Excuse me for the Battlestar Galactica pun, but to become a freelance webdesigner and enjoy some success you really have to act like a Cylon: prepare, plan and act.
First of all: structure your workload for a happy life!
You will find yourself buried if you don’t plan your work. Think about working in a full-time job – your workloads are delegated by the boss. If your boss didn’t plan, there would be no structure to your work and that’s bad news all round.
Stay firm on your rates. It’s so tempting to lower your rates to clinch a job, but don’t do it.
If you absolutely must drop your rates to be competitive, consider dropping by no more than 10% or arranging a bonus scheme. This is important, because there is a reason why you are being hired – because your skills are desired.
More often than not, when quality work is important, the client needs the provider just as much as the provider needs the client; always remember that and you will be able to stand firm on your payment terms.
Which brings me onto the next tip – keep an eye on payments. This should be common sense, but I have seen many beginners so in love with their work that they forgot good work deserves praise and money. On the other hand some clients may need more than a friendly reminder before they actually sign your check.
Don’t let this happen! Take control – with a clear cut project schedule, and firm terms both for the advance payment and the ending one.
That’s it for this article. I’ve covered no xhtml nor advanced css, but I think those are some pretty important lessons that I learnt, sometimes the hard way.
It’s all about finding the work-life balance and standing firm on your rates and payment terms. Once you have resolved these issues, you can finally get on with doing the work you went freelance for in the first place.