Tag Archives: freelancers

How Clients and Contractors Can Succeed Together in a Freelance World

Client MeetingIn 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.

 

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Online Careers: What a Workforce of 1 Billion Means

Online Careers: What a Workforce of 1 Billion MeansA new study of the freelance workforce tells us that there are close to one billion freelancers and that number is growing.

And what’s driving that phenomenon? Productivity, competition for high-quality talent, and reduced hiring frictions.

All of this may be paving paving the way for a future full of “yes” when it comes to small-business employers. Freelance professionals are enjoying fresh attention in 2013.

“What is clear is that online freelancing appears to be an answer to worker happiness in terms of increased flexibility and quality of life, as well as to increased financial independence,” according to an annual impact report recently released by Elance. From what’s driving freelance and business choices to how those decisions are affecting bottom lines — here are some highlights of the study.

1. High Quality Talent Is an Attractor: In the past year alone, there has been a 153% increase in freelancers online with skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That means that employers are increasingly likely get used to searching for the right individuals with the right skillsets in the digital space. The longer that goes, on the more entrenched the concept will become.

2. Online Workers Like Their Independence: Sixty-nine percent that answered the survey said they were happier when freelancing versus working in a traditional onsite job. The average freelancer estimates they have 28 more personal days than they did working in a corporate environment. This is another recipe for keeping the online workforce of 1 billion at those numbers or better. Appealing work environments bring new participants. That’s just intuitive.

3. Small-business Owners Perceive Online Searches as a Competitive Edge. Hiring freelance talent to fill part-time needs suggests a competitive edge to 85% of companies, the study said.

4. Reduced Hiring Friction Helps Bottom Lines: According to a new measure of Labor Department data, the average hiring time under traditional methods is 23 days. That’s time and effort on the part of HR, and that’s lost or negatively affected productivity when a position is left open. By some measures, the survey suggests that online hiring can shave that turnaround to just 3.3 days. There isn’t a small-business owner on the planet who’d balk at that, if the skills and experience of the candidate selected are as solid as anyone hired under the old way.

If bottom lines go down for the employer, and incomes increase for those freelancers getting hired, then the future of this new way of thinking about workers and job fulfillment stands to become more and more the norm in 2014 and beyond.

 

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