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Make Money Freelancing!
(c) 2003 by Cheryl Williams Levey, http://www.cherylsweb.com
Freelancing, or contracting, means that you work for yourself, using your skills to provide services for other organizations or individuals.
For example, I provide information compilation (sometimes termed "knowledge management"), as well as web and print writing and design to different clients.
There are lots of other computer-related skills that employers will pay an outside contractor for as well, like data entry, appointment setting, virtual assistance, programming, etc.
For many people, freelancing tends to be "feast or famine." You will either be pulling all-nighters to meet a big deadline while balancing three other projects into your day somehow, or you'll have nothing at all. There are ways to minimize this struggle, but it sometimes just seems to happen this way. Projects come to you on their time, not yours, and when you're already overwhelmed, it's not like you are going to actively market yourself.
Before quitting your day job, creating a steady income part-time before taking on the freelancer's lifestyle (which is actually a really cool way to live!) is a good idea.
I have found that in my experience, the best way to get work is through people you know, especially people you've worked for in the past. If they can't hire you on a contract basis, they may know people who can. Who you know can make a difference.
And when you are looking for work, be sure to let people know. Tell people whenever you can. Mention it to your friends and associates. Advertise! Be sure to join one or more online and offline groups that are relevant to your type of business, or for small business or freelancers in general, at which you can meet people and make contacts.
A note about "real life" (offline) groups--it pays to be involved in one or more of these. People who know you in person are more likely to trust what you say about what you can do because they know exactly who you are. It's an unfortunate fact that there are lots of dishonest people on the internet, so establishing trust online is much harder than face to face. And, it's healthy for you to get out of the house and away from the computer on a regular basis.
Of course, online, you can post your resume to all kinds of employment sites.
Or, you can have your own website and post an online resume or portfolio. In fact, lots of prospective employers prefer a link to an online resume or portfolio rather than having you send it.
But what about offline promotion? First, make sure you have at least some nice looking business cards. Creating a brochure of services you provide is also a good idea. Go through your local phone book and make a list of businesses who could possibly use whatever your business provides. Then, write a letter to each business stating exactly why you are writing and detailing your services and how they might apply to their business. After a week or so, call each business up to be sure they received your information, and ask if they have any questions and if you can schedule a meeting to discuss potential contract work. Obviously, if whoever you speak with is not receptive, just thank them, hang up, and call back in a month.
Don't get discouraged. It takes time to build up a client base, so just keep trying and before you know it, you'll have more work than you can handle!
Cheryl Williams Levey owns cherylsweb.com, a site
dedicated to showing you how to save time and money
while growing your home business. Do you have what
it takes to build a home business?
Find out here --> http://www.cherylsweb.com