Building Your Freelance Business Around WordPress

WordPress has been nothing short of spectacular for freelancers and clients alike. Of course, we all know it’s the go-to system for blogging, but these days it’s much more than that.

In this post, I’d like to cover how different types of freelancers can build their businesses around this great piece of open-source software. And I’m not just focusing on programmers! There’s something for everyone here, thanks to the flexibility and versatility of WordPress.

9 Ways Freelancers Disrespect Their Own Time

As a freelancer or independent designer, the most valuable asset you have is your own time. Your ability to earn a living relies upon your own time management, which will allow you to perform income-generating services for clients. With effective time management you may be able to earn more and work less, and with poor time management you may find yourself working very long hours just to get by.

In this article we will look at 9 different things that freelancers often do that is disrespectful to their own time. If you find that your own time management skills are sometimes lacking, evaluate yourself in these areas to see if you have some room for improvement. Respecting your own time will lead to more profitable and efficient work, and more time away from work with your family or friends.

Financial Management Tips for Freelancers

Most freelance designers are experienced and talented with their trade, but not so much when it comes to financial issues. In this post I’d like to share some things that I have learned through my own experience of being self employed that I think will be able to help others. I am in no way a financial professional and you should always seek the advice of someone qualified on the specifics of your own situation, but these are some general things that have helped me along the way.

1. Have Emergency Savings

If you haven’t started full-time freelancing yet, the best thing you can do for yourself financially is to build up an emergency fund that will allow you to pay all of your bills for at least a few months. Hopefully you won’t need this money, but if things don’t go as expected at least it will be there for you and you won’t have to go scrambling back to a job as soon as things slow down.

If you are already freelancing full-time with no emergency savings, it’s not too late to address the issue. This money will help to reduce the stress that you may be feeling to earn enough each month.

29 Resources for Freelance Designers Operating on a Tight Budget

There are plenty of highly-useful resources and web apps that have been created with freelance designers and developers in mind. But for many freelancers, especially those who are just getting started, pricing can be an issue. In this post we’ll feature 29 resources that are not only very useful fore freelancers, but also extremely affordable. Many of them are free or offer a free plan, and the others are priced below the competition.

Hopefully you will find some resources here that will help you to save time and make your work more efficient and effective. If you have suggestions of other resources aside from those that are listed here, please leave a comment.

1. Project Bubble

Project Bubble offers free web-based project management and invoicing. Add clients, create projects, track your progress, and invoice clients all from Project Bubble.

Project Bubble

Foundations of Customer Service for Freelance Designers

There are a lot of factors that play a role in determining the success of a freelance web designer. Obviously, design ability and technical skills are needed, but other factors like customer service, marketing, networking, and work ethic will have a significant influence. In this article we’ll take a look at customer service as it applies to freelance designers.

Providing high-quality customer service can at times be frustrating for freelancers, but taking good care of your clients is critical for client retention and for encouraging word-of-mouth referrals. Here we will look at 10 aspects that should be considered by freelancers who aspire to provide a high level of customer service.

How to Determine if You Should Accept a Freelance Project

When I first started freelancing I was happy to take any project that came my way. At that time without an established network and even without a portfolio site, most of the clients I picked up came through word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family. When I finally got to the point of getting a significant number of leads and inquiries, one of the most difficult things for me was to determine which projects I should take and which ones I should turn down, or at least delay until another time.

Before long I found out the hard way that just blindly taking projects was causing unnecessary stress (I still had a full-time job at that point and not much time for client projects) and more significantly, it was preventing me from doing my best work and taking the time to learn as much as possible through the experience, which should be a priority for any designer who is just getting started.

One of the best ways to learn is by making mistakes, so I did pick up some valuable knowledge that I have been able to use ever since. However, if you are facing situations where you are unsure about accepting a project or unclear about what factors you should consider, I hope that my mistakes can also be a help to you.

Unfortunately, making decisions on which projects to take (and also on pricing) is not always easy. In this post I’ll cover a number of different factors that I feel should be considered. Keep in mind that each situation is different, so not all of the factors will apply, and in some cases the significance of specific factors will vary greatly.

30+ Podcasts for Web Designers, Developers and Freelancers

Most designers and developers follow at least a few blogs from the design industry, but podcasts and video podcasts offer even more opportunities for learning and for staying up-to-date in the industry. In this post we’ll feature more than 30 podcasts and video podcasts that are excellent resources for designers, developers and freelancers.

Boagworld
A popular weekly podcast from Paul Boag that covers a variety of topics relevant to designers and developers.

Boagworld

10 Passive Marketing Opportunities for Freelancers

Freelance designers are faced with the challenge of constantly finding new work and converting inquiries into paying clients. There are plenty of different ways that you can market your services, but sometimes the most effective ways involve passive marketing.

In this article we will be looking at ten different ways you can passively market your services to potential clients. This includes some methods that involve work up front and then little to no work to continue marketing your services, as well as some methods that are passive in the sense that you are not actively pursuing clients or trying to advertise your services.

1. An Effective Portfolio Site

The portfolio site is a critical aspect to marketing for freelancers. One of the reasons that a great portfolio site can be so effective is that it will always be there to market your services to potential visitors. Regardless of what time of day it is or where the potential client lives, a strong portfolio site will promote your services for you. The portfolio site should showcase your best work, clearly communicate to visitors what you can offer, and allow them to get in touch with you about their project.

For more on portfolio websites, please see these resources: