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.
The WAV Group had researchers pose as consumers and make inquiries with real estate brokers.
They found that:
- 48% of buyer inquiries were NEVER responded to.
- Average number of call back attempts after the initial contact was 1.5
- Average number of email contact attempts was 2.07
- Average response time was 917 minutes (or 15.29 hours)
Their results are about right for technology consultants as well, in my experience.
Paul Jarvis, writing for 99U:
There are certainly times when we want to turn into the freelance version of Donald Trump, screaming “You’re Fired!” at everyone we disagree with. But the truth is, we deserve the clients we get. Bad clients aren’t the result of some cosmic force working against us, they’re more likely the result of our own actions.
Frustrating clients are the result of some misstep we’ve made along the way. To do our best work and work with the best people, we need to be diligent in our relationship with our clients.
His suggestions on how.
IT Consultants Need To Be Multilingual
Alan Weiss, on IT consultants, for ContrarianConsulting.com writes:
Just this morning, an IT consultant complained that I was unfair castigating IT people for not being customer-oriented, and he prided himself on being a “level three” service provider, or some such thing. Right in his letter of complaint, he was being obscure. He was speaking his language, not mine, but expecting me to adapt to him. Is level three good or bad? Who cares?
Consultants need to speak their clients’ languages. Bankers talk about defalcations. Insurance people will cite “churn.” Hospital management is concerned with capitation.
You get the idea. Do a little homework so that you’re talking in terms the client or prospect is accustomed to using. Don’t talk about “OD interventions,” “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs,” or “hygiene factors.”
Most sales are preceded by the ability to communicate effectively. Most referral business comes from delighted clients who have been heard. So please stop telling me to reboot.
Patrick McKenzie recently shared a thought provoking piece entitled Productizing A Freelancing / Consulting Business. If you enjoy it, you may want to also get on his mailing list or read some of his most popular blog posts, several of which have great lessons from his software consulting activities.
Alan Weis has this to say in The Case for Value Based Fees in “Stubborn” Professions:
There are only two kinds of consultants: Those who think the input side is important, who stress methodology and bill by the hour; and those who think results are important who stress outcomes and bill based upon value contribution. The former are lucky to make $250,000, the latter make seven figures. The former are known for their implementation, the latter are known as thought leaders.