Benefits of Being Your Own Boss

If you’ve ever considered doing freelance work, starting a small business, etc, you’ve probably thought about the massive benefits of being your own boss. There are many, and they extend far beyond being able to take a day off when you want. Let’s take a look at some of those great benefits.

Flexible Hours – If you’re your own boss, you have much more flexible hours, because you can set them. So, you want to be there to take your kids to soccer practice, catch your son’s football games, or even have dinner with your family. All of these things can be done when you’re your own boss. You can schedule your work time for when it’s convenient for you. Most people with ‘normal’ jobs can’t say this.

Make Your Own Salary – As your own boss, you can easily create goals for the amount of money you want to make, and take actionable steps to achieve those goals. With a normal job, you’re often limited to how much you can make because of salary restrictions and company heads being stingy with overtime. It’s also a lot easier to make more money per hour or week than with a normal job. You can basically write a paycheck to yourself for whatever you want if you’re willing to put in the extra work.

You Get the Credit – If you build a company or a practice up to high levels of success, you’re the one who’s going to get the credit for it – not your manager, your boss, the owner of the place you work. Because you’re all of those things! When you are your own boss, your accomplishments belong to you!

Being your own boss is exhilarating, fun and challenging and it can be extremely rewarding if you have the drive and dedication to make it happen. I became a freelance writer over 10 years ago and I can honestly say that it is the best thing that I have ever done for my family and I – won’t you join me into the wonderful world of freelancing?

photo: cohdra

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Good or Bad Elance Proposals?

In order to be successful with proposals on Elance, one needs to know the difference between good and bad proposals.  Utilize the examples below to help you understand good and bad bid proposals.

Bad:

“Hi there – I’m interested in working on your project with you. I’m a freelance writer with more than 12 years of experience and can guarantee your sales letters/press releases/articles/blog posts are all 100% original. Let’s make a deal today!”

Why is it bad? It’s a very generic bid. Notice how the copywriter has not addressed the needs of the poster, but looks as if he or she is trying to apply to all writing jobs at once. They even mention several different types of projects, but not the project poster’s project specifically. Also, the end looks way too much like a sales pitch, which will naturally turn off a potential client.

Bad:

“Pick me if you really want to increse your sales and brand yourself in your target market.  Your not going to regret it – please see your PM for details ans samples.”

The one above is riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, and still does not address the needs of the project poster.  No project poster in their right mind who is searching for quality work would hire this bidder.  Even if the samples are fabulous and the freelancer was just pressed for time, this is most definitely a no-go.

Good:

“Hi projectposter325. I see you’re in need of 3 blog posts on hair care by the end of the week.  I have extensive experience in this topic and can provide 100% original posts that are informative and easy to read.  I’d like to suggest a few topics, since you are giving creative license to the freelancer. I immediately thought of the following topics as great ones for your blog, as they match the tone and style of the existing posts:

–          5 Ways to Boost Your Hair’s Moisture

–          Kitchen Ingredients You Already Have That Can Work Hair Miracles

–          3 Minute Hair Mask: No More Split Ends for You!

Whether or not you like the topics above, I’d love to work something out with you and possibly work with you on a permanent basis. I’m available on the computer for 10 hours a day and by Skype as well.  Thank you for your consideration.”

Why is it good?  It addresses the project poster right away by user name, so the project poster knows the freelancer was paying attention.  It repeats the need of the project poster, and also lets him or her know that the freelancer has actually visited the blog in question and looked around.  The freelancer has specifically addressed the needs, even adding in his or her own ideas that would be helpful for the project poster.  This is a great proposal and one that a project poster would remember among more generic ones.  Specific, targeted proposals work best – always!

Photo: mconnors

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Do You Need a Freelance Contract?

As a freelancer, you have to be sure that your rights are protected, including your right to get paid what you deserve for work that you do.  Many freelancers utilize contracts to ensure that this happens, but there are times when a contract is really unnecessary. Which are those times and how do you know if you need a contract or not?

Creating a Contract – Every freelancer should have a pre-written contract ready to send to a potential client if they should have need of it.  The contract should state important information, such as the type of project to be done, exactly what is involved with the creation of the project, the agreed price of the project as well as the beginning date and the deadline.

This helps protect both the project poster and the freelancer, as everything is very clear and it’s legally binding.  There are a number of resources online that can help freelancers create quick contracts that are legally binding.  A few places to look include All Freelance Directory, and Elance.  These contracts are standard ones that will have all the necessary information included.

When is a Contract Not Needed?

So, how do you know when you don’t really need one?  Below are some situations in which a contract is probably not needed.

–          You’re working for a client you’ve worked for many, many times in the past and the job is very small.

–          The job is through a bidding site and is extremely small – less than $30.

–          The client is paying in advance for the services to be rendered.

You may still feel safer by having the client sign a contract, but in some cases, clients will be reluctant to sign contracts for such small amounts of work and will consider it a waste of time. Use your own best judgment to determine whether a contract is necessary for a particular job, but remember, jobs that will take a long time or that are worth a lot of money should probably have one.

