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Covering everything from getting started to expanding your business, How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer is the official FreelanceSwitch book. Written by Collis & Cyan Ta’eed – the founders of the site – it’s packed with new information, advice and insights not covered on the blog. The book is available now as an eBook for $29 and will shortly be on Lulu as a paperback (Available: Jan 2008).

All you have to do is write a comment right here with your best freelancing tip or link. Anyone who posts a tip will go into a random draw by the end of the week.

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Comments

  1. Interesting.

    My link is this. It’s a nice text about freelancig for beginners.

  2. Interesting.

    My link is this. It’s a nice text about freelancig for beginners.

  3. Try a different sleeping pattern. One of the great things I’ve noticed (I switched to a biphasic routine last year) is that I’m now much more focused late into the night, which is great for dealing with people in various timezones.

  4. Try a different sleeping pattern. One of the great things I’ve noticed (I switched to a biphasic routine last year) is that I’m now much more focused late into the night, which is great for dealing with people in various timezones.

  5. Freelancing can drive you nuts. Learn three ways to take care of your mental health!

    (Good timing, buying this ebook is on our to-do list!)

  6. Freelancing can drive you nuts. Learn three ways to take care of your mental health!

    (Good timing, buying this ebook is on our to-do list!)

  7. These sounds so basic and yet you’d be surprised how many people fail to do them: Treat freelancing as a business and deliver great customer service to your clients.

  8. These sounds so basic and yet you’d be surprised how many people fail to do them: Treat freelancing as a business and deliver great customer service to your clients.

  9. Get an accountant. The language they speak about tax and allowances is not designed for normal people.

  10. Get an accountant. The language they speak about tax and allowances is not designed for normal people.

  11. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. You’re not a huge megacorporation that can practically do everything it can hire people to do, etc. Find your niche. People go looking someone who is an expert in a niche, rarely does someone seek out a generalist unless it’s your parents or friend who needs some free help.

  12. Don’t try to be everything to everybody. You’re not a huge megacorporation that can practically do everything it can hire people to do, etc. Find your niche. People go looking someone who is an expert in a niche, rarely does someone seek out a generalist unless it’s your parents or friend who needs some free help.

  13. Internationalize yourself and do not be afraid to take a freelance job outside of your country.

  14. Internationalize yourself and do not be afraid to take a freelance job outside of your country.

  15. Contrary to Scott, I’m going to say get up early! Seize the day and get a bright start. Although it’s nice to boast about working from home and sleeping in, it will actually do you more damage in the long run by leaving you feeling groggy and tired.

  16. Contrary to Scott, I’m going to say get up early! Seize the day and get a bright start. Although it’s nice to boast about working from home and sleeping in, it will actually do you more damage in the long run by leaving you feeling groggy and tired.

  17. If you’re just getting started, stop discounting work for your friends. Not only do your clients need to get accustomed to your rates, you need to get accustomed to them yourself. You need to define your worth. If you keep giving your time away to your friends for 50% less than you do anyone else, you devalue your work (for both yourself and your friend).

  18. If you’re just getting started, stop discounting work for your friends. Not only do your clients need to get accustomed to your rates, you need to get accustomed to them yourself. You need to define your worth. If you keep giving your time away to your friends for 50% less than you do anyone else, you devalue your work (for both yourself and your friend).

  19. Give them what they want. If you are applying for a gig and they want three clips included in the email, send them three clips, not four, not six and not as an attachment.

    If they want health article clips, don’t send them your killer wake boarding clip. If they only want blogs that have 3 posts a week and have been active for at least a year, don’t send yours where you last posted in September. It wasn’t that brilliant.

    When the client wants the project finished by a certain due date – damn sleep, sex and bathing, you get that project in ON TIME!

    Often giving them what they want is as simple as following the directions.

    http://freelancewritingjobsandmore.blogspot.com/2007/12/quick-ways-to-not-get-job.html

  20. Give them what they want. If you are applying for a gig and they want three clips included in the email, send them three clips, not four, not six and not as an attachment.

