My 29 Extremely Personal Tips for Surviving Your First Five Years in Business

I quit my job five years ago, two months after making my first income from freelance writing. Sometimes, even now, I have these moments where I’m like, holy fuck, this is my LIFE. I don’t have to rely on anyone else to earn enough money to live. I don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time each day. I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do, […]

9 Ways You’re Destroying Your Personal Brand’s Reputation

Having a personal-branded business doesn’t mean you can just do whatever the hell you want with it. I mean, you can, since it’s your business and whatever. But if you want to, you know, make money, you shouldn’t. Here are some things you should most def avoid: 1. Flaunting Your Lack of Confidence Wait, what? Unconfident people don’t flaunt anything, do they? Well, sure, maybe not overtly. But that doesn’t […]

Is Fear Keeping Your Rates Low?

If you ever want to start making decent money from freelancing, you must stop operating from a place of fear and scarcity – feeling like this client is the only client you’ll ever have, and that if you lose them, all else is lost too. If you’re always scared you’ll lose the client, you’ll never be able to put your rates up. Actually, scratch that. Because you will always be […]

How to Get Over Your Fear of Starting A Business

Something I get asked pretty often is whether I was scared when I decided to start my business – and what I did to get over that fear. Honestly, I don’t remember ever feeling scared. Excited, yes. In awe of the possibilities, yes. But scared? I don’t remember that. I don’t remember ever wondering if I would fail, or what I would do if I did. This probably has a […]

How to Raise Your Freelance Rates with Cheapskate Clients

I get asked this a lot. How do you raise your rates with clients who are paying you a pittance? So this is kind of a trick question. Or trick headline. Whatever. Because the thing is, trying to raise your rates with clients who don’t understand value is almost impossible. These guys view you as a commodity… so why should they pay you more than any other freelancer? In their […]

How to Become Confident

Alright, I’m going to admit straight up that I don’t exactly know how to become confident, because I’ve always been a confident person, ergo – never had to try to become confident. But I’m sure it can be done. So I’ve been thinking a lot about what confidence actually is, because surely if you know that, you can work on getting it. And, essentially, it comes down to one thing: […]

What to Do When You’re Paralysed with Fear and Can’t Take the First Step

I met for coffee with one of my readers today. She wants to start her own freelance writing business – has wanted to for years, in fact – but she’s never been able to take the first step. Because she’s paralysed with fear. Because she’s a perfectionist and doesn’t want to get it wrong. Because she doesn’t know what she’s supposed to do first. Or second. Or tenth. And she’s […]

The 6 Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make When They First Start Out

1. Wavering on Price Know a pretty much guaranteed way to not get paid what you’re worth? Wavering on price. If you find yourself scrambling to accommodate somebody as soon as they ask for a discount, you’ve already lost. If you say ‘prices are negotiable’ on your website – ditto. Never ever give somebody a discount just because they ask for it. Ever. Stick to your guns and you won’t […]

How to Ask Your Clients Questions Without Feeling Like an Idiot

Do you ever get briefs from your clients and not know exactly what’s expected of you? And do you then delve into the work headfirst without asking any questions, because you’re worried you’ll come across as an amateur otherwise? There’s this underlying feeling many newbie freelancers have that they should just know what their clients want. They assume that, because they’re new to the game, they have a big gap […]

The 4 Traits You Need to Become a Well-Paid Freelancer

Anyone can become a freelancer. Make a website, tell people what you do, and then go hunting for clients. Simple. Easy. You can even just create a profile on oDesk – no need to bother making a website of your own. But there’s a big difference between the freelancer who’s scraping by, living on instant noodles and ham sandwiches, and the one who’s making so much money they don’t even […]