While specifically written for web developers by Miles Burke, “The Principles of Successful Freelancing” is full of useful information for anyone considering or currently freelancing in the marketing and communications industry.
Burke’s book is organized like a freelancing-business-building timeline, beginning with questions to ask yourself before you leave your current job with its steady paycheck and financial stability. This type of work situation isn’t for everyone, but answering Burke’s questions honestly and considering the provided pros and cons should help determine if a freelancing career is right for you.
Should you decide to take the plunge into freelancing, Burke then details steps to take before you leave your current job that will help ease the transition, such as preparing a business plan and establishing goals. It also includes chapters on managing your money and setting up a proper work environment; both essential to success.
Many creatives in our industry are intently focused on the work, but to get the work, you need clients. As a freelancer, you need to sell yourself and your work, from face-to-face meetings to your on-line presence. And because, as Burke explains, it’s always easier to keep clients rather than securing new ones, The Principles also discusses giving great service and project management.
Since many freelancers work from home, an entire chapter is dedicated to achieving a work-life balance. As freelancers’ work hours aren’t always 9-5, this is extremely important; not just for yourself and your clients, but also for maintaining positive relationships with your family.
Once your business is established, Burke explains, there may come a time when you decide to expand or make the move back to being an employee. While never an easy choice, this book offers several ways of doing both.
I would recommend “The Principles of Successful Freelancing” to anyone considering freelancing. Even if you’ve been freelancing for some time, there’s sure to be a business practice or two included which you may have overlooked when starting out and should implement going forth.
Lorelei Greifenstein (CDPUG member with a listing in the CDPUG Services Directory)