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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 Ways to Thrive as a Freelancer Today (CWIP Speech Preview)

I'm the opening speaker at CWIP's Freelance Edge program tomorrow, February 16; it starts at 6 p.m. I have my speech on surviving and thriving as a freelancer today ready to go; here's a preview for attendees (and tips for those who aren't able to make it):

1. Project success. Yes, you'll have bad days--even bad weeks. Don't bemoan that fact to anyone who will listen. The more successful and confident you act, the more successful and confident you will be perceived as. "Fake it 'til you make it" really works.
2. Determine your daily nut. If you don't know how much you need to average every day, you won't know whether you're making enough to hit your annual income goal.
3. Ask for more--money, that is. Try the TEA method--it works.
4. Reslant everything you can. You'll cut your research time and increase your hourly rate.
5. Eliminate the ugliest. Do the thing you dread doing the most first instead of putting it off. You'll be amazed at how much more productive you become.
6. Brand yourself. Become known as "the writer who [fill in the blank]," whether you choose to specialize or not. You want to set yourself apart from all the competition out there.
7. Harness your hard drive. One way I do this is selling reprints whenever I can.
8. Stretch yourself. Learn something new. Explore a topic you know nothing about. Get up to speed on something that will make you valuable to clients--like the pros and cons of opting for POD to publish a book, for example.
9. Connect with others--writers, sources, PR pros, clients, you name it. Social media has made it easier than ever before, but there's no substitute for IRL connections.
10. Forget... Want to know the last one? Well, tune in Thursday and I'll tell you my final, and possibly most surprising tip.

Until then, happy freelancing!