25 Awesome Tips to Become a Successful Freelancer

Posted in Freelance, Tips, Web Design • Posted on 90 Comments

Being a freelancer means a lot of freedom to plan your own days at work, but it also does require discipline and planning. Being your own boss, you need to be good at making the right rules to succeed. Most of these tips sound just like common sense, but actually remembering everything when it’s needed isn’t necessarily as easy as you would think.

Different rules work for different people. Having worked as a freelancer on and off for over ten years, I’ve created this list of my best tips on how to succeed. Maybe you already use several of these or versions of them, great! Hopefully you will also find a tip or three that can help you to succeed in what you do! :)

1. Make a marketing/business plan

This should be the first thing you do. Even though you have all the info needed in your head, putting it on paper will give many advances and definitely be worth the extra work. Not only will you that way be «forced» to think through important issues and possible challenges before they occur, but it can also be a lot easier for you to get the needed help from potential business partners or investors when you have a good business plan to show them.

2. Plan your days ahead

Allow yourself an hour or so at the beginning of each work week, or the last hour of the previous week to plan the upcoming week. Then it’ll be easier for you to plan how to spend your hours to reach the deadlines you have upcoming. The more ongoing projects you have, the more important this is.

Picture by Hilde Vanstraelen

3. Use free software

Starting up as a freelancer can be challenging economically, and by choosing from all available and good free software you can save a lot of costs without necessarily having to give up a lot of functionality. Free doesn’t have to mean it’s not good software, there are more and more options available every day so make sure you check out what can be used related to your business. When you buy a computer, camera, tablet or printer make sure to check out the software that comes with it as well. You may be in for a positive surprise.

4. Create an eye-catching logo

To look professional and catch those potential clients in a tight market, requires hard work when it comes to branding yourself. Creating an eye-catching logo (or getting someone to do that for you if you lack the skills yourself) can make you seem more professional and easier to see. The power of a good logo and actually using it on business cards, websites and such will give you that professional look which could be the extra inch needed to catch the attention of a new client.

5. Learn to say NO!

If you don’t have the time for another client at the moment, it’s important to be able to realize it and say no. It is the most fair thing to yourself, your existing client and the new ones that knock on your door. Worst case scenario is saying yes to too many and it having consequences for existing clients. You always want to make sure you have enough time to give your current clients the best service you can. A client too many could be the thing that lowers the quality of  all your work.

6. Make a blog/website

In this Internet age that we are, having a website of your own can mean a whole lot. Not only does it make you look more professional but it is also a gateway to new clients. Many do surf the net to find people for their next projects and if they can’t find you online they won’t know you’re there.

Picture by Claudio Sepulveda Geoffroy

7. Update your website regularly

Do you already have a website or blog? – great! But to maximize its value to you it’s very important to update it regularly. If new clients visit your site and see that you haven’t updated the content for a very long time, that might just be the reason for them to choose someone else instead. Updating regularly will require an hour of your time every now and then but can pay back multiple times rewarding you with new clients.

Picture by Ben Lancaster

8. Give your online visitors something free

Giving something extra to the visitors on your website always is a good thing. If you work as a designer you can for example consider putting up some free textures or buttons. This will give your site more visitors and potentially more clients for you. Or how about offering every visitor a percentage off on their first order with you? Again, this could be the extra thing needed to stand out to new clients.

Picture by Mario Alberto

9. Use social media

Social media is where many relationships are made these days. No matter which country you live in, using social media can connect you to potential clients and partners all over the world. Twitter is a must, and you should consider Facebook and also forums related to your business. If you are a designer consider having a look at deviantArt and YouTube aswell. In several of these media you can advertise for your own business as long as you make sure to not spam it too much.

Picture by Davide Guglielmo

10. Get allies

Having allies can mean everything. Connecting with people through social media or even spreading the word of your business through friends and family can get you just that word out there that you need. Also making relations with people who can do things for the clients that you can’t can help, you give the clients a more complete package of what they need. One day you are the one sending a client to an ally that can offer a more suitable service in that case, the next day you could be the one having clients sent your way.

Picture by Glenn Pebley

11. Save for rainy days

Even though your business may go really well, there can and probably will come a bad month or two every now and then. Being a freelancer is being vulnerable to changes in the market. My advice would be to save up a little bit of your income each month, save it in an own savings account so that you have it as a safety buffer for when times get rough. You sure wont regret doing that. It would be a shame if a couple of small bills would ruin everything for you in a bad month.

Picture by Marcelo Moura

12. Be creative

There are many ways to be creative, to get new clients or to make better use of equipment and office space. Some examples can be to upgrade an existing computer if you can’t afford a new one, redecorate a spare room if you can’t afford the rent for an office outside of your home. Add a new product or service to your current list or ask friends or family if they know anyone that may be in need of your services. The options are many, all you need is to try think a bit out of the box.

Picture by Ayhan Yildiz

13. Reward loyal customers

If the market is tight you need to do what you can to have your customers back a second and third time. Being friendly and service minded is always a must, but what about giving them a discount the second time? Or sending them special offers of various kinds. Use your fantasy and implement these things into your business plan. Make customers want to come back and you will have the best possible chance to survive.

