From Blogger to Paid Writer: Tips on Freelancing.

  1. Always have a price for the work that you do, when starting out people will try to underpay you or tell you to work for exposure! It’s up to you to weigh if you can work for free and what that adds to your CV or if you will take a pay cut for a client. As you grow make sure you have a non-negotiable price as you get more well-known and established.

  1. Always sign a contract; there are many templates for freelance contracts, you can use business-in-a-box or Google contract templates and edit them to suit your needs. Tailor make it to your country and industry with relevant pricings/currency and if you can make reference to country law. E.g.
  • Make sure you decide if there is an upfront percentage paid to initiate the project
  • Make sure your overall quotation for the work includes VAT if not stipulate what % of VAT will be added. Remember you probably have taxes to pay so don’t undersell your work. You also have costs to cover each time you get a project so that you have money left over to do another one, data, airtime, fuel should actually be something that you have left over after each job or else you won’t be able to do work for the next client.
  • Always set deadlines or a work schedule, if it’s a long term project agree on weekly reviews etc.
  • Make sure you have a payment clause, is there a % fee for days delayed to pay after project is completed or do you want payment upon receipt or 20-30 days after. Agree with your client so that you aren’t chasing payments or waiting on money.

  1. TIME MANAGEMENT is key to being able to work from home, just because you work from home doesn’t mean you should have hours in which you clock in and clock out. You may be able to start your day at 9am but then give yourself a knock off time.

-Set goals with your work, set tasks/targets and meet them.

-Prioritise what is important, something may come up unexpectedly weigh the importance verses other deadlines.

-Make sure you take breaks and don’t just try to power through 3 or 6 hours of work. Your brains needs rest, hydration and food.

-If you have meetings always be 15 minutes early, it shows how serious you are and that you respect other people’s time. Time is money!

-In the same vein do not allow other people to disrespect your time, if you have confirmed a meeting the night before and you call again the next morning and arrive at an agreed time and the person isn’t there…it’s acceptable to call and tell them you will be leaving if 15-20 minutes have surpassed.

  1. KNOW YOUR WORK SPACE OR CREATE IT; just because you work from home doesn’t mean you can work in front of the TV, or from your bed. You will lose focus or fall asleep. You need a designated space, whether it’s a desk or the kitchen or dining room table. Typically a spare bedroom is best as you will be away from other interruptions if you have anyone else in the house. You want to be able to complete your tasks without distractions.

  1. Client and Creative Relationship:

-Make sure you build one, are you asking the client sufficient questions to have an understanding of the work and to ensure they understand how you work? Timelines are important!!!

-Do you physically need to meet to update client? If so set up regular meetings, otherwise track your work on sharing programs like Trello or schedule Skype calls, you can also email content back and forth. Agree to set these things up as to provide boundaries.

-What the hours in which you can be contacted and will respond promptly or within an hour? Make sure that you inform the client….are weekends an option? AGAIN BOUNDARIES ARE IMPORTANT.

 

Those are my tips and tricks, to read my thread on twitter please follow me @leelabee and its the thread pinned to the top of my TL.

xo

Twitter Faves: The Business Edition

I tweet a lot…about a lot of random things (@leelabee). I tweet about human rights, movies, tv shows, comic books, books I am reading, workshops and events. That said I thought I would dedicate a blog post to my favorite Zambian businesses on twitter.

1. Best of Zambia:  @thebestofzambia It’s not just a twitter account, it’s a website and blog dedicated to helping locals and non locals navigate Lusaka and the rest of Zambia: ” The best online resource for products and services in Zambia. There’s more to Zambia than you know.” I follow them on twitter to find out what events are happening, where to dine out or go for a spa treatment and even what workshops to attend.

2. C1rca1964: @C1rca1964 One of my favorite twitter accounts focused on Zed Creatives and creativity, it serves as a platform to raise the profiles of Zambians in the creative industry. Self described as “Proud Zambians. Independent thinking + Independent Creativity since 1964. Social Media Management + Content Creation.” They also host a monthly Zed Creative meet up/brunch, so get involved and follow them to meet like-minded people.

3. Bongo Hive: @BongoHive One of my favorites, I have been to a few events hosted by them and learned a lot. I am so glad there is a place for the tech community in Lusaka to get together and share ideas. They tweet about the latest tech developments in Africa and across the world. “BongoHive, based in Lusaka, Zambia, was set up in May 2011 and provides a place for the local tech community to meet, swap experience, and attend training, networking and hackathon events.”

4. Asikana Network: @AsikanaNetwork “Asikana Network is a group of females aiming to empower other young women in the field of technology.” They host a bunch of workshops  such as web development, basic computer trainings, editing workshops and more. I have the pleasure of participating in the videography workshop a few weeks ago, I enjoyed it for the editing aspect which is a skill I am looking to add to my filmmaking repertoire. I especially like the work that they do as it is women empowering other women, something that is lacking in Zambia.

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