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28 September  2008 ~

Freelance Food Prices are rising, gas & oil are still very high and home prices continue to decline.  Now given the economic crisis on Wall Street, what if you lose your job?  As senior business leaders, you know that the higher up you go, the fewer jobs that exist.  Hence, if you lose your job, where will you turn to continue to generate a cash flow amidst this economic turbulence?  Given a lack of employment opportunities, many people choose the freelance route. In this post, we will help identify things you need to be aware of if you choose this path.

  1. Clearly identify and articulate your unique selling proposition
  2. Prepare yourself to network – in person and virtually.  Sign up for sites like LinkedIn.com.  Keep in mind networking can occur anywhere, be prepared with your 30 second pitch and any small relevant marketing items like a business card or if you have it, a brochure.
  3. There is a business side to freelancing.  You will need to handle things like pricing, finances, client relationships and most importantly, sales.
  4. Being a freelancer generally means you are working (or not working) on your own.  Be prepared for the highs and lows brought on by the loneliness and inconsistency of the revenue.  Find a good friend or family member to help keep you well balanced.
  5. Reduce your expenses and try to keep your cash position as solid as possible to protect yourself in the event of a dry spell between paying assignments.  Most people aim for a 6 month cash cushion.
  6. Learn to search the freelance sites like elance.com and guru.com for possible gigs. 
  7. Become familiar with the 80/20 rule.  80 percent of your business is going to come from 20% of your clients.  Make sure you stay very attentive to existing clients as they will also be great referral sources as well.

This was meant to be a short post, so we’ll close here.  Now we’ll turn to the freelancers out there… what have you experienced and what is some advice that you would offer to people trying it for the first time?

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