Freelancer articles

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Freelancing & Maintaining Client Boundaries

Written by Kaleigh Moore I’ve been freelancing for five years now, so I’ve come a long way in regard to the boundaries I set with clients. I keep regular office hours, I don’t answer emails on weekends, and I have a process in place for how every project works, step by step. No exceptions. However, […]

Special episode: Student mailbag Q&A

Kaleigh and Paul tackle questions from Creative Class students in this special “mailbag” edition. Plus: They ask each other one burning question at the end of this episode.

As a freelancer, should I use “We” or “I” when referencing my work?

Ah, the never-ending debate around using your name vs. a brand name as a freelancer. Paul and Kaleigh share their experiences trying both approaches and what they learned works best within their businesses.

How to formulate a value proposition (and stop doing hourly freelance work)

Kaleigh and Paul explain how you can formulate a value proposition that gets you off the hamster wheel of hourly freelance work, as well as tips for positioning that get you paid for your expertise–not your time.

How to be a more productive freelancer

When you’re a freelancer, money = time. Productivity is essential. Learn some actionable advice around how to make your days more productive so you can earn more AND have more free time.

The realities of freelancing (and luck vs. talent)

Inspired by a Twitter thread, this episode takes a deep dive into the realities of freelancing and looks at how both luck and talent impact the freelance journey in a major way.

Why learning new skills is important for freelancers

We don’t all start with the full set of skills needed to be a fantastic freelancer. In this episode, Kaleigh and Paul discuss the skills they had when they started freelancing, and the skills they’ve made sure to pick up and strengthen along the way that have helped them grow profitable, long-term businesses.

How to start getting freelance clients when you have no track record

If you’re starting a freelance career from scratch…where do you go to find your very first clients? Paul and Kaleigh lay out a strategy for finding and getting hired by ideal clients–all without having to go through a single freelancer-for-hire platform.

How freelancers can overcome Imposter Syndrome and build confidence

Many freelancers struggle to feel confident about their skills and battle recurring Imposter Syndrome–but there is a secret to overcoming those feelings of self-doubt. Kaleigh and Paul discuss how ongoing learning, developing personal taste, and soft skills can all help freelancers become more confident in their daily work.

Costs vs. benefits: Hiring extra help as a freelancer

Freelancers, as teams of one, sometimes need support. But the question is: Do you hire a subcontractor, or an employee? And what are the costs vs. benefits of the two? Paul and Kaleigh share their experiences on the topic and talk about why it’s important to figure out which is best for you now–before you desperately need the help.

Productizing freelance services to make more money in less time

If you have specific services you offer on a regular basis (and solid processes in place around that work), you may be on the path to productizing some of your services. Hear some actionable ideas around how you can start re-packaging your services to make more money in less time.

How to work with enterprise-level companies as a freelancer

Enterprise clients are the ones with names you can mention to a friend and they’ll say, “Oh, I’ve heard of them!” In this episode, Paul and Kaleigh talk about the pros and cons of working with enterprise-level companies and how doing so has helped boosted authority and ethos within both of their freelance careers.

How much should you save and invest as a freelancer?

As a freelancer, the responsibility to save money and invest for retirement falls 100% on you–there’s no one around to remind you to do it. So how do you know how much to set aside for these activities? Kaleigh and Paul share the strategies they use for both investing and saving and explain how the approaches have helped provide a level of financial security.

Do you live to work, or work to live?

I’ve always been a freelancer—not because I had to (i.e. I couldn’t find a “real job”), but because I wanted to. Every year I’d get job offers to work at a larger company or an agency. A few clients even prodded every now and again to see what it’d take to get me to work for them full-time (my answer […]

How Can Freelancers Build Better Onboarding Processes?

