When the pandemic started, millions of people all over the world were forced to work from home. Thanks to it, everyone started to notice the great benefits remote work and freelancing suppose. According to Remote Bliss, the average person can save up to $7,000 per year by working remotely; not only in commuting costs but also by not eating out. Thanks to it, its popularity increased. However, freelancing and working from home is something that has been done way before the pandemic came into our lives. For both types of businesses such as LLCs and Sole Proprietorships, remote working has now become an essential part of the post-pandemic workforce. For these reasons, we decided to gather up the best experts in the field who gave us different tips and advice on how you can start working from the comforts of your home and which are the best methods to be efficient and productive while doing so. Read on to learn more about the incredible tips for freelancers we gather.
Safeguarding the modern workforce: How home insurance can protect remote workers and freelancers
In recent years, the workforce has undergone a remarkable transformation, with remote work and freelancing becoming increasingly common. While the flexibility and freedom of these work arrangements are appealing, they also bring unique challenges, especially when it comes to protecting one’s livelihood and assets. Home insurance, typically associated with property protection, is now emerging as a vital shield for remote workers and freelancers.
- Protecting home office equipment: One of the primary ways home insurance can be a lifeline for remote workers and freelancers is by safeguarding their home office equipment. With remote work being the norm, a powerful laptop, specialized software, and other necessary tools have become indispensable. Home insurance can cover the cost of repairing or replacing these items in case of theft, damage, or other covered perils.
- Liability coverage: As a remote worker or freelancer, clients and colleagues may visit your home or interact with your workspace virtually. In the event of accidents or injuries on your property or due to your work-related activities, home insurance can offer liability coverage. This can protect you from costly legal expenses and potential damages.
- Business property coverage: Some home insurance policies offer business property coverage as an optional add-on. This can be particularly valuable for freelancers who keep inventory, samples, or tools at home. Business property coverage can help replace or repair these items if they are damaged or stolen.
- Cyber liability protection: With remote work comes the risk of cyber threats. Freelancers and remote workers often deal with sensitive client information, and a data breach or cyberattack can be catastrophic. Many home insurance policies now offer cyber liability protection, which can help cover expenses related to data breaches and cyberattacks, including legal costs and notifications to affected parties.
- Interruption coverage: The unexpected can disrupt a freelancer’s or remote worker’s income, such as a fire that damages your home office or a natural disaster that renders your workspace inaccessible. Home insurance policies may include business interruption coverage, which can compensate you for the income lost during such periods.
- Professional liability insurance: For freelancers offering professional services, errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, often referred to as professional liability insurance, is a valuable addition. This type of coverage can protect you from legal claims related to errors, omissions, or negligence in your work.
- Peace of mind: Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of having home insurance for remote workers and freelancers is the peace of mind it provides. Knowing that you are protected against various risks, whether they are work-related or related to your property, can reduce stress and allow you to focus on your work with confidence.
In conclusion, as the way we work continues to evolve, so should our approach to safeguarding our livelihoods and assets. Home insurance is no longer just for protecting your home; it has become an essential tool for securing the modern remote worker and freelancer. By offering protection for your property, home office equipment, liability, and even cyber risks, it acts as a safety net that allows you to work with confidence and peace of mind, no matter where you call your office.
How can I effectively communicate with my remote team?
Remote teams can all look very different. Some have been this way from the start—with team members collaborating across time zones, office spaces, and home offices—while others have transitioned from in-person to remote meetings, or even onboarding new team members remotely.
Despite its challenges, remote work can actually empower employees to be more autonomous, efficient and produce high-quality work without typical office distractions if the right systems for communication are in place.
To keep your teammates connected and reduce the frustration and distraction of using a bevy of different tools, reach for a Work OS like monday.com. monday.com Work OS is a flexible and full-suite platform that helps teams of all sizes with work management.
Here’s a look at a few ways you can use monday.com for stellar communication with your remote team:
Updates: Each item on your monday.com boards has an Updates Section, where you can discuss the item and upload important files and relevant information. This keeps communication in context and reduces email threads.
Automations: Remote or not, team communication can be streamlined through the use of automation. monday.com has a dedicated Automation Recipes feature to help you reduce manual tasks like messaging someone to say a task is complete or in a specific phase. For example, you can create a recipe that when a status is changed to “Ready for review”, that a notification will be sent to the relevant team member.
Marketing Plan Template: This template will simplify your remote team management process as you can plan all initiatives from one platform. It can be used for marketing or you can take inspiration from it and customize it for your needs:
As a freelancer how can I make sure I’ll always get paid?
The best way to always get paid as a freelancer is first clearly defining the project and if possible getting the money upfront before you start the project, there are plenty of escrow services and two-sided marketplaces like Fiverr or Upwork that will help you with that. Second, if you’ve clearly defined the project with specific milestones, get paid on those milestones. It’s better to get stiffed on the first quarter of a project vs doing an entire project and not getting paid. Lastly, it’s also important to document the entire process from beginning to end, you can use a tool like time doctor or any other time tracking tool to clearly identify what you did, how long it took you, and what the result was.
-Liam Martin at Time Doctor
Which employees can work as freelancers?
Luckily there are many positions whose duties may be completed remotely. Thanks to the pandemic people learned how to work remotely properly and how to keep themselves self-organized as much as possible.
It relates to IT industry workers that need only their computers for work as they may communicate with coworkers online.
That’s why there are no problems to employ IT specialists as freelancers, for instance, you may hire a frontend developer and never meet in person, but you will get the work done appropriately.
Also, if you are into digital project development, you will probably need a designer for your product who can be hired as a freelancer. You only need to set the proper deadlines and agree on all details.
When you come up with a website, it’s always better to have a professional write the feed to make it organic, SEO-optimized, and engaging for your audience. You can do it by yourself, but it requires time and effort which is not always an option for an entrepreneur.
