over budget.
20. Don’t miss deadlines.
21. Invoice on time.
Not invoicing regularly, or on time, can create cash flow problems for your client.