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Freelancing.eu’s founder Robert Vlach will present the opening keynote at The Day of the Freelancer (or Dag van de Freelancer) conference in Brussels on October 6.
Some 200 Dutch and Belgian freelancers will gather to network and learn from each other. Robert’s talk will be titled The Freelance Way of Personal Finance. Here is the outline:
All established freelancers realize that financial self-management is incredibly important. It gives us the raw monetary strength and endurance to manage financial swings, to cover unexpected costs or losses, and to face anything and everything that life in business throws our way.
However, not all freelancers behave accordingly. Some are creative, artistic minds rightfully afraid of spreadsheet poisoning. Others believe they are financially safe, and overspend — until they are not. And nearly all of us have financial blind spots due to outdated presumptions, psychological biases, negligence, or lifestyle creep.
Robert’s talk will outline the most typical problems that freelancers usually face on their way to greater financial independence, as well as practical solutions to them.
From the first elementary steps of record-keeping, through improving financial reserves and cost-control, to more advanced topics of financial planning and wealth management, his keynote will present you with an upbeat comprehensive approach to building and improving your own system of personal finance as a freelancer. And it will work for you, not the other way around, leaving you stronger and more confident to face future challenges 💪
It’s a hot, humid day in Hong Kong circa 2015. Freelance copywriter Kim Hobson drives to a meeting with a prospect. She doesn’t get the gig and is told later by her recruiter that she came across as “cold and arrogant” during the interview. Kim got her hard-learned lesson:
Likable freelancers win clients and get better deals more often than those who are, well, less likable.
This, and other hard truths about “why freelancers need to be likable” are described in Kim’s useful article titled 10 Ways Freelancers Can Leverage Likeability Techniques To Win More Work. These are her main points, all explained in the article:
Note: You can also subscribe to Kim’s freelance newsletter.
The new insightful book Think Again, written by organizational psychologist Adam Grant, is essential reading for all freelance knowledge workers.
The book exposes the flaws in human thinking that lead us to overlook evidence and solutions to problems we are trying to solve in everyday work.
But there’s more. Grant boldly redefines what modern wisdom is. It’s not some folksy folklore, but rather an ability to think more like scientists, carefully reevaluating data and evidence, as we gather them.
In other words, Think Again is a book on how to think in an ever-changing environment and information overflow. It also explains that making (and admitting) mistakes is not only human but also necessary for becoming a better expert.
Superb book, expertly written, extremely valuable for all freelancers who earn their living by cognitive work!
Midjourney is a new AI image generator surging into global popularity.
It enables beta users to view and download images generated by artificial intelligence from a simple text prompt, such as: Hermione Granger excited about her first gig as a freelance wizard. To try out the beta, you just need to sign up on Discord and follow simple instructions.
2022 seems to be a breakthrough year for AI tools such as DALL·E 2, Google Imagen, or Midjourney, to be used by creative professionals for developing and testing their creative ideas. There are still many software and legal issues to be cleared, for sure, but the emerging technology seems to be exciting enough for creators to explore its boundless possibilities:
Our new member Jan Onesork has published 3 spot-on tips for freelancers:
“It’s been exactly 15 years since I started freelancing and doing SEO. What advice can I give you after all these years?
For this anniversary, I got myself a profile on Freelancing.eu — check it out.”
Note: In 2020, Jan wrote an article on How to Become an International Freelancer.
As explained in the talk European Freelancers & Where to Find Them, independent professionals don’t like to be called “gig workers”, and only few are engaged in the so-called creator economy.
What sets freelancing apart is also nicely explained in Benek Lisefski’s insightful article titled I'm not a “creator” or “gig-worker”—I’m a freelancer.
Benek first outlines the well-known flaws of the gig economy (Platform lock-in; Mirage of flexibility; Linear pay and limited growth; Not a passionate career choice). Then he does the same for the creator economy (You’re at the mercy of algorithms and virality; Hamster wheel burn-out; Inconsistent income; Great for extroverts, not so much for introverts).
He observes that “freelancing is way more than gig-working, and it doesn’t require content creation or growing an audience. I’ve been doing it for over 20 years, and it’s the best career in the world.”
Finally, he points out huge upsides of independent freelancing (Maximum flexibility; No reliance on platforms; Avoid the attention economy; Unlimited earning potential; Ultimate job security), and concludes:
“Being self-employed will never go out of style. No matter how many ’new economies’ they announce, we’ll keep doing our thing and making our money, not caring how much attention we get.”
Barbora Baronova is an award-winning writer and independent publisher whose books have been acquired by well-known libraries, museums, and collectors worldwide. In this talk for Freelance Friends, Bara shares some hard-earned business lessons that brought her international success while keeping her artistic integrity.
In many European countries, freelancers are not really used to asking clients for referrals to other people who may use their service. In the USA, however, it is way more common and we can easily get inspired. The article titled 3 Stress-Free Ways to Ask Clients for a Referral outlines the essential good practice:
Some compensations for star independent professionals in the movie industry are quite jaw-dropping. For example, here are the highlights from Robert De Niro’s contract for the “Savage Salvation” movie, according to Los Angeles Times:
As the personal-finance writer Ramit Sethi commented on Twitter: “This is one of the most insane contracts I have ever seen.”
Gradual improvements in freelance pricing and business negotiations usually beat price jumps and unmanaged sales. The basic recommendation is therefore simple: Avoid risky jumps, and keep improving by manageable steps every time you can.
Here’s a relevant tip from The Freelance Way, chapter Business Negotiations:
“So next time, try saying: For this job, I’ll try to do it differently and negotiate for a better price or terms.”