10 things a freelancer must do to survive this economy

(This is a guest article by Jessie Hepzie*)

The season had been pretty rough throughout the last quarter of 2008 as well as in 2009. The economic meltdown has had its effects on every one including freelancers, yet this is the opportune moment for some, and they are really successful in acquiring great orders.
You should remember the life of a freelancer is not always a smooth one. With so many commitments and with uncertain income, the life of freelancers had always been in the rough seas. The following are the tactics that can make freelancers survive this economic crunch.

Look at the right place for your job:
Usually freelancers have a tough competition in forums and bidding sites. It’s high time you avoid those sources and look for various other options available throughout the internet. The best thing you could do is have an eye for corporate freelancing jobs. The recent freeze in recruitment programs and the downsizing of employee list in the corporate world is in reality a way open for freelancers. Companies in view of cost reduction are more than willing to hire freelancers to complete their ongoing projects. Associate yourself with these companies to get a regular income.

Diplomatic bargaining:
Whenever you are selected for a project do explain you skills, the current economical status, and diplomatically negotiate for a better compensation. This could boost your income and give you peace of mind. Never be aggressive because it can cost you your job. Diplomatic bargaining can also be very well applied when you are procuring material for your project. Compare vendors and prices and choose the best vendor that quotes the lowest price. You can also ask for discounts and offers and enlarge you margin.

Being punctual:
Once you take up orders do strictly adhere to deadlines. This will create a positive image and trust in you. Never take up more than you can chew and end up as failure. If your project is bit tedious, it is a wise idea to join hands with friends who can help you complete the project on time. Sharing a small amount in the revenue will reduce a great amount of stress involved in the job.

Maintain good relationship with your clients:
Maintaining good relationship with clients could gain you more projects and more money. The usual employer psychology is to provide the job to reliable employees rather than recruit a new one on trial basis. This is why maintaining good relationships will be an added advantage when it comes to gaining lucrative projects from previous employers.

Form a team:
Especially during the time of recession it is wise to form a team with like minded freelancers and share the work and revenue. This broadens your scope of getting projects and lessens your burden in handling large projects. Working together will also provide moral support and eliminate the loneliness thereby encouraging you to involve more in you job.

Learn new tips and tricks:
As a freelancer it is your duty to keep yourself updated with the latest trends in the field. Learning new tips and trick in your job should be a continuous process. Do not hesitate to spend a little in learning a new technique that could help you come out with flying colors in you future projects.

Be alert:
As a freelancer you should be alert with individual private employers. There are two possibilities that you can encounter with individuals contracting you for the first time. Cheats usually ask for some time to release your payment and never turn up once have you completed the project for them. It is always wise to get a partial payment in advance before you take up jobs for those you do not know. The other category is that people after testing your skills can provide you good amount and can force you into contracts that will benefit them a lot, while you will be stressed out unnecessarily. It is better to avoid both.

Be wise on expenditure:
When it comes to your personal expenditure, it is wise to reduce unwanted expenses. You should compare prices and get the best price for things you need. You can also reduce the expenses of eating out and other luxuries that could drain you purse especially at time of recession.

Start saving:
You should realize that there is no guarantee to your regular income and should start the habit of saving some money for the days when you won’t find jobs. There may be good income on few days while other days may be dry. So it is wise to limit your expenditure for the day with an eye for future. However, expending on investments is a clever option.

Positive attitude:
Remember nothing is permanent in this world and this financial crunch too will pass. Do look at poorer economies where people suffer the most and be thankful that you are in a better position. Comparing your state with those in poverty will boost your moral, whereas a comparison with better off people will lead to frustration.

*About the author: This article was contributed by Jessie Hepzie who maintians Oscommerce Templates.

*Image Credit: Photograph by lumaxart [via Flickr Creative Commons]

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Trevor @ Financial Nut said...

Great list of ideas. I think your point about saving is key! As a freelancer, you never know when the river of opportunity is going to dry up.

Robin@ILoveAGoodBargain.com said...

As a freelancer and writer, I am thrilled to be "unemployed" now, as there is nothing holding back my earning ability. You just have to figure out NEW ways to mmake money

banking deals said...

I know what it's like to look for ways to earn money in the moments that you are available. It was hard for me to find the solution to meet this criteria, but I'm grateful I did.