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Freelance

Get a Free Webcast When You Purchase a Mediabistro Course!

Although it’s back to school time for the kids, why should they be the only ones to hit the books?

When you’re looking to propel your career, hone your skills and amp up your mojo, classes are some of the best ways to give your career a one-two punch to the next level.

From now until Thursday at 11:59 pm ET, when you buy any Mediabistro class you’ll get a free webcast! The promo starts today and all you have to do is use the promo code WEBCAST at checkout.

In particular, we’re fans of the course, Develop Your Freelance Career.  Taught by Brooklyn-based freelance writer Lauren Waterman, the class covers basic freelancing skills such as creating ideas to pitching them. In fact, by the end of the course students will create two pitch letters and a list of well-crafted salable story ideas. Read more

Turn Your Boss Into Your Freelance Client With These Tips

Have you always dreamed of ditching the 9-to-5 in favor of being your own boss? Want to take the freelance plunge but the fear the lack of stability? If you needed any further convincing, a McKinsey Global Institute survey found that 58 percent of employers are planning on hiring more independent contractors in the next five years. But don’t go running for the door just yet – the best way to make a smooth transition is to build up your contacts and client list. And what better place to start than your current gig? In the latest Mediabistro feature, workplace experts give tips on how to turn your current boss into a freelance client:

Demonstrate how invaluable your services have been.
“The key is to present a business case to senior management and get their approval,” said Sherri Thomas, president of Career Coaching 360 and author of The Bounce Back. “I recently had a client who… found a business problem that the company needed to solve and she focused all her efforts on becoming an expert in that area to help solve it,” Thomas explained. “Eventually, she became the only person inside the company doing the type of work she was doing. She weighed her options, decided how she could add value to the organization by becoming a contractor, presented her business case to senior leaders and they were sold.” Having already earned the confidence of upper management, you may be better positioned than a replacement colleague assigned to take over your duties because higher ups are saving time and money on training.

For more, read How To Turn Your Boss Into Your Freelance Client.

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

7 Mistakes Every Freelancer Should Avoid

freelancer mistakes

Humility is a virtue that shouldn’t be forgotten at any stage, in any profession — including freelance writing.

In the latest Mediabistro feature, veteran freelancers talk about mistakes they made and learned from:

Assuming you’re so brilliant that readers will just fall into your lap.

“Magnum opus to ‘filler article about diaper rash’ writing is 100 percent reader driven,” said editor and writer Suzann Ledbetter Ellingsworth. She reminds new writers that even when professionals speak about how they really only “write for themselves,” they’re usually saying it at a promotional event, with the intention of selling their writing. Truly successful writers write with their audience in mind: Their readers’ needs and wants always come first.

For more veteran tips on navigating the freelance world, read 7 Mistakes Every Freelance Writer Should Avoid.

Sherry Yuan

The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

What Freelancers Should Do When A Publisher Doesn’t Pay

Money

Paychecks are not meant to be elusive; they’re meant to be in our bank accounts.

Alas, this is often not the case for freelance writers, who may resort to various tactics ranging from gentle prodding to angry shouting, in order to hunt down that check.

Well, what if none of that works? One writer was stiffed on payment for over year, from a pub that she had been consistently writing for. In her case, it took bringing matters to court:

The papers were filed in the morning and an attorney for the magazine called me by early afternoon. I’d since landed another day job, but I’d never given up on getting that money. I worked for it, I earned it and I was never, going to turn down a lump sum of three grand. After all of the time that had elapsed — by now, more than a year since I sent that initial email to my editor — it was just as much about the principle.

To hear the rest of her story, read Lessons in Freelancing: What to Do When Stiffed on Payment

Sherry Yuan
The full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Three Ways to Improve Freelancing for the Individual & Client

When we read this post on LinkedIn, we couldn’t agree more. Tim Brown, CEO at IDEO, made a list of pros and cons of freelancing from a worker’s perspective.

Yes, freelancing is terrific in terms of creating a flexible schedule and work-life balance. As for the cons, there are very few benefits (if any), a lack of community and unstable work as well as pay.

From a company’s perspective, they save some cash by not providing benefit packages and then they can hire talent on demand as needed. It’s not all rosy for them either since there could be conflicting timelines such as wanting to hire a contractor who’s already working on a project. Factor in steep learning cuves and some legal constraints for long-term help and you’ve got a mixed bag.