Picture by Deb Walker

14. Treat every client as if he is the only one

Giving existing customers good offers as mentioned in the previous tip is important. But remember to be service minded. If a customer feels important that will make him more loyal as well. Use positive language when you talk or write to him. Don’t be afraid to say that you will go out of your way to make sure he is satisfied with the product/service he is getting. And remember to let him know that feedback is appreciated. That way you can keep making your services more and more attractive and get happier clients. Don’t forget that existing clients can be the best advertising you ever get!

Picture by Shlomit Wolf

15. Work when you are at work

If you have decided to work from lets say 8am to 4pm every day, then do so. If you have errands to run, private mail accounts to check, private phone calls to make and so on, these will quickly eat of your much-needed work time. Make a promise to yourself to only do this when you are not supposed to work, as in before or after work or during your lunch break. It may not seem that much to you, but I’ve seen several great freelancers getting their days completely messed up because they were not good enough at managing their time properly.

Picture by Zsuzsanna Kilian

16. Know when to start and stop

Just as important as actually working when you are at work, is starting when you should and stopping when you should. You may have to prepare yourself for working extra hours every now and then to keep your business alive, but it is very important that you have free time too. You need to recover and get your mind filled with other things or you will get burned out and ruin things for yourself. The more hours you work at once, the less productive you get. So remember to follow your own rules on when to start and stop the day at work.

Picture by Nick Colomb

17. Keep your finances tidy

Keeping your finances tidy probably sounds easy, and it can be – as long as you keep an eye on them regularly. No matter how small a business you are running you will run into trouble if you only spend time on billing and accounting once or twice a year. Set up dates for when you pay your bills, when you send out invoices to clients and to make monthly budgets. Not only will this make it easier for you throughout the whole year but you will be able to fix errors quicker, do adjustments if needed and so on.

Picture by Michal Ufniak

18. Remember to breathe

Breathe you say? Yes ;) And by breathing I mean that you need to take care of yourself. You may be freelancing using a computer or two, a camera or other tools, – but the most important tool will always be yourself. And just like any other tool you will be in need of some defragging and polishing yourself. Remember to continue to spend time on your hobbies, friends and family even if you have a busy work schedule.

Picture by Alex Bramwell

19. Get out of the house occasionally (especially if you work from home)

If you have a home based office it’s important to get some fresh air. Book some of your meetings somewhere else, meet business partners for lunch, or spend an hour or two working from a library or coffee shop with your laptop if you can. The change of scenery may boost your energy level/creativity and give you a lot back.

Picture by Jesse Therrien

20. Make an inspirational string

Rough days come and rough days go. Simple as it may sound, having something around you to remind you of why you are working this hard can be what you need to get some extra energy on that one difficult day. Make your own inspirational string! Take a piece of string or use a cork board/whiteboard, whichever you have available. Add a picture of your kids, of the vacation spot you are saving to go to, or maybe a car you hope to be able to buy. Add some of your favorite inspirational quotes or pictures, whatever inspires you really. And there you go, your own inspirational string! Taking a look at it when you are close to giving up or when a day is extra stressful can work wonders for you. You should give it a try :)

Picture by Cristopher Bruno

21. Be humble

No one is born an expert or world champion. If things go well or you feel on top of things it can be easy to get a little bit too confident, which can be bad for your reputation and bad for the quality of your work. You should always aim to be humble, listen to your clients on what they want. Give them your professional opinion when needed but in the end it is the client that generates your paycheck. Also remember to willingly take advice from colleagues or others who have been in the market for a while.

22. Look professional, in every way possible

You have the logo, the website and so on and things are starting to look pretty good. Remember to also meet clients with respect, look presentable and be polite. Being your own boss doesn’t mean you can talk or act in any way and still keep your clients. Remember that.

23. Ask for feedback

Not only should you have comments enabled on your website but you should also ask your friends/family/allies for feedback on your work. And most important of all, after you have finished your project – ask the client what he thinks. Not only do you get a great chance to improve but the client also feels important. Getting someone else’s opinion is always good and this will help you to become even more successful.

Picture by Dominik Gwarek

24. Always carry a notebook around with you

It being a normal notebook, your iPhone or any other digital form of “notebook” you should carry it with you and remember to take notes. This is for many reasons. Not only can you unexpectedly run into a potential client or an existing one, but you may come up with valuable ideas when you are on the bus, on the plane or basically anywhere else. Several times have I had amazing ideas, not had a notebook, forgotten the ideas and seen them used somewhere else a year later.

Picture by Typofi

and last but not least

25. Take the time you need!

This is so important, it can’t be mentioned enough. Same as with the tip about learning to say no. Once you have said yes to a project you need to make sure that you take the time needed to do the best you can do. Handing over a project that is half done will not only give you a client who won’t come back, but it can give you a bad reputation. Your clients are your best references to show in the future and no one want a freelancer who leaves the work half-finished.

