• The Freelance Lifestyle Tea Break Challenge: Get paid faster!

    This week’s Freelance Lifestyle Tea Break Challenge is about something a lot of freelancers worry about. We spend hours trying to deal with it. It’s one of the biggest problems freelancer face. It makes us envious of those that get a set payday every month.

    Late payments from clients.

    Chasing clients for payments is one of the most frustrating parts of being freelance. Chances are, you’ve heard a dozen different excuses as to why a client doesn’t pay on time.

    But there are two steps you can take to either improve the speed of their payment, or discourage late payers. When I put these two steps into place, 60% of my clients started paying my invoices within one week of receiving the invoice. These were clients that previously avoided paying my invoices within 30 days – so this made a big difference to my business.

    Want to know what those two steps are? Check out this week’s three-minute, Freelance Lifestyle Tea Break Challenge

    Do  you use these two steps? What results have you seen?

  • The Weekly Freelance Lifestyle Challenge comes to YouTube!

    freelance lifestyle weekly challenge

    One of the things I’ve loved doing here on the Freelance Lifestyle is the weekly challenges. I’m a big fan of setting little personal challenges, and it’s great to see many readers enjoying them too.

    One of my personal challenges this year is to do more public speaking. I’ll be speaking at Cybher in June, but I want to get a little more YouTubing under my belt too. So, I’ve turned the Weekly Freelance Lifestyle Challenges into the Freelance Lifestyle Tea Break Challenge on YouTube. They’re just three minutes long, so you can watch them during your tea break.

    I’ve done a few YouTube things before, but this is my first proper move into it for The Freelance Lifestyle, so please be kind! Any constructive tips are more than welcome too.

    This week, I’m talking about the old school SWOT analysis, and how it can help your business. Fancy taking part? Comment below with how you’ve got on with this challenge, let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #teabreakchallenge or send me a video response!


  • The Digital Q&A Google+ Hangout

    Last night, I took part in my first Google+ Hangout with the lovely Jennifer Begg and Fran Swaine (regular readers may remember Fran’s great post on being a newbie freelancer.) To add to the pressure, we recorded it on Jennifer’s YouTube channel, and answered questions from our online followers around the subject of digital media.

    Here are the results…

    We had a dozen or so questions to get through, but as you can see we had a lot to say so only got through a few! The plan is to make this a monthly activity though, with a more focussed topic each time.

    Doing this hangout has made me realise that I’d like to get involved with Google+ more. This is where I need your help! I’d love to hear your recommendations for people to follow, how to get more out of it, and what you use it for.

    Feel free to leave comments, good or bad, in the comments section below.

  • VEDA – Vlog Every Day August

    It’s been a great week on the blog, with three brilliant guest posts from Fran, Fi and Betty Bee. Go have a read if you haven’t already. Big thank you to them, I hope you all found their posts as interesting as I did!

    Instead of my usual podcast this week, I’m doing something a little different. Yesterday, I started the Savvy Sexy Social VEDA challenge. For those that haven’t come across it before, VEDA is the Vlog Every Day August (it also takes place in April). Video blogging is something I’ve been looking to do for a while, because I have a feeling blogs are going to have to embrace other multimedia methods as well as writing in order to continue to succeed. Putting your face out there is scary, but I fully believe in doing something every day that scares you a bit. How else are you going to keep learning?

    Plus it means I brush my hair and slap some make up on each day. Which is no bad thing. I can’t promise I won’t occasionally rock the smart above the table/pj bottoms below the table look for videos though…

    So, here’s my channel. Feedback is welcome but remember that I’m very new to this so please be kind!

    It’s only day two and I’ve got a lot to learn, but if you’re tempted to do the same you can still join in. Pop on over to Savvy Sexy Social and pop your name down on the list and get vlogging. Amy from Savvy Sexy Social has kindly put together a calendar of topics to cover for the month, so you shouldn’t be stuck for ideas.

