As a freelancer in this day & age, we’re told that we need to have more than just a singular skill in any one thing. Along with our chosen craft, we should also be experts at selling ourselves, aces at SEO keywording, and have at least a few social media accounts with a modest number of followers/likes/pins. The reason being of course that if we don’t have these things, others will, and they will be the ones that get the work/gigs/grants. Well starting this week, I’m going to start neglecting those things a bit more. I’m going to focus on my craft, and ignore social media, SEO meta-anything, Reddit and the like. I’ve decided to hand the reigns off to a few PR companies and let them wrangle the clients. It seems to be a controversial topic amongst freelancers. Some developers seem pretty happy working through recruiters, while others think they’re giant parasites. In my world, PR firms are the equivalent evil, but I like the idea of only focusing on the creative aspect of my work. Will I make a bit less money? We’ll find out, but it’s likely. Will I be working more? Hopefully. Will I spend more time doing what I enjoy instead of cross-posting to a million networks and following up? Absolutely. Wish me luck, I’ll report back with the experience after this week and update this article.
The meteoric rise in outsourcing sites such as Elance has led to a wealth of jobs and extra income for freelancers. Unfortunately a lot of that work has gone to workers overseas who are willing to work for a much lower rate. Sometimes these workers will use pirated versions of the software (check out the screenshots in the portfolio sections) or misrepresent their grasp of the English language by using pitches that are copied and pasted from other worker’s listings. All this aside, there is some decent work to be had on these sites if you’re the persistent type. Daniel DiPiazza has a few
methods for making yourself the more appealing candidate and I have a few ideas myself from being on the other side of the fence recently. A number of problems can arise, but one of the more cancerous of them is the overly inquisitive client who can sometimes manage to wrangle free consulting out of you if you’re not careful.
This is the golden era of communicating online right? Be prepared to drown in a sea of voices and a pool of talent where only the cheapest and most desperate survive. While not as important as it used to be, face to face networking still makes up the majority of my work. The better I can get at it, the more money I can generate doing what I love. Despite that, I’m pretty rubbish at it, but you don’t have to be. Take a few of these to heart and you’ll come out on the other side all the better for it.