Written by Kaleigh Moore When I first started freelance writing, getting started with new clients required a lot of time and energy. I didn’t have a good process in place, so there was lots of back and forth emailing and calling between clients and I—just so that we were both on the same page before […]

Project Updates: How to Keep Freelance Clients in the Loop

Written by Kaleigh Moore I hate waiting. Life involves a lot of waiting. Waiting in lines, waiting at stoplights, waiting for a package to arrive…It’s just part of the process. We just have to deal with it. But when we’re left without an update on our wait–it’s much more frustrating. Ever ordered something online and […]

How The Creative Class helped a freelancer turn her readers into clients

Turning readers into clients. It’s the ultimate goal of every freelancer who starts a blog. Too bad most of us fail to do so. If you’re struggling to turn readers into clients, you’re going to enjoy reading this: Freelancers have trouble turning readers into clients when they fail to showcase their expertise on their blog. What’s […]

Getting Paid 101: Quick Tips for Avoiding Late Payments and Dealing with Non-Payers

As a freelancer and AR specialist I fully understand the importance of not only being an expert at your craft, but keeping up on those client payments. It is possible to send your clients’ invoices that they will want to pay, and pay on time! Let’s start with some quick tips for getting paid. Know […]

How to offer retainers, the holy grail of freelancing

Most freelancers burn through clients faster than King Arthur loses knights (especially if you’re enjoying the Monty Python version). A thriving consulting business needs a constant stream of new clients, after all. You write proposals regularly to try and keep new projects coming in. If you’re doing really well, maybe you can line up several […]

Accounting 101 for Freelancers

Accounting, it’s the business equivalent of folding laundry and scrubbing dirty dishes. No, it’s not fun. No, it’s not sexy. But, here’s the thing about running a freelance business: It’s really hard to grow and create financial stability without having a basic understanding of accounting.  Sure, you can limp by without it. But, you’ll find […]

Should I incorporate as a freelancer?

TL;DR: Incorporation isn’t right for all freelancers, and can sometimes cause more complexity and cost than it’s worth. Understand what you’re trying to accomplish, and talk to an tax professional to decide what’s right for you. First, let’s be clear, you don’t legally need to incorporate as a freelancer. It may sound cool and official […]

Why Freelancers Should Discuss Rates With Each Other

When I had a full-time job, potential clients came to me and asked me to write for them. I liked the work, but I wasn’t sure if I could turn it into a career. Freelancers have a lot of fears when they first go out on their own, but I only had one. Money. Money […]

How to convince clients to sign retainer agreements

Your credit card statement is coming. Your utility bills are already in the mail. But when’s the next time a client will pay you? Figuring out how to manage this uncertainty – unpredictable income with predictable expenses – is one of a freelancer’s toughest challenges. One month you’re bringing in a cushy five figures, and […]

You Won’t Get Rich Working for Someone Else

A couple months ago, my good friend (and podcast partner in crime) Carrie Smith wrote a post with her thoughts on whether or not freelancing full-time can pay the bills, let you save money and give you the freedom to live the life you want. I nodded along with everything she said, from the fact […]

The Biggest Legal Mistake Freelancers Make

Whether freelancing is something that you’ve started out doing casually with machinations of eventually quitting your job or it’s the work that keeps your bread buttered, you’ll want to acquaint yourself with a sexy little document we lawyers like to call, the Client Service Agreement (or CSA, for short). If you are selling a service, […]

How to bounce back from freelance rejection

The other day I spent a few hours outlining and pitching an article for a national publication I’ve written for before. My idea, I’ll admit now, was not the most original thing on the planet. But I’d convinced myself it was helpful, practical, and needed. I guess you could say I fussed. I wrote a […]

Getting sued as a freelancer

I used to believe people who were sued had probably done something shady or even criminal. I did a ton of web design work in the years leading up to forming our Ruby on Rails consultancy and our bookkeeping service for freelancers but never worried about using contracts with my clients because I treated people […]

Navigating The RFP Process: Keep Your Soul, Your Shirt & Your Self Respect

RFP. The letters stand for Request For Proposal. To some, they might as well stand for Really Frustrating Process (or use another f-word of your choice). The idea of RFPs are great. You want to hire some awesome talent. You want to be fair. You want to be transparent. You want to be objective. You […]

5 Ways to Introduce Wellness in your Freelancing

We all want to be our own bosses, make our own hours, and do work that excites us. But there’s more to life than just working for ourselves, making money, and serving others. Sometimes, we forget about doing the things that make us feel good. Whether we call it self-love, self-care, or wellness, it’s all […]

4 Little-Known Laws All Freelancers Should Know

Is this year going to be the year you go freelance? If so, you won’t be alone. According to a recent Forbes article, around 34% of the American workforce can be considered freelancers. This translates into around 53 million people. There are many advantages to becoming a freelancer. You set your own hours and take […]

284% income growth over 2 years + ideal clients

Kaleigh Moore: Freelance Writer When Kaleigh Moore started freelancing, she was offering a lot of different services to anyone who would hire her. She did content marketing strategy. She managed social media accounts. She wrote blog content and website copy. If it was marketing related, she’d do it. Anything to help her fully transition out […]

What’s it like to be a female freelancer?

