[thelist] Fulltime to freelance

patrick pms at stoutstreet.com
Mon Nov 24 16:27:54 CST 2008

Nan Harbison wrote:
> I work for myself and have almost quit all the other part time jobs I had
> pieced together in order to survive. Here are the two most important tips I
> can give you:
> If you are in the US, join your local Chamber of Commerce because you can
> get job references from it, mine has a "Business After Hours" once a month
> where members meet in the office or shop of a member, have some wine and
> snacks and we all get a chance to say who we are and what we do, I always
> get some work from these, sometimes just fixing or adding something on a
> website, which can thenn leac to doing a new website down the road. Also you
> can get a cheaper rate on health insurance, if you need it. (There are other
> business organizations as well, for example, Boston, MA has a PHP developers
> group that meets and often someone is looking for a developer.)
> You have to be 100% accessible to clients, returning their emails or phone
> calls even when you don't want to, and do what they ask you to do in a
> reasonable amount of time. I can't tell you how many websites I have taken
> over because the business/owner was sick of the web guy they used who now
> seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. This is how I bill
> myself now, that "I am happy to take over for the web guy who abandoned
> you". And boy, do people relate to this!
> Good luck,
> Nan

Seconding these tips wholeheartedly.

You might also consider pairing up -- however informally -- with someone
who has a complementary skill set. I do mostly site production and dev
stuff, and work with a graphic designer who makes with the pretty better
than I can.

And something I heard when I started on my own still rings true: you
either work all the time or none of the time.

Try to balance that.



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