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Financial Tips for the New Freelancer

Are you new to the world of freelancing? Congratulations! This is a big milestone in your professional career. No matter if you are freelancing part-time or full-time, your life is going to change – for the better, of course.

As a freelancer, you need to get serious about the financial aspect of your endeavor. Many people make the mistake of “working for the fun of it” and hoping that money never gets in the way. Unfortunately, this is not how things work. Not only do you need to set income goals, but you must deal with every dollar that comes into and out of your business.

Early in my freelancing career I made many finance related mistakes. Fortunately, I learned from these errors and have been able to avoid repeating them.

Here are three financial tips for all new freelancers:

1. Hire an experienced accountant. Even if you are only earning a few thousand dollars a year, it is important that you deal with this income accordingly. The last thing you want to do is get in trouble with the IRS.

Note: your freelance business may not stay small forever. When it blows up, you will be glad that you have an experienced, knowledgeable accountant on your side.

2. Religiously track all income and expenses. From day one, this is one area of my business that never faltered. I am obsessed with organization and realized early on just how important it was to track every dollar coming in and going out.

Although there are many software solutions, both free and paid, that can help you track income and expenses, you can setup basic Excel spreadsheets to do the same.

This may not be the most exciting aspect of your freelance career, but it is something that is essential to your long term success.

3. Open a separate bank account for business purposes only. When your business is small it is easy to overlook the importance of this detail. After all, you only have a few checks coming in from time to time. As noted above, this is not going to be the case forever.

When you begin to earn more money you will need a separate bank account. Not only does this help with the tracking of income and expenses (tip #2) but it will help with formalizing (such as an LLC or S-corporation) your operations down the line.

Don’t be intimidated by all these details. Instead, make sure you are well informed and organized from day one.

Final tip: if you face any financial issues, don’t put them off until a later date. Doing so is not going to make them go away. Instead, the situation will get worse and you will be faced with an even bigger problem in the future.

1 Comment »Freelance WritingOctober 21st, 2011

Need Help Jump-starting your Career?

Members of my freelance writing course are on a hot streak. Last month, two members, both who were with me for a couple months, decided they were finally ready to take the leap into full-time freelancing. For me, this is just about as good as it gets. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction to see these writers realize their dream, while doing my part along the way.

As these members moved on, two new spots opened in my course. If you are interested in joining me (as well as approximately 20 other students), send a short email and I will get back to you right away.

With the new year closing in, I don’t expect these spots to stay open long. After all, everybody is setting career goals for 2012.

I am looking forward to working closely with a couple more of you in the near future!

Comments OffFreelance WritingOctober 12th, 2011

How to effectively use the Weekend as a Freelance Writer

Before I go any further, let me say one thing: not every freelance writer has time to work on the weekend. However, if you get a couple hours here and there you must know how to make the most of your time.

There used to be a time when I worked seven days a week. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. Of course, I always find a few hours on the weekend to devote to growing my freelance writing career.

I prefer to use the weekend for less time consuming and detailed oriented tasks. Three of my favorite tasks include:

1. Marketing. From sending queries to researching new publications, it does not take a large block of time to complete a few marketing tasks. If you stay on the ball, you may be surprised at how much marketing work you can complete in one to two hours.

2. My freelance writing blog. Every day, weekday and weekend, I receive 5+ emails through this blog. From those wanting to start a career to advertising inquiries and everything in between, my inbox is always filling up. The weekend is a perfect time to catch-up on past emails while working on other areas of my blog such as new posts and design changes.

3. Networking. Why not send a few emails to other freelance writers? Why not jump on LinkedIn to connect with professionals in a variety of industries? Just because you work at home does not mean you should avoid the networking process. In fact, this is a big part of staying in touch with the “outside business world.”

No matter how much time you work on the weekends, taking on one of the above tasks is a great idea.

Comments OffFreelance WritingOctober 3rd, 2011

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