Author: savvy

How to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your ProjectsHow to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your Projects

The idea of hiring a freelancer when you need to outsource your projects can make any small business owner panic. You may not know how to hire a freelancer. You may not like the idea of contracting an online professional you don’t know. You may not feel comfortable trusting someone else to complete projects as well as you do.


All small business owners want to be successful. With that success comes growth. Eventually, you may find you can’t get it all done yourself. You will also likely find you aren’t knowledgeable in some tasks that are essential to running a successful small business. There are a few things that will make hiring a freelancer easier.

1. Collect Bids – There are only so many hours in the day. If you are at point where you are already burning the small business candle at both ends, you may not have the time to actively seek out a freelancer. There are thousands of freelance professionals online. Searching and sifting through hundreds of websites to find those qualified may be impossible. Place an ad through a freelance board or RFP site. Let those qualified and available come to you.

2. Be Specific – When placing an online ad or RFP, be as specific as possible in what your needs are. Look at other ads that relate to your project and see what information other small business owners are including. If deadlines are involved, be sure to list that. Be detailed in your project description to ensure you are attracting only those freelancers with the proficiency you desire.

3. Expertise – Finding one freelancer to handle all of your tasks may sound ideal, but it is not always the best option. You will likely find some projects are completed to your standards and others are subpar. Do not hire a jack of all trades. If you have several projects to be done, seek out several professionals each specializing in a specific area. Conversely, you can hire an online business manager who will place those projects with qualified individuals for you.

4. Credentials and References – Always ask your potential candidates about their background and education. Complicated projects require experienced freelancers. Ask for references. If they have completed similar projects, they should be able to refer you to a few happy clients you can speak with. Do not rely on the glowing testimonials on their website. Speak with individuals directly. Your business is at stake. Take the extra step.

5. Work Samples – If you are hiring a freelancer writer or web designer, ask for work samples. Ask if they have previous projects available online that you can view. This will ensure their style is similar to what you are looking for.…

Freelance Invoicing: Get Paid!Freelance Invoicing: Get Paid!

When you work for someone else, your paycheck is always expected on a certain day, and by law it must arrive. The security that comes with working a full-time job no longer exists as soon as you begin freelancing; it is now up to you to collect money for services rendered.


If you are uncomfortable with asking for money, or with billing clients after a job is finished, then you’ll either have to find another line of employment or learn how to do it, because a business can’t survive if you work for free. The trick is to come up with a set method of invoicing, and to make that method clear before you even begin working on a job.

Your Contract

If you provide freelancing services, you should have a contract – or agreement – that must be signed before work commences. Have an attorney look over the contract before you submit it to clients, and never start work until you have a signed copy in your hands.

The contract should state the method of payment, when it is expected, and the consequences for nonpayment. As long as those three factors are made clear, you are covered.


It is certainly advisable that you receive a deposit before beginning a project. The most common amount is 10%, though some freelancers require as much as 50% up front. Whatever number you choose, the deposit requirement should be strictly enforced. Never begin a project without a signed contract and a deposit up front.

Example in your contract: “Before work on the project can start, a 10% deposit is required from the client. This deposit will be subtrated from the final payment amount owed.”

Time To Pay

Some freelancers perform large projects that cost thousands of dollars. If this is the case, your clients may want to set up a payment schedule. For example, if you charge $5,000 for a 30-page website, the client may want to pay you in $1,000 increments for five months. If this is an acceptable agreement, get it in writing and attach it to your contract. You should also obtain the name, phone number, address and fax number of each client so that you can reach them at any time.

Example in your contract: “If payment cannot be made in full, we will arrange for installments to be paid on a monthly basis. This payment structure is non-negotiable, and must be signed by both parties prior to commencement of work.”

Date Due

Your contract should state exactly when payment is due. For example, you can state that payment is due three days upon completion of the project. That way, you are assured to be paid promptly. If you are in any way unclear about this, you could be invoicing customers for three years before you see a dime – it isn’t worth it.

Example in your contract: “Payment is due three days after the final product has been delivered.”