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5 Tips for Finding Great Elance Projects

No matter what kind of freelancer you are, Elance is a great source of work, and can really be a steady stream of income if you can get the great projects being offered there.  However, to many, this seems impossible with so many other providers to compete against. How do you find the great Elance projects? We’ll discuss below how to do just that.

  1. Email Alerts – Sign up for the email alerts through Elance so that you receive the top budgeted projects in your category every day.  This is a very helpful reminder to bid on projects, and can highlight which projects are most worth submitting proposals on.  You can see in your own inbox whether there is something you’d like to apply for or not.
  2. Profile – Ensure that your profile is filled out and that you have plenty of great samples in the portfolio.  Project posters can invite you to vote on their projects if they think you would be a good match for them.  By creating an inviting and impressive profile, you’ll encourage project posters to invite you.
  3. Repeat Work – Do your absolute best on every job that you turn in.  There is a huge percentage of Elance project posters that need more than just one project completed.  Project posters that have used you successfully in the past will most likely want to work with you again if the experience was great and the work was quality.
  4. Set a Schedule – Set a schedule of btime each day so you’re able to submit proposals on several projects.  Set a timer and then go through your category searching for the highest budgeted projects or the auctions ending soonest.  Then, apply for the ones you think would be great for you.
  5. Set Your Budget Amount – In your profile, Elance gives you the option to set your budget amount, or what you seek to get paid hourly.  Set this amount to what you feel you’re worth, so that you can be sure clients see exactly what you want to make.  The ones willing to pay will be the ones who approach you, and you’ll attract the kinds of jobs that pay what you want to make.

By utilizing these 5 tips, you can really find great Elance projects and create a steady stream of freelance work coming your way.

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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What is the Definition of Freelance Work?

Many people aren’t exactly sure what freelance work is.  How can you be a freelancer if you work with the same company for more than a year?  Can you be a freelancer and receive a salary?  Below, we’ll discuss exactly what the definition of freelance work is and what it means to you.

A freelancer is someone who has chosen a specific industry and has learned all they can about that industry – we’ll use website writing for an example.  Freelance website writers keep up with the latest trends when it comes to website writing, what is getting results, what clients are asking for, etc. Then, they offer their services to potential clients for money.  Freelancers don’t usually have a commitment with a company on any long-term basis.  This doesn’t mean that a freelancer can’t work with a client for many years on and off – only that they aren’t committed to do so.

Freelancers usually get paid on a job-to-job basis, negotiating the price before the job is set to begin.  The amounts can vary greatly as well – one job could pay a ton more than another job while one client may pay a lot more per word than another client.  The trick is to find what works for the freelancer and what allows them to make money after they’ve invested their time and skills into the project.  Many freelancers do this by determining what their time is worth and then creating their prices based on that.

For instance, if a freelancer wants to make $20 an hour on a 30 hour job, they would quote a price of $600. The freelancer may also factor in other things, such as research time, the subject matter and its difficulty, etc.  In order to pay taxes at the end of the year, the freelance writer usually needs a 1099 from the companies he or she has worked for if that company has paid them over a certain amount of money for the year – usually $600.  Freelance work can be very rewarding and challenging for those who are cut out for it.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Can You Really Use Elance to Get Freelance Work?

Many people are skeptical as to whether or not Elance is a legitimate freelancing site to work with, so let me put those fears to rest.  Elance is most definitely legitimate – they are reliable with pay and give you more than one option for withdrawals, including paper checks and PayPal.  You can also now opt to use the Elance debit card to access your money.  I have been an Elance service provider for over 10 years and have successfully completed over 800+ projects to date. Although I do use other online and offline marketing methods, Elance is my absolute favorite way to market myself – simply because the system works and it works well.

While there are and always will be individuals who post projects and don’t intend on paying, Elance does what they can to ensure that it doesn’t happen at their site. Project posters can put their credit card numbers on file so Elance can verify that funds are available to pay for the projects.  Also, most freelancers (like me) request an upfront payment at the start of the project or at least ask that their money be placed in escrow at the very least to ensure that they get paid.

The cool thing about Elance is that it is an online marketplace that welcomes all types of  qualified freelancers – from writers and proofreaders to website designers, logo designers, researchers, and many more.  Another great thing about Elance is that they allow you to have a free account with a limited number of ‘connects’ with which you bid on projects.  If you’re not sure about Elance, create one of these free accounts and check it out.  You’ll get the hang of it quickly and see how the process works.

To me, Elance is better than many freelancing sites, because project posters are encouraged to pay freelancers fair amounts for the work they do.  Elance has required minimums posted and your quality score will suffer if you don’t bid at least the minimum on projects. With the feedback program, it’s easy to rate and comment about the work experience and how the transaction went so that others can be aware as well. Elance is a great online marketplace to find freelance work, as long as you research before submitting proposals and carefully scrutinize buyers via their feedback, profiles, and online reputations.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Published in: on February 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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