Freelance Business

  • How hiring a Virtual Assistant boosted my freelance business

    hiring a virtual assistant

    Just before I discuss hiring a virtual assistant…

    [su_box title=”Hello…it’s me” style=”glass” box_color=”#0f734e”]*Tumbleweed* It’s been a bit quiet round here, hasn’t it? I’m still here (and have been chatting away in my Freelance Lifestylers Facebook group, come join us), but had to put the blog on the backburner a little while I got used to juggling an increasingly active baby with building my business back up since having him. I wanted to share this post though, which I wrote a while ago and didn’t get round to publishing, as I’ll be able to hire a virtual assistant again now work is coming in after a maternity break [/su_box]*Tumbleweed*

    I’ve rabbited on quite a bit in the past about how beneficial outsourcing is, and in particular hiring a virtual assistant. But it’s something I put off doing for YEARS. Last January, I finally hired Jo Shock (a fantastic Virtual Assistant who now specialises in social enterprises). I think pregnancy had spurred me on, as I needed to prepare some kind of cover for my clients, but I’d also read so much about the benefits of outsourcing from people like Jo Gifford and Denise Duffield Thomas. That’s not to say I didn’t have some hesitations (more of that a little further down). But hiring a VA is probably one of the best decisions I’ve made for my business.

    How has hiring a Virtual Assistant benefited my business?

    Here are a few of the reasons why:

    • It gave me the ability to remove the small jobs that acted as barriers to getting the big stuff done. And often, those small jobs are done much faster by a VA than they would by me. As a result, things that had been sitting on my To Do list for months (if not years) were finally getting ticked off, giving me much-needed clarity.
    • It gave me accountability. I work best when I know someone else is relying on me to get something done. Knowing I had to send something to Jo by a deadline so she can do her part of her job really helps get stuff done.
    • It gave me support and confidence to continue with new ideas. I often found that as a freelancer, after the first rush of excitement of a new idea, I’d get a bit despondent. Having Jo to bounce ideas off and make practical suggestions really helped and I know I launched more products and services because of her help.
    • The Devil is no longer in the detail. I’m really not detail-orientated. Having someone to check things over means I don’t spend hours of wasted time procrastinating.

    What took me so long?

    Here are some of my justifications for not hiring a VA:

    Why hire someone to do something that I can do myself?

    Because, actually, I wasn’t doing some of the things in my business that well. I adore being creative, but on the flipside I’m chronically disorganised. So while I can put together my newsletter, before hiring a VA I’d often let it fall down to the bottom of my To Do list.

    I don’t have enough work for a VA to help with!

    The best thing someone recommended I do is start with a couple of hours a month, and build up from there. Jo from StreamLines Virtual Support started out putting together my newsletters (I write the content) and the A Day In The Life Of A Freelancer posts, and on to also research potential opportunities and posts, update the Facebook group when I was unwell during pregnancy and was an amazing asset when I went on maternity leave. For me though, once I realised how liberating it was to offload those ‘I have to do it but I don’t want to do it’ tasks from my To Do list to Jo, I discovered more and more things she was able to help me with.

    I can’t afford it.

    Actually, the time I save by hiring a VA is time I now spend working on new projects which bring in more money (and my VA Jo Shock is a total star for letting me bounce around ideas and shape them which makes it easier when I get to the sticky details bit which usually derails me)

    Who do I think I am, hiring a VA? VAs are for proper professionals.

    Hello imposter syndrome! Ironically, I didn’t start to feel like I was taking my business really seriously until I hired a VA. Suddenly, I was responsible for paying someone else and creating enough work for us both to do. Which is a very good thing for someone like me who needs some accountability.

    Top tips for hiring a Virtual Assistant

    OK, so are you interested in hiring a VA? Here are a few of my top tips.