Picture by Kriss Szkurlatowski

That was my first article here on 1stwebdesigner, and I hope you enjoyed it and found the tips useful.
Feel free to leave your own tips or feedback using the comments, and good luck in the world of freelancers! :)

36 Written ArticlesWebsite

A girl with passion for design, photography, business planning, freelancing, inspirational art and Photoshop/Illustrator. She runs the website Designer77 and you can follow her on twitter here: @Hildy77

90 Comments Best Comments First
  • zohaib

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:29

    31

    tell you the truth, i am still not very successful in this field but i will learn many things from this article. useful info

    +6
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:59

      33

      Great to hear you find the article useful! :) Good luck forward! :)

      +1
  • Federica Sibella

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 12:46

    1

    Hi Hilde,

    well written and good tips.
    I will add: try to keep on learning: especially in the world of web design, new things (techniques, standards, trends, …) appear every day, I’ll try to learn from the others, increase my knowledge and then develop my own path (and maybe do something useful for others to come).
    Good luck to everyone in the freelance world! :-)

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 14:17

      13

      Thanks Federica, for your great feedback! :)

      0
  • Murlu

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 02:56

    32

    These are some very well thought out tips, much appreciated.

    I really like the idea of the extra incentives for long term clients. When I do a bit of freelance writing, I like to top off the end of the project by surprising the client with 5 or more additional articles – this always has them praising my services and leaves me with some really great feedback.

    I think it’s absolutely essential to take some time to yourself and reflect. You have a very rough job, it has its ups and downs and you’re putting it all on the line but the freedom really is what its all about. Get out of the house and have some fun, reward yourself along the way to keep you motivated and don’t be afraid to take some time off to clear your head, a day spent relaxing could mean you complete your projects at a much more proficient rate.

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:35

      41

      Thanks Murlu! :)
      Great feedback, appreciated :)

      0
  • Omer Greenwald

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:06

    30

    I would also add – learn to outsource your work.
    Even if you don’t plan to expand in the future (starting your company), it’s a good thing because this way you can have more projects, build customer relations and eventually increase your income.
    If you do plan to hire employees, you can learn a lot from outsourcing.

    0
  • Lyn Scott

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 04:56

    35

    Thanks – very useful!

    0
  • Hilde

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:36

    42

    Happy to hear you found it useful! Thanks for reading! :)

    0
  • Hilde

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:36

    43

    Thanks Sandeep! :)

    0
  • Smashing Share

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 22:07

    36

    very nice article. Sometimes I find myself lost in between working. E.g. Browsing a website take me to some cool article, article take me to some other websites, from those website I get some idea and start searching for something. I totally forget what I was doing. I have to change my habit man!

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 22:37

      19

      ROFL. You are my copy.lol. I am trying to write an article since 4 days and every day there are lot of emails to respond. I find something interesting in some email. Start googling and after 2hours, i come to know that I was writing article.oh. Total Fuck. Can’t find a way to go out. Hilde should give some suggestion.:)

      0
  • Toni Gemayel

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 08:58

    37

    Tip #26 invest 20% of your money back into your company, whether its for software, hardware, or marketing.

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:37

      44

      Good tip! Thanks for your feedback :)

      0
      • Saad Bassi

        Saturday, March 13th, 2010 10:42

        51

        Great Tip Tony.

        0
  • Duane

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 02:43

    38

    Excellent tips. I would like to add tip #26. Be good at what you do.
    Nothing else will matter unless you can deliver the goods.

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:34

      40

      Thanks for the great feedback Duane! :)

      0
  • Anastasia

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 15:08

    39

    The article is amazing! But it’s so hard to go outside or make something for yourself when you think that this time could be spent on some good tech reading or learning new things, or looking for clients. Good point about the notebook, I always have it with me and write down all the crazy ideas that come to my mind

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 21:44

      48

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Anastasia! :) very much appreciated!
      I agree with you on it being hard to be able to actually get out when you constantly think you can use that time to do something more “productive”. My own experience though is that I work much more efficient when I manage to take the occational “time-outs”. Im still not good enough at doing it, but working on it ;)

      0
  • Hillary H.

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:47

    8

    Very nice article, thank you so much! It is a very hard job but also rewarding. You definitely have to be a certain kind of person to be successful but that is never a bad thing. Keep up the good work, and thank you!

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:44

      26

      Thanks for the feedback, Hillary! :D

      0
  • Jeff Boshers

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 16:45

    9

    Awesome Post! I really liked the idea of being humble. That is sometimes over looked.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:45

      28

      Thanks for the kind words Jeff! :D

      0
  • Nikunj

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 12:37

    10

    Great article need to learn things that are explained here

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 14:16

      12

      Thank you, happy you found it useful :)

      0
  • Kevin

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:42

    7

    That was some very good tips for a freelancer. I am sure it will help me.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:43

      25

      Thanks Kevin. Hope you will find the tips useful :)

      0
  • vectorilla

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:14

    6

    Useful tips thanks for this post

    0
  • Oliver designer

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 13:10

    2

    I’ve read the opinion that promoting of one blog is not enough to become a successful blogger-freelancer: I mean that the most talented guys build the networks of their own blogs any certain theme-related and provide the traffic circulation between them. Frankly speaking, I can’t approve this, because it could restrict the freedom of surfing.
    In case if one have too many blogs reasonable planning becomes the most important part of freelancing..