    If they want health article clips, don’t send them your killer wake boarding clip. If they only want blogs that have 3 posts a week and have been active for at least a year, don’t send yours where you last posted in September. It wasn’t that brilliant.

    When the client wants the project finished by a certain due date – damn sleep, sex and bathing, you get that project in ON TIME!

    Often giving them what they want is as simple as following the directions.

    http://freelancewritingjobsandmore.blogspot.com/2007/12/quick-ways-to-not-get-job.html

  21. make sure you have a contract! and if the client doesn;t want to work with one, then don’t work with them

  22. make sure you have a contract! and if the client doesn;t want to work with one, then don’t work with them

  23. Just go do it! If you are serious about working for yourself get out there in the business community and talk about what you do. Don’t be afraid to make some simple suggestions or provide tips that could help businesses. They will thank you with their business if they are impressed.

  24. Just go do it! If you are serious about working for yourself get out there in the business community and talk about what you do. Don’t be afraid to make some simple suggestions or provide tips that could help businesses. They will thank you with their business if they are impressed.

  25. Like Chris above, I’m going to say that trying freelancing for yourself is the only way to see whether you’re going to enjoy the up and down rollercoaster lifestyle that comes with it. Don’t take a full plunge, but plan and be aware of the potential problems that you’ll be up against, whilst keeping in mind the obvious positives.

    Also, being personable is very important in my opinion and will help you seal potential deals, and will encourage repeat business from clients.

  26. Like Chris above, I’m going to say that trying freelancing for yourself is the only way to see whether you’re going to enjoy the up and down rollercoaster lifestyle that comes with it. Don’t take a full plunge, but plan and be aware of the potential problems that you’ll be up against, whilst keeping in mind the obvious positives.

    Also, being personable is very important in my opinion and will help you seal potential deals, and will encourage repeat business from clients.

  27. My link is this:

    24 Guerrilla Marketing Tactics You Should Be Using it also has a link to the followup which is 26 more guerrilla marketing tips.

    Guerrilla Marketing is perfect for the freelancer because of the low cost promotion it brings to our businesses.

  28. My link is this:

    24 Guerrilla Marketing Tactics You Should Be Using it also has a link to the followup which is 26 more guerrilla marketing tips.

    Guerrilla Marketing is perfect for the freelancer because of the low cost promotion it brings to our businesses.

  29. My new No. 1 New Year’s Resolution is going to be this: Do Daily Backups of Your WordPress Blog Database!!!

    I’ve had an extremely reliable webhost for more than a year. They host a VPS for me on which I have all my blogs and marketing websites.

    Yesterday morning their server, their redundant backups, the whole works, CRASHED. I, as probably most bloggers and Internet marketers do, carelessly assumed such breakdowns in redundant backups couldn’t/wouldn’t ever happen. Boy, was I wrong. I may have lost a couple of years worth of blogging. *sigh*

  30. My new No. 1 New Year’s Resolution is going to be this: Do Daily Backups of Your WordPress Blog Database!!!

    I’ve had an extremely reliable webhost for more than a year. They host a VPS for me on which I have all my blogs and marketing websites.

    Yesterday morning their server, their redundant backups, the whole works, CRASHED. I, as probably most bloggers and Internet marketers do, carelessly assumed such breakdowns in redundant backups couldn’t/wouldn’t ever happen. Boy, was I wrong. I may have lost a couple of years worth of blogging. *sigh*

  31. My tip: Each night, make a list of things to do the next day. Then do them. Yes, I know this is complicated, but it actually works.

  32. My tip: Each night, make a list of things to do the next day. Then do them. Yes, I know this is complicated, but it actually works.

  33. Don’t quit your day job when you’re starting out!

    There’s something to be said for getting an impetus to get going, but there’s no reason to be foolish if this is your first time, especially if you have a family to support.

    Cheers
    t @ dji

  34. Don’t quit your day job when you’re starting out!

    There’s something to be said for getting an impetus to get going, but there’s no reason to be foolish if this is your first time, especially if you have a family to support.