    [su_icon_panel icon=”icon: lightbulb-o” icon_size=”41″]

    • Start small. Lots of VAs will be happy to start out with just a couple of hours a month
    • Speak to a few VAs. Jo felt like a great fit for me as she brought the organisation that I lacked, and really understands freelancers and social enterprises. Before you start, make a list of the things you want from a VA
    • Check in regularly. I had a Skype catch up with Jo every couple of weeks which really helps.
    • Make it as easy to share info as possible. Jo set me up on Asana which is fab for tracking what tasks we each have to do, and we use Slack to communicate rather than email (because I HATE email).[/su_icon_panel]

    I can’t wait to get working with a VA again, and would recommend it to anyone who is reaching the overwhelm stage.

    Have you thought about hiring a Virtual Assistant? What’s stopping you?

  • Five ways to use Periscope as a freelancer

    2015-06-11 10.45.51
    Hummingbirds from @Revbeej

    I’ve been a little bit absent from podcasting for the last few weeks, something that usually happens when I stumble across a brand-new app or social network. This month I’m all about periscope. Periscope is an app that allows you to live stream video from your iPhone or your Android device. As it’s a live stream, and it’s done through the app, you don’t need to bother with any fancy equipment or filters. So what you get is raw, real footage. It takes down a lot of the scary barriers about video production.

    So, how do you use it?

    If you haven’t used it before, all you have to do is download the app, sign in with your Twitter account then get started.

    You can simply watch other videos or record your own, which gets shared to Twitter as soon as you go live.

    @Mashable scoping about  GOT
    @Mashable scoping about GOT

    When you hit record, you’ll be able to see any comments from other people watching live (you can limit this is just people that you follow or make it public) and hopefully if you’re doing it right they’ll also be able to double tap the screen to give you a heart or series of hearts (much like ‘liking’ something on Instagram). The more hearts you get, the higher you climb up their listings of videos to watch.

    Videos then save for 24 hours, so you can watch them back after. People can continue to ‘heart’ your videos during this time, but they can’t comment – that’s only for the live feeds (although you can view the comments in the replay)

    As a freelancer what kind of things could you share?

    @BritBeautyBlog doing a beauty reveal
    @BritBeautyBlog doing a beauty reveal

    I follow a huge variety of people on there from British Beauty Blogger‘s beauty hauls, to daily videos from a man called Revbeej who shares Scopes of him feeding hummingbirds at sunset from his hand. Oddly, some of the most popular videos are of the simplest things – cooking meals, going for walks or room tours.

    What should I share, as a freelancer, on Periscope?
    Here are just a few ideas of scopes I would love to see on Periscope from freelancers:
    • Office tours. I love seeing people’s working spaces and even a one or two minutes video would be fantastic.
    • A Q&A about what you do. As you can take questions live, there’s a lot of opportunity to do Q&A video, which is a great way to spread the word about the niche you work in
    • Share quick tips. This is a great way to build up a good reputation by sharing quick tips regarding whatever you do as a freelancer
    • Are you Digital Nomad that travels lots for work? I want to see the places you go and the interesting things you see!
    • Tell me about a tool, app or something you’ve read recently that you’ve loved. I’d love to see mini reviews on Periscope.
    2015-06-11 10.51.33Now a few tips before you get started
    • You can download the videos at the end of the broadcast to be uploaded to Facebook or YouTube which can be very useful if you think it’s like the one up there for longer than 24 hours as videos do am expire on a periscope after that time
    • Utilise hashtags. Your scopes will be automatically shared to Twitter, so be clever with your titles and use appropriate hashtags. You can also use Twitter usernames in your titles.
    • Beware of trolls. Trolls will inevitably pop up at some point in your scope with silly questions/abuse. You can tap on their name and block them while you’re recording.
    • Don’t go overboard. 1-2 scopes a day is about right, any more than that and I tend to unsubscribe pretty quickly (unless they’re very short and sweet)
    So, tell me – are you on Periscope? Leave me your username below! If you are and you haven’t Scoped yet, what do you like to watch?

  • Three ways to find new work in April

    finding new work in april

    Happy Pitch Slap Wednesday (not sure what the hell I’m talking about? You’ll need this post then). Welcome to a new series of monthly posts identifying ways to find new business and find new business.