    0
  • Bill

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 13:55

    3

    Absolutely awesome article! You nailed it! Thanks for the reminder and for the practical tips.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 14:18

      15

      Thanks Bill!
      Happy to hear you liked my article :)

      0
  • Ganapathy

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:00

    4

    Thanks Hilde. I have just started a new venture after many years of employment. These tips are very useful.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:03

      17

      Thank you, Ganapathy! :)
      Happy to hear you found the article useful, and the best of luck with your new venture! :)

      0
  • Simon Day

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:07

    5

    Being a freelancer is a lot harder than most people think simply because working from home has so many distractions. I ended up contracting because home working as a freelancer was impossible when they wife couldn’t understand just because I’m there didn’t mean it was fine to leave me with the kids while she went shopping and so on.

    One thing that did work well for me was dressing the part. I always produced my best work when I was smartly dressed. It’s something about being in “work mode” and my dress code helped me reinforce that.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:40

      23

      Hi Simon! Thanks for your feedback, I sure do agree with you. Sometimes things like the dressing part, that may sound like such a small detail, can be the extra thing needed to succeed. Weird for those who haven’t been there, but still so logical. And it works!

      0
  • Saad Bassi

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:44

    11

    Great Write up Hilde. Thumbs up. Glad to have you in team.:)

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 20:00

      34

      Thanks Saad! Im happy to be on board :D

      0
  • Melody

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:38

    20

    One of my biggest challenges is taking on a project and not stopping until it’s finished..I go into my “zone” until it’s done, but I’m learning with that. I think it’s awesome for designers to be humble, sometimes I just don’t see it though..

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:42

      24

      Thanks for your feedback :) Very much appreciated. I have that little bubble I go into aswell sometimes, but good thing is that with some work Ive been better at managing my time + taking the needed time off aswell :)
      And yes, the part about being humble is in my opinion so very important. Not only as a freelancer. :)

      0
  • Amberly | Web Designer

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 16:15

    21

    Interesting Read.
    I think that is some sound advice. In the planning stage, developing a long list of potential clients is important.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:45

      27

      Hi Amberly! :) Thank you for the feedback. Yes. I agree with you on making a list of possible clients aswell. Good point! :)

      0
  • ChrisDigital

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 17:17

    22

    This is a great and comprehensive list. It’s all true, especially getting out of the house :-). I wrestle with starting and stopping too, it’s actually critical for creative types to day dream and recharge. Thanks for posting.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:47

      29

      Thanks for your feedback Chris! Much appreciated :)
      Good to hear you enjoyed my article :)

      0
  • Amber Weinberg

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 21:17

    14

    Getting out of your home office several times a week is VERY important to staying sane. ;)

    0
  • Suzy

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:01

    16

    Awesome article, very helpful and really well written!!

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:05

      18

      Thank you Suzy, for the feedback !
      Im very happy to hear you enjoyed the article :)

      0
  • Anil Kumar Panigrahi

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:50

    45

    Hi,

    Very nice tips and very useful article ,thank you very much….

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 14:05

      46

      Thank you Anil! :) Happy to hear you liked it :)

      0
  • Jose Tapia

    Sunday, March 20th, 2011 06:32

    76

    Well done, great tips, thanks for share it

    0
  • Sten

    Thursday, August 18th, 2011 22:40

    77

    Wow, that was one in-depth article you did there. I think I read every word too, it was packed with fine tips. Thank you blog owner.

    0
  • Bettie

    Monday, August 22nd, 2011 06:17

    78

    Thanks Hilde for posted the useful and informative article, it’s a good reference for all freelancer :)

    0
  • Ivan Kristianto

    Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 03:34

    75

    Very well done article. I love the notebook part, but i change it to Google doc. Sinche i’m a forgetful person and always stay online, put it in Google doc will save paper and have search function :)

    0
  • felics

    Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 20:30

    74

    Some very good tips in this article. I like the idea of giving out freebies to potential clients, and I also like the idea of getting involve in a social media. Marketing your services on those sites is beneficial since you are interacting with people in all walks of life.

    0
  • Najeeb Puthiyallam

    Monday, June 21st, 2010 11:15

    70

    Wow nice post.. keep it coming :)

    0
  • David

    Friday, July 2nd, 2010 11:05

    71

    Hey Hilde,

    Gr8 tips !!! Very Interesting too…!! It will surely help me for my future plans…
    Thx a lot. I even enjoyed your 33 – Out of the box -Inspiration.

    Very Inspirational post.

    Hoping your colorful thoughts/ideas come to LIFE !!!

    :)

    Cheers,

    David.

    0
  • Reza

    Thursday, July 15th, 2010 18:45

    72

    Very Interesting stuff…thanks

    0
  • Tomas Zdvorily

    Monday, August 2nd, 2010 22:58

    73

    Jea. great article. and webdesigner must have clever and clean brain:))) always

    0
  • JosephRicafort

    Saturday, September 10th, 2011 13:05

    79

    It really helped me a lot! Thanks man..

    0
  • Mariah Riesgraf

    Saturday, September 10th, 2011 08:18

    80

    I really enjoy looking at on this site, it has got great blog posts.

    0
  • Jason Dicosta

    Sunday, December 11th, 2011 13:05

    87

    You completed several nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly people will agree with your blog.

