Blog Archives

When in Doubt, Network!

So thanks to the economy and those pesky things called bills, last year I went looking for a full-time job and got one doing tech support towards the end of the month. Oh, I still have my occasional freelancing gigs, but it’s all about paying the rent and getting out of debt, you know. One of the good things about coming back to the workforce, especially when phone tech support, is that you meet a lot of new and interesting people.

I’m sure I’m not the only person who has or is doing some office work and freelancing on the side, so you’ve probably encountered folks who may have been interested in what other things you do – this can certainly be family and friends, but I’m talking about co-workers and yes, even clients. Working tech support for an ISP, I of course speak to a lot of different people, every minute, of every hour, of every day that I’m working; many are just regular folks having issues, but once in a while I speak to folks that are doing what I am – freelancing/work at home/small business – and I basically make a new friend. Read the rest of this entry

The State of Freelancing

So as you all may know, I’ve been freelancing for…wow, over four years now, and for those of you just starting on the adventure, you’ve figured out that the road isn’t all rainbows and unicorns, sadly.

However, in terms of how many people are freelancing, whether as a side or full time, the landscape looks pretty good. This infographic from Graphic Design Degree Hub shows the impact of freelancing today in the US and the numbers are still growing. What’s that mean for us? Well, it means we might have more competition, but it also means that the avenues of employment are still opening.

If you remember, I had just gotten back with the job I had started months ago before that “recent unpleasantness”; it’s tech support for a major US ISP company that allows me to reap the benefits of an office salary with health and dental insurance, but still allowing me to work from home. Of course, I’d like to work out of an office, in an actual building, with other actual people, however once I am able to get back to Denver, there’s a pretty good chance that I’m going to completely set up an office area to give the illusion of working somewhere that isn’t the living room.

Thanks much to Anna and the folks over at Graphic Design Degree Hub for sharing this with me!

The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelancer

 

How to Deal with a Clingy Client

Hello good reader! Welcome back to another session here at the FRR. So this blog is obviously about my life as a freelancer and all the crazy things that entails and there have been crazy things, let me tell you. I’ve done a few different things for different companies and clients and the learning process of dealing with people on a remote/telecommuting level versus an office level is certainly different.

Most of the folks that I’ve worked for have been awesome, offering feedback on projects I’ve done and so forth, but I have to say that I’ve encountered something I never have before – the clingy client. Read the rest of this entry

When is Too Much Freelancing Too Much?

Readers of the Freelancer R blog! I have great news!

I’m getting a ton of different projects! This is great for me because it means I can pay rent and bills and buy food and all those other things that need to be done in order to make sure that, you know, I have a roof over my head and electricity and well…food.

But as I throw my name about left and right, I am getting a little bit of the…’holy hell! I’ve got a lot of work to do!’ While a most definite good thing, there can be some downsides to having as many projects you can shake a stick at.

Read the rest of this entry

How to Use Social Media to Get People to Read Your Stuff

I’ve hit the message of using social media in terms of getting people to read your stuff. And I’m pretty sure I went over why this is important and if you remember me say it, then please forgive the rehash of this, because this is kinda important.

Technology is big. Crazy big. So big that people will look at you funny if you aren’t on at least one social network site (or they may look at you funny if you say you’re still on MySpace). Now, as you are a newbie freelancer (and hopefully not a noob freelancer), you might feel the need to sign up for every single social network site every where and anywhere.

But if I may – you’re just getting started. Why not just use the ones you’re using now?

Say what?

Listen, I was in your same boat; hell, I’m probably still in the same boat! When I started looking into becoming a freelancer on a full time basis, I went and signed up for a whole section of social networks. I got the Twitter, I went LinkedIn, signed up for Diggs (oh, if only I could remember my login info for this), Stumble (same thing), and I’m even posting about articles and blogs on Facebook (which I was adamant about not doing).