One more person that might be on your team as a freelancer is a marketer. This person will be fixing your promotion strategy, investigating your target audience, making marketing decisions, and will be responsible for sales growth.
To sum up – every person who can complete their duties remotely may be fired as a freelancer.
-Maria Shelaieva at SpdLoad
How can I keep remote workers happy and engaged?
Your remote employees might be “out of sight,” but that doesn’t mean their hard work should be “out of mind.” Employee recognition may be the single most important factor in overall employee engagement, and that includes remote workers. According to our Employee Engagement and Modern Workplace Report, 86% of Highly Engaged employees were recognized the last time they went above and beyond at work compared to only 31% of Actively Disengaged employees. So, how do you adapt that for remote and hybrid teams? Due to the nature of WFH, it’s easy for teams to lose sight of what everyone else is working on, and how it relates to your company’s larger goals and mission. The best way to combat this is by recognizing your employees and recognizing them visibly, through a public Slack channel or a tool like Bonusly. This helps other employees see the unique contributions of every team member—even those who are working remotely. By celebrating the big wins, and personal milestones like birthdays and work anniversaries, you’re communicating that your remote workers are an integral part of the team—which is an absolute must for keeping remote employees happy and engaged.
-Vicki Yang, VP of People Operations at Bonusly
How can I stay motivated as a freelancer?
Motivation comes from focus and focus comes from clarity, so to stay motivated you need to be clear on your goals. What are you trying to achieve? What are your objectives? This will allow you to put together a plan to follow which will give you more direction and ultimately, more motivation.
-Jacob Cass at Just Creative
How can I become a successful freelancer?
“Success” as a freelancer looks different for everyone. For some people, success means lots of money. For others, it means more free time or working on projects they really love. So, in my experience coaching freelancers for 10+ years through my blog, I’d say the first step toward success is to define what exactly success looks like to you.
If you don’t care about money (other than to survive) then following advice for growing your revenue really won’t make you happy. And if you love working long hours on exciting projects, then advice about how to have more free time won’t work for you either. You’ve got to identify what you call “success.” From there, keep your eye on the target, and don’t let anyone else convince you to adopt their definition of success.
Of course, for any freelancer to stay in business, they also need to find clients on a regular basis. To accomplish that, you must always be selling. You’ve probably heard about the ominous “feast famine cycle” that crushes so many freelancers. The key to overcoming this month-to-month anxiety as a freelancer is to actively sell your services even when you’re at your busiest with client work.
Use automation tools like Reply.io or a service platform like Porch to build an active, full pipeline of potential new clients with who you’re constantly checking in to fill up your project pipeline for the next 3-6 months minimum.
By defining what “success” looks like to you personally as a freelancer and constantly promoting your services, you’ll find you’re satisfied and gainfully in-business.”
-Preston Lee, founder of Millo
Are team-building activities possible for remote teams?
Of course! Remote teams are engaging in virtual team-building activities now more than ever due to the pandemic. At Weekdone, we’re an asynchronistic remote team spanning across multiple countries and time zones. You’d think that these hurdles would stand in the way of connecting with each other, but that’s not the case at all. We manage to take part in plenty of different activities; all of which are fun, engaging, and most importantly; connect us on personal and professional levels despite the distance.
Companies that specialize in bringing teams together with team-building activities have adapted to this new remote reality. Games that used to require in-person contact can now be enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. From virtual escape rooms to scavenger hunts – these activities challenge different skills that encourage teams to hone in on each other’s strengths to “complete a mission”. Teams must work together to solve puzzles, communicate effectively, and most importantly – have fun! If trivia and challenges aren’t your speed, there are plenty of options for a more relaxed team experience, such as Netflix watch parties, JackBox games, or guided tours of Paris (virtually, of course).
Whatever option you choose, we recommend designating a specific time each month so that your team has something to look forward to. By creating a specific time; employees can plan their work accordingly, and you’ll often have full participation! After your meeting, everyone should head into the week with a positive, motivated mindset – ready to tackle the next project or tasks ahead!
Should you need some ideas for your next event – we have an informative blog post that showcases the importance of virtual team building and walks you through some different activities. Happy team bonding!! 😀
–Erica Pezza at Weekdone
How can I be a successful virtual recruiter?
As businesses continue to expand remotely, recruiting could become difficult in creating engaging and effective interactions. One way to become a better liaison between candidates and employers is to keep it simple.
Virtual recruiting is significant due to the ability to actively reach more candidates. Through many one-on-one, virtual events and preparing for virtual onboarding, it can get overwhelming to maintain that communication between both candidates and employers clear.
The cost of being a successful virtual recruiter is providing that bridge of communication simply through training and technology. Whether it be automated emails or explainer videos, it is worth it to invest in optimizing your mediums of delivery in many cases.
Many look to making explainer videos to showcase what they want to convey about the company, their process, or the candidate themselves. Explainer videos help simply explain your information in minutes or less while still captivating your audience. This makes your information memorable and easy to track back to.
There’s no need for a video editing experience! Softwares like simpleshow video maker is able to create a simple animated video. Using AI technology, simpleshow attaches images, voiceovers, and animation to tie into your script. Only needing to upload a PowerPoint template or script, simpleshow video maker will do the rest.
-Brigitta Sandstrom at Videomaker Simpleshow
How Can I Stay Sane While Working From Home?
If remote working is starting to get to you, here are some creative strategies to try.
Try a Split Schedule
If staring at your computer for 6-8 hours uninterrupted feels daunting, why not try breaking up your workday into two smaller chunks? For example, work from 9 am – 12 pm, then take an extended lunch break. Totally switch off from work and go for a walk, do a workout or run some errands. Then do another focused session from 3 pm – 6 pm, and call it a day.
