So what have I learned?
Feast or famine comes to mind.
One week I am fretting that I can’t pay the bills.
The next I am wondering if I will have time to pay them.
Not heard from that person that you quoted for months back? They WILL get in touch just when you have a pinch point in your work schedule…
I often get the comment, how lovely you can work when you want and on your own terms … wrong! You work morning, noon and night and while you can take breaks you certainly don’t get paid for them. So you must love what you do as a freelancer.
When To Charge And When Not To
Then the next challenge … do you charge for phone calls? Advice? It’s a fine line between being helpful to giving your secrets and your time away with little recompense.
Over the years I have learned to be helpful where possible but also draw the line when someone goes over the line.
After all, I have bills to pay too.
I also offer a first meeting for free … I have a way of making that 30 min meeting work for us all … but I am not giving away my trade secrets away here.
Your Pricing Structure
I also keep my pricing structure ‘simples’.
In an era when people can frown on contracts, heads of terms etc there is one key factor … flexibility.
Some folks might want an hour a month … others 25 hrs a week.
And yes, with discipline and hard work you can make it work.
Some freelancers work on retainers which is great but doesn’t always work for smaller businesses.
There are some areas to cover yourself for if you can.
Holiday Pay, Sick Pay, IT Back Up
Taking a holiday? Then remember there is no holiday pay.
Feeling too unwell to work? Again no pay.
Computer, printer or both gone down? Hey, guess what, you are the IT person!
Other areas that hold you up include chasing payments and other things from clients.
However if all the above sounds negative, what I am really trying to say is I love being a freelancer.
Retirement … What’s That?!
I hope it lasts until I can retire … unsure when that will be, but you know what I mean.
Over the years of being a freelancer I have learned to develop certain skill sets and focused on these. I have also invested lots of unpaid time for training for these areas.
I am never going to be rich but I am wealthy in so many ways … helping clients … job satisfaction … hopefully a good rapport with clients and in turn they will recommend you.
When Things Go Wrong
Sometimes a client relationship ends.
That can be hard.
And it has happened to me on several occasions.
You just have to keep smiling, be brave and be professional.
And while I could give more away such as how to schedule work, how to juggle deadline and still have a life, you’d have to become a client of mine to find out