    Cheers
    t @ dji

  35. This is a post about giving value to your work through promotion.

    Making money with your work: The Picasso Vs the Van Gogh method

  36. This is a post about giving value to your work through promotion.

    Making money with your work: The Picasso Vs the Van Gogh method

  37. My tip: Give something away for free.

    I don’t mean “work for free” (though you might like to do that in order to get yourself known), I mean create something self-contained that can be downloaded for free. If you’re a developer, write some software and make it a free download. Write a free ebook (like Chris’s free ebook for subscribers), or make a free blog template. Oh, and write a blog.

    If you have free content that relates to what you do, people will visit your website, and maybe add a link. More links = better search rankings, and more traffic. More traffic = more potential clients. Converting potential clients into actual paying clients is beyond the scope of this comment ;-)

  38. My tip: Give something away for free.

    I don’t mean “work for free” (though you might like to do that in order to get yourself known), I mean create something self-contained that can be downloaded for free. If you’re a developer, write some software and make it a free download. Write a free ebook (like Chris’s free ebook for subscribers), or make a free blog template. Oh, and write a blog.

    If you have free content that relates to what you do, people will visit your website, and maybe add a link. More links = better search rankings, and more traffic. More traffic = more potential clients. Converting potential clients into actual paying clients is beyond the scope of this comment ;-)

  39. Make sure you understand all the tax and legal implications of what you are doing and saying, you can usually write off a whole lot of items that you would only dream about as an employee.

    As well you could be held liable for things you do and say, so make sure you understand what you are saying and double check anything that you put in writing.

  40. Make sure you understand all the tax and legal implications of what you are doing and saying, you can usually write off a whole lot of items that you would only dream about as an employee.

    As well you could be held liable for things you do and say, so make sure you understand what you are saying and double check anything that you put in writing.

  41. Start off on the right foot with quality work. I know it sound silly but first impressions are lasting impressions – be on point.

  42. Start off on the right foot with quality work. I know it sound silly but first impressions are lasting impressions – be on point.

  43. Guard your reputation with your life. Remember, word will get around, and it is pretty much up to you if it is positive or negative. If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you promise it by Thursday, have it in by Thursday. Make sure it is the absolute best you can do. And if the customer needs something you cannot do, then be honest about that too.

    I’ve had a successful freelance writing business for 11 years, and I’ve never paid for advertising – it has all been word of mouth because I come through for my customers. http://www.PegasusWriter.com

  44. Guard your reputation with your life. Remember, word will get around, and it is pretty much up to you if it is positive or negative. If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you promise it by Thursday, have it in by Thursday. Make sure it is the absolute best you can do. And if the customer needs something you cannot do, then be honest about that too.

    I’ve had a successful freelance writing business for 11 years, and I’ve never paid for advertising – it has all been word of mouth because I come through for my customers. http://www.PegasusWriter.com

  45. I think one of the best tips I’ve ever heard, which I would offer to anyone else, is that you should know when to say no. While it might be hard (or even impossible) in the beginning, when you’re just trying to scrap together enough work to pay the bills, saying no to potential clients can sometimes be keep your continued success.

    Especially once you reach the point where job offers are coming in without you having to actively seek them out, you’ll stretch yourself too thin if you accept every job offer you receive. You’ll either start missing deadlines, or the overall quality of your work will begin to suffer, as you put less time and effort into each individual job, in order to finish all of them on time.

    If you take fewer jobs, you’ll be able to put more time and effort into each one, which will result in a higher quality finished product. And, if your quality is higher than the guy who doesn’t know when to say no, you’ll be able to charge higher rates (since you’re providing a better product or service), which in turn will mean that you don’t need to say yes to every single job that comes your way.

    Saying no is also important when a client is asking you for something you know you can’t provide. Don’t say yes, if you can’t do what you’re being asked. Doing so will only hurt your reputation. In this situation, refer the client to someone who can do the work their asking for, if possible; it’ll help the client and your reputation, and the person you refer them to may return the favour in the future.