Many people find that working in “bursts” during short windows of time helps them stay focused and productive. Plus, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the afternoon, without feeling like you’ve spent the entire day working.
Dress for Success
Yes, it’s tempting to want to work in your fuzzy onesie and slippers. But unfortunately, it blurs the lines between work and leisure and makes it hard to get out of relaxation mode.
Getting dressed every day will help you get into a productive mindset. Plus, you won’t panic when a client or coworker suggests a last-minute video call!
Take Frequent Screen Breaks
Set a timer to remind yourself to step away from the computer and go for a walk. According to research by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland, a 17-minute break from the screen roughly every hour is ideal.
It will not only improve your mental health but will also boost your productivity. What can you do during your breaks to further boost your mood? Rather than scrolling social media, try going outside for some fresh air, reading a book, meditating, or dancing around to your favorite tunes.
-Kelly Dunning at ApproveMe
How can I calculate my content writing rates?
There are many factors that affect a content writer’s rates. To start, you have the writer’s experience. It goes without saying, but your experience will affect how much you can charge. The more experience you write, the more you should charge. However, that’s only valid if your experience is specialized in a specific niche and content type. If you are specialized within a given niche and content type—e.g., an article writer for health companies—you will be able to charge more than someone who dabbles in different industries. Some other factors that can affect but not define a writer’s rate include the complexity of the commissioned work, its technicality, and the client relationship.
-Ivan Kreimer at Content Fiesta
How can I improve my work-life balance?
There are three critical ingredients to achieving a healthy work-life balance.
The first is planning. When you take the time to plan out your schedule the night before, you don’t waste time thinking about what you need to get done.
I found that the time blocking method is the most effective way to plan out my week. This planning method makes sure that the list of tasks I plan to accomplish on any given day is realistic.
One tip I suggest when using this planning method is to color-code each aspect of your life. By doing this, you can clearly see if you’re spending too much time on one part and make the necessary adjustments.
The second critical ingredient is setting boundaries. One thing I learned growing up is that people will only go as far as you let them. Since many of us are now working from home, it’s easy for the lines that separate your personal and professional lives to blur. Once that happens, it can be tough to achieve a healthy work-life balance.
A simple but very effective thing I do to set those boundaries is to turn off all the communication tools I use for my business, like Slack and Skype. I also set a timer when all notifications are turned off on my phone when spending time with my family or myself.
Finally, get everyone on board. This is especially important when you got very young kids. Because they’re still dependent on you for everything, you and your spouse need to work together as a team so that both of you can work and attend to your children.
If you’re a single parent, hire a babysitter who’ll help you attend to your kids while working or getting a family member to help out.
–Kevin Payne at LeadHackrs
How can I stay motivated while Working From Home?
I went back and forth for years about whether I loved or hated working from home. Early in my career, a startup I worked for went remote and I was not ready. However, now that I feel comfortable in my career—and now that I am a mother—working from home feels crucial to me. I wrote an article about how to stay motivated while working from home.
My favorite piece of advice is to get dressed for work. I find that transitioning into “at-work” clothes and presentability puts me into work mode. This also includes making sure that your workspace is clean and distraction-free. I also love the idea of creating a “faux commute” to replace miserably sitting in my car. Sometimes this includes a 20-minute coffee walk while listening to a podcast. If you can “do you commute” outdoors, that’s the best!
-Caileen Kehayas Holden at Career Contessa
What are the best practices for Managing Remote Teams?
“Instead of looking for the best ways to “manage” distributed teams, perhaps we should think about the ways that we design beneficial outcomes instead. Leaders should think backwards and intentionally design rules that not just encourage, but cause those actions. In this case, intentionally setting up structures that cause an individual to act in ways that are beneficial to both themselves and the commons.
This is where, contrary to the autonomy which is so welcomed in the remote world, it may be beneficial to consider adding back some more administration. Positive administration of course, to ensure that you’re truly designing the remote workplace to foster positive outcomes.
With few restrictions, remote work has the potential to be productive, healthy, and optimal, if the right game is designed. So let’s actively design it.”
-Steph Smith at Steph | Smith
How can I fight loneliness while working remotely?
I’ve interviewed 100+ seasoned remote workers and everyone has acknowledged that loneliness or isolation is a major problem when working remotely. So the very first step is to realize you aren’t the only one facing this issue.
Now, drawing from the experience of all these remote workers and my own, the most important thing is to push yourself to go out, interact with the outside world and participate in local networking events. This could mean working out of a co-working space or coffee shop frequently (say 2-3 days/week), having a routine for a walk or run, and even participating in your local community meet-ups.
Things that happen naturally in an office, eg. chatting with someone over a water cooler or coffee, playing a quick table tennis match with your colleague, or even just the hustle & bustle in the office, go missing when you’re all alone working from your home. So it’s important you recreate such events in your daily routine while working remotely.
Virtual catch-ups with your colleagues or even friends also help. But I would personally recommend interacting with people or the outside world physically rather than virtually. Of course, with the Covid-19 pandemic situation, that may not be possible. So virtual events are the best choice at the moment.
What are the most common brand-building mistakes made by solopreneurs?
The biggest mistake I see happening in the solopreneur sphere is going broad vs. specialized, and it’s costing my fellow companies-of-one originality and growth.
When you cast a wide net (e.g. I help entrepreneurs create courses, or I help moms organize their families finances) you fail to give your brand the specifics you need to make educated decisions about what your customers need or how to reach them.
It’s like writing a lost and found poster without knowing anything about the person who is lost, other than their age and gender. 👎
The key to creating a personality brand that’s as original as a fingerprint is what I like to call, your edge, which comes down to a combination of things, not one specific thing.
It’s the product (or sum) of the five layers of your sphere of influence, which are:
This is either your skill, market, title, product, or trade – depending on your business model and brand strategy.
This is your differentiator, the unexpected twist, in terms of how you approach, build, and/or execute your craft.
