Blogger Gordon Dymowski does a nice job of busting some of the myths surrounding the freelancing life (myths that, as I well know, are still out there). Here’s one of my favorites:
You have much more time to do what you want to do – not necessarily; as a freelancer, I’m doing two things: the work that pays the bills, and the networking/calls/follow up that helps me acquire the work that pays the bills. Part of my current “dilemma” is attempting to decide whether to move towards a freelance/self-employed small business model, or stay within the “traditional” work model. Either way, though, there’s much work to be done, and many people who talk about the “fun” life of a freelancer may not be seeing the full challenge.
As somebody who has spent a great deal of time both as a freelancer and as a staffer, I’d say that, on the whole, you have more of your own time as the latter. Freelance work is very much a “feast or famine” enterprise; you’re either doing a great deal of work all hours of the day or night (including weekends); when you’re looking for work, you don’t stop at 5 p.m. on Friday. Of course, these days, most staffers are also taking work home — but my own experience says that if you expect to write that novel, freelancing to pay the rent is not necessarily the best way.
Kevin Purdy on the Fast Company site offers a few tips on what freelancers should look at when doing their taxes — such as figuring out your home office deduction, the rule about business gifts, deductions for job search costs, etc.
If you work from home, work for clients on the side of your main paycheck job, or run your own small business or freelance consultancy, here are a few clarifications and considerations you should make when tallying up your receipts from last year.
New freelancer Gary M. Krebs interviewed Sheila Buff, Job List Chair of the Editorial Freelancer’s Association in order to get some tips on today’s freelance market. Sheila offers advice and some personal observations:
I worked in publishing offices years ago and I would never go back. I’m incapable of a 9-5 job. I love the freedom of being a freelancer and I’ve been doing it since 1981. It’s not for everyone. You have to have the right personality and the right discipline. It can get pretty isolated working at home and you have to be okay with that.
According to an article in Fresh business thinking.com, there has been a massive increase in the U.K. in freelance hiring by small businesses — instead of traditional temps or full-time staffers. According to the article, the second most popular category was Writing/Editing/Translation (the first was Web design & tech development):
The trend towards small businesses recruiting remote freelancers online is showing no signs of slowing down. The annual PeoplePerHour.com Small Business Survey revealed that 50 percent of the small to medium enterprises (SMEs) surveyed have started hiring freelancers in the past year for the first time.
I’ve been a member – albeit not a very participatory one – of LinkedIn for several years, and it is a very useful way to make business contacts if you’re looking for a job or looking for a quote. In this article, Dan Taylor offers some advice on how to use the social network to generate leads for your freelance business:
Of all the social networks floating around out there today, Linkedin is the benchmark when it comes to social business networking (business social networking?). That???s not to say that there isn???t plenty of business happening on many of the most popular networks, but Linkedin is clearly about making business development happen.
Ultimately, the goal of any business focused networking activity is to drive a sale. And what???s the best way to start that process? Here are 5 tips to get the leads flowing in your direction via Linkedin.