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How to Survive as a Freelancer

WiFi and coffee - the freelance lifeChances are if you’ve been a web developer or designer for more than a couple months, you’ve done some freelance work. Maybe you’re already contracting fulltime, or thinking about making the switch. Read on for some must-visit resources to survive the freelance life.

Freelance Contracts

Graphic designer David Airey shares his contract research and how he chose to approach legal documents with clients. More important than putting things in writing, Airey says, is getting half of the money before you do much work. Not getting paid can be a real hassle, no matter whether the law is in your favor.

Ugh. Taxes!

Web Worker Daily shares six things to know about taxes for the self employed. The real gems to consider are estimated taxes and deductible business expenses. You can limit your estimated taxes by deducting things like a portion of your rent or mortgage. Just don’t overdo it: Google may be able to deduct a swimming pool, but that’d be a stretch for your one person shop.

Upset Clients

No matter how nice you are, at some point you’ll have to deal with upset clients. Wake Up Later has some good tips for keeping your cool and making the client happy. The advice works as well in tense, non-client communications: take a breath and see if from the others’ perspective.

Enjoy Freelancing

If you aren’t enjoying your work, there’s no sense in doing it. Web Worker Daily has several tips to enjoy freelancing. The one that seems to most resonate with commenters: take a vacation. Lack of paid time off can be difficult for new freelancers, who learn the hard way that they have to plan for it.

What have we missed? If you’re a freelancer, how do you survive? If you aren’t working on your own, why not?

[Picture by Jason Cartwright]

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