This is your ideal customer, or what I like to call your kindred.
This is the itch you help your kindred scratch.
This is the current era that you’re operating in.
Your sphere of influence isn’t just a market or a niche, it’s your specialty as a whole – the how, what, why, who, and when you specialize in. The idea is that the more specificity you include in your audience and offers, the more you naturally differentiate yourself, without having to manufacture or contrive anything.
When you pinpoint how you specialize in these five different areas you end up with a brand that stands out from the rest because it clearly defines exactly who it’s for and how it’s different from everything else they’ve tried before.
I double-dog-dare you to get so specific you cease to have any real competition!
-Dre Beltrami at The Solopreneur Society
What are the best online job opportunities for people with no degree?
We are often told that we need to go to college to be successful. But is that really true in today’s world? Don’t get me wrong, college is fantastic to grow your knowledge, but it’s not always necessary, especially if you don’t want to become a doctor or a lawyer.
With more and more companies open to working online and remote opportunities everywhere, there has never been a better time to learn on the job. Working as a virtual assistant, for example, requires only some basic skills, but the more knowledge you gain, the more money you can make. Writing for online publications or blogs is another great example of a job that doesn’t require a degree.
If you love social media, you can look into becoming a social media manager for small brands and move up from there. And if you are good with numbers, virtual bookkeeping can get you over $80 per hour.
If you don’t want to become a YouTuber yourself, what about helping influencers and companies editing their videos? The demand for video editing is huge right now. All you need is a laptop and video editing software, like iMovie or Final Cut Pro.
And if you are brave enough, you can also start your own online business: from selling on Amazon or Etsy to starting your own podcast or blog, the opportunities are endless.
-Sara Trezzi at Gathering Dreams
How can I know which type of WFH job is good for me?
It’s important to remember that not all work-from-jobs are equal. Typically, work-from-home positions fall into one of three categories: Employee, contract, or freelance. Each of these types of home-based positions come with their own set of pros and cons, and to know which is best for you, you need to understand what those are and your own personal career ideals. Employee positions are just like traditional office jobs but instead of having a daily commute, you get to work from home. As an employee, you may be benefits-eligible, taxes will be withheld from paychecks, and your employer will expect you to work a set schedule like Monday through Friday, 9 to 5.
Work from home contract jobs are hired on a 1099 basis. That means you are considered an independent contractor and not an employee of the company. As a contractor, you have greater flexibility over how you work and when but are not eligible for benefits like paid time off or health insurance. You will also be responsible for paying quarterly estimated taxes since taxes are not withheld from any money you receive.
Freelance roles are the most flexible work from home jobs because you are essentially your own boss. As a freelancer, you are responsible for marketing your services, finding clients, negotiating rates, and collecting payments. You will be able to work as much or little as you want and can set your own hours. Freelancers also pay quarterly estimated taxes and must find health insurance on their own through a marketplace, spouse, or professional organization.
If you value benefits like health insurance and vacation time, work from home employee positions best align with your career ideals. However, if flexibility and scalability are important, freelancing is a great fit. Only you can identify your career ideals to determine whether you’re best suited for employee, contract, or freelance roles.
-Ashlee Anderson at Work From Home Happiness
How can I get freelance clients through referrals?
Getting clients through referrals is one of my favorite ways to land clients. Usually, they’re already qualified because I’ve been specifically recommended by either a fellow freelancer or a past client. The easiest way to get referrals is to ask – but you have to do it at the right time and in the right way. It’s no good requesting a referral from a client you’re midway through a project on. Instead, in your closing email to clients (once you’ve finished a project, the invoice has been paid, and you know the client is happy with your work), you can add a sentence like: “I’ve got a few spaces opening up next month so if you know anyone that might need help with X, please do send them my way”.
Landing referrals through past clients is one way to do things, but you can also land clients through recommendations from other freelancers. I’ve had a lot of work come my way via this method, and it’s usually through one of the freelancer networks I’m a part of. If you’re active in the freelance community and become well known for something specific, the referrals will keep on coming. Finally, do your best work at all times and be lovely to clients. People are more likely to refer clients your way if they had a great experience with you and loved your work (it’s a total no-brainer, but worth mentioning!).
-Lizzie Davey at Wanderful World
How can I become a Freelance Blogger?
If you want to work remotely and earn money doing what you love, freelance blogging might be just the thing for you. Below, I’ll go over the most important aspects of freelance blogging you’ll want to know, such as how to write blog posts, where to find clients, etc.
First and foremost, you should start by reading other blogs and getting to know how blog posts are written. You’ll quickly notice that blog articles are very different from newspaper and magazine articles, as they often include numbered lists and subheadings. Also, the paragraphs are rather short (2-3 sentences), which makes them easier to skim through.
Next, you’ll want to draft some great sample articles that you can include in your portfolio. It helps if you have a clear niche, such as marketing, tech, fashion, beauty, home renovations, etc. This will help you appeal to your ideal employer later on.
When you’ve drafted a few sample articles, you have two options: You can either keep these drafts in Google Drive or create your own blog where you host these articles. Having your own blog increases the chances of your article getting read by more people, which in turn can lead to more new clients. Most platforms that hire freelance bloggers will also require you to have published a few pieces before accepting you.
After you’ve created an awesome portfolio, you’ll want to start writing pitches for potential clients and agencies. My personal favorites include Contentfly, Problogger, Bloggingpro, and Contena. You can also find a detailed list of different freelance job listings/agencies on Make A Living Writing.
Like I mentioned, many of these agencies will require you to have some published content online. You can get started with this via guest posting on other blogs. To find suitable blogs for your niche, you’ll want to Google terms such as “*your niche* blogs that accept guest posts”. After this, you can start sending your pitches to these blogs. The better fit your article is for the blog, the more chances you have of it getting published. Good luck!
