Are You Freelance Material?

I was able to get my hands on a brand new book 8 days before it hits the shelves. The Principles Of Successful Freelancing is written by Miles Burke. I was allowed to post an excerpt from Chapter 1 just for my readers and I hope you enjoy it.

The book is an inspirational and instructional guide to setting up business as a freelancer. Readers will gain the confidence, and the knowledge, that they will need to succeed – and I would highly recommend grabbing a copy when it comes out.

Some Key Features

  • Targeted at people who want to make the leap towards freelancing in the Computer & Internet sector
  • Readers will walk away with the confidence that they can succeed as freelancers, and the know-how to do so.

Subject Area

More and more people worldwide are ditching the 9-5 office job and the long commute in favor of the independence that comes from self-employment. Full of anecdotes and practical advice, this short, hands on guide is written for people who want to become freelancers in the technology sector. Topics covered include:

  • How to pitch clients and decide what to charge
  • Maximize efficiency through time tracking, contact management and scheduling
  • Grow profits through expense and cashflow management
  • Fundamentals of project management, including reviews of commonly used software programs
  • Winning new clients through networking, advertising, blogging, referrals and public speaking
  • The Principles of great customer service, including dealing with problem clients and managing scope creep

What You Will Find Deeper Within The Book

  • Advantages and Disadvantages of the Freelance Life
  • Deciding on How Far to Jump (on the side or full-time)
  • Considering Your Business Structure
  • Creating Your Brand
  • Cost Checklists
  • Accounting Basics
  • Learning to Sell
  • Polishing Up Your Contracts
  • Interviews from Top Professionals

To Summarize:

This book definitely gained a high spot in my eyes. I especially enjoyed Chapter 7, “Achieve Work-Life Balance”. Who doesn’t need pointers in that area?! Since I do a lot of freelancing on the side and not full-time (currently), it gave me a lot to think about before diving into a full-time freelance life, but also confidence that I could do it. I think this will be very helpful to those considering the jump and also teach freelancers currently working full-time how to become more structured and rigid.

A must read for any freelancer.

Feel free to check out the excerpt below.

The Principles Of Successful Freelancing

(Excerpt from Chapter 1)

Are You Freelance Material?

Thinking of becoming a freelance web designer or web developer?

One of the hardest yet most rewarding personal development steps you can ever take is to discover what you are good at, and where you have areas that can use development. Accepting our own limitations can help make all of us better people.

When it comes to web design and development, it’s a demanding industry—even more so if you’re freelancing. However, although the freelance life may seem hard at times, successful freelancers never look back.

Successful freelancers often start by evaluating their own skills and personality, especially their ability to work solo. Once you have a clear understanding of your areas of weakness and what you need to improve upon, you have solid goals to work toward.

Although you may feel that you have all the technical competencies to manage the freelance role, you’ll soon find that there is far more to being successful as a freelancer than the ability to write great code or design the coolest layouts.

The skills required for being a great freelancer can be broken down to four distinct areas: technical, business, organizational, and interpersonal.

Technical Skills

For a developer, possessing technical skills means that you’re technically competent in your language or languages of choice: PHP, Ruby on Rails, Microsoft .NET, and the like. As a designer, you’d consider the strength of your skills in design software, colour theory, typography, and overall design knowledge. As a designer or developer, you need to feel confident in your own technical ability, as this is what you’re going to be relying upon. You can’t just lean over to a co-worker’s desk and ask about anything you’re not sure of! Consider your areas of weakness, and research what’s involved in strengthening these areas—you’ll probably find that they’re easier to fill out than you thought.

Business Skills
It’s vitally important to have, or at least be aware of, the fundamentals of business before you consider running your own. If you plan to succeed, you’ll need a solid understanding of cash flow, marketing, time management, customer service, and other areas. Many of these elements can be outsourced, but you’ll still need a working knowledge of all of them.

Organizational Skills
Your ability to be well organized, or at the very least to keep on top of those dreary administrative duties, will be paramount to your success. Start by reading personal productivity books and blogs, and research the different techniques of organization.

Don’t go overboard though; you could end up being hampered by trying too many productivity methods and not doing enough actual work! You’ll soon find a method you feel happy with, which can be defined in this context as feeling that you have the smooth running of your business under control.

Interpersonal Skills
You may think that the freelance life would suit the shy or socially inept recluse, beavering away alone. Unfortunately, however, an aversion to social contact could limit your opportunities more than you think.
Productive interaction with clients and prospective clients, not to mention your suppliers, will become a crucial part of your success, so embrace human contact and be personable.

This article is an excerpt from the book The Principles of Successful Freelancing (by Miles Burke, published by SitePoint). You can find out more about the book, which comes out on December 9, from www.principlesofsuccessfulfreelancing.com.

 

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