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Freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork, once hailed as prophets of the so-called freelance revolution, are taking an extraordinary beating in the markets:
Fiverr’s stock has plunged to below $27, down 92% from its all-time high, while Upwork’s stock has lost 87%.
The crash is due in part to poor financial results and to the growing use of ChatGPT for repetitive, low-skill work brokered by these and similar freelance marketplaces.
The decline is even more notable given that the overall freelance economy is growing, at least in the U.S. — a reminder that freelancing and online freelance platforms are two different things.
Impostor syndrome defined as “psychological occurrence in which people doubt their skills, talents, or accomplishments and have a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as frauds” is quite common among freelancers.
That’s why Kim Hobson published a practical Guide to Imposter Syndrome For Freelancers about how to deal with it.
First, she rightly associates the syndrome with freelancers being walked over by clients and not raising their rates because they feel insecure.
She also notes that most freelance knowledge workers live in an Internet bubble, comparing themselves with online influencers and people at the very top of their field or outside of it.
She also offers a remedy: A tool for gradually changing one’s internal dialogue to shift habitual thought pathways toward a more confident freelance self, reminding readers: “You don’t know how much you know.”
Renowned NYC copywriter Laura Belgray asked freelancers in her mastermind community a simple question:
How’d you know it was time to charge as a copywriter, and how’d you get your first paying client?
She has published the most intriguing answers in a blog post, tellingly titled No experience? No problem.
Yet another solid explainer How to invoice as a freelancer from The Freelance Hustle deals with the boring-but-necessary topic of freelance invoicing: 11 things to remember for freelance beginners.
The Freelance Hustle’s article titled How to Get Clients as a Freelancer outlines some elementary strategies for beginning freelancers. It can be especially useful in markets where freelancers tend to advertise and respond to requests for work, rather than using more active strategies to drive sales. Although the article doesn’t break any new ground, it’s a good summary for those just starting out.
Freelance copywriter and creative coach Julie Cortés is a proponent of what she calls “freelance badassery”, which she describes in a recent article titled Embrace Your Badassery:
“For some reason, some clients—and prospective clients—will try to dictate the rules. Here’s the secret: Don’t let them. It all starts with you. You’ve got to be your own little badass. You’ve got to stop accepting this disrespectful behavior. So often we let fear and anxiety take over. We accept poor treatment because we don’t know any better … or we’re desperate for money. And we get in our own way when we don’t have good policies (read: boundaries) in place. Understand that being self-employed does NOT give others the right to walk all over you. As a freelance business owner, you are well within your right to determine your own policies, what’s negotiable, and what’s a dealbreaker.”
The bold and insightful article goes on to explain basic strategies for dealing with clients who try to impose their will on independent professionals, disrespecting the equal standing of both business parties.
Here’s a new testimonial from our member Dominika Spackova, who is a slow-business management consultant:
“Freelancing.eu is a great way to connect with the international community and audience. My profile was professionally written, and when presenting my work internationally, showing my Freelancing.eu profile is always the first option.”
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“Is the rise of AI a threat or an opportunity for devs? Many fear that AI will replace human software engineers or make it harder for junior programmers to break into the field. But what if the truth is quite the opposite?,” writes Jan Javorek in the opening paragraph of his long-read article titled Empowered by AI: Why junior devs have the winning edge.
The text is full of solid insights and strong arguments against the popular notion that ChatGPT or GPT-4 will put junior and less capable developers out of business.
In informing about AI tools, we intentionally focus only on the most important ones, such as ChatGPT, GPT-4, Midjourney — or the latest innovation known as Auto-GPT.
Auto-GPT is an autonomous “AI agent” to which you assign a task in natural language and it will attempt to complete it. To do this, it uses API calls to ChatGPT (i.e. GPT-4 or GPT-3.5) to analyze the task, break it down into subtasks, or even debug its own code. It can also browse or search the Internet, or use other services to which it has access.
The project began as an open-source experiment on Github, but it has caused such a stir that it is now being hailed as a next big thing in AI. Services like this may soon fulfill a role of an autonomous researcher or assistant to whom you assign a simpler task, and they deliver a usable output in a short time.
Of course, there are still many bugs, but the charm of AutoGPT experiments cannot be denied. Developers can setup their own agent, while the public can try Auto-GPT on a limited basis on sites like AgentGPT or God Mode, or watch a video about it:
Our database of 400+ European freelance resources is already so vast that we rarely find a new extensive one that we have overlooked. The Freelance Informer based in the UK is one of them. Just scroll down their homepage to see the huge number of items published! They’re already on our radar, so expect to see their best pieces in our carefully curated freelance news(letters).