-Maria Juvakka at Chic Pursuit
How can self-employed individuals keep their administrative tasks organized?
At one point, anyone can struggle with time management and administrative tasks organization. However, if there is one sort of worker that sees it as both a challenge and a responsibility, it is the self-employed one.
Self-employed individuals must manage all divisions of their “companies”: they must handle projects, customers, and new projects and customers, as well as serve as accountants and marketing directors. To facilitate all these processes, one should keep them organized. Here are some easy tips.
Maintain calendars: The value of having an organized system for tracking the progress of your projects appears self-evident. A self-employed individual needs to balance many clients and a lengthy list of tasks at any given time. You’re making your life more difficult if you don’t use some form of calendars to keep track of all your projects and deadlines.
Keep your emails organized: Take time to go through all of your emails every day. Make it first thing in the morning. You can also divide all the emails into separate categories for different projects. It’s a good idea to prepare some templates for responses so that it doesn’t take you much time to answer.
Avoid multitasking: Yes, it does work for some people, but handling multiple tasks at the same time is tricky. Because your brain can only focus on one item at a time, multitasking decreases your efficiency and effectiveness. Try to organize your time, concentrating on one task at once.
Keep your workspace in order: Being organized is not only about things on your laptop. You will save time hunting for items and have more time to focus on vital activities if you keep your workspace organized. It is proven that clean space around you reduces work-related stress.
Monitor your finances: When you first start tracking your finances, it may seem like a lot of work, but knowing why it’s necessary to do so and how to do so with little effort may help you stick with it and become more conscious of your spending. It assists you in achieving your financial goals.
Build a routine and learn from your own mistakes – this way you can develop an organized and efficient work process.
-Nicole Garrison at TrustMyPaper
Can I start freelancing with no experience?
Yes, you can start freelancing with no experience. But you’ll need to educate yourself about digital marketing, the service you’re providing, and the target market you’d like to work with. Most new freelancers are coming into it with little to no training, but take it upon themselves to learn new things. For example, if you want to be a freelance writer, learn about copywriting, writing for SEO, and best social media practices. If you’re a new podcast production manager, spend the time getting to know the software used in the industry. Thankfully, there are many blogs, books, and podcasts out there that can help you learn this material for free. When you find a mentor or teacher you trust, you might buy a course or other digital product from them to fast-track your learning.
You’ll have a lot of trial and error at the outset of your freelance journey, but that’s natural. If you can find an expert who has already been where you want to be. Following their proven path will cut your journey at least in half!
-Laura Briggs at The Freelance Coach
Can I subcontract my work to a freelance design agency?
Absolutely you can subcontract your work to a Freelance Design Agency. Subcontracting is actually a very common practice in the world of freelance design, and it can offer several benefits. When you subcontract to a Freelance Design Agency (or individual), you can tap into their specialized skills and expertise, which can be particularly advantageous if you have a project that requires specific design skills or resources that you don’t possess yourself. It can also help you manage workload fluctuations more effectively, as you can scale your workforce up or down as needed without the overhead costs of hiring an employee of your own.
However, when subcontracting work, it’s crucial to establish clear agreements and communication channels to ensure that both parties understand the scope of the project, deadlines, and quality expectations. Additionally, you should consider the reputation and track record of the Freelance Design Agency to ensure they can deliver the quality of work you require. Check the person or agency’s portfolio, use Google Reviews, and ask for professional references to ensure you are finding a competent agency. Make sure you also check your current contract/agreement to ensure there is no exclusion clause for you to use a subcontractor. You will also want to make sure you have proper NDAs in place to protect the content of your client. Building a solid working relationship based on trust and open communication is key to successfully subcontracting and achieving your project goals.
-Ryan from Presentation Greeks
How can I increase productivity while working remotely?
Unlike most organizations that were forced to adopt remote working during the pandemic, Transformify Freelancer Management System started as an all-remote company back in 2015. Back then, the remote working concept was still considered ”exotic”. As the CEO of the company, I had to recruit and manage a remote team across 3 continents to fuel the future expansion. Surprisingly, productivity never suffered due to remote work or different time zones. Once people had clear guidance on what is expected from them, what the KPIs are, how is their performance to be measured, everything went smoothly. Chaos is the biggest enemy of every business, being it organized around remote work or not. The best way to increase the productivity of your remote team is to set up clear communication channels and reporting lines. Is the team using Slack or Skype? Who is the best point of contact if there is a problem that needs to be addressed ASAP? Where can the team find project documentation and training materials? Is the product roadmap clear to everyone? Does the team understand the needs of the clients? What is the vision for the future?
Once we put our entire team on Slack, defined the reporting lines, organized the documentation in Confluence, and established regular team calls, The productivity of Transformify’s remote team increased by 70%, and the sales targets were exceeded. A 500% revenue growth in 2021 versus 2020 came as no surprise to anyone.
-Lily Stoyanov at Transformify
As a freelancer how can I optimize productivity?
Being a freelancer means that you oversee your own schedule and therefore your level of productivity. Productivity is essential for a successful career as a freelancer. Your time is a limited asset and completing tasks in the most efficient manner will allow you to maximize your earnings and have better project results. Here are some tips to improve productivity:
Complete tasks in order of priority. Delegate more time and energy to higher priority tasks right away. This allows you to maintain productivity. It is better to focus on more intense work first while the brain is motivated and alert.
Do not multitask. As a freelancer, you have multiple tasks to do for different clients. It is better to put all your energy and focus on one client’s job. That way you can cross it off your list and move on to the next one. Rather than have a bunch of projects semi-completed.
Have self-delegated due dates. Some tasks may not be due for weeks. But as a freelancer unforeseen tasks can pile up. By imposing your own deadlines, you can make sure you stay on top of all your tasks ahead of time. This way you can feel organized and motivated to remain productive.