    0
  • John Terry

    Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 22:05

    88

    I must say that you really didn’t leave anything out! ;)

    0
  • Brad

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 11:21

    89

    amazing article, i was thinking about doing some freelance jobs, thanks for the tips

    0
  • Dean

    Thursday, April 12th, 2012 12:39

    90

    Great tips – in the ‘Learn To Say No’ section, I would also add not accepting (or getting rid) of difficult clients. Sometimes I just get a gut feeling that some client’s going to be a pain in the a$$ when I meet them and so wriggle out of working with them before I’ve started lol

    0
  • Kohlen

    Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 16:12

    86

    Yes for sure, as freelancer we have to really calculate all of our expanses and make it tight just for starting point once we have loyal customer we will really enjoy what we have choose as freelance

    0
  • Oliver Classen

    Monday, November 21st, 2011 20:05

    85

    Thanks, some useful tips here, planning is really important as you mentioned, and keeping content updated. Just sometimes its hard coming up with fresh content…

    0
  • Facebook Yoville Game

    Thursday, September 15th, 2011 09:13

    81

    You completed several nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly people will agree with your blog.

    0
  • Peter

    Thursday, September 15th, 2011 17:11

    82

    I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it…keep it up, lovely job.

    0
  • Pipay

    Saturday, October 15th, 2011 06:20

    83

    takes time and process to be successful, a process that begins with ourselves, a good article could be one of my inspirations . Thank you :)

    0
  • Torry

    Thursday, October 20th, 2011 15:29

    84

    Wow,very useful!
    I really enjoy looking at on this site, it has got great blog posts.
    Thanks

    0
  • Muhammad Ghazali

    Monday, May 17th, 2010 02:54

    69

    Great job! Very helpful tips. Thanks

    0
  • Hilde

    Saturday, March 13th, 2010 16:23

    53

    Thank you, happy you enjoyed the read :)

    0
  • Hilde

    Monday, March 15th, 2010 15:47

    54

    Thanks for your comment, Im happy you liked the article! :)

    0
  • Gamma5

    Friday, March 19th, 2010 11:17

    55

    Some really useful tips there. It’s easy to forget the obvious sometimes where you are immersed in a pile of work. Know when to start/stop was a timely reminder!

    0
    • Hilde

      Friday, April 2nd, 2010 13:16

      59

      Great to hear you found the tips useful Thanks for the feedback :)

      0
  • Hilde

    Saturday, March 13th, 2010 16:23

    52

    thanks for positive feedback :)

    0
  • D.Dušek

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 23:49

    49

    Hi! Can I translate this article to the czech language? I will bring the source :).

    0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, March 19th, 2010 20:47

      56

      sorry, but no.

      0
    • Saad Bassi

      Saturday, March 13th, 2010 10:41

      50

      Nope. Sorry. You can only publish some excerpt of article with a linkback to 1WD. All the content here is property of 1stwebdesigner.

      0
  • Teena

    Friday, March 26th, 2010 14:28

    57

    Useful tips. It’s hard being a freelancer, you control everything…if you become a full time freelancer you must have a definite plan with what you want to do. You can’t be a freelancer all the time, think ahead and improve your skills at all times.

    0
  • seks izle

    Thursday, April 15th, 2010 02:51

    66

    Thank you, very nice…

    0
  • Cristy Romero

    Friday, April 23rd, 2010 05:30

    67

    Hi Hilde!

    It’s really amazing!!!!…I am from Central America. I found this site, and in everything I see, I’m stunning!….I wish I have the opportunity to learn this fabulous career!….Can you recommend me free program to start design my owns creations? I want to use a logo that I have, but tranform it in something spectacular!….jejejejeje Maybe I dream to much, and I have tha passion, but dream is free jejejeje :) Thank you very much. (apologizes for my english)

    Regards,

    Cristy

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Friday, April 23rd, 2010 07:41

      68

      You can use Gimp.:)

      0
  • minkim

    Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 21:16

    62

    I really like your design style and I checked some very good tips.
    These tips are very useful. Thanks a lot!
    Also The article is amazing! ~

    0
    • Hilde Torbjornsen

      Friday, April 9th, 2010 00:40

      65

      Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it! :)
      Happy you found these tips useful! :)

      0
  • Michael Sears

    Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 18:49

    58

    These are great tips to follow and a great way to help stay on track! Getting finances together and on a schedule is important but also staying sane is important as well, get out of the house/office!

    0
    • Hilde

      Friday, April 2nd, 2010 13:17

      60

      Yeah, so true! Thanks for your feedback Michael :)

      0
  • Alan

    Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 14:19

    61

    great article. Ive just started out after leaving uni and im finding it very difficult to get new clients. A lot of points you make ive never thought of, so i’ll give them a go.

    cheers

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 15:33

      63

      Alan, use elance.com and odesk . If you are good at work, then definitely you will get new jobs.:)

      0
    • Hilde Torbjornsen

      Friday, April 9th, 2010 00:39

      64

      Thanks Alan! Happy you enjoyed the article!
      And I wish you the best of luck :)

      /Hilde

      0
  • Dean

    Thursday, April 12th, 2012 12:39

    90

    Great tips – in the ‘Learn To Say No’ section, I would also add not accepting (or getting rid) of difficult clients. Sometimes I just get a gut feeling that some client’s going to be a pain in the a$$ when I meet them and so wriggle out of working with them before I’ve started lol

    0
  • Brad

    Tuesday, February 28th, 2012 11:21

    89

    amazing article, i was thinking about doing some freelance jobs, thanks for the tips

    0
  • John Terry

    Wednesday, January 18th, 2012 22:05

    88

    I must say that you really didn’t leave anything out! ;)

    0
  • Jason Dicosta

    Sunday, December 11th, 2011 13:05

    87

    You completed several nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly people will agree with your blog.