    Pitching for work can feel like an endless, tedious task at times, so these tasks should help keep #PitchSlapWednesday fresh!

    Online: Facebook adverts. Have you tried Facebook advertising yet? If you’ve got a page, there’s a good chance you might have given the Boost function a try. At just £3 a post, it’s worth a try eh? But have you tried using the PowerEditor function? It gives you far more freedom to pick and choose your audience – so a post about your services can reach exactly who you want it to. There’s a great guide here if you’re looking to try it out.

    Offline: Flyers. In the world of digital media, it’s easy to forget about offline old school marketing. But depending on your services, a well placed flyer or poster can be really effective. Say you’re selling a service that requires face-to-face interaction locally. It’s important to reach them in the places they’re visiting. So if you offering a service where mothers are your primary target, make sure your posters are up in community halls, nurseries if possible and kids play areas. You can create a quick and easy poster using Canva.com.

    In a communityGuest posts. When was the last time you wrote a guest post? I know, I know, sometimes it’s enough of an effort writing your own blog. But a well placed guest post can make a huge difference to your viability – and help you reach new potential clients and customers. Perhaps even consider a post swap to get a bit of accountability with another blogger?

    What will you be doing for #PitchSlapWednesday this week?

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  • 10 ways to boost your biz on a budget

    10 Ways to boost your biz on a budget

     

    Building and growing your business as a freelancer is pretty exciting, right? But many freelancers I know are nervous about growing their business as they envision huge upscaling costs. Not true! There are plenty of ways you can grow your business, with a few free or low cost tools.