  46. I think one of the best tips I’ve ever heard, which I would offer to anyone else, is that you should know when to say no. While it might be hard (or even impossible) in the beginning, when you’re just trying to scrap together enough work to pay the bills, saying no to potential clients can sometimes be keep your continued success.

    Especially once you reach the point where job offers are coming in without you having to actively seek them out, you’ll stretch yourself too thin if you accept every job offer you receive. You’ll either start missing deadlines, or the overall quality of your work will begin to suffer, as you put less time and effort into each individual job, in order to finish all of them on time.

    If you take fewer jobs, you’ll be able to put more time and effort into each one, which will result in a higher quality finished product. And, if your quality is higher than the guy who doesn’t know when to say no, you’ll be able to charge higher rates (since you’re providing a better product or service), which in turn will mean that you don’t need to say yes to every single job that comes your way.

    Saying no is also important when a client is asking you for something you know you can’t provide. Don’t say yes, if you can’t do what you’re being asked. Doing so will only hurt your reputation. In this situation, refer the client to someone who can do the work their asking for, if possible; it’ll help the client and your reputation, and the person you refer them to may return the favour in the future.

  47. Oops, typo! The second sentence should read “…can sometimes be key to your continued success,” not “…keep your continued success.”

  48. Oops, typo! The second sentence should read “…can sometimes be key to your continued success,” not “…keep your continued success.”

  49. Before you begin freelancing for someone and decide the goals. If the goals are set too high and they believe you can do everything, set a standard and compromise on what you can do, do overextend yourself for nothing. If you can, educate them about your field, if you make websites make sure they know the difference between a developer and a designer.

    Everyone comes up to me asking to help them build a website, but they do not know the difference between a developer and a designer. Everyone wants a intensive database with a beautiful design, I can do the design but the database work is what kills me. So do not overextend yourself and compromise on the goals.

  50. Before you begin freelancing for someone and decide the goals. If the goals are set too high and they believe you can do everything, set a standard and compromise on what you can do, do overextend yourself for nothing. If you can, educate them about your field, if you make websites make sure they know the difference between a developer and a designer.

    Everyone comes up to me asking to help them build a website, but they do not know the difference between a developer and a designer. Everyone wants a intensive database with a beautiful design, I can do the design but the database work is what kills me. So do not overextend yourself and compromise on the goals.

  51. One of the best things I have done as a freelance problogger is to check out other’s blogs, comment on their blogs, and write e-mails back to those that comment on mine. It is somewhat time consuming but so worth it. I am now building a group of loyal followers who ask me questions about blogging and give me resources on their end.

  52. One of the best things I have done as a freelance problogger is to check out other’s blogs, comment on their blogs, and write e-mails back to those that comment on mine. It is somewhat time consuming but so worth it. I am now building a group of loyal followers who ask me questions about blogging and give me resources on their end.

  53. Treat freelancing like you would any other job: work a regular day (9-5 or whatever schedule suits you, but be consistent and punctual), be prepared to work overtime when needed and be the kind of (self) employer that you would like to have. Don’t let things slip because you don’t have a boss other than yourself.

  54. Treat freelancing like you would any other job: work a regular day (9-5 or whatever schedule suits you, but be consistent and punctual), be prepared to work overtime when needed and be the kind of (self) employer that you would like to have. Don’t let things slip because you don’t have a boss other than yourself.

  55. If you’re a freelance writer, here are some tips on how to look for writing markets.

  56. If you’re a freelance writer, here are some tips on how to look for writing markets.

  57. As a freelancer charge 2 to 4 times what you would get paid to do the same job as an employee.

  58. As a freelancer charge 2 to 4 times what you would get paid to do the same job as an employee.

  59. The True and Onlye tip: Read the Freelance Switch Blog
    ; )

  60. The True and Onlye tip: Read the Freelance Switch Blog
    ; )

  61. Great interaction and conversation with your audience Chris. This type of contest really make me want to read all the comments by everyone so that my comment is unique.