Take small breaks. It might sound counter-productive but taking small breaks throughout the day allows the mind to recharge. This allows you as a freelancer to regain focus after a state of rest. Making sure you can get back to work feeling refreshed.
As a freelancer, you represent your own brand and reputation. Optimizing your performance and staying organized will contribute to better project results. This will equate to a happy customer, repeat jobs, and referrals. Try these tips to keep focused and get the job done!
-Vera Gavizon at Workhoppers
How can I balance my remote work and my home life when I have kids?
Balancing remote work and home life is hard. I actually believe balance is not a great way of describing what we are trying to achieve, and simply leads to the feeling of failure. We say balance but few things are ever in perfect balance. What we want more is to feel like we are spending enough time with work and enough time focusing on our home life. My recommendation for this is instead of aiming towards balance, acknowledging that things will not be perfect, and being honest about this. When things at work are a little less hectic, spend more time with your family and home life. Be at the moment with home life even during the workday.
When things need more focus at work, be honest with your home life. Explain to kids, and others that it is a particularly busy time, maybe a launch or end of the quarter, and that it is limited to a certain period of time. With this acceptance, the feeling of failure, because there is unbalance, is not there. Instead, admit that it is busy and once the launch is over, switch back to the family. Similarly, when home life should be the focus, do this without distraction from work. For example, vacation time, leave work behind. Set things in place so there is no need for checking in. Be completely present in the moment of the vacation and family life.
-Cousett Hoover at Techie Mamma
What are the main things recruiters are looking for when hiring a remote employee?
The main thing I am looking for as a recruiter is a proven track record of successfully performing in the role I am hiring for. However, strong communication skills and the ability to collaborate with others effectively are just as important. The employee must be able and willing to quickly and effectively communicate with other team members. Poor communication skills can really affect the productivity of the whole team.
Then the ability to work independently, being self-sufficient (since you can’t just turn around and ask a question to your colleague sitting next to you), and taking ownership for your work – we want to hire someone who understands results is what counts, and being able to do it without someone having to check in on them all the time.
We’d also want someone with a positive attitude, motivated, easy to work with – but that goes for any role, not just a remote vacancy.
Finally, someone who is productive and can plan and execute without too much supervision.
-Margaret Buj, Interview Coach
How can I find my first remote work?
If you are new to the world of remote work, finding your first job may seem complicated and challenging. In reality, the process is quite simple if you know where to look. It may take a little time and effort, but once you land a job that suits you, you’ll never want to go back to a traditional office environment.
There are a few things you need to focus on. First, you need to create a good CV that will make you stand out from the rest of the candidates – even if you don’t have much experience. Many employers will choose drive and passion over prior experience, so make sure to highlight your skills and future career goals!
The second – and maybe the most important thing – is choosing the right platform. There are many popular sites for finding remote opportunities, but many of them will charge you a service fee or take a percentage of your earnings. To avoid this, you need to dig a little deeper.
For example, finding an online position at JobRack.eu is completely free, with no hidden fees.
Remote workers from Eastern Europe can register and browse/apply for jobs with serious companies looking to fill full-time remote positions. And since the demand is high on both ends, even college graduates with little to no experience can find great positions where they can develop their skills and grow their careers!
The final thing to focus on is your cover letter or initial message. When applying for a position, most remote work platforms will ask you to send in a cover letter together with your CV. Luckily, enthusiasm and willingness to learn are the most important things for many employers, so it all depends on how much effort you’re willing to make!
-Noel Andrews at JobRack
How can I stay productive as a Work at Home mom?
Working from home isn’t always everything you thought it would be. You still have to work and you still have to take care of the home and kids as a mom.
I started working from home about 5 years ago and it’s been a learning experience every day since. My name is Kristen Miller and I am a business coach and agency owner. My days are full of client work, business meetings, coaching calls as well as laundry, dishes, kid’s activities, and sometimes homeschool.
My number 1 piece of advice to succeed as a Work at Home Mom is to set Priorities and Boundaries on everything. Know the key things you need to get done each day and plan your day accordingly. Create boundaries around your time and let your family know when you need to be left alone to work.
Productivity at home is all about preparation and organization. Use a project management tool or a to-do list app to stay organized all the time, even on the go. I created a product called The Get it Together, Girl! System to help moms stay organized.
Plan out your projects by task, so you can feel accomplished as you go, not just at the end. Know what you can do in those 5 or 10 minutes micro pockets of time when you can get work done.
Working from home has highs and lows, but just keep in mind that “work-life balance” is a constantly moving target. Set priorities and boundaries and stay organized so that you can enjoy your days as much as possible as a Work at Home Mom.
–Kristen Miller at Practical Mommy
How can I become a Virtual Assistant?
To become a virtual assistant, the first step is to decide which niche and services you’d like to focus on. This can help you figure out which types of clients you’d like to work with and the type of VA work you’ll enjoy doing. I recommend selecting at least 2-3 services that match your skillset and interest, then getting started from there.
Many beginners start out by offering general admin support such as responding to emails, calendar management, bookkeeping, returning phone calls, making travel arrangements, and other administrative tasks. You can also offer more specialized services such as social media management, podcast production, technical services, or website design.
The next step is to create your own online presence through a website or social media. Here, you’ll highlight the skills you can offer, set your rates, and market and sell yourself to clients. The rates you choose to set will depend on your experience, skills, and the types of clients you want to work with.
Finally, the most important step is to pitch to potential clients and start networking. To do this, you can find freelance virtual assistant jobs on sites such as Fiverr, FlexJobs, or Upwork. You can also cold pitch to ideal clients in your niche. This is the best way for beginner VAs to start landing clients quickly.
-Eden Ashley at Mint Notion
How can I find remote jobs?