    • Get your social media organised: Buffer – [su_highlight]FREE-£10 a month[/su_highlight]. If there’s one tool that’s made the biggest difference to my business in the last six months, it’s Buffer. I use it to schedule all my content in for the week, find suggested content and add in links from my favourite feeds. Not only does this save me lots of time, but it’s also boosted my Twitter followers and helped me focus on relationship building. As a bonus, they’ve just added a tool to create great social images for blog posts and social media (if you’re signed up to the £10 a month subscription).
    • Get networking and building a tribe online: Facebook groups – [su_highlight]FREE[/su_highlight](unless private subscription). One of the easiest and cheap ways to build or join a community now is on Facebook, through the groups. Pages are becoming trickier thanks to that naughty algorithm that keeps us on our toes and keeps us spending money to reach our fans, but groups are free to use and posts can read everyone (depending on their notification settings). I’ve build some fantastic new business relationships through both my own group (more of that in a couple of bullet points) and through others. Here are a few of my favourite groups for freelancers.
    • Outsource the small stuff: Fiverr. [su_highlight]$5[/su_highlight] Fiverr is a freelance marketplace for small tasks you want to outsource. I recently used it to get a voiceover for my podcast, a tweak to my theme and a quick banner. I wouldn’t use it for anything extensive (ethically I don’t agree with paying tiny amounts for lengthly jobs – you get what you pay for and freelancers deserve better), but for quick little jobs that would take me hours and others 5-15 minutes, I outsource.
    • Upgrade your imagery: Canva.com. [su_highlight]FREE[/su_highlight] Hello game changing app! This website and iPad app is the best way to create good visuals – and good visuals can lead to a higher click through rate, more shares on Pinterest and a better brand.
    • Expand your reading for less: Buck Books. [su_highlight]$1[/su_highlight] I’ve been subscribed to Buck Books for a while now, a newsletter where you get daily deals for $1 Kindle books by newsletter. There’s a mix of fiction, food and business books – and the latter is usually new but promising titles. I believe there is also a UK version.
    • Get the best software and services for lessApp Sumo (affil link). [su_highlight]A huge chunk off the price of great services.[/su_highlight] This newsletter offers a new discounted offer on a digital service or products every week or so. Products recently range from YNAB to three months of Audible membership for $2.95 a month. The discounts are huge and it’s a great way to find out about new and emerging startups. They also do a great free email course on doubling your mailing list.
    • Keep your finance costs down: Banks. [su_highlight]FREE[/su_highlight] If you’re a sole trader you can often make do with a standard free account (you do need a business account for when you go Limited Company though)
    • Meeting people face-to-face: Networking events. [su_highlight]The price of a cup of coffee[/su_highlight] There are plenty of membership networking groups around which charge large fees for you to join based on the idea that you’ll get lots of referrals. I’m sure some of these work. But often there are a limited number of people in these groups. Personally, I prefer the coffee morning style ones where you pop a few quid in a pot for your drinks and meet lots of people. I also wouldn’t just stick to one networking event. Try lots!
    • Get your business organised: Project management software. [su_highlight]FREE[/su_highlight] I recently started using free tool Asana and I love it – it’s the perfect way to see where you are with all your projects, set deadlines, provide structure and have somewhere to brain dump ideas.
    • Get socially savvy: Social Lite Support. [su_highlight]£20 a month[/su_highlight] While I highly recommend speaking to a social media consultant when your ute starting out to help develop your social media strategy, I know that hiring a consultant on a monthly basis isn’t an option available to some smaller businesses. That’s why I created The Social Lite Support group, a private Facebook group where you your questions can be asked, inspiration can be found, ideas can be shaped and strategies formed. It’s micro-social media consulting – for just £20 a month.
    So, what should you splurge on?
    • Coaching/mentoring – investing in a great coach can have a huge impact on your business, and that 1-2-1 help means you get customised advice and can cut to the chase. Work out how much work you need to get back to pay the price of a coach, then make that your goal for the first couple of weeks after. If you’re looking to up your freelance game, I do offer 1-2-1 coaching for freelancers for just £99.
    • VA. Hiring a VA (or two!) has been one of the best moves I’ve made in my business this year, and you’ll be surprised how affordable they are – especially when they get the work done faster than you (and in some cases, bigger). If you’re looking to grow your business, I’d highly recommend looking at getting a VA as your first step. I’m not a naturally organised person, but having Joanna Shock on board has been like getting a brain cleaner in – suddenly I have structure and time to focus on the important stuff.
    • Accountant. This is not an area where you want to go cheap and cheerful. You get what you pay for, and often you’ll find that you’ll make back the money you’ve invested in tax savings if they’re great at their job.
    • Great PR skills. Being freelance means you need to do all of your own PR, which can be tricky if you don’t know where to start. Kerri Walker has recently launched a great 30 Day PR course to get you going with your PR (and the first 50 people get a £20 discount off the £49 price, so it’s actually a bargain!). Kerri also runs The DIY PR Club, which will take your business to the next level using clever PR techniques.
    • Good equipment. Tapping away on a crappy laptop which freezes all the time is soul destroying and adds a lot of stress to your day. Laptops don’t have to be super expensive (for example, for on the go work I have a brilliant Dell Chromebook which appears to only be £125 <http://www.dell.com/uk/business/p/chromebook-11/pd&gt; at the moment). But you shouldn’t have to make do with something which is slowing the productivity of your business.

    What did you splurge and save on when growing your business?

  • Can freelancing help you break through the glass ceiling?

    glass ceiling freelanceAccording to Wikipedia *cough*, the glass ceiling is “the unseen, yet unbreachable barrier that keeps minorities and women from rising to the upper rungs of the corporate ladder, regardless of their qualifications or achievements.”

    [su_pullquote align=”right”]”The UK median employed wage is £22,044 for all workers, full-time and part-time. Men in full-time work earn on average £29,441 and women in full-time jobs earn £23,889.”[/su_pullquote]

    Pretty sucky, right? But increasingly, I’m coming to the conclusion that this glass ceiling is being smashed through by freelancers and the self-employed, who aren’t restricted by the traditional workplaces and career options. While the pay gap in the British workplace may be shrinking, it’s still a big problem that a lot of women and minorities suffer with. But the flexibility and variety of freelance life means that women in particular are able to overcome these income and work barriers.

    So, how can freelancing help women in particular break through the glass ceiling?