    0
  • Kohlen

    Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 16:12

    86

    Yes for sure, as freelancer we have to really calculate all of our expanses and make it tight just for starting point once we have loyal customer we will really enjoy what we have choose as freelance

    0
  • Oliver Classen

    Monday, November 21st, 2011 20:05

    85

    Thanks, some useful tips here, planning is really important as you mentioned, and keeping content updated. Just sometimes its hard coming up with fresh content…

    0
  • Torry

    Thursday, October 20th, 2011 15:29

    84

    Wow,very useful!
    I really enjoy looking at on this site, it has got great blog posts.
    Thanks

    0
  • Pipay

    Saturday, October 15th, 2011 06:20

    83

    takes time and process to be successful, a process that begins with ourselves, a good article could be one of my inspirations . Thank you :)

    0
  • Peter

    Thursday, September 15th, 2011 17:11

    82

    I think the things you covered through the post are quiet impressive, good job and great efforts. I found it very interesting and enjoyed reading all of it…keep it up, lovely job.

    0
  • Facebook Yoville Game

    Thursday, September 15th, 2011 09:13

    81

    You completed several nice points there. I did a search on the issue and found mainly people will agree with your blog.

    0
  • Mariah Riesgraf

    Saturday, September 10th, 2011 08:18

    80

    I really enjoy looking at on this site, it has got great blog posts.

    0
  • JosephRicafort

    Saturday, September 10th, 2011 13:05

    79

    It really helped me a lot! Thanks man..

    0
  • Bettie

    Monday, August 22nd, 2011 06:17

    78

    Thanks Hilde for posted the useful and informative article, it’s a good reference for all freelancer :)

    0
  • Sten

    Thursday, August 18th, 2011 22:40

    77

    Wow, that was one in-depth article you did there. I think I read every word too, it was packed with fine tips. Thank you blog owner.

    0
  • Jose Tapia

    Sunday, March 20th, 2011 06:32

    76

    Well done, great tips, thanks for share it

    0
  • Ivan Kristianto

    Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 03:34

    75

    Very well done article. I love the notebook part, but i change it to Google doc. Sinche i’m a forgetful person and always stay online, put it in Google doc will save paper and have search function :)

    0
  • felics

    Wednesday, October 6th, 2010 20:30

    74

    Some very good tips in this article. I like the idea of giving out freebies to potential clients, and I also like the idea of getting involve in a social media. Marketing your services on those sites is beneficial since you are interacting with people in all walks of life.

    0
  • Tomas Zdvorily

    Monday, August 2nd, 2010 22:58

    73

    Jea. great article. and webdesigner must have clever and clean brain:))) always

    0
  • Reza

    Thursday, July 15th, 2010 18:45

    72

    Very Interesting stuff…thanks

    0
  • David

    Friday, July 2nd, 2010 11:05

    71

    Hey Hilde,

    Gr8 tips !!! Very Interesting too…!! It will surely help me for my future plans…
    Thx a lot. I even enjoyed your 33 – Out of the box -Inspiration.

    Very Inspirational post.

    Hoping your colorful thoughts/ideas come to LIFE !!!

    :)

    Cheers,

    David.

    0
  • Najeeb Puthiyallam

    Monday, June 21st, 2010 11:15

    70

    Wow nice post.. keep it coming :)

    0
  • Muhammad Ghazali

    Monday, May 17th, 2010 02:54

    69

    Great job! Very helpful tips. Thanks

    0
  • Cristy Romero

    Friday, April 23rd, 2010 05:30

    67

    Hi Hilde!

    It’s really amazing!!!!…I am from Central America. I found this site, and in everything I see, I’m stunning!….I wish I have the opportunity to learn this fabulous career!….Can you recommend me free program to start design my owns creations? I want to use a logo that I have, but tranform it in something spectacular!….jejejejeje Maybe I dream to much, and I have tha passion, but dream is free jejejeje :) Thank you very much. (apologizes for my english)

    Regards,

    Cristy

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Friday, April 23rd, 2010 07:41

      68

      You can use Gimp.:)

      0
  • seks izle

    Thursday, April 15th, 2010 02:51

    66

    Thank you, very nice…

    0
  • minkim

    Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 21:16

    62

    I really like your design style and I checked some very good tips.
    These tips are very useful. Thanks a lot!
    Also The article is amazing! ~

    0
    • Hilde Torbjornsen

      Friday, April 9th, 2010 00:40

      65

      Thank you so much for the kind words, I really appreciate it! :)
      Happy you found these tips useful! :)

      0
  • Alan

    Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 14:19

    61

    great article. Ive just started out after leaving uni and im finding it very difficult to get new clients. A lot of points you make ive never thought of, so i’ll give them a go.

    cheers

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Wednesday, April 7th, 2010 15:33

      63

      Alan, use elance.com and odesk . If you are good at work, then definitely you will get new jobs.:)

      0
    • Hilde Torbjornsen

      Friday, April 9th, 2010 00:39

      64

      Thanks Alan! Happy you enjoyed the article!
      And I wish you the best of luck :)

      /Hilde

      0
  • Michael Sears

    Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 18:49

    58

    These are great tips to follow and a great way to help stay on track! Getting finances together and on a schedule is important but also staying sane is important as well, get out of the house/office!

