Without a doubt, becoming an entrepreneurial freelancer won't be easy and this is why a lot of people don't even bother trying it out. However, programs and services now exist out there that can help you make freelancing entrepreneurship much easier. Plus, a lot of them are free! So, don't throw the idea of becoming one out yet. Take a look at these programs and services first:
Whether you like it or not, both lovers and haters of Microsoft will eventually need their software. In fact, at one point or another, you will need to use one of their most famous applications: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
When starting out, no one can really expect you to buy every single Microsoft product you might need since money is sure to be a little tight, but fortunately, Microsoft has a free BizSpark software available for freelancing entrepreneurs. No strings are attached to this program, either; they simply hand it to you for free. You can also put their program Azure to use for free if you want.
What makes BizSpark so great is the fact that once you start things up, you can get help from websites like Techmeme and Mashable in getting more traffic for free, as well.
The primary reason why freelancing entrepreneurs fail to succeed is their overall lack of experience. Well, you can solve this by going to conferences, getting to know other freelancing entrepreneurs, and reading various books.
One easy way to get ahead would be to join mentorship programs, such as TechStars, where you can get mentored by seasoned entrepreneurs everyday. You can even get money for joining - money that will help you get venture capital.
Of course, this comes with a catch. You will have to give up a small part of your business. However, it will be well worth your while in the end, most of all if you are just starting out as a freelancing entrepreneur.
Aside from TechStars, you can also avail of other similar programs, such as Y Combinator.
If you would like to get a quick look of what it would be like as a freelancing entrepreneur before actually jumping onto the bandwagon, you should check out Startup Weekend.
For a single weekend, freelancing entrepreneurs the world over get together to build and start up companies within 2 days. During this get-together, you will get to meet other freelancing entrepreneurs and build something that will get out there.
Aside from that, you will also learn how to properly pitch ideas, how to work with others and how to build minimal viable products. You will also have a lot of fun and learn more about entrepreneurship, in general.
A lot of companies also fail to succeed within their first five years because of a lack in capital. Back in the day, if you wanted to get money from venture capitalists, you would have to go to an investor, make your pitch and wait to hear a reply from him back home.
Even though this process still exists to this day, a brand new program also exists that can make fundraising much easier: Angel List. Here, you can share what your personal company does and mention the amount of money you need to raise. Then, you can wait and see whether any investors would be interested in giving that amount to you.
Naturally, it would be best to get to know your investors first before taking their money, so you can figure out how helpful they will actually be in the long run. Getting famous investors would be good, but it would be smarter to look for strategic investors who can help your business grow.
No matter what, you should never attempt to run your business all on your own. Business partners are an absolute must because there will be a lot of work involved and you won't have money for employees yet.
With Founder Dating, it is possible to find a great business partner. Similar to speed dating, Founder Dating will help you meet lots of people in one hour by engaging you in detailed conversation with potentially interested parties.
Now, even if you meet an ideal match right away, try not to rush into a partnership right away. You need to trust and get to know somebody first before actually sealing a deal - remember that.
The ultimate secret to success, in general, will always be networking, though. One great networking place would be BarCamp. Here, you can network with freelancing entrepreneurs who have the same ideas as you.
It basically works as a modern business networking event. It has several sponsors, free beer, free food and people who will vote on things to talk about.
What makes BarCamp so great is the fact that you don't need to go out of your way for it. If you can't find one in your own city, then all you have to do is visit BarCamp's website and mention that you want to throw one. Since they get a lot of traffic, word will surely spread as fast as wildfire and you will have several interested parties in no time.
You don't have to shell out a lot of money just to get your own company into the mainstream media. It is true that PR companies charge tends of thousands of dollars a month for this, but you can just as easily get into the media on your own.
With HARO (Help a Reporter Out), you will get emails everyday with journalist stories that need help. If you have any insight on the matter, then all you need to do is send an email back and you will be interviewed in no time. If they are interested in your words, you will get into a newspaper or magazine.
HARO is definitely something you should try out, though, because it works exceedingly well and has been around for years. Plus, you could get the chance to appear on big names like USA Today and Wall Street Journal.
If you have just joined the world of freelancing entrepreneurship, try not to stress on the little things so much. There are people, services and programs nowadays that can help you out without you having to spend a penny. All you have to do is find the perfect matches for you.
However, signing up for every program and service listed here will definitely increase your chances of success, but you need to remember that it won't guarantee it. So, work hard and try your best. Good luck!
October 1, 2011 - 12:30 pm
It is absolutely untrue that I will ever have to use Word, Excel or PowerPoint, Open Office provides fully compatible files for all 3, is free, and has an almost identical command structure. The main difference is that their commands function properly even when your file gets large.
April 24, 2011 - 6:08 am
Can anyone share more experiences from Founder Dating?
April 21, 2011 - 7:49 pm
Agreed with Carol, never heard about Bizspark before, let me c what is it than i will come back and give my views.
April 21, 2011 - 7:16 pm
Every Freelancer must focus on his or her time , because time is money , always keep calculating your time when you work for someone you must keep an eye on watch.
April 21, 2011 - 9:41 am
Never heard of Microsoft Bizspark. Might just have to try it out.
April 21, 2011 - 5:42 am
i am a social helper, and i find this site accidentally but good things always happen sudden with me, I will definitely share this with my whole social circle as they really need a good resource site which help them in their freelancing career.
April 21, 2011 - 4:27 am
Founder dating is really a good place to find your business partner , I have found 3 business partners from there and they are all from different countries.
April 20, 2011 - 7:47 pm
A good article on freelancing, keep posting good stuff
April 20, 2011 - 12:22 pm
I am glad that several of them are free, I love free stuff! I mean who doesnt love free stuff? I am really impressed by techstar or at least the idea of it. To be successful in anything I feel like you need someone you can rely on to help guide you. Starting anything is hard and if you can learn what to avoid from someone who has been there an done that is wonderful. I have heard some wonderful things about angels list. It is such a cool concept that people you don't know can help you carry out your dreams. Networking is key in any aspect of your life especially when you are just starting out. These people you meet can help jumpstart your ideas. Haro sounds so cool, to get your ideas out in all sorts of new ways. A great list for anyone starting out to refer back to.
April 20, 2011 - 1:07 am
Nice sharing, I have saved the page for my future reference.
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