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Selma Franssen makes an important point in her article Do you know how much your freelance friends make? for The Friendly Freelancer newsletter:
“People who know how much others make are more likely to negotiate. … If freelancers don’t talk about money, incorrect assumptions will continue to live on.”
In other words, it is highly beneficial to talk money with other freelancers to grasp the underlying market reality. Selma gives several tips on how to approach the topic, including one for those who are less comfortable about discussing their freelance income with colleagues: “Find … a friend with whom you feel comfortable and start throwing out some numbers.“
Life on Air: Memoirs of a Broadcaster is an excellent book in which the world-famous British naturalist David Attenborough describes his career from the very beginning when he worked in publishing and then joined the BBC as a producer. At that time, in the early 1950s, natural science programs were just being made – and as Attenborough mentions, more than once it was by trial and error. The technique was simple and the processes were still being fine-tuned.
This book is certainly one of those engaging memoirs that take you behind the scenes of broadcasting and, more importantly, the decades-long career of a truly exceptional professional, his first expeditions into the world, and his general approach to his work. Attenborough, by the way, was initially discouraged from appearing on camera because his teeth were said to be too big.
Life on Air as an audiobook was narrated by Attenborough himself. Highly engaging and recommended!
Specific business advice for part-time freelancers is hard to find, points out Sara Polsky in her article on Adding a part-time freelance job, and she’s right.
Her key takeaway (as a part-time freelancer with a full-time job) is to allocate a certain amount of hours each month to freelance work in order to prevent burnout or getting into projects that are too time-consuming or require meeting tight deadlines.
“I’ve figured out that I can take on between 20 and 40 hours of freelance work per month, depending on how busy I am at my full-time job and in other areas of my life,” writes Sara. She also observes that her part-time gigs make her a better professional because she is acquiring new skills, experience, and business contacts.
A guest post on the Freelancers Union blog explains the basics of the Profit First method from a namesake best-selling book on cash flow management by Mike Michalowicz.
It replaces the traditional counting method (Sales – Expenses = Profit) with a profit-seeking one (Sales – Profit = Expenses) and the article outlines how the money is allocated along the way into several categories (Profit, Owner’s pay, Tax, Operating expenses).
Some freelancers consider the Profit First method to be useful for turning in greater profits, while others see it as clumsy or have other business priorities before profit (not unusual among freelancers). Anyway, it’s great that more articles on freelance finance are popping up ahead of a probable recession.
We like articles where freelancers recap their years in business and share tips for beginners. Such as 8 Best Freelancing Tips For Beginners by Kim Hobson:
A so-called feast-or-famine cycle is a problem known to many freelancers — periods of busy work and strong income alternate with periods when work and money are scarce. This is followed by hustling for new work to stop the slump, the work picks up again, and the cycle repeats itself over time.
The root cause of the problem is typically connected to poorly grasped personal marketing, rather than market seasonality. As Poornima Apte explains in her article Avoid the Freelance Feast-or-Famine Cycle by Soft Marketing Your Skills, one of the solutions is the strategy of continuous or “soft” marketing, i.e. spreading self-promotion and business networking evenly over time, and not just into periods of income hunger.
Finally, the author adds a charming gamification tip: Every day counts, so she moves 3 beans from one jar to another every time she does something small to promote or present herself. One look at the jars and she knows right away how she’s doing this month. After all, good freelance marketing is a bit like planting seeds. (Want to plant one too? Join us!)
If you love to work in cafés, coworking places, or on your travels, the new revolutionary Asus Zenbook 17 Fold OLED may boost your imagination as well as possibilities. It can be used as a 12,5" compact laptop but also unfolded into a big 17" monitor with a separate keyboard.
Sure, it’s just a first (and rather expensive) glimpse of future work mobility, with several issues and disadvantages, but it still deserves some recognition and praise. Watch it unfold in a YouTube video:
Far from every company works well with freelancers. Belgian initiative Freelance Friendly awards those who do with a quality label, granted by the local union of self-employed entrepreneurs or Unizo.
Belgian freelance economy is quite advanced, home to such projects as the ongoing Freelance Business Month or the Day of the Freelancer conference. Check out 20+ Belgian resources on our list.
Fiverr and Freelancers Union have thrown their weight behind announcing October 19 as the first-ever International Freelancer Day, along with launching the Freelancer Wellness Fund where you can apply for grants.
With Freelance Business Month, European Freelancers Week, and the Day of the Freelancer also scheduled for October, do you need more proof that this month will likely be perceived as a celebration of freelancing? Individual freelancers may not care much, but it is just great for raising awareness.
Side note: Since Freelancers Union discontinued publishing annual Freelancing in America surveys in collaboration with Upwork (which goes on producing its own Freelance Forward reports), teaming up with Fiverr seems to confirm its growing influence on the freelance economy.
There are hundreds of AI-based image enhancement tools, but the best we’ve used so far is GFPGAN. It can upscale low-quality, low-resolution photo portraits to almost unbelievable results.
Whenever you need to upscale an older headshot or restore a family photograph, you can use the free GFPGAN Inference Demo tool. Here’s how to do it: