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Advice for New Freelancers

General discussions about freelancing.

Advice for New Freelancers

Postby Evan » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:52 am

I'd like to start a thread here for both general and specific advice for new freelancers. Stepping out into the world as a new freelancer can be difficult and intimidating.

What advice do you have for new freelancers to help them succeed?
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby julian » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:22 am

If you have a job already, I'd recommend getting into freelance one small step at a time. In other words, don't quit your day job until you've gotten your feet pretty wet and have a handful of freelance clients. Jumping into freelance too quickly can turn ugly if you don't have enough work, and it usually takes time to build enough clients to occupy yourself full time.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby FreeFallin' » Mon Oct 10, 2011 8:22 am

I say to set a goal on how much money you absolutely have to make to pay your bills. If you can make that while freelancing, great! If not, then you still have to keep at least a part-time job until you can make it.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby terriblefreelancer » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:27 pm

Incorporate yourself; get an accountant and setup payroll for yourself; establish office hours and stick to them; get a professional looking website; print some business cards; get a separate telephone line and record an outgoing message for your business; do some advertising and marketing.

Look professional; act professional; be professional.

If you follow these basics, you'll be more than halfway there.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby Tomas » Mon Oct 10, 2011 4:56 pm

Don't wait to respond to an opportunity. If you get a referral or if a prospect contacts you, respond to them right away. Immediate responses always leave a good impression.

Write down your sales pitches and continue to refine and develop them over time. The first time to give a sales pitch to a prospective customer it may be a little awkward, but the more you do it and refine the pitch, the better you'll get.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby Judy » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:24 am

So far, this is all good advice. I would like to add a few things. First, it is helpful to have a good friend to run pitches with, and bounce ideas off of. Sometimes an idea sounds great in your head, but a second opinion can help refine ideas. Secondly, never get discouraged. As they say: Rome was not built in a day. It takes time to build clients, and everything else that comes with being a freelancer. Just keep your head up.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby strengthandpower » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:56 am

Make the customer happy.

It's hard to go out and find new customers all the time, so the main thing is retaining the one's you already have. 9 times out of 10, if you are reasonable and do a good job at satisfying them with your service, and work they will come back. Thus, helping you keep a more constant flow of work coming in.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby internetlot » Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:48 am

I would say If you truly care about your client and put them above everything else, your freelancing career will flourish.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby devmo » Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:26 am

Set office hours and stick to them! If you run your shop like a business, you'll succeed like a business.
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Re: Advice for New Freelancers

Postby strengthandpower » Fri Oct 14, 2011 9:38 pm

The best advice is be prompt in your response and service deliveries. Also try to stick to a schedule so you can get all your work done; in a reasonable amount of time. Even though it's hard, make room for it.
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