    My tip is to simply be unique.

  62. Great interaction and conversation with your audience Chris. This type of contest really make me want to read all the comments by everyone so that my comment is unique.

    My tip is to simply be unique.

  63. My tip: Listen.

    You would be surprised how many things go wrong or not as expected because someone wasn’t listening properly (and “hearing” and “listening” are two related, but very different things).

    It’s also more generally applicable to life, so it’s a 2 for 1 deal :)

  64. My tip: Listen.

    You would be surprised how many things go wrong or not as expected because someone wasn’t listening properly (and “hearing” and “listening” are two related, but very different things).

    It’s also more generally applicable to life, so it’s a 2 for 1 deal :)

  65. Two Tips:
    1) Assume that you have no more than 200 days of work time available a year, then calculate your rates accordingly.

    2) As time goes by you should be working towards building a brand. Not in any artificial way but in the good old fashioned “that is someone we trust and are happy to work with way”. Quality of work, meeting deadlines, and doing what you say you will do are the obvious common-sense steps to achieving this.

  66. Two Tips:
    1) Assume that you have no more than 200 days of work time available a year, then calculate your rates accordingly.

    2) As time goes by you should be working towards building a brand. Not in any artificial way but in the good old fashioned “that is someone we trust and are happy to work with way”. Quality of work, meeting deadlines, and doing what you say you will do are the obvious common-sense steps to achieving this.

  67. Incorporate! It’s easy (and cheap) to set up an LLC and it will save you lots of headaches when you attempt to claim business expenses during tax time.

    Regards,

    -jf.


    John Federico
    http://www.newrules.com
    http://johnfederico.brandbrains.net

  68. Incorporate! It’s easy (and cheap) to set up an LLC and it will save you lots of headaches when you attempt to claim business expenses during tax time.

    Regards,

    -jf.


    John Federico
    http://www.newrules.com
    http://johnfederico.brandbrains.net

  69. And when you sign up to do a client’s job, check your ego at the door. It’s their sandbox; they get to call the game.

  70. And when you sign up to do a client’s job, check your ego at the door. It’s their sandbox; they get to call the game.

  71. If your home is your office, have separate ambients/desks for work-related and house/family-related stuff. Treat it as two separate entities, as enticing as it may be to have it all together. Also, try to maintain stricter schedules for your freelancing work, as that helps, along with the space, on better focusing ans efficiency.

  72. If your home is your office, have separate ambients/desks for work-related and house/family-related stuff. Treat it as two separate entities, as enticing as it may be to have it all together. Also, try to maintain stricter schedules for your freelancing work, as that helps, along with the space, on better focusing ans efficiency.

  73. Haha, Gabriel, I was wondering if someone would post a link or make a comment about reading Freelance Switch. Good one.

    All the tips here have been really great. Thanks to everyone who has shared so far. Bookmarking this post in del.icio.us!!

    I think my tip applies to life in general really: take care of yourself. I’ve seen too many people get burned out and bitter while taking on creative work (whether it be writing, graphic design, illustration or any other area where creativity is required). This type of work is especially demanding and taxing on the mind. It’s important to take breaks from the work; almost the most important thing! You’re no good to your clients if your brain is frizzled up from overexertion!

  74. Haha, Gabriel, I was wondering if someone would post a link or make a comment about reading Freelance Switch. Good one.

    All the tips here have been really great. Thanks to everyone who has shared so far. Bookmarking this post in del.icio.us!!

    I think my tip applies to life in general really: take care of yourself. I’ve seen too many people get burned out and bitter while taking on creative work (whether it be writing, graphic design, illustration or any other area where creativity is required). This type of work is especially demanding and taxing on the mind. It’s important to take breaks from the work; almost the most important thing! You’re no good to your clients if your brain is frizzled up from overexertion!

  75. when you star pricing, double the figure you have in your head..no matter what the figure is. If you don’t you’re going to be feeling like you have under charged.