Kaleigh shares her first-hand insights on being a female freelancer and some of the realities that come along with it. This episode is a conversation about how different industries have room to improve their diversity efforts and what Kaleigh and Paul are doing to help make change happen.

Easy ways to increase your freelance rates

Everyone wants to know the right way to raise their rates and charge more for freelance services, right? Kaleigh and Paul share their strategies that have helped them successfully (and regularly) increase their rates to build sustainable freelance careers.

3 key lessons on handling feedback as a freelancer

Feedback is a core element of collaborative projects—which is what most creative freelancers work on. But how do you separate yourself from the work and handle feedback effectively? And how can you teach clients to deliver constructive feedback? Paul and Kaleigh dive into this very important lesson and share their answers to these questions.

Contracts and scope creep: What you need to know

Scope creep is a major problem in the freelance world. So how can you avoid it? Paul and Kaleigh talk about how contracts create healthy boundaries and keep projects on track.

What do you need to know when you’re starting freelancing?

Can you say ‘no’ to work? Is it ever okay to fire a client? In this episode, Paul and Kaleigh share their answers to these questions and talk about the things they wish they’d known when they started freelancing.

How to network and make freelance friends

Paul and Kaleigh aren’t into slimy networking…but they do like making new friends. Find out how they’re deliberate about staying connected with others (from home!) and how these activities actually make freelancing more sustainable.

Growth and freelancing: Do you need employees?

In a society that generally associates growth and positivity, freelancers can feel confused about where their future-facing goals need to be focused. Kaleigh and Paul talk about growth, hiring employees, and figuring out what you truly want out of your freelance career.

The one rule you need to follow to win at freelancing

If there’s one rule every freelancer needs to follow, it’s this one. Find out why Paul and Kaleigh swear by this principle and how it’s helped them grow successful freelance businesses.

How to balance your budget as a freelancer

Freelancers sometimes struggle with the fact that their income isn’t consistent on a month-to-month basis. So what can you do about it? Kaleigh and Paul talk about what they’ve learned about budgeting, spending, and planning so that the financial ups and downs of freelance work aren’t so painful.

How to find out if you’re right for freelancing

Not everyone is cut out to freelance—and that’s okay. In this episode, Paul and Kaleigh talk about the factors to consider when you’re thinking about freelancing as well as some of the characteristics and qualities that help people be successful freelancers.

Should freelancers ever work for free?

Especially when you’re getting started with freelancing, there are opportunities to work for free (or in exchange for “exposure”). Paul and Kaleigh discuss the question and share their own experiences/thoughts on the topic.

250% income growth over eight months

It’s a familiar pattern. Boston-based interactive designer Michael Suen hadn’t planned to be a freelancer, but after leaving his full-time job at Learning Games Network, he took a series of one-off gigs to pay the bills while he searched for the next big thing. After all, 25-year-old Michael knew he was too young, too inexperienced […]

Using the Creative Class to build a business and a 2+ month waiting list

Curiosity and process refinement. These were Melani Dizon’s initial reasons for joining the Creative Class. The Boulder, Colorado-based writer has been freelancing for 20 years, but she wanted to see how another creative (that would be Paul Jarvis) ran his business, and she was eager to sharpen her own processes. Six months later, she has done […]

Cutting onboarding down from 8-16 hours (per client) to one hour

Spend a few minutes with Jamie Leigh Hoogendoorn and it’s clear she’s one of a kind. This Vancouver-based web designer and developer is warm, talented and stylish – and she loves to learn. Jamie Leigh has been a freelance web designer for the last three years (after previous stints in freelance web hosting, visual anthropology […]