In today’s economic environment, more people than ever before are freelancing or doing contract work. Freelancing is fraught with uncertainty–that’s the nature of the game–but Carol Tice figured out a way to earn a six-figure salary as a freelancer. Tice, a writer, then took an even bolder step and built a business that coaches and teaches others how to make a living in a freelance world. Tice also has advice for businesses looking to work more effectively with their growing freelance staffs.
Tice, author of Make A Living Writing and Starting Your Business on a Shoestring, knows that being a freelancer isn’t easy. She also knows that giving up a salaried, benefited office job doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in for a huge pay cut. In fact, contractors can and should make a full-time salary–if not more than what they earned as staffers.
Tice’s career as a full-on freelance writer began in late-2005. Six years later, in 2011, she was earning a six-figure income, and during the last few years she has committed herself to helping “the most freelancers earn the most money the fastest.”
In 2009, Tice published the inaugural post on the Make A Living Writing site. But it wasn’t until 2012 when Tice’s business really took off. By then, she had also built the Freelance Writers Den, a community that supports writers who hope to earn a full-time salary without working a staff position ever again.
When asked how many writers she has helped, Tice said she isn’t sure. “I think what happens when they start making six figures is I lose touch with them because they’re too busy to hang out in the Den anymore.”
Just as individuals need to figure out how to make the freelance model work for them in order to (at least) make ends meet, businesses must learn how to effectively engage and manage freelance staffers.
Tice’s recommendations include:
- Avoid cheap solutions. (You get what you pay for.)
- Pay contractors fairly and in a timely manner.
- Look for ways to improve communication with far-flung staff.
- Be available.
The last two points are especially critical. Tice urges clients to make themselves available to talk freelancers through projects and to answer any questions that arise during the course of the project. Being proactive will head off problems.
Likewise, Tice suggests that freelancers ask as many questions as they need to in order to have clear understanding of clients’ expectations. Too many people jump on a project without fully grasping what the client wants and how they can deliver on that, she said.
Indeed, the client-contractor relationship is a tricky one. Everyone has to do his or her part to ensure success.