    • Freelancers, in general, are hired based on their talent, qualifications and skillset. Also, on recommendation. That said, a large part of the success of many entrepreneurial women is down to their personal brand – and women are currently leading the boom in post-recession start ups. According to a recent PeoplePerHour survey, “Women are winning 58% of online work advertised, with an average hourly rate of £22.43 when freelancing. In comparison, men earn an average of £21.57, almost a pound less than women per hour.”[su_pullquote align=”right”]”Women are winning 58% of online work advertised, with an average hourly rate of £22.43 when freelancing. In comparison, men earn an average of £21.57, almost a pound less than women per hour.”[/su_pullquote]
    • Lifestyle businesses, and particularly those aimed at women, are huge right now (just look at women like Marie Forleo, Denise Duffield Thomas and Jo Gifford). Once that brand is established, you can grow your business by working with other freelancers and entrepreneurs. Being a freelancer is a wonderful way to begin a career as a future business owner.
    • Freelancing and flexibility go hand in hand, and this is particularly the case when it comes to hours. Rather than having to conform to fixed work hours, freelancers can work around their other commitments, such as childcare or sleeping patterns (some people just work best early in the day or late into the night). This means you can run a business around your life, rather than the other way round.
    • The internet has given us far more opportunities than we’ve ever had before. Now freelancers can reach out to a wide variety of clients, rather than being restricted to those nearby. We can also offer a number of different services, so we’re not just limited to one job or one client. Which kind of ruins all those theories that being employed is more secure than being self-employed.
    • We can set our own prices. Freelancers, and female freelancers in particular, are now able to set their own prices and raise them. You can charge what you’re worth, as an individual offering a customised service, rather than simply what others in the same job get paid.
    • We now have far more success stories to look towards for inspiration. As well as the women I’ve already mentioned, women like Arianna Huffington and Susan Cain continue to inspire women in particular to realise that the sky really is the limit when it comes to earnings and growth.

    The time has never been better to go freelance, and it’s the perfect opportunity to achieve the goals and dreams that are limited in an employed role.

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  • 10 Things That Have Helped Me Boost My Business in 2014

    10 Things That Have Helped Me Boost My Business in 2014

    It’s reflection time people. That time of year when you look back on the year, try and remember what the hell you’ve done and work out what you want to do differently in 2015.

    One of my favourite things about being freelance is the number of options available, which means no one year is the same. For me, this year was challenging in good and bad ways. It definitely felt like a trickier year, although I suspect this is down to growing pains leading up to becoming a a Limited Company in September. I’ve realised that when I approach the edge of my comfort zone, I have a tendency to self-sabotage which stops growth. This year has definitely been about moving beyond that.

    The first half of the year was focused on building up my coaching and training skills, something I’ve really enjoyed. It was also the time of year in which I launched my online ecourse. I signed up for some new mentoring groups and some more 1-2-1 coaching, something I plan on doing a lot more of in 2015.

    The second half was full of good news, but challenges too – from October the nausea and tiredness of pregnancy kicked in and I pretty much had to write any new plans off until the new year. Taking a break, while frustrating, isn’t necessarily a bad thing though – it’s the perfect time to reflect and work out what I was really excited about returning to. The last half of the year was also the time when I became a finalist in the 15 for 2015 freelancers, a competition run by IPSE.

    I set myself an income goal this year, and fell slightly short – mainly because I lost the last three months of the year to hiding under the duvet. I still saw an increase on last year though, and I feel like I’m in a much better position going forward. Next year, my focus is on growing the business and making it as flexible as possible before the baby comes along. I love thinking about a fresh new year.

    There are a few people and tools that have really helped me boost my business in 2014.

    Jo Gifford and the Dexterous Divas and Dudes

    I’ve known Jo through Twitter for years now, but this was the year I joined her Dexterous Divas and Dudes group (it’s free!). Facebook mastermind groups really took off in 2014, but I ended up leaving quite a few as there was either too little engagement or too much spamming from members. Dexterous Divas and Dudes is a group of online entrepreneurs asking for advice and helping others. On top of that, there are weekly promotion opportunities, mindfullness topics and workshops to learn more. I’ve made some great contacts through this group, and the workshops in particular have been very valuable.

