So You Want to Be a Freelancer ...

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1

=> Approach Your Cold Market

Once you've approached your so-called "warm market", it's time to start onrepparttar cold. Start by gathering up a list of businesses in your local area or industry that you think would have use of your services. Prepare a letter of introduction and send it, together with your business card, to your list of prospects. Your letter of introduction should make if very clear why you are writing. Identify yourself andrepparttar 117965 specific skills that may appeal torepparttar 117966 reader and why.

Follow up in a week with a telephone call to make surerepparttar 117967 materials arrived safely. Ifrepparttar 117968 other person is approachable, try and strike up a conversation about what you could do forrepparttar 117969 business. Otherwise, thankrepparttar 117970 person for their time, ask them to keep you in mind for future work and calendar to contact them again in 30 days' time.

Continue to work your market like this. Remember, persistence pays off. Don't be discouraged if you receive little warmth or interest in response to your approaches to your cold market. It takes time and persistence. Just don't take it personally. A good way to approach it is to tackle a fixed number per day. Start out by making a list of, say, 300 businesses you want to approach. Develop your list fromrepparttar 117971 Yellow Pages, local library andrepparttar 117972 web to start with. Calendar to approach 10 businesses a day forrepparttar 117973 next 30 days. That means ten calls a day, followed by 10 letters of introduction (together with a copy of your brochure/resume and business card) and a follow up phone call a week later.

Where there is interest, you may be able to schedule a meeting. Where there is no interest, schedule for a further follow up call in 30 days. If there is still no interest, schedule for a further call in 90 days. Or maybe you would prefer to do something else to stay in contact. A good way is to publish a newsletter for your clients and colleagues. Make it relevant torepparttar 117974 recipient and it's a good way of keeping your name in front of your prospects. A quarterly newsletter is probably frequent enough. Send it, with another of your business cards, to your list and, over time, you will see that it will start paying off inrepparttar 117975 form of business.

=> Samples

Another idea to think about is to produce a set of samples of your work; a portfolio if you will. Make 8.5 x 11 copies of your work and keep them in an artist's portfolio for presentations when you're able to arrange face to face meetings with potential clients.

=> Advertising and Promotion

Next comes advertising. If you're a website designer, possibly your best advertisement is your own website. But don't stop there. Advertise inrepparttar 117976 publications your target market reads.

Another good way to generate business is to join associations and groups affiliated with your industry. Chambers of Commerce are a good place to make handy contacts.

You will probably find that inrepparttar 117977 early stages of your freelance career you spend more time marketing yourself and your services than you spend actually working. There's a financial cost to that, of course. How do you finance your marketing if you don't have any money coming in? For this reason,repparttar 117978 early days will be lean and mean. Make sure you haverepparttar 117979 financial wherewithall to survive this period.


You will only make money as a freelancer if you charge more that it costs you to dorepparttar 117980 work in terms of your time, expenses and materials. Factor in a profit component to every job you quote for and make sure that that profit component is in ADDITION to an allowance for your time. For more on pricing your services, see "Pricing Yourself To Get and Stay In Business", at .

Some freelancers charge byrepparttar 117981 hour and others byrepparttar 117982 project. In reality, you will probably use a combination of both methods depending onrepparttar 117983 nature ofrepparttar 117984 job andrepparttar 117985 client.

You can get an idea of current market rates by surveying your competitors. Don't be obvious about it though; competitors are, naturally enough, reluctant to divulge information about their businesses to their competitors. So you'll probably need to employ a bit of subterfuge here by posing as a potential customer, for example. In fact, it's in your legal interests that your competition doesn't give you pricing information if it knows you're a competitor. Such conduct can be construed as price fixing which can land both of you in extremely hot water. So, keep it safe and use circuitous methods of obtaining pricing information from competitors.


