Book review: The Principles of Successful Freelancing

The Principles of Successful Freelancing is book I read after The Principles of Project Management.

My motivation from this book was to use freelancing advice and use that for our (larger) business. This book is razor focussed on Freelancing and even more on people who are starting with or considering starting freelancing. If you are in this group I consider this book very well written, and a must read, but if you are part of a larger group, the razor sharp focus makes this not worthwhile.

Chapter wise it is:

  1. Chapter 1: Considering Freelancing?
  2. Chapter 2: Prepare for the Transition
  3. Chapter 3: Manage Your Money
  4. Chapter 4: Set Yourself Up
  5. Chapter 5: Win the Work
  6. Chapter 6: Give Great Service
  7. Chapter 7: Achieve Work–Life Balance
  8. Chapter 8: Where to from Here?

Considering Freelancing?

Advice on whether you are cut out to give up on your day job. Fairly standard advice, but does good job of painting the freelance life and pitfalls (and advantages associated with them.)

Prepare for the Transition

Helps to choose between starting with freelancing full time and keeping your day job. Advice on choosing a name, how to brand it and an appropriate legal structure.

Manage Your Money

The big thing in this chapter is how to price yourself. The suggested method is calculate your cost + profit margin and then divide by number of hours you can work on. This chapter does a good job of telling you your expected costs, but for getting what you should price yourself at, I think Joel does a much better job, which is charge as much as you can get with work coming in, and at a point which maximises profits.

It also has good points on separating your personal finances and business finances.

Set Yourself Up

Advice on setting up a home office, furniture, tie tracking and setting up contracts.

Win the work

Advice on selling your services. Advice on overcoming fear of selling, creating a sales funnel and a brand.

Give Great Service

Why and how to provide great service. How to keep communications open and prompt without them taking your personal life.

Money quote: it’s an undisputed fact that it is far easier and cheaper to retain an existing client than it is to attract a new one.

Achieve Work–Life Balance

Fairly standard advice on running a business without killing yourself.

Where to from Here?

After you have run your freelancing career for a while, you need to reevaluate and,

  1. You might want to stop freelancing and go to a job.
  2. You might need to change your rates.
  3. You might need to hire staff and grow your business.

This chapter has guidelines on how to proceed in any of these directions.

Overall this book is a must read if you are new to freelancing or if you are considering starting freelancing. In all other cases you should do a pass on this book. (For example if you run a larger company and are looking to get advice for that.)

Get it here.

Thank you for reading the Agiliq blog. This article was written by shabda on Dec 25, 2010 in reviews .

You can subscribe ⚛ to our blog.

We love building amazing apps for web and mobile for our clients. If you are looking for development help, contact us today ✉.

Would you like to download 10+ free Django and Python books? Get them here