Top Tips For Freelancers | May 19, 2005

If you’re a regular reader of this site you’ll probably know that I left full time work at the end of March to begin a new career as a freelance web consultant. If you’re currently a freelancer or running your own small business, I’d love to hear your top tips.These could be anything from productivity tips, to accountancy tips – tips about finding work to tips about keeping organised and focused. Is there a great bit of software you use or a process that you swear by. Is there something you know now that you wished you’d know when you started? I’m all ears.

Posted at May 19, 2005 11:36 AM

Comments

Adam Thody said on May 19, 2005 11:19 AM

Well, personally I think one of the most important success factors for any freelancer are referrals. We don’t have the big advertising budgets of the big firms, so we need all the word of mouth we can get.

A few tips on referrals:
I’ve also found Andrew Neitlich’s writings at Sitpoint very helpful.

Good luck!

Cleay said on May 19, 2005 11:29 AM

I cant live without the huge whiteboard covering most of the wall next to my workdesk - I track time, jobs, notes, daily to-do lists etc… on it. Its the single most inportant tool I have after my computer.

Matt Carey said on May 19, 2005 11:33 AM

After the first 3 months of starting out we have hardly done any marketing, it has all been through word of mouth, references etc.

Have business cards on you at all times.

Don’t look down on ‘bread and butter’ work. We have a couple of clients where the work is not exciting or taxing. But they enable us to work for interesting clients who may have little or no money. Those projects are then what win us new work (as we can be more creative and push ourselves).

The best money I spend is on the accountant.

If you find yourself spending more than a few hours a month doing your books, receipts etc, get a book-keeper. Add up the time you spend doing those things, multiply by your daily rate. I bet the total is more than what you would pay for a freelance book-keeper.

Pete Barr-Watson said on May 19, 2005 11:46 AM

  • everything takes 3 times longer than your worst-case estimate
  • it will always seem that your larger clients are deliberately trying to put you out of business by not paying you in a timely fashion despite really relying on you and your work
  • networking has been the single most successful method of gaining new business for me
  • stop writing books unless they’re for O’Reilly. The money is too low and the time commitment is too high. After the first one or two the reputation benefit no longer outweighs the effort required
  • conference, conference, conference (see networking above). Despite being amongst your peers, the benefit is vast and the enthusiasm you regain for what you do is imeasurable (sp?)
  • learn to spell (whoops, sorry, that one is just for me)
  • enjoy your working conditions and don’t become tied to your desk waiting for stuff - trust me on this one - get out, socialise with others in the same situation and drink coffee in pretentious brighton coffee shops - if for no other reason than you can!
  • meet me and Jeremy for coffee on Monday morning (30th…)
  • Andrew Green said on May 19, 2005 12:07 PM

    Basecamp — seriously.

    dee said on May 19, 2005 12:10 PM

    A “meta”: Discipline. Try to work always at the same time. From 9 to 5 or from 2 to 10 for example. Never work in a pyjama. It’s very helpful to know, that at the end of a day there is spare time for washing, cleaning up the house and having time for friends. :)

    Mike Stenhouse said on May 19, 2005 12:20 PM

    Someone’s already said it but definitely keep on top of your books. I was looking through mine the other week and found that someone owes me a grand for work I did ages ago and I’d forgotten about. That’s completely my fault.

    Try and separate your work from your play. This is especially tough when your job is also your hobby, as it probably is for many of us, but if you don’t you’ll find yourself working ALL day. I used to work on my laptop in the living room… I’d start at 10 and I wouldn’t turn it off until gone midnight. Not all of it was work but I couldn’t differentiate between the two. I now do all my work on my desktop in a different room.

    Phone, don’t email, especially if you’re contacting web agencies. They get hundreds of emails every week and even if you’re exactly what they’re looking for, unless you’re lucky they just won’t read your message. I tend to email them and then follow it up with a call.

    I think we’ve talked about all this stuff already!

    Jon Hicks said on May 19, 2005 12:42 PM

    Ditto for basecamp - I have a project setup especially as a general ‘getting things done’ organiser.

    Also ditto for ‘getting out’. Very important for various reasons - health/sanity etc.

    Jonathan Baldwin said on May 19, 2005 1:09 PM

    I do some freelance training in Brighton (InDesign, Dreamweaver etc) and teach at university to make up my 0.6 contract job.
    I also write the odd article and have a couple of books coming out soon. I know I could freelance completely but I suffer occasional bouts of procrastination and (more seriously) depression. I would echo most if not all of the comments above (your accountant should save you more than they cost) but add that before taking the plunge, get health insurance to cover sickness and make sure it covers everything. You might need to have several months’ gap between taking out the insurance and going freelance.

