From ithemes, Kevin D. Hendricks shares insights and advice from Nathan Ingram who has been freelancing for over 20 years. Kevin shares Nathan’s 10 things he wish he’d known about freelancing including:
1. Choose your partners wisely.
“Walk with the wise and become wise. Associate with fools and get into trouble.”
Be careful about who you go into business with. Especially if it’s friends or family. You shouldn’t hire somebody you can’t fire.
2. Ultimately, we are all in the business of customer service.
Regular, honest communication is key.
You’re not selling a website. You’re selling expertise. You’re selling good customer service. That will set you apart from the competition. Often just delivering—doing what you say you will—will set you apart.
(But you also need to be smart and protect yourself against terrible clients.)
3. Good clients are worth their weight in gold.
Bad clients aren’t worth the hassle.
Sometimes you have to take a bad client to put food on the table. Do what you have to do. But there are other times when you’re doing OK, and you take a bad job just for the paycheck. That’s never worth it.
A client meeting is like a first date. You’re trying to figure out if this relationship is going to work. Pay attention to character. If you’re having a lunch meeting and someone treats the wait staff poorly, they’ll likely treat you the same way some day. You don’t have to work with everybody, and you shouldn’t work with everybody.
If you have a bad feeling about a potential client, walk away.
4. Be awesome at something.
Don’t settle for being mediocre at a lot of different things.
Freelancers often do whatever they can to bring in the money. But that usually means you don’t get good at anything. You need to narrow your focus—and “web design” isn’t narrow enough. You need to find your niche and be known for something.
Figure out what you’re good at and play to your strengths.
Farm out what you’re not good at.
Read the full list at 10 Things I Wish I’d Known About Freelancing