A question often asked by freelancers is "do I need a contract?". Well, to start with, once you've negotiated a deal with a new client you have a contract. The question is whether it's oral or in writing. An oral contact is just as enforceable as a written one butrepparttar 117986 problem becomes one of proof. How do you proverepparttar 117987 terms of your contract if all you have is one person's word against another's? For this reason, a written contract is always a good idea. It needn't be anything too elaborate. In fact, even an exchange of letters will do. Just be sure to includerepparttar 117988 basic terms:

=> Describerepparttar 117989 job

What must you do to performrepparttar 117990 contract? Be as specific as possible here and try not to be open-ended. "Create a website for client" is too vague. What would you do ifrepparttar 117991 client came back after you'd finished and said, "but there's no shopping cart, there's no feedback form?" and you hadn't quoted your time for these things in strikingrepparttar 117992 price? Better to say, "Create website at client's direction consisting of (a) home page; (b) products and services page; (c) order page; (d) shopping cart and (e) feedback form". By requiringrepparttar 117993 client to be very specific about what it is they want from their website, how they want it to look etc. you can go a long way to avoiding misunderstandings caused by vagueness.

=> Setrepparttar 117994 price

State in unequivocal termsrepparttar 117995 price you are to receive forrepparttar 117996 job. This can be either a project cost such as $5,000 or an hourly rate such as "$150 hour or part thereof; minimum of ten (10) hours" or whatever.

=> State time for performance

Performance means not only when you will complete your part ofrepparttar 117997 bargain (i.e. deliveringrepparttar 117998 completed website torepparttar 117999 client) but whenrepparttar 118000 client must complete his or hers (i.e. by paying you).

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online .... practical home business ideas, resources and strategies for the work-from-home entrepreneur.

Creating A Corporate Office Image From Your Spare Bedroom

Written by Elena Fawkner

Continued from page 1

No matter how enlightened your client-base is as a general rule, it is imperative thatrepparttar telephone be answered in a businesslike manner. I don't care how sympathetic, supportive and admiring your clients are of your decision to balance your work and family commitments by running a successful business from home, there is nothing cute about a five year old answering your business line. It's unprofessional, not to mention downright annoying.

Speaking for myself, I also find it annoying and unprofessional for a spouse to answerrepparttar 117964 business line. I'd much prefer to leave a message with your answering service than your wife or husband, thank you very much. At least I can be sure you'll getrepparttar 117965 message. But that may just be me ... decide for yourself.

So have a separate phone line for your business and lay downrepparttar 117966 law to your household that no-one, NO-ONE, is to answer it but you (unless, of course, you're employing your teenage children in your business in which case they should be instructed on how to answerrepparttar 117967 telephone in a professional manner). If you're away from your office, divert your calls to your answering service.


Something else to think about isrepparttar 117968 image of your email address. Which is Potential Client to consider more corporate/professional: or

It's worth spending $35 a year on your own domain name just forrepparttar 117969 professional email address, even if you never intend to create a website. Mind you, if you're going to have your own domain why NOT create your own website? But that's another article ...


It goes without saying that your stationery, business cards and other promotional materials should reflect a professional corporate image. If you have incorporated your business, this is a good start. A company name on letterhead and business cards can't fail to convey a professional image provided they are professionally printed on quality stationery stock.


There's no point having quality stationery if you're going to use a cheap and cheerful inkjet printer for your correspondence. Invest in a medium quality laser printer instead. They don't cost a lot of money these days and you can get a unit that triples as a fax machine and photocopier for only a few hundred dollars.

So, what do you think? You may be thinking "I wonder whether it's really worthrepparttar 117970 effort to try and please just a small number of potential clients". Is it worth it? Maybe. But look back overrepparttar 117971 suggestions I have made. Are they really anything more than basic, common sense, professional business practices? Regardless of what your potential and existing clients may think aboutrepparttar 117972 concept of businesses run out of their owners' homes, first impressions do count. Wouldn'trepparttar 117973 above approach be a good one to take with ALL your potential clients whatever their personal disposition? Just something to think about.

Elena Fawkner is editor of A Home-Based Business Online ... practical home business ideas for the work-from-home entrepreneur.

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