Your contract should also clearly state the …

Freelancing in CollegeFreelancing in College

Ah, college. It is a time where you’ll spend thousands and yet be terribly broke at the same time. Because of weird school schedules, most students have to find unique jobs that will accommodate to their needs. A lot of students will take up a part-time job or work for the school, however, with the recent economic downturn a lot of college students are having a tougher time finding an outlet for some extra cash. Aside from donating blood or other such instant cash schemes it seems as though most people tend to overlook the freelancing gig—it does take quite some time and work, but, what job doesn’t?


Another reason for the hesitancy might be the inconsistency that can arise from freelance work. While a part-time job will pay you every two weeks or so, a freelance job is dependent on how much time you spend on trying to make money. Or, perhaps there is uncertainty in how exactly a freelance job works. Well, this article here is a nifty little list of the pros of going freelance while in college! That way, you can find out if you’re ready to give it a try.

Making your own schedule. Oh yes, it’s true: as a freelancer, you will be making up your own schedule and that means deciding how much time you wish to put into your work. During those more stressful semesters at school, you can lessen the work load of your freelance job without the hassle of asking for less hours through management or trying to find someone else to cover your shift.

Building professional relationships. As part of a resume, everyone needs references and some future employers (especially for an actual career) will want to dig up those references in order to learn a little bit more about you. When you acquire clients for your freelancing gigs, those same people turn into professional references to place on your resume. Also, if you happen to become successful in your freelancing job, you now have established clients for credentials to get even more clients!

Using what you’re learning or already know. The biggest question that a student might ask (even me) is “when will I ever need this in real life?” Well, that could be now. Use what you learn and you’ll see it in a whole new perspective. Those economic and finance classes will finally come in handy when calculating rates and your hours of pay, and learning that new but boring software in computing classes can also be used professionally.

Gaining experience. Whether you’re working freelance or at the local coffee shop, it is still considered experience on a resume. But, placing “Freelance Web Designer” with some credentials on a resume might be a bit cooler, and come in handy, when applying for that web design career after college.

Feeling confident in your abilities. This goes hand-in-hand with the aforementioned reason in that with that experience you’ll also probably feel a bit …

How to Market Yourself as a Freelance PhotographerHow to Market Yourself as a Freelance Photographer

How to market yourself as a freelance photographer?

In today’s day and digital age, everyone can be a photographer and with falling prices of digital cameras, anyone can afford to turn this formerly known expensive hobby into a career. So how do you distinguish yourself as a talented and creative photographer from “just a guy with the camera?” 
You must showcase your talent – either via self-promotions or portfolio presentations, depending on which clients you are trying to attract. If you’re planning to sell your photographs to publications or stock agencies, you will need a self-promotion package. However, if you’d like to exhibit your work in an art gallery, then you’d most likely need to present a portfolio.

Self-promotion campaign: The goal here is get your name out and become prominent amongst your competitors. You want to show just how amazing and creative you are, and you want the photo buyer to hang on to your sample for as long as possible. Instead of sending a simple postcard, maybe you could send a z-fold booklet, a calendar with your photographs that a photo buyer can use all year round or a puzzle with your image. But, before you start thinking of creative ways to package your work, be sure to create an effective design. It is important that you chose the best image(s) from your portfolio in order to prevent the photo buyer from tossing way your self-promo. A photographer’s postcard shouldn’t have too much text because if your images are strong, they should be able to talk for themselves. Having your full name and contact information is simply enough – there is no need to indicate what genre of photography you specialize in as your photographs should be able to reveal that. The cliché, “less is more” is most true when it comes to designing self-promotional materials. 
Portfolio presentations: Once you’ve actually made contact with your potential buyers, they might want to see a larger selection of your work – your portfolio. The presentation of your work is synonymous with impact and professionalism. There are many ways to showcase your work: digital portfolios such as a Website, CD or DVD presentations and the print portfolios. To have a successful portfolio, each image must be chosen carefully, from the printing on best quality paper to ensuring each print has consistent sizing.

Print portfolio cases can be expensive, but it’s worth investing in if you want to distinguish yourself from competitors and to project pride and confidence. They are necessary for face-to-face meetings. Although print portfolios are great for creating a strong impact, they are time-consuming to put together and have a lack of portability. Size does matter when choosing the right portfolio – bigger images have a greater impact. Typical sizes are 11X14 inches or 16×20 inches. You can display your photographs mounted or unmounted. Most galleries/museums prefer mounted work. If you also have tearsheets, you may include these in the back of your portfolio. Tearsheets are often laminated and …

How to Get Gigs as a Freelance MusicianHow to Get Gigs as a Freelance Musician

I have spent many years supplementing my income as a freelance musician. The work is generally enjoyable, pays well, and often takes little time out of my schedule. Here are some of the things that I have found tend to lead to getting gigs.