    Biggest tip though is get a cat for the company if you work at home (is cat food tax deductable??), but only if it’s mute and you have a catflap. I like my cat, but she’s a real pain in the keyboard sometimes.

    geeky said on May 19, 2005 1:57 PM

    The most important things I learned while freelancing:

    1. Be picky about who your clients are, or you’ll be sorry later.

    2. Write up contracts for every client, and stick to them.

    2. Mind your taxes. Either pay them throughout the year, or put money aside to pay them later. And keep track of the business expenses you can write off at the end of the year.

    Rob said on May 19, 2005 1:57 PM

    Get your invoices, quotes, standard forms etc. in working order. Determine your payment (and any other) policies, inform clients of them up front, and stick to them. I’ve had quite a few clients forget what we had agreed upon, even when it was it writing.

    This may go without saying, but always treat your clients well. Many companies are great in the pre-sales process but forget about you after you pay them. About 50% of my new business is referrals from existing clients. Happy customers are good free advertising!

    I’ll also echo 2 points that a few others have made. Always have business cards on you and network, network, network.

    Richard Wright said on May 19, 2005 2:52 PM

    My biggest failing is underestimating. I have written a small program that records my hours, my original estimate, and my changed estimate. Hopefully it will teach me to estimate better.
    Secondly, don’t buy a boat. You only get to look at it cause you never have time to use it.

    Richard Wright said on May 19, 2005 2:53 PM

    My biggest failing is underestimating. I have written a small program that records my hours, my original estimate, and my changed estimate. Hopefully it will teach me to estimate better.
    Secondly, don’t buy a boat. You only get to look at it cause you never have time to use it.

    Heath Weaver said on May 19, 2005 3:35 PM

    I use a program called Konstruktor Pro http://www.application.dk/
    It helps you with billing and keeping track of wusiness related things. I also use Basecamp, which my clients quite like (although it isn’t that easy for everyone, clients that aren’t very web saavy still have trouble using it).

    I think defining your own process is very important. Create a methodology where you show your client the process of web design. Two good resources are: 1) The book Web Redesign, Workflow That Works, which helps to clarify your process and present it in a logical way to clients; 2) The white paper (pdf actually) Budget Design from sinelogic.com, which helps think about how to streamline your business process.

    Finally, I find it is all about the relationship. No matter the business, put the customer first and understand how to maxamize the profitability of those customers.

    Dave Marks said on May 19, 2005 3:44 PM

    Creating a divide between work and play is the most important thing for me i find.

    As others have said, set times for working. 9-5 might mean getting up early, but when everybody else finishes work, you can too…

    Set aside a work area, preferably in a seperate room which you can close the door on… In the corner of a lounge/dining room/bedroom etc is no good, because it’ll remind you of those stresses you have at work while you’re trying to relax (deadlines, annoying clients etc)

    If you can’t afford to telephone lines/mobiles, then get Call Sign and a Call Sign box, connect an answer machine to your new business number - when you leave the office, turn the answer machine on/ringer volume down. Create caller groups for business and personal calls, then create a profile that doesn’t alert for business calls - again switch to this profile when you finish work…

    Oh and getting up, showered and dressed makes all the difference. (As opposed to yesterdays cloths/shorts/bj’s) Actually putting a smart shirt on might seem silly for your home office, but if you’re like me, it’ll get you in the right frame of mind

    Dave Foy said on May 19, 2005 5:12 PM

    Wow. I’ve been working from home freelance for around a year and a half now and I’ve learned a lot from comments here. It’s nice to know basically everyone else has the same feelings too. Big tick for Basecamp. Big tick for keeping track of finances. Big tick for sorting out a watertight process. Biggest tick ever for getting out and seeing people - the bit I struggle with the most!

    Neil said on May 19, 2005 5:38 PM

    The best advice I can give (which people have already mentioned here) is to remember why you’re doing what you do. You want to be working so that you have more quality time with yourself, your loved ones, and the “real world”.

    It’s an old chestnut, but it’s so true: you’re not going to look back on your life at 65 and think, “I should have worked more.” Make it a priority early on to make sure your social and personal life is as vibrant as your career, and stick to it.

    It’s really, really easy to get sucked into working all day, and every day; balance is key. I personally limit myself to 10 hours total (work and play) at the computer, and only work on weekends when it absolutely cannot be helped.

