Walk down the aisles of Barnes & Noble, browse Amazon or even your local library and you will see just how many books are written on every possible subject. Finding a good book, on the other hand is another matter.
There are several of books, supposedly telling you how to be be a successful freelancer. If you are looking for instructions on starting a freelance copywriting business, I have found a fabulous book on the subject.
My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman is a step by step guide for not only freelance copywriters, but anyone hoping to make a living with their creative talents.
The book is written in a casual, amusing style that makes it easy reading. Don’t let that comic style fool you. My So-Called Freelance Life has a wealth of valuable information.
Goodman starts off with basic, yet crucial tips about budgeting, equipping your home office and how to structure your business. In Part 2 of the book, she helps you build a client list and gives tips on how to get referrals from former co-workers, even family, and friends.
The Care and Feeding of Clients
Now you have clients, but not all clients are created equal. Some will provide you with everything you need to complete the project on time. While others will fight you every step of the way. Or worse yet, they don’t pay you on time or at all. Read Chapter 14: The Client From Hell for advice that will keep you from pulling out your hair.
What I Learned
- ‘Bread & Butter” Work: It would be nice if you could start your freelance business with a pocket full of great high paying clients. That is not the case with most of us. Goodman advises you to find some kind of regular contract or other work in a related field that will pay your bills.
- Make a digital disaster plan: Use a flash drive or an online service like Carbonite to regularly back-up your files. It is important for anyone, but vital when you are in the middle of a big client’s project when…Oops…your computer crashes. And they always crash in the middle of something important.
- Create a digital portfolio: An old-fashioned paper resume just will not do in Web 2.0. You need a sleek online portfolio, linking to posts you’ve written and your social media profiles.
- Fun with time management: Working from home offers a lot of freedom, but it also has lots of distractions too. Tips like: limit your to-do list to 5 items a day, track your time obsessively and subcontracting when you have more work than you can handle are valuable to new freelancers.