Introduce yourself to as many people as possible in the music world and let them know you are interested in working. Local music teachers and faculty members at universities are often the first people who know about potential jobs. Owners or managers of local instrument repair or supply shops are also very knowledgeable when it comes to performing groups.

Familiarize yourself with local churches. Many churches, particularly those with large congregations, hire musicians for special programs. Christmas and Easter are generally the busiest times. Some may also have special events centered around spring, Valentine’s Day, Back to School, prom alternatives, revivals, etc. Introduce yourself to the music minister. You may even begin with volunteering some of your time. Volunteering can often lead to paid work in the future.

Join a community band or orchestra. These groups are often loaded with great people connections. The group to which I belong consists of members ranging from middle school students to teachers to semi-professional musicians. Some of the more serious musicians belong to other ensembles in addition to our community group. Knowing and playing alongside these people has often led me to paying gigs with churches or small ensemble groups. You may even find that you can start your own small ensemble (quartet, jazz combo, chamber group), with other members. Even if your newly formed group doesn’t get any paying engagements right off the bat, the rehearsal time together helps to hone your skills and can be great fun! Again, volunteering your time and talents with smaller groups can often lead to paying gigs.

Become proficient on more than one instrument, or on a less common instrument. Trumpet players, saxophonists, and percussionists are usually very easy to find (and very eager to work). If you play one of these, consider developing your skills on French horn, keyboards, or string bass. Also consider learning a new instrument if your proficiency is on one for which there is less need, such as clarinet or oboe. Many times, people are looking to hire brass quintets, quartets, or jazz combos, so if your instrument works well with one or more of these you should be in good shape.

Expose yourself to and become proficient at playing a wide variety of musical styles. Jazz, big band, and classical are usually the most sought after, but it is helpful to be familiar with as many different styles of music as possible. Familiarize yourself with various forms of pop, gospel, bluegrass, or any other style, particularly those most popular in your area.

Most important is getting your name and talents known by as many people as possible who are connected to the music business. Meet people, play with groups, and volunteer your time to expand your …

Make at Least $30,000 a Year as a Semi Full-Time Freelance WriterMake at Least $30,000 a Year as a Semi Full-Time Freelance Writer

Recently, I have been receiving quite a bit of mail in my mailbox asking for advice on how to make it as a freelance writer. I’m not sure I’m necessarily the right guy to be asking; there are more than likely any number of writers here making more money than I, but I do know that anyone who is dedicated, has the time, and is a good writer can make $30,000 in the next twelve months without even leaving their home very often.


First the ground rules. In order to make $30,000 a year as a freelance writer-and of course, the potential is far greater than that-the first thing you have to have is time. Even if you are the greatest writer in the world, if you don’t have the time to commit to becoming a successful freelance writer, you are out of luck. As an example, I will use myself. I have a wife and children that I love to spend time with. Other than that, I don’t really have any issues with time management. I’m a professional loner so I don’t go out with friends. I follow Groucho Marx’s instructions on never belonging to any club or organization that would have me as a member. In essence, my time is my own. And since I would prefer to enjoy the little time I have left with my wife and kids, I choose to be with them rather than working my arse off trying to make more money to afford more crap I don’t need or a house I can’t afford to air condition or a fancy car that is going to break down just as much as my minivan. In other words, if I was unmarried and childless, I’d probably be writing this to tell you how to make $75,000 a year as a freelance writer. But I simply don’t want to work that hard. What I’m trying to say is that if you have the time to put into becoming a freelance internet writer, $30,000 should be viewed in terms of an average. Those want to pursue it as a part time career should be aware that they can pump up their annual income between $10,000 and $20,000 rather easily. If you want to be able to buy yourself a new car with the money you made in freelance writing this time next year you should be aware that it can be done, but you’ve got to treat it like a real job.

