Ready to freelance? Learn from Michelle Goodman of "My So-Called Freelance Life"

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Just about an hour ago, Daniel Kehrer asked me (on Twitter of course!):  Are you finding lots more folks going freelance because of the economy?


Glad you asked Daniel!

In today’s podcast, I talk with Michelle Goodman, author of the new book My So-Called Freelance Life.  It is chock-full of information for people who are considering freelancing on the side, or as a full-time pursuit.  The conversation is about 43 minutes and you can find it here.

Michelle and I talk about all kinds of nuts and bolts questions about freelancing including:

  • How in the world do you get your first client when you work full-time in a "real" job?
  • Should you ever work for free to get started?
  • How to you contract for work appropriately to avoid scope creep?
  • Should you bother to list your services on the "bidding" sites like Elance or Guru?
  • When can "competitors" be a great source of referrals for your business?

I think one of the best ways to test the waters of entrepreneurship, even if you are not ready to leave your job for a few years, is to do a freelance project.  Enjoy the conversation, and the book!

Filed Under: Podcast

9 Responses to “Ready to freelance? Learn from Michelle Goodman of "My So-Called Freelance Life"”

  1. I started a freelance work some time ago and a one of the lessons I learnt is definitely to have a contract.
    The person I worked with kept giving me work outside the advertised job. I was doing this job on the side, so there were time constraints.
    Also to reduce cost I used a It has a great invoice utilty. The free one gives you like four invoices per month, however I found this to be enough.
    I do agree you need a web presence in this wired world
    Great podcast.

  2. Anastasia says:

    I agree – it is down to the uncertain times that people start looking for alternatives. But once the storm will pass they will stop looking or will return to 9-5 job … For many it is a dream of “something different” I don’t’ think many understand what’s involved in being successful and don’t anticipate how much work is actually involved

  3. Great post. Only caveat is not to give away the assignment because you are still working and there is not heavy financial pressure.

  4. Carla says:

    Great review of the book so far! I will definitely listen to the podcast when I get home.

  5. Without wanting to sound overly self-promotional, the Unlimited Freelancer also gives people excellent tools to get started in freelancing so they don’t burn out and make more money doing what they love.

    It shares a great deal of what I learned to make freelancing work!

  6. Sharon gets it – go with an agency, start small, or turn your current employer into your first client. Freelancing can help you build your skills and business relationships. It’s a great way to test the waters. So much freelance success is based on your ability to ‘fail fast’ – take risk, see what works, rev the process, then go again.

  7. Meesha says:

    Great post and great comment above. I’ll definitely be checking out this book. Thanks!

  8. I signed up with an agency during a particularly frustrated time at my last cube job. Nearly a year later, the agency called me. They needed someone “technical”, and the typical marketing/advertising person in their pool did not fit the bill. My background was in software; the job was in energy/utilities. I guess they figured this was as close as they were going to get, and they wanted the business!

    I have now been working for over two years (all from home!) with that client, during which time I’ve gotten a 10% raise and three other job and freelance offers based upon my new status as “energy expert.”

    My advice is to throw out threads any time you see an opportunity. You never know what will yield work. I am also a firm believer that “working one’s way up” through poorly paying (exploitative) writing assignments is often unnecessary.

    I am far from where I want to be in terms of creative, business, and financial accomplishment – still, people have paid me good rates to blog, write copy, and edit – much higher rates than I see advertised along with promises for “exposure.”

    If anything, I think I’m held back by a desire to have 3 or 4 different careers at a time, and a lack of focus on the freelance writing – not on lack of opportunity.

  9. Test the waters by freelancing first, I agree is the best approach. Freelancing is the best way to get a feel whether entrepreneurship is right for you before making the big commitment and giving up your job. Very good post.