This week’s Resource Wednesday is about the business and client management side of freelancing. This is the second post highlighting my favorite freelancing resources that helped me in my first year or so.
The first post was about getting started and marketing yourself.
Operating Business. Managing Money.
This part is often a creative person’s nightmare, which is why I personally think…
“The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money” is a great place to start. For various personal reasons, I avoided thinking about money as much as possible until deciding to freelance. Then – suddenly – I needed to know what I was doing, and this book helped immensely. (Written by Ilise Benun)
Here are “7 Easy Invoicing Tools for Freelancers” to check out. I tried Quickbooks and some others, but they were too robust for my needs. I found Freshbooks to be a simple, yet powerful way to do my invoicing and income/expense reporting. (Written by Stef G via TheFreelancePinoy.com)
Even though it’s not tax season, these “Seven Small Business Tax Write-Offs” are good to begin logging now. (Written by Chad Shultz via FreshBooks.com)
These “10 Tips for Managing Irregular Income” are helpful if you are coming from a steady, full-time job. Unfortunately, steady work doesn’t always mean steady pay for freelancers. So it’s not a bad idea to have a part-time gig or developing a partnership with a company where you are their go-to person for specific tasks. I’ve been doing that with a marketing firm where I have been their only video person. (Written by Luna Jaffe via lunariafinancial.com)
All this talk about money, but how much should you charge? Start with this Hourly Rate Calculator, but know that it will change based on your experience, location, and customer market. It took me taking on and being turned down from several gigs before landing a rate that fit for me.
Once you get the gig, it’s good to know “Why Every Freelancer Needs a Contract”. You’ll find out the reason as soon as a client decides she wants to change your rate or not pay at all. I avoided creating a contract until feeling both of those pains from clients. Oddly enough, they were always very kind otherwise, which made it hard to anticipate. (Via freelancersu.com)
Finally, being aware of “The Difference Between ‘Money Work’ and ‘Busy Work’” is very helpful when all you want to do is creative work. I recently found this golden nugget, and found it too good not to share. (Written by Chris Guillebeau via the99percent.com)
Would you agree that “client management” is possibly the worst term to apply to our interactions with clients? How do you manage someone who hires you, and can as quickly fire you? How do you manage drastically different personalities every month? I prefer “client collaboration”, because every project is teamwork between you and them.
Something I wish I had earlier is a simple way to do customer relationship management (CRM). If you need something more robust than an Excel document, then check out DesignMag’s “12 CRM Options for Freelancers”, or this popular new app, Cobook. (P.S. “Management” works here because it’s about managing a database of client-related info, not managing actual relationships.)
Unfortunately, not every client is open to productive collaboration. So here are some tips on “Dealing with Difficult Clients”. (Written by Scott McDowell via the99percent.com)
On that note, Mashable also has a great article on “How to Deal with Bad Clients”. This comes at it from a different perspective. I love point #1: You don’t have a bad client – You have a bad situation. (Written by Nellie Akalp via mashable.com)
Negotiating. One of the necessary evils of freelancing. Inc.com has some good stuff with their “7 Tips for Masterful Negotiating” and “5 Things You Should Never Say While Negotiating”. (Written by Christine Lagorio & Mike Hofman via inc.com)
“Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick Two!” A classic mantra that still holds true for any service provider. Remember this when negotiating. (Written by Christian Glawe via CreativeCow.net)
Final Thought: Many of the sites that all these links come from have a plethora of good content. So use them as spring pads to learning more and more.
WHAT ONLINE RESOURCES HAVE HELPED YOU IN YOUR FREELANCING JOURNEY?Tags: client management, client relationship, freelance resources, freelancing, money management, self-employment