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Ten lessons learned from ten years of freelancing


As a freelancer, I wear many hats. I am a business owner, marketing coordinator, project manager, and accountant all rolled into one. In the beginning, it was hard to keep up with everything and I often felt like I was in over my head. But with a little bit of planning and organization, I've found that freelancing can be a great way to make a living.

For me, it all started when I left my 9-5 job to pursue my dream of working from home. At first, it was tough to find clients and get projects off the ground. But after awhile, things started to pick up and I was able to start building my client base.

Now, I enjoy the freedom and flexibility that comes with being my own boss.

What I've learned

As a freelancer, I've had to learn a lot of skills that I never thought I would need. For example, I've had to learn how to manage my own time, budget my own money, and market myself to potential clients.

I've also had to learn how to deal with rejection, both from potential clients and from the people who I've worked with. It's not always easy, but I've learned that it's important to keep going and believe in yourself.

Overall, freelancing has taught me a lot about myself and what I'm capable of. It's been a challenge, but it's also been incredibly rewarding. I'm grateful for everything that I've learned so far.

1. The importance of networking

As a freelancer, networking is essential to your success. By building relationships with other professionals, you can create opportunities for yourself and grow your business.

In today's competitive marketplace, it's important to stand out from the crowd. Networking can help you do that by connecting you with people who can give you advice, help you find work, and recommend you to others.

Building a strong network takes time and effort, but it's worth it. By investing in your relationships, you'll be able to take your career to the next level.

2. The value of a strong work ethic

In today's ever-changing workforce, the value of a strong work ethic is more important than ever. For freelancers, who often work independently, a strong work ethic is essential to success.

A strong work ethic means being disciplined and committed to your work, even when it's not convenient or easy. It means being able to stick to a schedule and meet deadlines. It also means being able to handle criticism and rejection gracefully.

freelancers who have a strong work ethic are usually more successful than those who don't. They're able to build a good reputation with clients and editors, which leads to more opportunities down the road.

So if you're thinking about starting a freelance career, make sure you have a strong work ethic. It will be one of your most valuable assets in the ever-changing world of work.

3. How to manage money and budgeting

As a freelancer, you are in control of your own finances. This can be both good and bad, depending on your level of financial literacy and money management skills. If you are not used to managing your own money, it can be easy to overspend or make impulsive purchases. However, with a little bit of planning and discipline, you can learn to manage your money effectively.

Here are a few tips for managing your finances as a freelancer:

1. Know where your money is going: Track your income and expenses so that you have a clear idea of where your money is going each month. This will help you identify areas where you may be able to cut back on spending.

2. Create a budget: Once you know where your money is going, you can create a budget to help you make the most of your income.

4. The art of negotiation

When it comes to being a freelancer, negotiation skills are key. Without the ability to negotiate, you'll likely find yourself working for less than you're worth or taking on projects that are not a good fit.

Fortunately, negotiation is a skill that can be learned. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Do your research. Before entering into any negotiation, it's important to know your worth. Take some time to research what others in your field are charging for similar services. This will give you a good starting point for negotiations.

2. Be prepared to walk away. If you're not getting what you want out of a negotiation, be prepared to walk away from the deal. This doesn't mean that you should be unreasonable in your demands, but don't settle for less than you deserve just to close a deal.

5. The importance of contracts and legalities

When working as a freelance writer, it is important to always have a contract in place. This contract should outline the scope of work to be completed, as well as any deadlines that need to be met. By having a contract in place, both the writer and the client will know what is expected of them.

In addition to a contract, it is also important for freelance writers to be aware of their legal rights. This includes knowing when they can and cannot use copyrighted material, as well as understanding plagiarism laws. By understanding these legalities, writers can help protect themselves from any potential legal issues.

6. How to deal with difficult clients

If you're a freelancer, you know that difficult clients are inevitable. While some clients are simply a joy to work with, others can make even the simplest task a nightmare. So how do you deal with those clients who always seem to be unhappy?

First, try to understand where they're coming from. It's possible that they're just naturally dissatisfied people, or that they're going through something personal that's causing them to take out their frustration on you. Either way, it's important to be patient and understanding.

Next, set clear boundaries from the start. If a client is constantly demanding more of your time and energy than what was originally agreed upon, be firm in saying no. It's okay to put your foot down and protect your own time and sanity.

Finally, don't be afraid to walk away from a bad situation.

7. Time management skills

As a freelancer, time management skills are essential in order to be successful. Without these skills, it can be very easy to get overwhelmed and bogged down with work.

There are a few key things to keep in mind when it comes to managing your time as a freelancer. First, make sure to set aside time each day for marketing and networking. This is important in order to find new clients and keep your business growing.

Second, create a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This will help you stay on track and avoid getting behind on deadlines. Finally, don’t be afraid to outsource some of your work if necessary. This can help you free up some time so that you can focus on other tasks.

By following these tips, you can develop strong time management skills that will help you succeed as a freelancer.


For anyone who is considering a freelance career, or has just started out, here are a few pieces of advice. First, it is important to build up a strong network of contacts and references. Get involved in online communities related to your field, and attend industry events. Second, make sure you are organized and have a system for keeping track of deadlines, contracts, and invoices. Finally, don't be afraid to negotiate rates and ask for what you deserve. If you start out strong and put in the work, you can have a successful career as a freelancer.

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