    Denise Duffield Thomas

    Lucky Bitch, Denise Duffield Thomas’s program and ebooks, have made the biggest change to my money mindset this year. The biggest mindset shift was the guilt over wanting to earn more -the idea that it was ‘greedy’. I’d highly recommend her audiobook on this topic.

    Sile Walsh

    2014 was the year I realised that ecourses are brilliant up until a point, and then your money is better spent on 1-2-1 consulting. A 1-2-1 session with Sile Walsh left me with a notebook filled with notes and a head filled with ideas. She’s very intuitive and spotted the obvious blocks in my business straight away. Easily worth the money I invested.

    The Leonie Dawson planner

    This year, I invested in the Leonie Dawson planner, and I’m really enjoying filling it in and reflecting on the past year as well as making plans for 2015.

    The Members club

    Carrie Green is probably the closest we’ve got in the UK to Marie Forleo, and her Members Club is one of the best investments I’ve made this year. For $25 a month, I get a new bundle each month, on topics ranging from doing your own publicity to running successful Facebook adverts. Her Facebook group is also a really friendly and helpful resource. The price goes up in January, so you might want to sign up now before it does.

    The High Tea Cast team

    I’ve been writing for The High Tea Cast for a year or two now, and the Facebook group of other writers has been brilliant for both offloading during stressful times and sharing ridiculous/funny things. Having that support group has been vital this year.

    Evernote

    Onto the tools! I’ve finally embraced Evernote this year, after the realisation hit that you have to approach it with an all or nothing mindset. These days, I use it to scan in any correspondence, save favourited Tweets, create weekly plans, save PDF/ebooks and write blog posts. It’s a vital tool for my business and I couldn’t work without it.

    Plus, it gives me the illusion of organisation. Hurrah!

    Buffer

    Buffer has upped their game this year with the introduction of their suggested content, and in turn its really helped me keep on top of my social media. I’ve seen a real jump in numbers on my social media accounts, and I really think a buffer has contributed to that.

    Unroll.me

    Another tool I played around with last year but only fully embraced in the last few months. I HATE dealing with my email, but have a nasty habit of constantly subscribing to things. Unroll.me keeps me sane by rolling up all the non urgent emails into one summarised email.

    The Email Game

    Finally, Jo Gifford introduced me to The Email Game, an online tool to tear through your emails when you’ve let them slide for a few days. If emails are slowing you down, a couple of sessions with this online tool a day will help you keep on top of things.

    So, over to you. What groups/people/tools have helped you boost your business in 2014?

  • Keeping your business in the black and out of the red (Guest Post)

    laptopfromtheside

    Getting paid by your customers or clients is one of the most important things that a business needs in order to flourish. But simply sending out your invoices isn’t enough – you need to remember that a sale isn’t a sale until the money’s in your bank account!

    Emily Coltman FCA, Chief Accountant to online accounting service provider FreeAgent, gives her five top tips on how to collect payment from your customers and clients, and ensure your books stay in the black – not the red.

    Make payment and collection easy

    Think about the different ways your customers could pay you, and which would be the most straightforward for them.

    It’s also worth considering whether there’s any risk to you that the payment might not be processed successfully.  For example, direct debits may be returned if the customer’s bank balance is too low.

    If you want to provide an easy method for your customers to pay you, it may be a good idea to use a service such as PayPal that lets you take card payments without a merchant bank account.  Using PayPal means that your customers don’t have to give their credit card details to you directly, and you won’t incur the fees and additional admin of a merchant bank account.  However, it’s important to also do your sums and check PayPal’s fees too, because they charge you when you receive money in from your customers.

    Finally, make sure you communicate clearly to your customers how they should pay you, including putting your bank account number and sort code on your invoices.

    When should you take payment?

    You need to make sure you achieve an acceptable balance of risk between yourself and your customer in this area.

    Asking for full payment upfront could put prospects off if they’re worried about losing their money if they’re not happy with your product or service.  Consider offering a money back guarantee to make them feel more comfortable.

