This is the first post in a new series I’m starting called Resource Wednesdays. It is where I will share my favorite resources related to a particular topic. No one is paying me to share their product or site. These are my personal opinions. So if you have a topic you’d like to see on here, then let me know and we’ll make it happen.
But I am only one man. I want your input! As I prep these posts I’ll share it on Facebook & Twitter, giving people a chance to chime in on their own favorite resources. And if I ever miss one of your faves, then toss it in a comment so everyone can benefit.
Okay. Let’s get started!
Fellow creative freelancers sometimes ask me questions regarding various aspects of this lifestyle. Regardless of the question, it’s always difficult to answer for one big reason: everyone’s journey is different. Therefore, my goal is to cover the basic areas of self-employment that helped me make decisions along my own journey, and let you decide what applies to you.
At risk of becoming a book, I’ll be splitting this into two posts. This week is about getting started and marketing yourself. Next week will be about business and client management. Much of this is geared toward the creative freelancers, but there is good stuff for everyone.
Get Started. Get Inspired.
“How to be a Rockstar Freelancer” was the first thing I read about the topic. It answered many of my initial questions regarding how to effectively get started, and got me into the mindset of how to think as a freelancer. (Written by Cyan & Collis Ta’eed)
Freelance Switch is a great site full of resources all on it’s own, and has many posts by Cyan & Collis. Start with the “Make the Switch” banner at the top, which is essentially the best of the site.
The Creative Freelancer Blog is fantastic, but it gets even better with their LinkedIn Group (Requires a LinkedIn account). This is literally the only thing I use LinkedIn for. When I was thinking of freelancing, I seemed to be getting advice from everyone except people that were already doing it professionally. I shared my situation here, and received great, practical advice that could only come from other pros.
Wondering if you’re crazy to freelance in today’s economy? Be inspired by these two articles from The Atlantic: “The Freelance Surge is the Industrial Revolution of Our Time” and “A Jobs Plan for the Post-Cubicle Economy” (Written by Sara Horowitz)
“To Be or Not To Be Self-Employed” is an article that debunks many misconceptions regarding the freelance lifestyle. Although a few years old, it is still relevant. (Written by Nick Griffin via CreativeCow.net)
Marketing: Brand yourself. Sell your service.
I didn’t research this a ton, since I have a bit of a background in marketing. But if I didn’t, then the first book I would have picked up would have been: “The Designer’s Guide to Marketing & Pricing”. Don’t be turned off if you’re not a designer. I have read other stuff by the author and on top of just “getting” creatives, her points are very universal, often applying to all creative disciplines. (Written by Ilise Benun & Peleg Top)
“The Resume is Dead, the Bio is King” reflects the perspective of an emerging generation that cares more about who you are than what you do (to a point). My “About Me” page is based on these ideas. (Written by Michael Margolis via the99percent.com)
Truth is: Most of your marketing efforts need to happen online. “6 Steps to Creating a Knockout Online Portfolio” is one of the best, most concise reads about the subject I have found. (Written by Mell Ravenel via the99percent.com)
If you’re going to follow everyone’s advice and start blogging (I mean, you’re REALLY going to do it this time and delete your 10 old blogs to prove it), then check out good web writing etiquette in “How to Write for the Web: 23 Useful Rules”. I am not a writer outside of status updates. So this continues to help me form blog posts. (Written by Chris Lake via Econsultancy.com)
“Naming Your Freelancing Business – To Personalize or Not?” This is a minor decision that can take up major brain space if you let it. I was blessed with a great last name, but that’s not why I went with it. I chose to stick with my name as a freelancer because I wanted clients to feel they are hiring a person: Kenny. Not Miracle Studios or something like that. Regardless of your choice, it’s good to be intentional. (Written by Jack Knight via FreelanceSwitch.com)
Since creating a website is an essential part of marketing… My website is built with WordPress.org, using HostGator.com as my domain host. The layout and design is a theme purchased at ThemeForest.net. I only learned what I absolutely needed to know to set it all up, and hired a friend to help in the technical areas I couldn’t figure out. It cost me about $300 for everything. To hire someone to do it all from scratch will be closer to $1000. Take advantage of training-via-Google and save yourself some moolah.
One last thing: Friend or foe, interact with as many fellow freelancers as you can. Resources like these are good, but they all come from real people with real-life experiences. Go find these people (online or off) and get to know them. A person is always your best resource.
YOUR TURN: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE FREELANCING RESOURCES?Tags: entrepreneur, freelance, marketing, self-employment