    The other thing I do is make sure I get out and work outside (café, outdoor patio, etc.) at least 2 out of 5 days a week. Having a laptop and cultivating a good relationship with a few coffee shops nearby or in busy neighbourhoods is a good thing. It helps keep your social skills from atrophying and keeps you sane. Needless to say, having a laptop with wireless capability is a Good Thing.

    Jan Brasna said on May 19, 2005 6:27 PM

    Andy, just please stay organised ;) Drop me a note if you want to see my workplace - I’m sure it will make you keep an order in everything…

    I have to second on networking (I’m trying to stay in touch with all the great personalities here in CZ), referrals, working in the garden or cafe, not working 13.00-04.00 (like me) and not waking up in yesterday’s shorts and shirt (like me) ;)

    I’m now considering using more an office in the city, as eg. Dan Cederholm does.

    You could also go through articles about this topic on Sitepoint Webbiz Blog or the ones from JSM about biz

    Nice Paul said on May 19, 2005 6:31 PM

    Aside from the things I mentioned last week in Starbucks:

    it will always seem that your larger clients are deliberately trying to put you out of business by not paying you in a timely fashion

    This is so so true.

    get a cat for the company if you work at home

    But if you get an indoor cat it’ll want playing with all the time. So get it a companion, only to find it sleeps all day and provides no entertainment value for the first cat at all. So end up either with a wrecked flat or no work done!

    Stirman said on May 19, 2005 10:26 PM

    I wrote an article entitled “Freelancipation” on my site with some useful tips that I have discovered over the last few years…

    Freelancipation - (v.) The act of freeing a freelance web designer from the stress of being frustrated and broke.

    Hope it helps!

    Ben Richardson said on May 19, 2005 11:50 PM

    Start a monthly newsletter to your existing and potential clients to tell them about all the great work you’ve been doing.

    At least once a month they will think of you, and there is a good chance you will have developed a solution for one client, and another client will realize they could use something just like that.

    I recommend Campaign Monitor, but I’m biased since it’s our software.

    Paul Silver said on May 20, 2005 10:09 AM

    I didn’t find doing my own accounts too bad, being a sole trader. Finding out what I could claim for was interesting, e.g. part of your rent if you work from home (and if you rent, you can do it if you own, but can hit capital gains tax when you sell.) Don’t forget to keep your receipts for everything, and phone the tax office and find out if you can claim for part of your computer cost, even though you bought it before you went freelance (it was just before so you might be allowed.)

    Other things: I now keep a working spare computer around since my work one went wrong last year and it took a week or two to get it fixed.

    You either have too little work or too much, or maybe I just forget the good times where it’s just right.

    Find a type of marketing you like and go with that, e.g. if you can cold call, that’s fine, but if you hate it do more networking. Oh, and don’t just have one type of marketing going on, as that doesn’t seem to give a balance to the flow of work.

    If the freelance work dries up and you get desperate, look at the contracts on sites like Jobsite and Jobserve. Contracting can be a pain as it often involves travel to somewhere dull and staying there for a while, but it can keep you going and be good for a cash injection.

    Have a clear thing you do and make it obvious to prospective clients, but don’t make it too narrow, otherwise you can end up with too little work. Being in a niche also makes it easy to partner up with other freelancers / small businesses as they don’t fear you taking their bit of work for the client.

    Hmm, bound to be plenty more we can all interest/bore you with at the Farm at some point.

    Russ Weakley said on May 20, 2005 11:58 AM

    Some great comments here.

    I’ve been freelancing for 18 years (oh god, how depressing) and the best tips I could give would be (and this is mainly for slightly larger or more complex jobs but can work for any size):

    1. when an initial proposal has been agreed to, sit down with the client and discuss the entire scope of the project. In some cases this is better drawn as pictures - with details of pages or functions sketched so that both parties agree and understand.

    2. From this meeting create a scope document that outlines all the aspects or deliverables on a job. Sketches can be slightly formalised and added to this document - especially if it involves an application of some kind.

    3. make sure the client signs a business agreement after reviewing the scope document. The business agreement should cover
    - deliverables
    - fees
    - what you will do
    - what they will do
    - agreed deadlines
    - how changes to scope will be addressed

    4. set up a document called a “scope change document”. Any time scope changes occur
    - sit down with the client and discuss scope document and whether this change falls outside
    - agree to an outcome
    - if it is inside scope or you are willing to wear it, document anyway
    - if it is agreed by both parties to be outside scope, add it to the scope change document, then provide costs and time estimates needed for these scope changes.

