I like to keep my eyes open for things out there on the interwebs (and the real life world) that help make freelancing a bit easier.
Here’s a good collection of some of the best resources I’ve found over the last month or so. If you’re freelancing, or thinking of jumping into the game, you’ll want to read or click through all of these.
I’ve mentioned Ramit Sethi on the blog before. He runs a blog called “I Will Teach You to be Rich” that despite, or maybe because of, its irreverent style manages to do just what he says it will. Ramit is big on providing people scripts for handling particular situations; exactly what you should say if you want a particular outcome in a negotiation. He recently posted a video that shows you what to say if you want to raise your rates and are concerned about offending your “loyal clients.” It is well worth the 10 minutes it takes to watch.
It’s quarterly tax time! And if you’re like most freelancers, heck most people, taxes scare the crap out of you. But you don’t have to freak out! Instead, read and bookmark CPA Susan Lee’s blog FreelanceTaxation.com.
While you’re at it, check out the most recent Freelance Industry Report, a survey of over 1,500 freelancers about how they work, what they charge and what they think future prospects are.
Outright.com has an article out this week about why (and how) you need to start planning for your holiday sales now.
Looking to expand your skill set? In Portland you can sign up for my Contracts 101 class to learn how to read a contract and what to look out for the next time you’re asked to sign on the dotted line (they’re hardly ever dotted these days, by the way.) If you’re in New York, check out Sarah Feingold’s class on copyright for artists. The class is designed to give you a solid overview of intellectual property and what you need to understand about IP as a creator.
Would you rather study at your own pace? Check out Savvy: Dealing With People, Politics and Power at Work by Jane Clarke from your local library. If you’re a regular reader of the blog, Ms. Clarke’s “how to” guides might feel like old hat, but her approach for understanding the different types of people you meet in workplaces is helpful. I find it can be much easier to deal with difficult people if you understand the type of difficult person you’re dealing with. Clarke breaks down workplace personalities into four basic types and she does a nice job of describing the particular interests and motivations of each personality type. If you regularly work with groups of your clients’ employees, this book might be particularly helpful. Full disclosure: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher with the idea that I might mention the book on the blog if I thought it was helpful.
If you haven’t checked out Docracy yet, you’re missing out. While not a good replacement for a lawyer, it’s a good start if you’re looking for a type of contract. Docracy is an open source contract resource; users upload contracts they like and others can download them for use, change the contract according to their needs and share the changes with the rest of the community.
Want an easy way of keeping track of your time and invoicing clients? Try Harvest. I love it. Are your clients ever late making payments? The Harvest folks recently added an automated reminder system: perfect.
Mule Design Studio’s Blog, Off the Hoof, has a nice post about why it’s important for clients to tell you what their budget is before you start talking about options. It’s a good post to keep in your back pocket for the next time a client balks when you start asking about how much money they want to spend.
Finally, if you like the new website and are looking for fancy new digs of your own, I highly recommend Kate of Outbox Online. She did a great job with my site and she’s fun to work with.
That’s it! Good luck in all your freelance-y endeavors; I’ll see you next week!
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Categories: The Rest