But as with the fate of Diggs and Stumble, you of course run into the issue of forgetting what login you have where, especially if you are just posting links to stuff.

But for you, my friend and avid reader of my blog, I’m going to tell you a secret in why – after all these sign ups – you aren’t getting people to read your stuff.

Because you haven’t said ‘hello’.

New freelancers or anyone going gung ho on the online business shift seem to forget that social media is still social. Now, believe me – I do think it’s a bit suspicious that people can post every hour or minute on FB or Twitter (especially when I know they should be working); hey, even I get a little distracted in responding to Tweets, but that’s social media. Think about why you signed up for Facebook.

The point of social networking is to talk to people. That’s the social part; the networking part is the meeting new people and learning new things. Think about Facebook – most times, you’re friends with your friends’ friends, right?

Now that I’ve given you that info, how exactly do you use social media to get people to your stuff?

  1. Sign up for a social network. Just start with one (if you don’t have one); we’ll call it reader’s choice.
  2. Search for friends. This is where I think many newbies fall. I know what you’re thinking – “I’ve signed up for Twitter and now I just sit back and wait for people to come to me” Sorry, but that is not how social media works. Unless you are a celebrity in any fashion (designer, director, Charlie Sheen), no one is just going to start following you. Find people that hold your interests – writing, blogging, websites, etc and start following them. In most cases, they’ll follow you, meaning you now have access to their friends, meaning their friends have access to you.
  3. Tell people. Social media is no good to you if you don’t tell people. Now, if you’re doing articles or design work, you may not be able to post your Twitter name or Facebook page, but if the option is there, do it. And while you’re at it, post it on your website too.
  4. Make Friends. This is a part of the ‘search for friends’ thing, but think of the people you could be making friends with. The Internet is an awesome thing, where you can meet people from all around the world. I have made friends around the states, as well as the UK and Australia. I even have friends in Canada, places I have never been to, but yet I have known these people for years (we’re talking 10+)
  5. Say Something. You, my friend, are a writer. I wrote this blog for writers. And freelancers, but mostly freelancing writers. As a writer, you have things to say. Hence why you are writing. Why then are you not using that gift to say something on your social media site?

Social media is all about give and take really – if you want followers, you have to go out and get them. And they, in return for your cleverness and fit, may reward you with followers for you. Just try it if you haven’t and if you haven’t, why not? And hey! Don’t forget about those real people you got hanging around you. Word of mouth still gets going in the real world too!

We Now Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Program

In the post before, I explain why I got a little late in the posting here. In the post before that, I went over the wonderful downsides to procrastination (which actually, has no upsides to speak of). Today…I’ll talk about finding some awesome tips on becoming a freelance writer.

Hopefully everyone is aware that, as I write this, I’m learning how to become a freelancer too. So, your journey is my journey and we will journey together in a sea of…journeys. Yeah, that sounds about right.

When looking into freelancing, I stumbled upon it due to our great and rocking economy at the moment *insert righteous sarcasm* just to make extra money. From what I’ve been reading and looking into, a lot of freelancers started that way – just looking to get some extra bucks to pay bills and what not. For me, freelancing took on a life of its own when I discovered how much I miss writing.

And ultimately how good I was at it.

I came across a good article the other day by Twitter friends, Freelance Advice on making a business plan, which after reading it seems to be an odd thing for a freelancer to do, but when you think about it, freelancing is a business, especially if that’s what your business is all about. You’re basically self-employed.

Yeah, it was scary to me too. I’ve never been self-employed before and there’s a host of crazy things like taxes and all that good stuff. It’s more than just sitting around in my jammies. There’s actually stuff to know and go about making sure that your business is good to go. Check out the podcasts that Freelance Advice has on their site.

From Freelance Folder, here’s “Five Ways to Start a Freelance Business” – good stuff to know and a good boost if you’re thinking about it. Tomorrow, I’ll give everyone a list of some of the sites I found to be helpful in guiding newbies like me on the right path.