    Why go to all this trouble? Sometimes you get bastard clients who change backwards and forwards. A scope change document allows you to track all changes, and show the client as the project unfolds. Some clients may be shocked by the number of changes they request. Some discover (to their embarrassment) that requests they have made have been discussed and rejected previously.

    All this I have learned the hard way.

    Tony Crockford said on May 20, 2005 3:26 PM

    join a freelance community.

    it helps with sanity and those blank moments when you have no idea what to do next.

    http://wiki.workalone.co.uk is my attempt at a useful freelance resource.

    ;o)

    Dan Gronitz said on May 20, 2005 6:53 PM

    A lot of great points have been covered so far but a key issue has been left out (IMO).

    It was mentioned that you should get health insurance. Good point. But also make sure that you’re ready incase something happens to you and you can no longer do the work.

    An accident, surgery, or something that leaves you in a condition where you can no longer fill the work you’ve been contracted to do needs to be considered.

    Be prepared for that situation and hope it never happens. But if it does you want to make sure that the work will be completed.Whether it’s in your contract/agreement about being allowed to hire out the work or refunding some money make sure that situation is addressed.


    Oh and this goes for other things as well, like making sure you have someone to look after and run your business in the case of something drastic happening to you.

    Jeff Carroll said on May 20, 2005 9:15 PM

    Figure out who the major IT contract shops are in your area, and develop relationships with them. They can place you in gigs you’d never ever get on your own, and they’re a financial buffer between you and the client, in that collection becomes the account manager’s problem. In ten years of mostly consulting (I’m not above taking direct hire work when it looks good), I’ve never even had to hire an accountant.

    Kurt said on May 21, 2005 5:01 AM

    The best thing I can add is to cut yourself some slack and remember why you did this on the down days.

    Network and market yourself like crazy.
    Attend all the local business, marketing and trade events.

    Nigel Gordijk said on May 21, 2005 10:19 AM

    Time every task that you perform during a project, even if you’re working to a fixed-price quote. This will enable you to become more accurate when you estimate future jobs. Include everything; you’d be surprised how much time you spend replying to clients’ email, or speaking to them on the phone. I use Timetracker software to help me: www.allnetic.com/working-time-tracker/.

    Unless you’re billing hourly, make sure that you’ve defined in writing exactly what your deliverables are. Don’t just tell the client that you’ll design their Web site; specify what the process will be: design three homepage visuals; make up to two rounds of client-requested amendments; etc. Put all this in writing in the project brief and get the client to sign it. Any deviation from the brief should incur additional fees.

    Remember: if it takes time, it costs!

    Ms. Jen said on May 22, 2005 5:13 AM

    Develop a network of other freelancers who have skills that compliment your own, as one person can’t do it all.

    I am not inclined towards flash, I can do it but I would rather not, so I have a mutual recommendation agreement with two flash designers to whom CSS/(X)HTML gives them the hives. It works out well.

    On pets: Put a birdfeeder outside your window, as it saves the trouble of cleaning out the litter box and you get to look up from work to finches beating each other up trying to get seed… ;op

    michael said on May 23, 2005 5:05 AM

    Great posts and topic. I wish something like this was available when I got started over twenty years ago. I’ve been a freelancer most of my life and made my share of mistakes. A lot of them already covered except these few that I think are probably the most important when you get started:

    1. NEVER, I mean NEVER do spec work (also known as Work for Hire). [LINK:http://www.gag.org/about/fair_code.php] Doing work with the hopes of getting the project is not only unethical (from the standpoint of all designers on the planet) but it wastes your time. Would you have a plumber come into your home and tell him to replumb your home and if you like it you might pay him for it? Then why let a potential client ask this of you? The only thing you have to sell—that isn’t a commodity—is your idea. Don’t sell them short. And while we’re talking about selling yourself short—don’t. Which brings is to point two.

    2. Charge a fair price. In other words don’t undercut your competition just to get the job. If the only point of differentiation (or Unique Selling Proposition) you have is price then you need to really examine your abilities. You can always be beaten on price. ALWAYS. When I started freelancing I made this mistake and paid for it for years. If you lose a few because the client said they can get it cheaper then consider yourself lucky. One thing I learned for a fact: the clients that are looking for a deal (i.e. cheaper) are always the ones that are the most trouble. Remember the golden rule of business: People are usually looking for three things when making a buying decision; quality, service and price. And they can only have two. No business can stay in business for very long offering all three. It’s impossible.

