Your focus should be on automation & efficient systems first and foremost to easily manage the monotony while you get to work for your clients.
So, from my experience I’ve put together sort of a 101 for new freelancers and experienced ones alike.
Last year Mike McDerment, the founder of FreshBooks, and Donald Cowper, published a free eBook called Breaking the Time Barrier – How to Unlock Your True Earning Potential.
The tagline is “Learn how to charge what you’re really worth. Read this book and find out how you can earn twice as much as you do today.”
It’s an excellent guide, and it’s free (well, you can donate if you like, but not until AFTER you’ve read it).
Many of the approaches discussed are similar to the work of Alan Weiss, of Summit Consulting, namely the proposal structure and value-based fees1, while being a bit more accessible to the typical freelancer.
It is a fairly quick and easy read eBook and anyone doing freelancing, consulting, or quasi-consulting service-based businesses will get something out of it.
which is not a bad thing; I’ve learned a lot from Alan’s body of work in this area ↩
About four years ago, we decided to no longer compromise on our beliefs, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. We’ve been thrilled to discover that some of the companies we’ve most admired happen to share our views, and have even become our clients because of our beliefs. Time after time, we’ve confirmed that engaging those clients that share our beliefs is a general precursor to successful, enjoyable projects. And in the process, we’ve created some great products, delivered some major success and value, and have had a blast doing it.
Matt Henderson on Why we do not sign NDAs at Makalu.
Matt Henderson of Makalu shares his thoughts on pricing in technical services work in this post from his firm’s blog. He hits on:
- Determination of a minimum hourly rate
- Making adjustments according to supply and demand
- But what about the others?
- Hourly or project? Effort or value?
- But what about value pricing?
When I started Makalu, over a decade ago, I remember longing for a user’s manual to help with questions like, “How much should I charge?” and “How should I price my work?” This article describes how we approached these questions, and includes discussion of the recent controversy over the pricing of the 37signals’s (@37signals) blog redesign project.
On the pricing of services work by Matt Henderson
Brian Casel hits on some specific ideas for freelancers looking to move up the value ladder.
Are you getting tired of churning out WordPress website after website for clients? Is managing SEO for clients getting more competitive and less rewarding? Have some specialized skills but don’t know how to package and monetize them?
Here a couple ideas that I think are perfectly under-served and ripe for some talented freelancers to go after and make a name for themselves.
I’ve been doing a lot of pondering about the different approaches people take to being an independent IT professional.
There are really (at least) 4-5 camps. And they make all the difference in the world when it comes to how happy you are with where you are and what approaches to take when trying to get where you want to be. Each has different trade-offs.
If you aren’t aware of their existence than you may be “barking up the wrong tree”.
Many think the folks more successful than themselves are better at marketing, lucky… or some other mysterious attribute. That may be true but often they’re in an entirely different business. (It’s no wonder folks get frustrated trying to chase others when they are on the outside looking in.)
They’re chasing the outward results someone else is achieving but don’t understand the underlying strategy or positioning.
The table below documents what I call the Independent IT Professional Success Ladder. Continue reading The Freelancing Technologist Success Ladder
A video of a pretty bad ass presentation freelancer Michael Jones did for a user group on The Business of Freelance. It’s 19 minutes long and well worth it. The good stuff starts just under 2 minutes in.
This talk is a combination of my personal experiences and a broad economic examination of working as a freelancer in creative services.
Credit to Alox3 for posting this on the reddit freelance subreddit.
Jake Poinier (aka: Dr. Freelance) answers a reader question on LLC/corporate entities for freelancers on his blog:
I am a big believer in forming a legal entity for your freelance writing business at the outset. A next step includes getting an Employer Identification Number (EIN) rather than using your Social Security number–it takes only a few minutes and it’s smart practice with today’s concerns about identity theft. Finally, with those in hand, you can get a separate business bank account. I know that there are freelancers who are successful without going through the formalities, but you need to do what makes sense for your own situation.
And: Continue reading
Naomi over at IttyBiz discusses 5 things to do when you feel like you’re hemorrhaging money. She writes:
If you feel like you’re hemorrhaging money, then you need to figure out why you feel that way first and what you’re going to do about it second. But as long as you let that feeling just float around as a feeling, you’re going to bleed out.
These are the techniques I’ve found most effective to get paid fast when doing technology freelancing. Continue reading 15 Ways to Get Paid Fast When Freelancing