    0
    • Hilde

      Friday, April 2nd, 2010 13:17

      60

      Yeah, so true! Thanks for your feedback Michael :)

      0
  • Teena

    Friday, March 26th, 2010 14:28

    57

    Useful tips. It’s hard being a freelancer, you control everything…if you become a full time freelancer you must have a definite plan with what you want to do. You can’t be a freelancer all the time, think ahead and improve your skills at all times.

    0
  • Gamma5

    Friday, March 19th, 2010 11:17

    55

    Some really useful tips there. It’s easy to forget the obvious sometimes where you are immersed in a pile of work. Know when to start/stop was a timely reminder!

    0
    • Hilde

      Friday, April 2nd, 2010 13:16

      59

      Great to hear you found the tips useful Thanks for the feedback :)

      0
  • Hilde

    Monday, March 15th, 2010 15:47

    54

    Thanks for your comment, Im happy you liked the article! :)

    0
  • Hilde

    Saturday, March 13th, 2010 16:23

    53

    Thank you, happy you enjoyed the read :)

    0
  • Hilde

    Saturday, March 13th, 2010 16:23

    52

    thanks for positive feedback :)

    0
  • D.Dušek

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 23:49

    49

    Hi! Can I translate this article to the czech language? I will bring the source :).

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Saturday, March 13th, 2010 10:41

      50

      Nope. Sorry. You can only publish some excerpt of article with a linkback to 1WD. All the content here is property of 1stwebdesigner.

      0
    • Dainis Graveris

      Friday, March 19th, 2010 20:47

      56

      sorry, but no.

      0
  • Anil Kumar Panigrahi

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:50

    45

    Hi,

    Very nice tips and very useful article ,thank you very much….

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 14:05

      46

      Thank you Anil! :) Happy to hear you liked it :)

      0
  • Hilde

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:36

    43

    Thanks Sandeep! :)

    0
  • Hilde

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:36

    42

    Happy to hear you found it useful! Thanks for reading! :)

    0
  • Anastasia

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 15:08

    39

    The article is amazing! But it’s so hard to go outside or make something for yourself when you think that this time could be spent on some good tech reading or learning new things, or looking for clients. Good point about the notebook, I always have it with me and write down all the crazy ideas that come to my mind

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 21:44

      48

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Anastasia! :) very much appreciated!
      I agree with you on it being hard to be able to actually get out when you constantly think you can use that time to do something more “productive”. My own experience though is that I work much more efficient when I manage to take the occational “time-outs”. Im still not good enough at doing it, but working on it ;)

      0
  • Duane

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 02:43

    38

    Excellent tips. I would like to add tip #26. Be good at what you do.
    Nothing else will matter unless you can deliver the goods.

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:34

      40

      Thanks for the great feedback Duane! :)

      0
  • Toni Gemayel

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 08:58

    37

    Tip #26 invest 20% of your money back into your company, whether its for software, hardware, or marketing.

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:37

      44

      Good tip! Thanks for your feedback :)

      0
      • Saad Bassi

        Saturday, March 13th, 2010 10:42

        51

        Great Tip Tony.

        0
  • Smashing Share

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 22:07

    36

    very nice article. Sometimes I find myself lost in between working. E.g. Browsing a website take me to some cool article, article take me to some other websites, from those website I get some idea and start searching for something. I totally forget what I was doing. I have to change my habit man!

    0
    • Saad Bassi

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 22:37

      19

      ROFL. You are my copy.lol. I am trying to write an article since 4 days and every day there are lot of emails to respond. I find something interesting in some email. Start googling and after 2hours, i come to know that I was writing article.oh. Total Fuck. Can’t find a way to go out. Hilde should give some suggestion.:)

      0
  • Lyn Scott

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 04:56

    35

    Thanks – very useful!

    0
  • Murlu

    Thursday, March 11th, 2010 02:56

    32

    These are some very well thought out tips, much appreciated.

    I really like the idea of the extra incentives for long term clients. When I do a bit of freelance writing, I like to top off the end of the project by surprising the client with 5 or more additional articles – this always has them praising my services and leaves me with some really great feedback.

    I think it’s absolutely essential to take some time to yourself and reflect. You have a very rough job, it has its ups and downs and you’re putting it all on the line but the freedom really is what its all about. Get out of the house and have some fun, reward yourself along the way to keep you motivated and don’t be afraid to take some time off to clear your head, a day spent relaxing could mean you complete your projects at a much more proficient rate.

