The show for those who want to build a successful freelance business. We are NOT about the hustle. We are NOT about the feast-or-famine cycle. We are about building a business. Deliberately.
#77: 5 Ways to Make the Most Out of Virtual Conferences
In episode #6 of Deliberate Freelancer I talked about how to make the most of conferences. Well, we’ve all had to pivot, and I cannot go to the 4–6 in-person conferences I typically go to each year. So, I’ve learned to embrace virtual conferences, which may be around until at least summer 2021.
Here are a few tips to make the most of these events:
1. Commit to a virtual conference like you would an in-person event.
Block the time off on your calendar and don’t do other work
#76: Embrace These 7 Core Principles for a Successful Freelance Business
On today’s show, I want to talk about some core principles you’ll need to run a successful freelance business — these are ideas I have come to believe strongly in over the past seven years:
Core principle #1: You are a freelance business owner.
Changing your mindset and truly believing you are a business owner and the boss of you helps both the way you look at yourself and the way others perceive you.
Embracing that mindset creates a fundamental shift in how you think about being a freelancer. Tell yourself in everything that you do that you need to base your ideas, plans and actions on how a business owner or entrepreneur would think. That can mean creating a business plan, creating a marketing plan, setting financial and other goals, tracking your money, figuring out how to charge better, having the confidence to ask for more money and increase your rates, and setting boundaries, office hours and a work structure.
Core principle #2: Take charge of your finances.
You could be great at what you do. You may even be charging great rates and bringing in the cash. But if you aren’t handling and tracking your money well, you could be losing money and gaining stress.
Do you have a yearly financial goal? Do you have monthly or weekly financial goals? Basically, do you have any idea how much money you are earning and how much you are spending?
When you set your rates or a project fee, are you accounting for taxes or other expenses as part of the rate you set?
Are you tracking monthly income versus expenses? Do you have a separate business account, not co-mingling your money with a personal account? I finally got a separate business account and a business-only credit card last year.
I started using a 12-month cash flow projection spreadsheet in Excel. This was particularly helpful during the pandemic so I could see if I was earning enough to pay my bills. But that sheet also encouraged me because the numbers kept increasing over the summer as I kept striving to add more clients to those columns. By August, I could see that I had reached my pre-pandemic income level.
And perhaps the most important part of taking charge of your finances: Are you setting aside the right portion of your income for taxes? In the United States, that’s about 28–30%. You have to tell yourself and truly believe that that percentage is not your money. It was never your money. Don’t ever think of it as a safety net or part of your savings.
Once you believe that, set up a system to make that easier to follow. I have a separate online savings account that is only for taxes. I named it Pay My Taxes as a reminder not to touch it. At the end of each month, when I am paying my bills and invoicing my clients, I figure out my monthly income, minus expenses, and take 30% of that and transfer it to my tax account.
Core principle #3: Be stubborn. Be confident.
I know this is easier said than done for some people. This often comes down to personality, but I think we can continue to grow and learn and change and improve parts of ourselves that we struggle with.
For example, I know that I do not like conflict, and I see the most basic disagreements and conversations as “conflict.” I know this is a challenge I struggle with, but being aware of it can be helpful so that I can work around it. So, I have created systems to boost my confidence. One way I do that is by emailing first instead of picking up the phone — at least for that initial conversation — when there is a disagreement, communication or misunderstanding.
I have also come to understand that I suffer from impostor syndrome at times. I didn’t think I struggled with this until I had guest Kristen Hicks on episode #67 and she described the various aspects of impostor syndrome. I struggle sometimes with raising my rates or sticking to a project rate or scope creep. That falls under
#75: How to Embrace Mindfulness in Your Marketing, with Sarah DeGeorge
Today’s guest is Sarah DeGeorge, a digital marketing specialist who lives in Philadelphia. Sarah works in paid and organic marketing, public relations, and social media marketing and management. She helps small- to mid-size businesses find their authentic voice for their audience.
Sarah started freelancing as a freelance writer while still in college. As she was nearing graduation, she got sick and had trouble doing in-person job interviews, so she turned to freelancing as she started to feel better. Sh
#74: How to Get Paid on Time & Charge Late Fees, with Wudan Yan
Today’s guest is Wudan Yan, an independent journalist in Seattle, who covers science and society. She has written for National Geographic, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Elemental, Harper’s and MIT Tech Review. Wudan also writes for brands and is a fact-checker.
She is the co-host of The Writers’ Co-op, a business podcast for freelance writers. Her co-host is Jenni Gritters, also based in Seattle, and the two describe their podcast as an “audio handbook for freelance creatives.”
#73: We Must Fight Against the Anti-Freelance PRO Act, with Kim Kavin & Karon Warren
Today’s guest are Kim Kavin and Karon Warren, two longtime freelance writers who have built successful freelance businesses. Both are active in the fight against the national PRO Act. Kim was active fighting against a similar state bill in New Jersey, and Karon heads up the national efforts to defeat the PRO Act through the grassroots organization Fight for Freelancers.
The PRO Act (Protecting the Right to Organize) was introduced in Congress in late 2019. The initial intent of th
#72: How to Grow Your Email List + Earn Passive Income, with Anthony Moore
Today’s guest is Anthony Moore, a writer, speaker and coach in California. He is one of the top 100 writers on Medium.com, where he writes about personal growth, self-improvement and writing.
I had trouble trying to name this episode because there were so many things Anthony talked about that I wanted to call your attention to. So, I hope you find all the areas we discussed helpful in your freelance business.
As a freelancer, Anthony has several income streams: writing, coaching, online courses, affil
Customer ReviewsSee All
I look forward to this every week, very supportive and also galvanising! Thanks Melanie 😊
I like the shorter episodes best, but I'm sure others will find Melanie's longer podcasts, with guests, of interest too.