There are loads of articles on how to be a good freelancer. Let’s talk about how to be a horrible freelancer because why not?
1. Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Spend an hour getting out of bed in the morning. Contemplate your life and how you got to this point. Come up with a dozen non-work related errands to run. Talk to the neighbors. Drive to Starbucks only to discover it is too noisy to work there anyway. Take your coffee and drive to the library to discover how uncomfortable the seats are.
Now it’s time for lunch. Get sucked into watching The Walking Dead marathon on Netflix while eating a Subway sandwich. Remember that you have client work to do. Sit down at 5:45PM wondering where the day went.
2. Embrace the Spontaneous
Freelancing is like work and it is boring.
Spice things up by rolling with the punches every day. Pffft task lists? Who needs them. Deadlines? What deadlines? Keep yourself and clients guessing by treating the day like an adventure.
If the client gets upset just tell them it’s part of the creative process and you will get to their project eventually.
3. Do Everything Yourself
Why work smarter? Thinking is for nerds. It hurts the brain. Mundane tasks are easy enough to do yourself. Why outsource when you can do things the way you like saving tons of money in the process? Prepare to wear many hats throughout the day because you know how to put on a damn hat.
4. Give Clients Free Samples
Ever get the feeling that certain prospects just want to haggle on price? Turns out your gut feeling is right. Some people may tell you that you are better off, find someone who respects your craft but I say if a freelancer is worth half their oats why aren’t you giving away free samples already?
Prospects always appreciate free samples and will reward you handsomely with promises within promises of future work and stardom. In return, you can offer to pay your landlord with promises of future cash and your electric bill with IOUs.
5. Make Everyone a Client
The market is too flooded to narrow down your niche by specializing on a specific type of client. You need to target anyway who wants what you have to offer. The mailman, your Mom’s hairdresser, your high school teacher, target them all. It doesn’t matter. Sell! Sell! Sell!
Ask everyone if they need your services and never tailor specifically toward individual needs. That’s too narrow. Narrowness is for closet thinkers but your mind is wide open!
6. Spend What You Make
Remember that flat screen TV you wanted to buy but put off? No? Oh, wait, you already bought one for every room and this is why the electric is getting shut off in 3 days.
Why deny yourself? You work hard, harder than everyone else. Savings accounts are for sissies. You live on the edge with the latest of everything. Putting money back into your business isn’t what grows your business; it’s making yourself look better than everyone else.
7. Promotion is for Braggers
Nobody likes braggers and you should avoid showing off your accomplishments as much as possible. Don’t write targeted posts that attract your core audience. Remember, you don’t have a core audience anyway. Don’t network. Give vague details about what you do. The only message promotion brings is how much of an egomaniac you are. Providing services is not about how great you are but what you can do for everyone else.
8. Treat Clients as Employers
Don’t keep clients waiting when they message you on social media during your off work hours especially during non-work tasks such as your baby’s communion or your sister’s wedding day. It’s not the client’s fault you choose to be a freelancer and compete with bigger companies who have 24 hour customer support line and you should strive to keep up with them. Always be available or risk losing a client to the big boys.
As soon as they send you a multiple messages on Facebook, Twitter, text and email you should answer each one in under 5 minutes. Not doing so makes you appear like a slacker.
9. Say Yes to the Dress
Do things other freelancers in your industry wouldn’t do. This makes you appear helpful, resourceful and you will stand out from the vast over saturation of lazy talent within your industry.
Client want you pick up their dry clean? Do it. Wash their car? Do it. Do anything even if it has nothing to do with your skill set or service offerings. The more helpful you are to clients the more they depend on you and won’t go somewhere else.
10. Work Long Hours
Forget the myth of work/life balance. Working 7 days a week prevents the illusion that you are a slacker. Laugh as the competition takes the weekend to spend time with those annoying family members that constantly consume everything you worked hard for. Sleep? You can sleep when you’re dead! You have an empire to build. How else are you going to become the Bill Gates of your industry, the Michael Jackson of your craft and the John Lennon of your skill set?
11. Refuse to Evolve
Why educate yourself on the latest trends in your industry? You are original enough. You create those trends yourself! You are the trendsetter! Reinvent that farking wheel.
You are already a step ahead of most people by knowing so much so why contribute anymore effort into growth? If people realized how badly you really, really want this and how truly deserving you feel then opportunities fall from the sky, that is, if you want it badly enough.