6 Tips From Experienced Freelancers

Becoming a freelancer is exciting, challenging, stimulating and so much more. This week I asked myself and 5 other experienced freelancers a question.

If you could go back in time to when you started freelancing and give yourself a piece of advice what would it be?

Start Today. I’d tell myself to do it(freelance) sooner. Stop waiting around for something to happen and just do it. Don’t wait until after lunch, don’t wait until tomorrrow. Do it now. Every day I wasted back then feels like it sets me back a week now. Just. Do. It. –Skippy, Fashion Photographer

Don’t undervalue yourself. Sometimes you won’t have enough work and you’ll lower your prices out of fear. Don’t. Do. It. If you do, you’ll get yourself in to a cycle of charging less and that really sucks. Charge what you’re worth and stick to it. People are hiring you because they don’t know how to do the thing that you’re good at! —Ashok, App Developer

Spend the money up front to have a lawyer review your entity selection documents and your contract. I put this off and when I finally did it found out that I had been signing my contract incorrectly and putting my personal savings at risk (rather than the business’s money). It was far less expensive than I thought it would be and only took the lawyer an hour. —Kate, Medical Illustrator

Take the time to work ON your business. I wish I had spent more time getting the nuts and bolts together before I starting taking clients. Do things like setting up a separate bank account, getting your website up if you need one and filling out forms and paperwork for the State and taxes and whatnot. It would have saved me so much time down the road. —Julie, Writer

I would have called myself a Writer a LONG time ago. If you are writing, you are a Writer. Also, don’t work for free. Ever. You’re screwing the rest of us and devaluing our industry. —Heidi, Writer

Write everything down. Since what I sell is my experience in actually starting and running my business, I wish I had written everything down. It would be so easy for me to look back at that documentation and create even more products and services than I have time to now. Write it down. —Angel, Author Coworking ebooks

Do you freelance? What advice would you go back and give yourself?

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  • I’m glad you put this into a blog post, Angel.  Great advice from everyone. It just goes to show (once again) that good things happen over pancakes.
    I would add that if you aren’t calling yourself a writer, this means you don’t believe in yourself. If you don’t believe in you, how do you expect others to believe in you?  I think I might have stolen that tidbit from the Tao of Pooh.

    • Heidi,
      Thanks for adding even more nuggets of wisdom!

  • Thank Pooh.  ;-)

  • Anonymous

    This echoes other sentiments in the list, but I wish I had treated my business like a business from the beginning. For a while I just existed in “i work for myself but i’m too afraid to call it a business” limbo land. Makes for messy accounting and a lackluster reputation. Also, don’t work for less than you’re worth. Srsly.

  • Anonymous

    Ask for help more quickly and more often.  You’ll get your chance to pay it forward someday. 

    • SarahJaneG,
      and sometimes “someday” can be today or more likely next week, when I bring in some donuts or other really delicious treat for everyone~!

  • RT @CohereLLC: What advice would YOU give your younger freelancing self? http://coherecommunity.com/?p=3221

  • Stellar advice! Makes you laugh and think. RT @CohereLLC: 6 Tips From Experienced Freelancers #coworking http://t.co/t2Ur7uO

  • Stellar advice! Makes you laugh and think. RT @CohereLLC: 6 Tips From Experienced Freelancers #coworking http://t.co/t2Ur7uO

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