Blog to support the book "Creatively Self-Employed: How Writers and Artists Deal with Career Ups and Downs" by Kristen Fischer

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Location: Point Pleasant, New Jersey, United States

30-something Jersey gal working as a freelance writer. Starbucks addict, beach-lover, kitty mother.

Creatively Self-Employed Website

Monday, November 22, 2010

Freelancers love life! Are happier about their health, financial situation, their prospects…and their wife, husband or partner!

A ComRes survey, commissioned by PCG, published today (Nov 22nd) shows that nearly three-quarters (73%) of the 1,624 polled had actively chosen to become freelancers as a long-term career option in a survey to celebrate National Freelancers Day, the freelance community’s birthday.

The organization that sponsored the poll, PCG, the voice of freelancing, said the results underline that freelancing is a work/lifestyle choice.

PCG members apply their skills in a wide range of sectors including oil and gas, engineering, information technology, management consultancy, marketing, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.

John Brazier, Managing Director of PCG said: “The results confirm that more and more people see freelancing as a conscious career choice and it is encouraging to see in the poll that their worth, skill and flexibility is appreciated and seen as a necessity by businesses throughout the UK.”

Of the 668 businesses taking part in the poll a resounding majority gave a vote of support to freelancers. 60% of business leaders confess that it would be difficult for their business to operate without freelancers and 55% of business leaders said freelancers were essential to growing the UK economy.

The flexibility of the freelance community was underlined with 64% of businesses approached saying the concept of a traditional ‘9 to 5 day’ was old hat and didn’t apply to those who worked for them. Despite economic doubts 73% of businesses envisage opportunities for freelancers within their organizations to increase or at least stay the same in the next 12 months.

When asked to score how happy they are generally on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5=very happy, out of a maximum score of 5, freelancers score 3.79 for general happiness, while the public score 3.60.

So, if the person across from you this Monday morning on the bus, train or tube looks happy and content, the chances are he or she is a freelancer.

link | posted by Kristen at 8:50 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I love it when you can get really useful resources for your business-completely free. That's the idea behind International Freelancers Academy!

Starting TODAY, you can watch brand new, high-quality training videos that will help you transform your solo business. In fact, the first two training video episodes are available for
you right here: www.InternationalFreelancersAcademy.com/training

This idea was released by Pete Savage and Ed Gandia, the cool dudes behind International Freelancers Day. The Academy will bring you brand new, free videos from some of
your favorite "IFD" speakers every single week. The videos will be available free for 7 days
only. After that, they'll be pulled down, and you'll get another round of training. That's why it's important to come and visit the site every week.

I'm definitely going to be a regular visitor--will you? What other freebies do you love--leave a comment!

link | posted by Kristen at 6:56 AM | 0 comments

Friday, November 12, 2010

Susan Johnston recently blogged about clients that "just aren't that into you" over at FreelanceSwitch.com, and I have to say--her post rocked. In it, she talks about various types of clients--penny pinchers, disappearing acts, committment-phobes, big talkers, and control freaks that do not really value freelancers.

It got me thinking about our relationship with clients. As freelancers, you're on the outside. Let's face it--if you were at a desk in a corporate office 9-5 everyday as an employee, you'd be told why you weren't selected for the job ("The Disappearing Act"). But as a freelancer, who knows why clients disappear. If you were an employee, you wouldn't be penny-pinched--you'd know straight up what you were getting for a project, or for the hours you'd put into it.

So, essentially, being a freelancer presents its own challenges. I've had all of these types of clients, and it's really frustrating. For example, some give you loads of work and sing your praises for years--and then, nothing. Or some won't quite pin down when they want to start that "super urgent" project.

This is just part of the freelance life. You really can't take it personally when you're a contractor. It's the nature of the job to be mistreated, especially if you do not go the extra mile to show the same value as a company may perceive a regular employee. And even when you do, you can still wind up with clients that, well, just aren't that into you.

The key is persistence, and you develop more of it as you go. You have to keep going, keep searching out those great clients. Don't be surprised when clients come and go (the same way guys/gals came and went as you dated.) There may never be that perfect match forever and ever. You may only have a good client for a short time.

This is also the GREAT thing about being a freelancer--because sometimes you're just not that into a client either, and when a relationship goes sour (and your contract is up), it's okay to break things off.

link | posted by Kristen at 9:30 AM | 1 comments