First of all, a big thank you to our speakers,
- Dennis Fesenmyer, of FezLab
- Linda Ray, a music critic (who scored a rare interview with Dolly Parton) and much more,
- Liz Danforth, a writer and fantasy/gaming artist best known for her Magic the Gathering cards, and
- Brenda Huettner, tech writer extraordinaire.
I loved how you helped everyone get an idea of the variety of ways people can approach freelancing.
"Be careful what you get good at." --Linda Ray
"Never stop talking to people about what you do. And ask for referrals" --Brenda Huettner
"Stay agile." --Linda Ray
B.B. King once told Linda Ray "If you're really good people will help you out."
"Live small" --Linda Ray
"Never burn bridges." --Brenda Huettner
Experience (some paraphrased)
How do you set your price points? "It depends." --everyone.
The sign of a busy, successful freelancer is an out-of-date website. It's just the reality -- you don't have enough time.
Don't be afraid to tell someone you're "not the best fit," and refer them to someone who is.
"When times are rough? You just work through it." --Dennis Fesenmyer
"There's no question everything has changed since I started, and lots of the opportunities I had when I started writing about music no longer exist." --Linda Ray
When I was starting out I asked other designers "How did you do that?" and they just wouldn't share. As a result, "I'm painfully transparent," in case it helps others. --Dennis J. Fesenmyer
Some professional organizations can help a lot -- if you get involved (don't just join) --Brenda Huettner
- Legal stuff: Starting a Freelance Business – How to Take Care of Legal, Tax and Contractual Paperwork (SBA.gov)
- More on setting your rates: How to Calculate and Negotiate Your Hourly and Project-Based Pricing (SBA.gov)
- Writing well: Communication skills are critical, even for freelancers who aren't writers. For a reliable source on correct punctuation, vocabulary, and more (with a sense of humor, too), go to Grammar Girl.
- Managing Money: 6 Tips for a Fiscally Fit and Successful Freelance Business in 2013 (SBA.gov)
- Hugh MacLeod's Gaping Void website and blog.
- Advocacy: Freelancer's Union
- Entrepreneur's Edge: The Arizona Dept of Commerce has an book called Entrepreneur's Edge that's available in print at the library (658.022 G9404) or online. In particular, their chapter two has links to tons of additional resources for freelancers. The library also has it in Spanish.
- 168 Hours by Linda Vanderkam (658.4093 V284o 2010 at the library). There are 168 hours in a week. Where does your time really go?
Linda Ray: Good LinkedIn Groups for Writers
- Arizona Media Professionals
- Indispensable Freelancers
- LinkedIn for Journalists
- Newspaper Professionals Network
- The Freelance Writers' Connection