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Freelancing Fundamentals
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How freelancing and employment differ


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Freelancing Fundamentals

with Tom Geller

Video: How freelancing and employment differ

If you've always had salaried positions in the past, you might wonder how freelancing is different. I'd like to look at that from three angles; legal, practical, and personal. I'll start with legal definitions, but keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer, and new information might appear after I record this video. So, don't depend on what I say here if a serious legal question arises. The I.R.S., that's the U.S. government's tax authority, says that a freelancer is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done or how it will be done.
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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Freelancing Fundamentals
2h 12m Appropriate for all Jan 30, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

A bonus chapter covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field.

Topics include:
  • What is freelancing?
  • Defining your career goals
  • Funding your startup
  • Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
  • Setting prices
  • Finding work through agencies
  • Getting referrals
  • Working with time and project management tools
  • Increasing your rates
Subjects:
Business Productivity Project Management Business Skills Freelancing
Author:
Tom Geller

How freelancing and employment differ

If you've always had salaried positions in the past, you might wonder how freelancing is different. I'd like to look at that from three angles; legal, practical, and personal. I'll start with legal definitions, but keep in mind that I'm not a lawyer, and new information might appear after I record this video. So, don't depend on what I say here if a serious legal question arises. The I.R.S., that's the U.S. government's tax authority, says that a freelancer is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work and not what will be done or how it will be done.

In other words, the client could say, design my website and deliver the results as a Layered Photoshop File, and you'd still be considered a freelancer. But if the client says, "You must use Dreamweaver and do the work in our office between 9 AM and noon," then the I.R.S. is likely to consider you an employee rather than an independent contractor which would lead to differences in such things as tax withholding, benefits and so on. Such distinctions vary from country to country. In the U.S., the I.R.S. released some specifics that set forth 20 factors to separate employees from independent contractors.

I won't go into them, but if you're interested, do a search online for the 20-factor test. So that's the legal view. But on a day-to-day level, you'll be more affected by the practical differences. The big one is, if something needs doing, you're the one to do it, and there's nobody else to blame if it doesn't get done. You're now in charge of among other things, marketing, sales, accounting, project management, IT, and legal matters. You also have to keep yourself busy, and motivated.

And if you expand by hiring other people, you have to become your own human resources department. If you think that's all daunting, well, you're right. But don't worry, I go into all these aspects during the course. Finally, we come to the personal differences between freelancing and employment. That is, how your mentality and lifestyle will change. For example, you're likely to find your work life creeping into your personal life and vice-versa. So it becomes much harder to judge whether you're being productive.

And that can lead to some unexpected anxieties. It's a big subject. So rather than gloss over it here, we'll go into more detail later. In short, there's a lot to think about as you transition to freelancing. But don't worry, it's something you can do successfully as long as you prepare, plan, and of course, take action.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Freelancing Fundamentals.


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Q: This course was updated on 3/20/2013. What changed?
A: We added a bonus chapter that covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field, such as "How do I use Craigslist or other job boards to grow my freelance business?" and "How do I find clients?"
 
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