• How one Twitter search could boost your freelance lifestyle


    We all love a nugget of free knowledge, right? Well, we do once we leave school and suddenly appreciate the ability to learn all about something without forking out for a degree or college course. Education is wasted on the young, eh?

    In the last couple of months, I’ve been using one little Twitter search to gather lots of new information, varying from how to use Facebook ads effectively to how to set up a great sales page. It’s been a big help to my business, and I’ve started to put quite a few of the bits and pieces into action.

    Want to know what that Twitter search is? Of course you do!

    Search on Twitter for ‘Free Webinar’. Then save it as a regular search if you use Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. It’s about to get reaaaaally useful.

    If you haven’t tuned into a webinar before, it’s an online conferencing tool where an individual talks to a large group of people. Webinars often have text chat windows for questions, but generally the audience don’t enter into the audio part of the webinar – it’s for listening. Which is great, as you can listen in while you’re stuffing your face with dinner and nobody on the other end knows…

    Webinars are generally set up as a teaser for a product or service the individual is using (not always, some people use it as an added value product for their blog). Which means that at the end of the conference, there will be a section where they hit you up with their sales pitch. For an hour’s free information though, I’m more than happy to listen to that (or if you’re particularly ruthless, you can log out when that kicks in).

    Some webinar providers will also send you a limited time recap link after the webinar has finished, so you can tune in whenever you’re free.

    Aim to listen to one webinar a month, or one a week if you’re a freelancer. You’ll be surprised how much you learn!

    Are you a webinar fan? What have you picked up from listening to one?

    (Got a webinar coming up? Feel free to post about it in the comments!)

  • Free Printable! The Weekly Freelance Challenge: Does your time/work ratio work for 2013?

    The end of the year is a great opportunity to take stock and decide what to do in the coming year. For me, it’s been a feast and famine year. I lost three main blogging clients in the space of a month thanks to budget cuts, which led to me looking at what I’m currently doing and readjusting it. After listening to Tim Ferris’ 4-Hour-Work-Week, I realised the bulk of my income was coming from social media work, but the bulk of my time was spent doing blogging work. I was working evenings and weekends trying to keep up with blog posts, when I could take on half the number of social media clients for at least the same amount of income – and have time to dedicate to other things. Fairly important in particular this year, with a wedding to arrange in April. Additionally, I found my passion in 2012 sat with social media, so it seemed like the most logical move.

    As a result, I now have more time to blog for sites I really love, like Dork Adore and The High Tea Cast, as well as The Freelance lifestyle. I’ll also have the time in 2013 to work on some projects I’ve been dying to do.

    So, my challenge to you for the first week of 2013 is to work out where your income is coming from, and how hard you’re working to get that income. Are you working all the hours you can find for something that isn’t particularly lucrative? Is there another way you can work, or another income stream you can investigate?

    To make it easier, I’ve created the below free printable:

    free printable

    All you need to do is:

    • Fill in the tasks you do regularly in the Current Tasks section. For instance, you might blog, carry out social media management and graphic design for your clients.
    • Fill in the time you spend and the income you earn for each of these tasks in the right box.
    • This should give you a better idea of which tasks are better to focus on. Write these tasks in the third box, and include any additional income streams you might think of (for example, teaching or ebooks).
    • Finally, fill in all the things you would do if you have time, in the final box. These could vary from volunteering to spending more time with family.

    The reason I’ve added in the last section, is because I know most freelancers don’t just work for the money. However, it’s easy to fall into the habit of working for work’s sake. By stating achievements OTHER than work that you want to fulfil, it gives you something to focus your efforts on so you’re working to live – not living to work.

    Are you re-adjusting how you work this year? What do you want to do aside from your freelance work? Leave a comment to let me know what you’re hoping to achieve. 

  • Free Printable: The Freelance Daily Planner

    For a while now, I’ve been on the hunt for a decent To Do list printable to juggle all areas of daily life. A freelance daily planner. But I couldn’t find exactly what I needed.

    So I created my own.

    I’m not a natural at design, so this is something simple I’ve put together with PicMonkey (which, FYI, is brilliant for those who miss Picnik and don’t really want to use Photoshop).

    If you like it, just right click on it and save it to your computer – then print! Mac users, just drag it to your desktop.

    How do you stay organised?