While remote jobs are a bit harder to find compared to traditional office jobs, there are a few ways you can improve your chances by modifying your searching technique. World’s biggest job platforms including Indeed and Linkedin allow you to search for remote jobs with a simple tweak. All you need to do is type ‘remote’ in the location input field.
There are a few online platforms that are dedicated to listing remote-only jobs including WeWorkRemotely, Remoteok.io, Crossover, and a few others. Always make sure that you qualify for a particular job before sending in your resume. Application volumes are comparatively higher for these kinds of jobs and it’s very easy for your application to be ignored if you don’t strictly meet the requirements.
-Denise Hilton at WebEmployed
What should a freelancer do when client work is slow?
We’ve all been there: work slowing down and the fear of where the next project will come from. The reality is, people hire who they know, like, and trust. So ask yourself: who ALREADY knows, likes, and trusts you?
I call these people your advocates. And the best way to find immediate work and support is through your existing network of clients and advocates.
Dedicate a lot of time to reaching out to these advocates: your friends, family, clients, and collaborators. Approach it as an empathetic, fact-finding mission: ask them how they are doing, and listen to any problems they bring up.
If you are able to help them or introduce them to someone else who can, you’ll find new work, build strong relationships, or both.
They’ll likely ask how YOU are doing too – this is an invitation, to be honest. Let them know that you’ve never felt better about the work you’ve been doing for clients – but you’re looking for more opportunities.
Be specific about the type of outcome you help clients with, and what kind of clients you generally help.
With enough of these conversations, you’ll start to create client projects or be referred. Sure, it’s tempting to just start firing off proposals and building NEW relationships…but you’re starting from zero. You’ll have to build every NEW relationship to a place where that person now knows, likes, and trusts you.
It’s a lot easier to start with people who are already on your side.
-Jay Clouse at Freelancing School
What are the best techniques to improve collaboration and communication within a remote team?
There are three key foundational techniques to improving collaboration and communication within a remote team:
First, establish a remote-first, aka placeless, mindset about work and your team. A mindset that focuses on the work and not the place needs to be practiced throughout every level of the organization.
Second, align on standards for communication practices and collaboration processes. We highly recommend developing a Communication Charter that’s leveraged consistently throughout the organization to manage expectations and to establish boundaries.
Third, develop and strengthen async-first communication practices. Asynchronous communication reduces interruptions, saves time, empowers trust, and prevents burnout. Yet, teams often fail in attempts to work asynchronously and cite it as one of the biggest hurdles to widespread remote effectiveness.
-Jacqueline Zeller, CMO, Workplaceless
Which are the top 5 working from home jobs in 2021?
Work from home jobs come in different shapes and forms and provide flexibility, work-life balance, and in many cases better pay than traditional office jobs. Whether you’re looking for a contract opportunity or a freelance position, here are the best work-from-home jobs in 2021.
Transcription Jobs: In a nutshell, transcription work involves taking an audio recording and typing out what the people in the recording said.
People who work as transcribers need to be able to type quickly and be proficient in the language they are transcribing.
Freelance Writing and Editing: Writers and editors generally work with clients in their area of expertise, however, there are plenty of opportunities for generalists.
Although there are typically no qualifications required to become a freelance writer or editor (unless is mandated by your client), freelance writers and editors should be able to research a given topic, source images, analyze statistics, understand content management systems and follow editorial calendars.
Web Developer: Web development is a lucrative and highly sought-after career that people can pursue from home.
Virtual Assistant: VAs help clients with their day-to-day tasks (usually administrative). VAs are expected to follow instructions, have a firm grasp on the technology they’ll be using, and communicate effectively.
Virtual assistants can either be hired for one-off or recurring tasks.
Online Tutoring: Online tutoring has become very popular and can also be a rewarding and lucrative career that people can pursue from home.
Requirements for online tutoring jobs vary, and you can do some types of tutoring without any qualifications, however, you do need to be proficient in a particular topic or subject.
-Ricardo Pina at The Modest Wallet
Is it possible to manage your own taxes as a freelancer?
Absolutely! But it also depends on the complexity of your finances and how much time you want to spend learning to manage on your own. When I was first starting out as a freelancer, I had my business set up as a sole proprietorship and I reported all my 1099 earnings on a Schedule C. I’d always handled my husband’s and my taxes, so it wasn’t much of a step to add managing my freelance taxes into the mix.
However, as my business grew, it got more complicated and I had questions. How much of my office could I write off? What about travel? How much should I estimate for my quarterly tax payments? At that time, we’d also moved to a state with income tax, bought a house, and my husband had taken a job where he was paying a lot of travel expenses out of pocket. I felt overwhelmed, so we decided to hire a tax pro to help us out. It was tough because I prided myself on handling our taxes — but in the end, it cost about $250 and saved me a massive headache.
I’ve been using the same tax pro ever since. Along with doing yearly taxes, she checks in throughout the year to reconcile my books and keep an eye on my business financials. She also advises me on how to structure my business to get the best tax benefit, and the money she’s saved me has been more than worth the fee she charges.
So is it possible to manage your own taxes as a freelancer? If your taxes are simple and you enjoy doing it, of course! But as your business grows, keep in mind that hiring an accounting and tax pro can actually save you a lot of money and headaches.
-Jessie Kwak at Jessie Kwak
What are the best Work from Home Non-Phone Jobs?
The best work-from-home non-phone job is blogging. It is not something you can earn money from quickly but if you put the time and effort in, it is something that can earn you money for the rest of your life with minimal work. I focus on writing articles that are answering people’s questions on Google. Since millions of people search for things on Google every day, I now have a number of articles ranking in the search results which gives me constant traffic to my website. The more traffic I get to my website, the more money I earn in ad revenue and affiliate marketing and it’s all without ever having to pick up a phone.
-Max Bonds at Tried and True Mom Jobs
How can I plan my financial future as a freelancer?