    If you’re already a vlogger, do you have any tips? Lighting suggestions? Camera recommendations? YouTube no nos? Let me know in the comments! Feel free to leave your link to your YouTube channel below too, I’m always interested in watching other videos.

  • OnlyWire: Posting to multiple social services in one click

    The great thing about Twitter, is that you can often find out some pretty interesting stuff from events that you can’t attend yourself. Yesterday, BlogCamp took place and I followed the hashtag #blogcamp with interest. One of the most interesting tweets for me was this one:

    Sharing content to multiple social bookmarking and networking sites is a time-consuming task. Login, submit, login, submit, login, submit….you get the picture. I’ll be honest, I’ve neglected Delicious, Digg and Reddit over the last year, but Sally’s tweet has given me a kick up the backside.

    One way of saving time with submitting links, is to use a service like OnlyWire.

    OnlyWire lets you send one link, with a title, overview and tags, to all your social networking sites. You’ll need to set it up first by creating a (free) account and logging into all your chosen accounts. Thankfully, you’ll only need to do this once. Once you’re set up, you can submit a link on the website, and it’s distributed to your chosen sites. You can also set up several submissions at once, which is handy if you write for several sites.

    You can also download a bookmarklet and WordPress Plugin too. If you scroll down this post, you’ll be able to use the button just above the Sexy Bookmarks.

    I’d suggest using something like this on a daily basis if you blog regularly, or a weekly basis if you prefer to do a batch at once.

    One thing to remember though. Sites like Delicious, Stumbleupon and Reddit frown upon multiple submissions from the same site, so try to make sure you spend a little time each week sharing other content too. Most of the sites have mobile apps, so you can do it while waiting for the bus/waiting for your dinner to cook/waiting in the playground.

    How do you share your content? 

  • How many social media networks are you on?

    Google+ is the current darling of the social media world, with ‘experts’ claiming it’ll replace Facebook in no time.

    They said the same about Twitter.

    The thing is, each of the social networks appeal to a different group of people. Which is why some people have a dozen social networks, and others stick to one.

    Facebook is the personal network, where you can update your relationship status, comment on other updates and share (sometimes a little too much) your thoughts on the day.

    Twitter is mainly made up of media types, who care about grammar and don’t really care for passive aggressive statuses (that’s not to say they’re not still on Facebook, doing just that). It’s also where people test out their wittiest remarks.

    Google+…at the moment, Google+ seems more like an extended version of Twitter. Plenty of business and social media chat, but with extended profiles and the ability to comment and share directly on updates.

    So perhaps there’s space for them all. Which got me thinking about how many social media networks I regularly use.

    • Facebook: For work accounts and keeping up with birthdays.
    • Twitter: The one I use most, for personal and professional means.
    • LinkedIn: I don’t use LinkedIn as much as I should, but I’m trying to get involved in more group discussions. Additionally, I add a LinkedIn recommendation request to the invoices of clients I’ve just finished working with.
    • Google+: At the moment, I use it mainly for sharing content and keeping up with Google+ trends and social media trends in general. However, as more people join from outside the ‘social media experts’ arena, the content should hopefully evolve into something more varied.
    • Fancy: To source new products and save them in an online scrapbook. Also, superb for finding devilish dessert recipes.
    • Tumblr: For all the pretty things and Instagram shots I take, that don’t fit in elsewhere.
    • Instagram: Mainly use it to take photos of my dinner. Or fancy cakes. Or my dog. All my Instagram photos end up on my Tumblr.
    • Qype: Addicted to reviewing places, and Qype gives me the opportunity to do that while earning badges and getting the opportunity to go to free events.
    • Quora: The initial hype for this Q&A site is over, but I still like to use it to crowdsource for answers when Twitter can’t help.
    • Stumbleupon: My first stop for social bookmarking. The sexy new iPad app makes it a lot more user-friendly too. I also occasionally use Delicious and Diggit.
    • Flickr and YouTube: I’m a lurker on these two, viewing (and using for work) but rarely contributing.

    So, how many do you use? And what do you use them for? Let me know in the comments!