Now the second big question. Can you make $30,000 a year just writing for hubpages? Well, sure. I mean technically I can’t think of any reason why you couldn’t. It would just mean a lot of writing is all. In the past twelve months I have made over $9,000 just at hubpages alone, and I spend a considerable amount of time writing low-pay or no-pay opinion and political pieces instead of keyword-rich articles about MySpace and Fergie and thongs and other topics constantly at …

Freelancing Your Way to SuccessFreelancing Your Way to Success

Are you bored of your 10 to 5 schedule? Do you want to get rid of your boss? Do you want more money with fewer tensions? Read on this article to know why freelancing may be your choice in today’s world.


Let’s know what freelancing basically is. You may have heard the word “Outsourcing”. Yes, it’s the same outsourcing. There are two cases.

People get their work done through professionals who are competing to do the same work. As there is large competition, the work is done very cheaply.

People lack time and divide the work given to them to different professionals. The professionals get much more than what normally they would get.

Before we move any further, let’s have a critical analysis of what you gain and what you may lose in the freelancing business.


1) You can leave your job after sometime when you get set in the freelancing business. 
2) You can give extra time to your family. 
3) You can earn more money than what you earn from your job. 
4) You can work from your home. 
5) You can set yourself as an expert. 
6) You can get much more knowledge about the professional world. 
7) You can expand it as a business.


1) You may even lose your job and what you earn right now if you are not careful. 
2) You may get into financial problems if you are not careful. 
3) You may spoil your reputation with your boss if you leave your job

Now, once you consider this see my advice.

Start freelancing as a small part time work and once, you start getting much more income than what you are getting right now, you can think of leaving your job.

When you start your career as a freelancer, try to get yourself recognized as an expert. That will include completing the freelancing jobs for very less profit. Once you have completed 25 to 30 jobs, you can think of (you can) increasing your price as you will be recognized as an industry expert.

You will even have some fixed clients who will constantly come for their work to you.

Slowly and steadily, you can start to make huge profits and you will find the need for hiring new employees who will complete some of your work. 
You can now see your business expanding.

The freelancing business is a very good business if done carefully.

You may find freelancing jobs at and…

Is Freelancing Right for Me?Is Freelancing Right for Me?

When I started as a freelancer a couple of years ago, I had no idea that this will become my full-time occupation and my major source of income. I started out of sheer curiosity but now I feel I have found the right job for me.


Being a freelancer can vary from great (as is in my case), to so-so (as is for many people), to devastating (as is for those who do not qualify to be their own boss). I don’t mean to insult anybody but being a freelancer is not for everybody. The fact that freelancing is fashionable or that you have heard of somebody, who has made a lot of money from freelancing, is hardly a serious motive for you to jump into the deep waters.

I have noticed that I am a role model for many people. While this is sometimes kind of flattering, I am usually annoyed when somebody copies my ideas and actions and later comes on sobbing that I have misled him or her. Yes, I know many people who have tried to make a living out of freelancing and who have failed because their judgment about their skills was somehow inadequate. In my opinion, some of the reasons why people fail as freelancers are as follows:

1.Lack of skills. When you have a full-time, 9-5 job you develop the skills required for this position and more or less you forget everything else, because you simply don’t need it. But when you work as a freelancer, you can rarely afford such a narrow specialization, even if there are a lot of projects, which require exactly the skills you currently have. No, I don’t mean that you should know 10 programming languages, 5 databases and operating systems, PhotoShop, Flash, and every other major technology on Earth in order to be a successful freelance programmer but you do need to know a lot and to maintain yourself it top shape. So, if you are not willing to constantly update your “knowledge base”, then a 9-5 job might be the better choice.

2.Inability to communicate. I work mainly with technical people and it is true that most of them do not know how to communicate effectively. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule but generally speaking, the majority of people who have the technical skills for freelancing, have no sales and marketing skills, which are equally important. Sales, marketing and communication skills as a whole might be a small portion of the skills you need but without them all your technical expertise is void.

3.Time management and other organizational issues. Being your own boss means that you have to manage effectively your schedule. I admit that even for well-organized people “Deadline” is a dreaded word and often a deadline = a missed deadline but when you simply don’t know how to work, when you are most effective, how much workload you can handle, etc., failure is round the corner.

