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Our member Adam Zbiejczuk, who is recognized as a top-notch expert on LinkedIn, sent us a tip for a LinkedIn crash course that is especially relevant for us freelancers. The author, Jasmin Alić, writes about these key success factors:
URI, the largest organization supporting freelancers in Serbia, has published an upbeat review of The Freelance Way (or Put frilensera in Serbian), written by Ivana Matic—here’s Google’s English translation.
“If you are a beginning professional, The Freelance Way is a must read. If you already have experience as a freelancer, The Freelance Way can show you the importance of aspects you may have neglected or not fully mastered, reveal some important tools, and maybe explain something you didn't really understand all along. If this book reaches you and you are not freelancing, I guarantee it will strengthen your entrepreneurial spirit. Finally, if you do not currently belong to any of these three groups and you decide to read this book, you will inevitably belong to one of them after reading it.”
Freelance UK highlights a curious case of worker misclassification, which is now being heard in a UK court:
Two highly educated and well-respected creative writing lecturers are suing Oxford University for forcing them to accept unfavorable contract terms as self-employed but effectively treating them as employees, depriving them of a number of benefits. They speak of the "uberization of higher education" and claim that nearly 70% of people working for the university have similarly precarious contracts.
The burden of proof is on the two creatives, according to the article’s author, who is a lawyer. If they succeed, it could have a significant impact on the UK’s freelance economy.
Indeed, UK freelancers are already facing concerns from companies about hiring self-employed workers due to the new IR35 legislation designed to prevent the misclassification of employees. If it now turns out that self-employed workers can effectively claim retroactive compensation, it would likely make it harder for British freelancers to build long-term business relationships with corporate clients or institutions.
British IPSE has released its Self-Employed Landscape Report 2022 covering both the self-employed and freelance population.
The UK’s freelance economy remains concentrated in Greater London and the South of England, while British freelancers reportedly struggled with rising inflation and heavy-handed IR35 labor market regulation in the post-Covid, post-Brexit era.
“Freelancers are a subsection of the solo self-employed population who are working in the top three highest skilled occupational categories (SOC1 to SOC3). This subsection includes highly skilled managers, directors, professionals and associate/technical professionals, including occupations from lawyers and accountants, doctors and scientists, to writers and designers. There are now 1.9 million freelancers in the UK, up 1% from 2021. The number of freelancers as a proportion of the overall solo self-employed population has remained at 46% – the same figure as our findings in 2021.”
Here’s a new testimonial from our member Zuzana Bilkova, who is a manufacturer of wool duvets in a traditional workshop:
“I love my Freelancing.eu profile for more than being a clear and representative online business card, ranking at the top positions in search engines. It is also an exclusive passport to a freelance community of admirable professionals. Freelancing.eu is extremely helpful for me as a businesswoman, thanks to Robert Vlach’s passion and enthusiasm for supporting individual members in their business development. It’s great to be a part of it!”
⭐ Are you a freelancer too? Join us and reach out to new clients.
With the boom of ChatGPT and other AI text generation tools, there is a growing concern that AI-generated texts will be submitted, for example, as school papers, professional articles, copywriting, used to generate fake news or disinformation campaigns, and so on.
As a result, tools are emerging that aim to detect texts falsely presented as having been written by a human, such as AI Text Classifier from the creators of ChatGPT at OpenAI, or AI Writing Check, a free service provided by nonprofit organizations. These tools aren’t completely reliable, but they’re a good place to start.
Dealing with demanding clients is part of freelancing. If handled well, they make us better and more competent professionals, which is often obvious in hindsight: Dealing with a client that you would consider to be difficult as a beginner can be quite easy once you are more experienced and organized.
Some of the basic strategies for beginning freelancers on how to deal with demanding/difficult clients are outlined in an article written by Joseph Russell for Worksome:
One of the best ways of how to say no as an independent professional is definitely the phrase “I’m fully committed.”
“[It] may win the prize in the long-running quest to find the right form of words for saying no to a request for your time – without leaving any wiggle room, but also without being needlessly unpleasant to the asker. … It’s stronger than merely saying you have lots on your plate at the moment, which leaves open the possibility of adding something more. But it takes responsibility for the situation, too; it’s not that the other person’s request is low in value, just that my schedule happens to be full.”
Do you find it really, really hard to say “no” to people? Fear not. We all do, as illustrated by this collection of 31 How to say no templates, including some sourced from well-known public figures like Naval Ravikant, Tim Ferris, and James Clear.
Most are fairly polite and friendly ways of declining offers, invitations, and the like. One notable exception is this response from Steve Jobs on behalf of Apple’s media relations team: “Please leave us alone.”
Have you ever heard of midlancers or midlancing? These unusual words have been around for a while. They describe an atypical work arrangement somewhere in between freelancing and regular employment, as explained in a short article by Anna Janssens:
“As a midlancer, you work independently, but you are tied to a midlance agency. This means that you are not self-employed, but have the status of an employee. The advantage of midlancing is that you get many different assignments to work on. This makes your job very varied.”