By talking with his colleagues at IDEO’s Bay Area contract talent team, Brown created answers to the question as to how we may make the experience of freelancing better for both the individual and the client. Read more

Rookie Mistakes to Avoid When Freelancing

rookie freelancingFreelance writing: a quick and easy way to write about whatever you want, for whoever you want — all from the comfort of your own home.

If you think the statement above is accurate, prepare yourself for a big shock. Like any job, freelancing has both its pros and cons. In the latest Mediabistro feature, we talk to veteran freelancers to find out how they manage the trials of the freelancing life:

The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is send a sloppy pitch letter or poorly edited piece to your dream publication. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t challenge yourself to pitch venerated publications, especially if you’re very familiar with what they publish. But it’s much easier to build your body of work, get some help editing your pitch or story and then submit to The New Yorker than to fire off a submission at two in the morning on a wine-induced whim. Create a strong first impression rather than spending time and energy recovering from a bad one.

For more researching tips and organizing ideas, read The Rookie Guide to Freelancing.
Sherry Yuan

ag_logo_medium.gifThe full version of this article is exclusively available to Mediabistro AvantGuild subscribers. If you’re not a member yet, register now for as little as $55 a year for access to hundreds of articles like this one, discounts on Mediabistro seminars and workshops, and all sorts of other bonuses.

Join Our Webcast: Tax Guidelines for Freelancers & Small Business Owners

Are you considering quitting your full-time job to pursue your own business?

With the ever-changing tax laws for the self employed and small businesses, there are numerous factors to consider.  Should your company operate as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or S-Corporation? When do you need to file to be tax compliant?  What are the tax breaks so many freelancers and small businesses are not aware of? You need to know how to get it right, not only to save money, but to avoid government hassles by filing correctly and paying taxes properly.

Join Howard Samuels, CPA and Tax Partner at KDMS LLC (a certified public accounting firm) for a discussion about the ins and outs of running your own business. Understand the different types of companies to operate your business and decide if you need to incorporate. Learn how to file correctly based on your company status and know the difference between an employee and an independent contractor.

This 1 hour interactive webcast takes place on August 7 from 4-5pm ET. Sign up now to join!

Three Tips for Freelancers to Walk Away From Their Worst Client

Calling all freelancers! If you are dealing with some clients who are a bit demanding, challenging or toxic, it sounds like it’s time to move on.

In a Brazen Careerist post, freelance blogger Abby Hayes writes, “Unfortunately, many freelancers are reluctant to break up with clients—no matter how low their pay or ridiculous their demands. After all, they’re helping you pay your bills, right?”

Well, let’s be truthful to ourselves here. An awful client is an awful client and you need to trust that when you cut your losses a better client will come along. Read more

Want to Boost Creativity? Researchers Recommend Dimming the Lights

If you’re in a creative rut right now, according to a recent study you may be able to get out of it by simply flipping the switch. That is, on the lightbulb.

According to a recent study published by the Journal of Environmental Psychology (via Inc.), dark rooms may boost creativity. Apparently they promote a more global perspective which can bolster creative juices.

Two researchers in Germany conducted six experiences to observe aspects of creativity. In the first three studies, they asked participants to describe a dark or bright environment and do a word search related to one of the two illuminations. Next, researchers measured their creativity by an imagination task, speed accuracy test or an alternate-use game. Researchers concluded that darker conditions led to exploratory behavior and surges in creativity.

Moving right along, participants were also placed in a room that was either dimly lit, bright or at the level recommended for offices. Subjects sat for 15 minutes before they began a creative logic test. Then they completed a self-evaluation regarding how comfortable they felt.

Researchers noticed the dimmer rooms were connected to more problem solving and higher levels of reported comfort by the subjects. That said, dim light wasn’t always beneficial. It didn’t bolster creativity when participants felt inhibited.

As for how we can apply this study to our own work environment, hit the dimmer switch and ask your colleagues if they feel comfortable.

Author Reveals Blogging Tips to Build Your Badass Business

Whether you’re a full-time freelancer or juggling a blossoming side gig with a full-time job, you still need to build your brand. A big component of that, of course, involves social media, your site and ahem, blogging.

We checked in with Shawn Graham, author of Blogging for Badass Small Businesses, for the inside scoop on blogging success.

MediaJobsDaily: What’s the biggest mistake small businesses/freelancers make with their blogging?

Shawn Graham: Not having a cohesive content strategy. Your posts need to be relevant to target audience. Just because you think a particular topic might be interesting doesn’t mean your visitors to your site will automatically agree. Read more

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