4.Poor English. English is the …

How to Be a Successful Online Freelance WriterHow to Be a Successful Online Freelance Writer

While some may scoff at your chosen profession and slog off to retail or corporate or office work, as you sit at home in your pajamas with your laptop, pontificating the placement of a period, freelance writing from home, online, really is hard work. Or, I should say, it’s as hard as you let it to be. You have to come up with publishing venues, you have to come up with content ideas, you have to be fresh, and you have to be keep giving your readers what they want. While I’m sure this subject has been exploited to death on a freelance writer website like hubpages, allow me to offer my feelings on the matter. Follow these steps to online freelance writing success.


Multiple Subjects: One of the biggest concerns you are going to have a freelance writer is making sure that you have a reader base. Moreover your content must be discoverable. Addressing this issue, you need to have quality content on something that someone is going to want to read about. To that end, you should be well read on a diverse breath of subjects. Or you should have multiple viewpoints on the same subject. Take things from your own life that you enjoy doing; playing golf, cooking, gardening, watching TV; then write about that. It’s important to write what you know but it’s also important to write about things that are going to keep people interested in reading your work.

Join Forums: One of the things that’s very difficult for people to do who are not openly overt is to share with others. Writers often are criminally introverted. However the Internet creates a sealed vacuum for people to be able to share their work in forums. Chat rooms, discussion boards, and other such online forums allow freelance writers online the ability to share work with complete strangers. Who knows? You may make all sorts of interesting friends from all over the world who you may never meet.

Post Everywhere: Much the same as forums, posting the URL to your work anonymously in places where people are going to read it is a good idea. For example if you write a lot about music, when you write about a musician or a type of music that is similar to a popular musicians, go to their MySpace page and post your work there. You can also start a whole blog dedicated to a specific type of music or musician as I did with Fink. The same is true of your blog for just about anything. Having links back to your work in a multitude of places is a sure fire way to get loyal regular readers to see your online freelance writing.

Use Hyperlinks: People can be lazy. It’s a fact of life; if they don’t have an easy way to access your stuff they’re probably not going to put forth a lot of effort; at least at first. For that reason using hyperlinks in your text is …

Successful Freelance Business BlueprintSuccessful Freelance Business Blueprint

I recently wrote an article about how freelancers can get more clients and keep current clients. Today I would like to address some other factors that come into play when it comes to your freelance business being successful.


I will touch on the following topics, as they relate to your freelance business:

1- Billing, Invoice and Rates 
2- Legal matters 
3- Tax 
4- Proposal Writing 
5- Project Estimation

Let’s get started.

Billing, Invoice and Rates. You earn your living through your freelance business. So this is the most important factor of the business. If you do not do it right, then the consequences might have negative impacts on your freelance business. Setting your rates might be hard if you are just starting. You might have a hard time adjusting to the fact that you have no clients and as a result people do not really know what you are capable of.

At the same time, you might well be really efficient at what you do. So how do you reconcile the two sides and lay down the foundation for sustainable rates to keep your freelance business going?

A very good way of doing this is to check out what other freelancers are charging based on various factors, including their experience, skills, technology packages, etc. Also, you need to keep in mind that your rates should be low to start with. You will need to increase your rates on a yearly or so basis.

The other major item in getting your income has to do with billing. More often than not clients will want you to give them bulk quotes for projects. In other words, they will want fixed fees. As a starter, you might fall into the trap and underestimate projects. Well, if you do, you will lose! So unless the project is ABSOLUTELY trivial, you should bill your clients for materials and time.

A good invoicing approach is to invoice your client upon completion of milestones. In fact, you need to make sure that the client approves the completed milestone and is happy with it. If so, then they will deliberately execute your invoice and pay you. Whatever method of invoicing you choose, make sure it is made known to the client beforehand. Also make sure that clients understand that payments for work they approve are final and are NOT reimbursable – in the event that the client would want to discontinue the work.

Legal Matters. You should always use work contracts whenever applicable. Even for subsequent changes to a given project, you need written/signed documents. Not all your clients will behave nicely all along. You need to have your assets protected by having a lawyer you can use for legal matters. Do not underestimate this factor of the business. Things happen!

Tax. If you are not good at doing taxes, you need to have someone who knows that stuff do it for you. You do not want any trouble with the IRS or such. Make sure that …