    3. When you show a portfolio (online or off) show the type of work you like doing. I learned this one when I was doing a lot of illustration work in the beginning of my career. To pad my portfolio I included everything I had done, including the stuff I didn’t really like doing. And I seemed to always get projects that required my time devoted to doing something I hated. When I culled my portfolio and just showed the stuff I liked doing, things really turned around for me.

    4. Have fun.

    Hope this helps someone.

    May ye be prosperous.

    tripeak said on May 23, 2005 3:24 PM

    There’s a good post from Jason Santa Maria that I find quite relative to your post - have a squiz

    Chris said on May 24, 2005 9:50 AM

    I’m just getting started and wow. This was REALLY helpful. IF there’s anyone in Nottinghamshire that would like local contacts, Get in touch! Thanks guys, Chris.

    Chris Hunt said on May 25, 2005 10:06 AM

    I’m a programming contractor, rather than a freelance designer, but many of the stresses are the same. One lesson I’ve learnt in 8 years is to get a good local accountant that you can go and see when you need to, and who gives you good service.

    I started out with a big company that specialised in contractors. They were OK, but whenever I called them I got a different person, and if I ever made a mistake, forgot to send in a form etc. the first I knew of it was when I got angry letters from Gordon Brown’s minions.

    Now I’ve got a local guy. I can go see him whenever I need to, and he keeps an eye on my and my business’s finances - including chasing up tax forms where necessary.

    Mark said on May 25, 2005 1:32 PM

    As well as a a scope or projects requirements doc, it’s a good idea to work out a precise schedule and be realistic about how long stuff will take to do. It’s usually twice as long as you first thought!

    Break bigger projects into stages and charge as each stage is completed. If you can afford it, pay for 3rd party costs yourself and charge the client 25%+ on top.

    Get a reseller account or virtual private sever with an ISP and include hosting with your estimates (you will very quickly cover your costs).

    Finally, promote yourself as a company, not as a freelancer.

    Patrick Haney said on May 25, 2005 5:56 PM

    As others have mentioned before me, Basecamp is your friend. I just started using it last week as I began freelancing on the side once again and found its usefulness to go beyond organization. It keeps your clients informed and makes you both accountable for finishing pieces of the project.

    As for other things, create a separate bank account. Any money you earn through freelancing should go into that account. Keeping your personal finances separate from your business finances is just a smart (and easy) thing to do, especially come tax time.

    Lastly, get up from the computer! Seriously. Walk around, get a drink, go for a run, or whatever you need to do so that you’re not sitting in the same place for hours. Excercise your eyes too, because I find that after a day or two of staring at a monitor my eyes are strained, and that’s no good at all.

    Guillaume Stricher said on May 26, 2005 12:28 AM

    Among the biggest mistakes i run into, in first position comes: under-estimating the time i spend on a project. I haven’t tryed basecamp yet, but reading all the great comments in here and a little googling pointed me to On the job : nice and simple.
    Second mistake: rely on a single complementary co-worker. You’ll have to manage high doses of stress if this person vanishes in nature when his part of the work has to be done.
    Third mistake: work at home. Rent an office, even a (very) small one. Managing projects where you sleep and eat becomes quickly non sense.
    And finally, make sure the people around / you live with (family, girlfriend etc…) know and understand what you are into, they are your first support.

    Amit Lamba said on May 26, 2005 4:01 PM

    Anyone know of any good sources or have your own personal input as to pricing on various graphic design related projects? For example, websites (ofcourse it depends on how intricate it needs to be), stationary, logo, newsletter, brochure, flyer design, etc. I’m just curious, no need to divulge your own rates on here. Just some guidelines, rough estimates, or resources would be appreciated.

    Simon Clayson said on May 26, 2005 4:19 PM

    Make sure your kettle is in fully working order every morning.

    Alex said on May 26, 2005 8:59 PM

    Forgive the silly question, I’m relativly new to all of these terms..

    .. What is this ‘networking’ you’re all talking about? is it possible for anybody to give an explaination (or a link) to what extactly it means and refers to.

    Thanks in advance! :)

    Zeerus said on May 26, 2005 11:27 PM

    Being a 14 year old web designer I don’t really get the respect I deserve, and I tend to lose clients to adults.

    I highly suggest doing free work if you’re just starting out in the web design field. Don’t do anything too big, just things that are nice, simple, and require little to no updating. I have done about 5 free projects so far and my name is slowly starting to get out.