    You could alternatively spread the risk by asking for part payment upfront and part on completion of the work, or delivery of the product.

    Asking for payment only once the work is done, or the product is delivered, puts a lot of the risk on to you.  If your customer delays payment, or refuses to pay altogether, but you’ve already delivered the service or the product, you could end up out of pocket.

    Communicate your payment terms clearly

    Make sure your customers and prospects know when they can expect to pay.

    Set your payment terms and make sure they’re clearly visible on your website, and reinforce the message by including payment terms on your invoices, too.

    You may also want to consider adding a more personal approach onto your invoices to better communicate them to your customers. For example, we had one FreeAgent user who customised his invoices with a picture of his children and a note saying that they wouldn’t get fed until the payment was received.

    While you might not want to go as far as this example, a personal message or style could still help ensure your clients remember your invoices and deal with them sooner – rather than leaving them lingering in their “to do” piles.

    Chase late payers

    A lot of small business owners make the mistake of not chasing money that they’re owed, because they’re worried about losing customers.

    Remember, you’re providing a product or service that your customer wants and needs.  Don’t be embarrassed to chase them for the money.

    If you’re worried that doing this yourself could damage your customer relationships, consider using a virtual PA service.

    Using an online accounting tool also allows you to send automatic reminders by e-mail to your customers, both before and after your invoices are due.

    No non-payers

    Especially if your customer’s business is a lot larger than yours, it’s sometimes tempting to take the line of least resistance and stop chasing them for payment – but keep selling to them, hoping that they will eventually pay up.

    In a word, don’t!  No business can survive for long without cash to pay its suppliers and its taxes, and remember you’ll want to draw some cash out yourself.

    So if your customers don’t pay you, and if they are still unresponsive even after you’ve chased them, you should consider not selling them anything else – because it’s not a sale if they don’t pay you!

    Emily Coltman FCA is Chief Accountant to FreeAgent, who provide an award-winning online accounting system designed to meet the needs of small businesses and freelancers.  Try it for free at http://www.freeagent.com

    (If you fancy giving FreeAgent a try, they have a 30 day free trial. Here’s a referral link. This post is not paid for, but the referral link does give me a small discount on my own FreeAgent account if you love and continue using it after the initial 30 days)

  • Announcing: How To Pitch For New Clients, the mini e-course

    The Freelance Lifestyle (3)

    Happy Pitch Slap Wednesday everyone! For newcomers to this blog, Pitch Slap Wednesday is a friendly little reminder that as freelancers we need to be pitching on a weekly basis – even if we’ve got a full workload now. Quiet periods can creep up on you very easily, especially around this time of year, so having a line up of potential work is a Very Wise Move (and hey, if you get it you could share the workload with another freelancer).

    Pitching isn’t just for experienced freelancers though. It’s an essential part of building a business when you’re new. Essential but a bit scary when it’s a whole new world.

    A couple of months ago, the lovely Madeleine Noble Jones got in contact and asked if I did a pitch-specific e-course. Which sounded like a brilliant idea. So, I’ve put together the How To Pitch For New Clients mini e-course.

    It covers a multitude of topics, including:

    • How to identify your ideal client
    • How to match your services to their needs
    • How to sum up your services in a sentence
    • How to use freelance bidding sites
    • How to prepare for and excel at networking
    • How to use LinkedIn to boost your business
    • How to create a pitching document
    • How to set up a newsletter that could win you clients
    • How to set up your terms and conditions

    *Please note, if you’re already a member of the 30 Day Freelance Lifestyle E-Course, areas of this will be covered. However, there is plenty of brand new stuff in there too!

    Until the 14th November, I’m offering this mini e-course for $49 (about £30). Like the sound of it? Want to boost your clients and your income? Simply click on the link below!

    [themify_button style=”xlarge green embossed” link=”http://thefreelancelifestyleecourse.usefedora.com/course/freelancepitching/” ]Come and get it![/themify_button]

    What are you planning to do for #Pitchslapwednesday this week? Let me know in the comments or through Twitter!