    0
    • Hilde

      Thursday, March 11th, 2010 12:35

      41

      Thanks Murlu! :)
      Great feedback, appreciated :)

      0
  • zohaib

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:29

    31

    tell you the truth, i am still not very successful in this field but i will learn many things from this article. useful info

    +6
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:59

      33

      Great to hear you find the article useful! :) Good luck forward! :)

      +1
  • Omer Greenwald

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:06

    30

    I would also add – learn to outsource your work.
    Even if you don’t plan to expand in the future (starting your company), it’s a good thing because this way you can have more projects, build customer relations and eventually increase your income.
    If you do plan to hire employees, you can learn a lot from outsourcing.

    0
  • ChrisDigital

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 17:17

    22

    This is a great and comprehensive list. It’s all true, especially getting out of the house :-). I wrestle with starting and stopping too, it’s actually critical for creative types to day dream and recharge. Thanks for posting.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:47

      29

      Thanks for your feedback Chris! Much appreciated :)
      Good to hear you enjoyed my article :)

      0
  • Amberly | Web Designer

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 16:15

    21

    Interesting Read.
    I think that is some sound advice. In the planning stage, developing a long list of potential clients is important.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:45

      27

      Hi Amberly! :) Thank you for the feedback. Yes. I agree with you on making a list of possible clients aswell. Good point! :)

      0
  • Melody

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:38

    20

    One of my biggest challenges is taking on a project and not stopping until it’s finished..I go into my “zone” until it’s done, but I’m learning with that. I think it’s awesome for designers to be humble, sometimes I just don’t see it though..

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:42

      24

      Thanks for your feedback :) Very much appreciated. I have that little bubble I go into aswell sometimes, but good thing is that with some work Ive been better at managing my time + taking the needed time off aswell :)
      And yes, the part about being humble is in my opinion so very important. Not only as a freelancer. :)

      0
  • Suzy

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:01

    16

    Awesome article, very helpful and really well written!!

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:05

      18

      Thank you Suzy, for the feedback !
      Im very happy to hear you enjoyed the article :)

      0
  • Amber Weinberg

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 21:17

    14

    Getting out of your home office several times a week is VERY important to staying sane. ;)

    0
  • Saad Bassi

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 19:44

    11

    Great Write up Hilde. Thumbs up. Glad to have you in team.:)

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 20:00

      34

      Thanks Saad! Im happy to be on board :D

      0
  • Nikunj

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 12:37

    10

    Great article need to learn things that are explained here

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 14:16

      12

      Thank you, happy you found it useful :)

      0
  • Jeff Boshers

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 16:45

    9

    Awesome Post! I really liked the idea of being humble. That is sometimes over looked.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:45

      28

      Thanks for the kind words Jeff! :D

      0
  • Hillary H.

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:47

    8

    Very nice article, thank you so much! It is a very hard job but also rewarding. You definitely have to be a certain kind of person to be successful but that is never a bad thing. Keep up the good work, and thank you!

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:44

      26

      Thanks for the feedback, Hillary! :D

      0
  • Kevin

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:42

    7

    That was some very good tips for a freelancer. I am sure it will help me.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:43

      25

      Thanks Kevin. Hope you will find the tips useful :)

      0
  • vectorilla

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:14

    6

    Useful tips thanks for this post

    0
  • Simon Day

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:07

    5

    Being a freelancer is a lot harder than most people think simply because working from home has so many distractions. I ended up contracting because home working as a freelancer was impossible when they wife couldn’t understand just because I’m there didn’t mean it was fine to leave me with the kids while she went shopping and so on.

    One thing that did work well for me was dressing the part. I always produced my best work when I was smartly dressed. It’s something about being in “work mode” and my dress code helped me reinforce that.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 18:40

      23

      Hi Simon! Thanks for your feedback, I sure do agree with you. Sometimes things like the dressing part, that may sound like such a small detail, can be the extra thing needed to succeed. Weird for those who haven’t been there, but still so logical. And it works!

      0
  • Ganapathy

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:00

    4

    Thanks Hilde. I have just started a new venture after many years of employment. These tips are very useful.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 15:03

      17

      Thank you, Ganapathy! :)
      Happy to hear you found the article useful, and the best of luck with your new venture! :)

      0
  • Bill

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 13:55

    3

    Absolutely awesome article! You nailed it! Thanks for the reminder and for the practical tips.

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 14:18

      15

      Thanks Bill!
      Happy to hear you liked my article :)

      0
  • Oliver designer

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 13:10

    2

    I’ve read the opinion that promoting of one blog is not enough to become a successful blogger-freelancer: I mean that the most talented guys build the networks of their own blogs any certain theme-related and provide the traffic circulation between them. Frankly speaking, I can’t approve this, because it could restrict the freedom of surfing.
    In case if one have too many blogs reasonable planning becomes the most important part of freelancing..

    0
  • Federica Sibella

    Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 12:46

    1

    Hi Hilde,

    well written and good tips.
    I will add: try to keep on learning: especially in the world of web design, new things (techniques, standards, trends, …) appear every day, I’ll try to learn from the others, increase my knowledge and then develop my own path (and maybe do something useful for others to come).
    Good luck to everyone in the freelance world! :-)

    0
    • Hilde

      Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 14:17

      13

      Thanks Federica, for your great feedback! :)

      0

Comments are closed.

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