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Book Review: The Principles Of Successful Freelancing by Miles Burke

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Are you thinking about going out on your own and starting your own freelancing business but are worried about the problems that you may face? Are you worried about jumping into waters that you are not really sure of and wish that you had someone to give you some firsthand advice? That is why The Principles Of Successful Freelancing was written: to provide guidance in approaching the decision to be your own boss and to become an internet freelancer.

According to author Miles Burke, he wrote The Principles Of Successful Freelancing because he would have loved to have had this kind of advice in 1994 when he first started freelancing. This may have reduced or eliminated the number of mistakes that he made along the way. While in this book he addresses web designers and developers, many of the principles can be applied across industries and positions to any form of freelancing. The Principles Of Successful Freelancing is 200 pages in length and divided into eight chapters.

Chapter 1, "Considering Freelancing?" begins by showing you the reality of freelancing. It examines the advantages and disadvantages, as well as providing a self-assessment exercise that will help you to determine if you have the correct skills to become successful at freelancing. It also sets up two fictitious freelancers who will be followed throughout the rest of the book to monitor their successes and failures.

Chapter 2, "Prepare for the Transition," will force you to put some serious thought into setting up a fundamental business structure. This includes thoughtfully selecting a name, purchasing some basic business items, finding suppliers, and the consideration of being a sole proprietor as opposed to a company structure such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Chapter 3, "Manage Your Money," begins with the basics of accounting and how to manage your money. This is especially important when jobs are either feast or famine. Also discussed are how to calculate your costs before figuring your hourly rate, and how to encourage prompt payments. You will see how to look at leasing, loans, and options for paying for large ticket items.

Chapter 4, "Set Yourself Up," examines how to set yourself up in an office situation where you can keep work and home life separate. You will find that you also need to track your time, how to schedule, and how to improve your productivity. Finally, there are other equally important aspects, such as backing up your work as a must to avoid disaster.

Chapter 5, "Win the Work," is all about knowing what you have to sell and having the confidence and ability to deliver it, as well as having the ability to communicate that ability to the customer. You then look at the art of promotion by building your own brand name and using that name to generate more business.

Chapter 6, "Give Great Service," is just as important, if not more so than being the greatest designer. In this chapter you will see the basics of what great service is, and how you can provide the best experience for your clients. You will also look at project management, scope creep as it relates to disputes, ethics, and how to resolve issues that can come up from time to time.

Chapter 7, "Achieve Work-Life Balance," will allow you to achieve more. By having balance you will be more productive, happier, and attain a well-being that will result in better results. Success is also not just about financial rewards, but entails giving back to the community, and to the world at large.

Chapter 8, "Where to From Here" shows that now that you have created a successful freelancing business, you need to look at what the next step is; the further challenge is to figure out what the next step is. In this chapter you will see some of the options available to you when you reach this point.

The Principles Of Successful Freelancing is a straightforward read and very easy to follow along. It contains a wealth of good information as well as a number of interviews with successful freelancers. It is aimed at those who are just getting into freelancing as well as those who are contemplating a move to freelancing as it covers all aspects of a freelancer's life.

The Principles Of Successful Freelancing takes you step-by-step through what you need to do to become successful at freelancing. While The Principles Of Successful Freelancing cannot ensure success as a freelancer, not having it can guarantee that you will learn some of these lessons the hard way. I strongly recommend this book.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.