  76. when you star pricing, double the figure you have in your head..no matter what the figure is. If you don’t you’re going to be feeling like you have under charged.

  77. Turn off email!!!

  78. Turn off email!!!

  79. Hustle! Well, that one’s obvious.

    Having been stiffed by a nasty client, it pays to research people before agreeing to work for them. Google everyone! Also google their name + ‘owes me money’ or ‘doesn’t pay.’ Also use Craigslist at your own risk. While I have found Craigslist clients that were a dream, I also found some nightmare ones as well. Trust your instincts. If you get a flaky vibe or a bad vibe off the bat, RUN!

  80. Hustle! Well, that one’s obvious.

    Having been stiffed by a nasty client, it pays to research people before agreeing to work for them. Google everyone! Also google their name + ‘owes me money’ or ‘doesn’t pay.’ Also use Craigslist at your own risk. While I have found Craigslist clients that were a dream, I also found some nightmare ones as well. Trust your instincts. If you get a flaky vibe or a bad vibe off the bat, RUN!

  81. My tip: Don’t read too many blogs! Choose a few and be very picky when it comes to adding new ones to the list – it is easy to spend too long on the damn things!

  82. My tip: Don’t read too many blogs! Choose a few and be very picky when it comes to adding new ones to the list – it is easy to spend too long on the damn things!

  83. Sounds great!

    My tip:
    The customer is not always right. Especially if the customer wants a specific design for a website but has a poor sense of design.

    As a freelancer, you need to make them understand that there are better alternatives on design. Don’t follow what they want or else you might destroy your name as a freelancer. :D

  84. Sounds great!

    My tip:
    The customer is not always right. Especially if the customer wants a specific design for a website but has a poor sense of design.

    As a freelancer, you need to make them understand that there are better alternatives on design. Don’t follow what they want or else you might destroy your name as a freelancer. :D

  85. My tip: Watch out what people say in forums… there are all kinds of nuts out there. Stick with what you know and grow slow, that is the best way to maintain your integrity and quality.

  86. My tip: Watch out what people say in forums… there are all kinds of nuts out there. Stick with what you know and grow slow, that is the best way to maintain your integrity and quality.

  87. My tip for beginning freelancers is to soak up everything you can find by Sharon Hurley Hall of DoubleHDesign.com (http://doublehdesign.com/)

    I love her style and her newsletter is chock full of advice that applies to web designers as well as writers.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

  88. My tip for beginning freelancers is to soak up everything you can find by Sharon Hurley Hall of DoubleHDesign.com (http://doublehdesign.com/)

    I love her style and her newsletter is chock full of advice that applies to web designers as well as writers.

    Cheers,

    Mitch

  89. When calculating your hourly wage, don’t forget to take into account all the other hours you spent to support your freelance lifestyle.

  90. When calculating your hourly wage, don’t forget to take into account all the other hours you spent to support your freelance lifestyle.

  91. Oh this is funny. I just was discussing this topic yesterday. My tip is this: don’t over deliver on your work. Your project should impress, but not exceed the orginal scope too much otherwise you wasting your time and the client’s time if they don’t need that information.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  92. Oh this is funny. I just was discussing this topic yesterday. My tip is this: don’t over deliver on your work. Your project should impress, but not exceed the orginal scope too much otherwise you wasting your time and the client’s time if they don’t need that information.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  93. Give away freebies of your work to get known. Make sure those freebies are high quality. Get testimonials and then use those testimonials to get paid work.

  94. Give away freebies of your work to get known. Make sure those freebies are high quality. Get testimonials and then use those testimonials to get paid work.

  95. Create great & free themes that people will be able to enjoy which will in turn make your $$$ themes more attractive and credible.

  96. Create great & free themes that people will be able to enjoy which will in turn make your $$$ themes more attractive and credible.

  97. Here’s a tip, give away a free ebook to encourage reader participation on your blog

  98. Here’s a tip, give away a free ebook to encourage reader participation on your blog