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Freelancing Fundamentals
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Transitioning to freelancing


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Freelancing Fundamentals

with Tom Geller

Video: Transitioning to freelancing

Starting a freelance career means leaving behind your current situation. No matter what that situation is, you'll have to answer the same two questions. First, how will you end your current situation well? And second, how can you use what you gained there? We'll look at possible answers of these questions whether you're coming from full employment, partial employment, or unemployment. First, full employment. If you decide to keep your job and freelance in your spare time, I recommend you to not do the same thing for both jobs.
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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

Transitioning to freelancing

Starting a freelance career means leaving behind your current situation. No matter what that situation is, you'll have to answer the same two questions. First, how will you end your current situation well? And second, how can you use what you gained there? We'll look at possible answers of these questions whether you're coming from full employment, partial employment, or unemployment. First, full employment. If you decide to keep your job and freelance in your spare time, I recommend you to not do the same thing for both jobs.

You're likely to get bored and your employer might actually see outside activity as unfairly competitive. If you decide to leave, don't burn your bridges. It might be tempting to yell, "So long!" on the way out the door, but you know what? They might be your number one best source for future work. That leads us to using what you gained because the biggest asset you'll take with you is your network of professional connections. You'll also carry away valuable knowledge, but there's a catch. You should still respect the company's secrets even if you didn't sign a non-disclosure agreement.

You might get a quick client by selling out your old employer, but you'll also get a reputation as someone who can't be trusted. Transitioning from partial employment, such as working 20 hours a week is similar to transitioning from full employment, but with a few twists. The first is that it might not be as clear whether you should quit. On one hand, a part-time job is a good financial crutch. On the other hand, like all crutches, it could keep you from truly embracing your future.

My advice is, whatever you do, make it definite. Where it makes sense, announce your decision. And if you're keeping your part-time job, at least consolidate your hours, so they fit in with your new freelancing career. As for using what you gained, the same caveats apply as for full-time employment. Use your connections and general knowledge but give past secrets the respect they deserve. Finally, we come to transitioning from unemployment. This is perhaps the toughest one psychologically to deal with.

I recommend two things. First, you'll need to get back into the work habit. And the only way to do that is to start. The problem is often in figuring out what that means. That is, what tasks will actually help build your future. By watching this course, you've already taken the first step, and the tasks described here will help to get you going. If you're coming from unemployment it might be hard to see what you've gained from your current situation, but you did get something that most 9 to 5ers lack; perspective.

If it was unwanted unemployment, let the memory of it drive you to succeed. If it was by choice, remember its benefits during the tough times to come as a way to relax and de-stress. Your immediate past is an especially valuable resource because we're a forgetful species. We forget skills, we forget what we did, we forget about other people, and other people forget about us. Wherever you're coming from, the transition to freelancing is a chance to continue and capitalize on all the good parts of your previous situation.

So, strike while the iron is hot.

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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