    I also suggest organizing. On my desk, shoved between my monitor and some blank work CD’s I have one Palm Pilot for electronic organization, a notebook to take notes on, and a large memo/contact book. All three of them really come in handy when keeping track of things. I’m still waiting to hand my whiteboard up though.

    - Zeerus

    Johan said on May 27, 2005 5:53 PM

    Funny that a consultant needs to hear from others what they think about freelance consulting. I guess the best way is to work with more than one. And organising yourself and being a good coder helps.

    Jpatterson. .ww/css2 said on June 1, 2005 3:17 PM

    *family is life

    note* these are my effective essentials.

    sincerely,

    JPatterson

    Elam said on June 6, 2005 12:52 PM

    Choosing a professional client will be a good one for freelancing, so as to easily communicate with them to the issues related to the websites.
    Be Sincere to them
    Be Dedicated to them
    Be Professional to them
    Make network from the previous clients

    Richard Brown said on June 12, 2005 5:07 AM

    Hi Andy

    1. Pray - personally I find when I get God involved life gets into more perspective.

    2. Family and friends are your most important asset. Don’t miss out on them just to get that job done.

    3. Be yourself - I am an easy going relaxed and chill sort of guy. A business adviser said to me to get a suit. A suit - it’s just not me. I find the best technique of selling yourself is to be yourself.

    4. Develop relationships. Always keep in contact with the client even when the job is done.

    5. Enjoy what you’re doing - if you don’t do something different. Even if it means a radical change in your lifestyle.

    6. Never be afraid to ask for help. Don’t just ask for help when you’re in trouble - ask for help when all is going well. It will enable you to be better prepared for the future.

    7. Always be ready to offer help. Even if it costs you in time and money.

    8. Never take it out on somebody or something else - always be ready to take responsibility for your own actions.

    9. Don’t squash snails - ok what I mean is appreciate the small things in life. And don’t squash snails.

    Rich
    Romans 12 v 1

    Christopher Kennon said on June 16, 2005 4:11 PM

    Hi,

    Engage in some form of physical exercise. A great stress relief and cure for lethargy.

    Viking KARWUR said on June 17, 2005 5:36 AM

    Wish you all the best…

    Amy Sorkin Kurland said on July 10, 2005 5:30 AM

    If you cold call, keep a separate book in which you mark when to call people again to check in (everyt two -three months). Look at it every day to see who you need to call. Consistent follow up is, I think, the MOST effective think you can do when it comes to cold calling. Sure, you get some lucky hits, but it’s the relationships that you build over time that really pay off in the end.

    Again, if you cold call, ask a person who has been open to your call if they mind if you check in with them again in a couple months or so. That way you know you won’t be pestering them when you do your follow up. You will really be surprised at how many people are happy for you to check in with them repeatedly. The second and third calls are where a relationship can really begin.

    ALWAYS write up a contract with clients you’ve never worked with before. No matter how nice they seem or how small the job. I have been surprised by people who seem great at first and then turn out to be total jerks. When appropriate, lay out in detail how the job process will play out. That way there are no surprises for the client. And if you do revisions, put a cap on how many revisions you will do within the price you’ve quoted. Also, just by having a contract at all, you’ll look more professional and therefore build trust in your client even before you do any work.

    If appropriate, create a NICE website, not just something to “get up there.” A website makes you look more established and professional. The nicer the sites looks, the more desireable you appear. It also gives a potential client time to review your services and/or portfolio without your having to be physically with them or on the phone with them - a nice option for them. And a 24 hour one for you.

    If possible, find a mentor who can help you with situations that are new to you.

    Be a mentor. Give back and it will eventually come back to you. (And if it doesn’t, it will at least make you feel good!)

    Surround yourself with other freelancers - ones who are positive about freelancing and successful. Most people do not have a freelancer’s persepctive, and that’s why many of them are in FT jobs. MAny of those people will speak of freelancing negatively. Don’t listen to them. It’s important to surround yourself with likeminded people who are succeeding. It will inspire you and remind you that you can be successful this way.

    Deepak G said on October 25, 2005 5:42 AM

    I am a Freelance Webdesigner from past 2 years. I live here in India. I find it very difficult to work out in a area where one doesn’t know what is INTERNET. But I always give my 200%
    Anyway as a freelancer I faced some problems..
    My home is very small, hence I can’t invite a client to see the design.
    My friend suggested me to buy a laptop..
    And I will use my nearest restaurent as my Office.. I will call my clients at that place to share coffy and to see design..
    And it is in budget also.
    Do..confidentelly..
    This is my Mantra..
    and yours?