When freelancing is your sole income, you always have to plan for uncertainty. While you’d like to believe all client contracts will last forever and there will always be an endless stream of new opportunities, the reality doesn’t always work out that way. By saving a strong emergency fund and putting money towards retirement and health savings early, it’s possible to ease some of the fear around uncertainty.
This all starts with keeping a close eye on the money that comes into my business and the money that goes out. From there, I create a plan for quarterly taxes, emergency savings, and retirement. I always ask myself, “Would I be okay if I lost all of my clients tomorrow?” Because I’ve been saving for a while, I know the answer is yes. If the pandemic taught us anything, it’s that nothing is guaranteed.
To plan your financial future as a freelancer, you have to take on a larger role as an advocate for your own finances. Having a few months of expenses saved in an emergency fund is a great safety net, but it doesn’t stop there. Opening a Roth IRA or other form of retirement account is important as well, especially considering there is no employer assistance when you’re a contractor. Lastly, continue educating yourself about personal finance so you’re on top of your goals and needs.
-Samantha Tetrault at Samanthability
How can I make my WFH space ergonomic?
Think about what makes you most comfortable. Include your computer setup (computer and monitor), desk height, tools like a mouse/mousepad, chair, and office layout. What size monitor is easiest to see? What angle should your screen be set? Should you use multiple computer screens? Where do your wrists feel comfortable (on the desk and at the keyboard)? Are you more efficient with a mouse and mousepad or just a trackpad? How does your back feel in your chair? What height does your chair feel most comfortable at? Or, would you prefer alternatives like a standing desk or an exercise ball/chair?
How much room do you need to comfortably position or stretch your legs? Do you like to face the window, the door, or neither? Do you prefer natural or artificial lighting? Which areas need to be lit? Also, take into account your senses – taste, touch, hear, smell, and sight. Stimulate or intentionally choose not to stimulate any or all of them. Consider items like your favorite beverages, the materials your keyboard and/or mouse are made of, headphones, scent diffuser or candles, and artwork or other decor. You are most efficient when the layout is comfortable. Don’t be afraid to test out different setups.
-Raki J. Wright at Outside the Box Mom
What do clients usually look for in a freelance architecture and engineering professional?
It depends on who is hiring and for what task. If it’s an end consumer (homeowner, real estate developer), then they’re most likely looking for a licensed professional with experience in their local market.
If the client is a company in the industry, such as an architecture firm, engineering firm, or a contractor, then their needs differ. While they often do require a freelancer from their local area, most are looking for someone with expertise in a certain field, a specific software, or certain types of projects. That enables them to widen their reach and hire people that are anywhere around the world as long as they have the required skills. Ultimately, what they need is someone who is a good communicator, has the required experience, and can get to work on their projects with a quick learning curve.
The rise of remote work has made companies more aware that they can do that, and more architecture and engineering professionals are embracing this and seeking remote work roles, whether as freelancers or as full-time hires. Companies who are hiring freelancers, especially from regions of the world where professionals are excellent English speakers and less expensive to hire, are reaping the benefits of cost savings and higher productivity.
-Ramzi Jreidini at Handiss
Is there a specific template for a successful CV?
Contrary to the idea of a “one size fits all” CV template that seems to be everywhere on Google. There isn’t one specific template for a successful CV. Firstly, what is a successful CV? A successful CV is ultimately a CV that will help you land an interview or, even better, the role itself. To get to that step, your CV will need to catch your future employer’s attention within the first 6 seconds. This is the average amount of time employers actually spend looking at a CV.
So, how do you get a recruiter’s attention in six seconds AND get them to invite you to an interview? Enter the *tailored CV*. No, this isn’t some magical template you can find on Google. Instead, it’s something you create every time you apply for a new role. A tailored CV will include critical keywords, relevant experience, and qualifications tailored to the job description and industry you are currently working in or hoping to get into.
Tailoring your CV can be time-consuming if you’re starting from scratch every time. To avoid this, we recommend creating a ‘master CV’ – a document that lists everything you have ever done in your career. This master document is for your eyes only and serves as a reminder of all the key milestones, experiences, statistics, and projects you may have worked on in the past. By having such a document, you’ll never forget anything relevant for a role you’re applying for now. It also helps you create a tailored CV faster as you will have a list of all your relevant experience, so you can easily select the ones to include depending on the role you are applying for.
-Julia Hurtado at Capital Placement
How can I edit my own work?
Tips for editing your own work brought to you by a freelance managing editor with 5+ years of experience working with some of America’s fastest-growing startups:
First, let your draft rest. The longer the work, the longer the resting period should be. If you’re writing a blog post, walk away for at least a few hours after finishing the first draft. Go do something that doesn’t involve writing. This gives your brain a break, allowing your subconscious to work out the kinks in the meantime.
I also recommend changing the font or page color. It’s easy to miss errors when editing your work in the same format you used to write. If you wrote the first draft in a serif font, switch to sans serif or vice versa. I also like to switch to dark mode for editing. If you’re using Google Docs or another browser-based word processor, install a dark mode browser extension.
Finally, the golden rule: read it out loud. Reciting your work forces you to slow down and stops you from skimming. Not only will this help you catch mistakes, but it will also help you find unnatural and clunky phrases.
One last tip for anyone editing a book: print it out, grab some highlighters, and dig in. I know this advice sounds a little old-fashioned, but burnout is real. Give your eyes and brain a break from the screen, especially for the first edit. Tackle the edits in chunks — one section or chapter at a time.
-Mel Lee-Smith at Mel Lee-Smith
Just like everything in life, every job has its ups and downs. However, it’s important not to let the negative aspects take over. There are also a lot of tools that can help you make it easier, like these top remote working tools. From finding clients to knowing how to calculate your hourly rates or knowing how to stay motivated, don’t forget to follow the previous advice and remember: Focus on being productive instead of busy!