The Basics of Becoming a Successful Freelancer | Dr. Warren Chalklen | Skillshare

The Basics of Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Dr. Warren Chalklen, Education Innovator

The Basics of Becoming a Successful Freelancer

Dr. Warren Chalklen, Education Innovator

Play Speed
  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x
6 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Six Tips to be a Successful Freelancer

    • 2. How To Determine Your Availability

    • 3. How to Determine Your Value

    • 4. Where to Find Freelance Gigs

    • 5. How to Legalize Your Business

    • 6. How To Invoice Your Clients

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

** This course is perfect for anyone wanting to build a Freelance Consultancy from scratch**

**​Learn How to Efficiently Plan and Manage Your Business, Convert Your Audience To Customers With These Marketing Strategies and Foster Customer Loyalty Through Quality Customer Support After Sale

By the end of this course you will know and be able to do the following:

1. Increase your income, audience, and customer base with specific strategies

2. Produce high quality goods and services through establishing a robust business foundation

3. Convert your audience to loyal customers through tried and tested social media marketing strategies

I will work with you throughout the course to support your journey to mastery!

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Dr. Warren Chalklen

Education Innovator


Dr. Warren Chalklen is an education innovator who has taught over 92,000+ students across 179 countries using online and face to face platforms. He is passionate about building individual and organizational capacity in the fields of diversity, policy analysis, and data driven performance with softwares such as Excel, Salesforce and Balanced Scorecard tools. In his spare time he loves to travel and recently returned from a vacation in Cuba!

See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Your creative journey starts here.

  • Unlimited access to every class
  • Supportive online creative community
  • Learn offline with Skillshare’s app

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.



1. Six Tips to be a Successful Freelancer: Welcome to six tips to be a successful freelancer. The Blawg, fearlessly freelance six expert tips from people who successfully took the plunge by Sarah . Profits has been a life change for me. It was a game changer. I went from muddling around as a freelancer toe, actually having a really clear plan and clear structure. And so, before even go ahead, I want to send a big shout out to Sarah prove its and her incredible block, which you can find in the link to this video. So what are the six tips? Number one have a financial plan from day one. You are beginning to think about yourself as a freelancer. Now, think about yourself as someone who is doing a major load off projects, right? And so think about what the money implications off that is. I think about your goals and think about your strategies and think about what projects you're gonna put at the top of your list number to spend wisely. Your up front expenses should be allocated towards getting clients not satisfying a superficial checklist. What you think that in a neutropenia should have So as an example, I have spent a lot of time thinking about what are the actions I need to take that are going to make me money? What do the actions I'm going to take that Ah, gonna look flashy, right? And so I think about do I invest in my product? Do I invest in my marketing, or do I invest on some office equipment? That can really looks great. And so these kind of questions tip number to spend wisely has really helped me make those decisions a lot easier. Step number three cost a wide contacts in it. Obviously, people in your social media network are a good place to start. Lincoln, perhaps, is probably one of the better ways to begin also on Facebook And think about who the influences are and scheduled time with them. I know. When I was beginning my online course career, I reached out to some of the influences in the network and how to Skype with ever found out what they do and learn some valuable tips from them. How you go into those relationships is often how you will be received. So I really, really have enjoyed taking on tip number three. Tip number four is put the right price on your time. Your time is perhaps one of the most valuable things, and what I did was I put a value on my time and then anything that I would do on my list that I would pay some someone else would be willing to do the same task for less. I would then outsource that, which I'll talk about into five to someone else, right? So not only was this good for my own management of my own time, but then I was able to go to clients and charge them that price, too. So people were paying me for my time, and I was paying other people for their time because they were charging less for theirs. If that doesn't make sense, maybe this will make sense. Took Number five. Learn to delegate, right? So there's a lot of tasks that you will be doing in your work that are non revenue generating right? Not priorities. As an online course instructor, time away from producing content and marketing. My courses, um, is taking away from my core function right, and those are the things that I'm good at. That's what I do is I actually delegate those tasks out. I use virtual assistance. I use other freelances, and they really make my life so much easier and hassle free. Sometimes it does take a lot to manage them, but once you get into the hang of it, it can be a huge value. Add and then tip number six. The key thing to note is that when people think of a particular product or particular service, you want your name to come out on top of their mind. So what that means is that you really have to follow up. You really have to be in the people game. You really have to take those steps, step out of your comfort zone and get in front of people and talk about what impact the product is gonna have. Not necessarily always the product, but what impact is gonna have on benefiting the lives of other people. So those are some great tips. I want to send a shout out again. Just share a pair of It's one more time just for her great plug. And I hope you enjoy this video. Please don't forget to subscribe 2. How To Determine Your Availability: as a freelancer. One of your major tasks will be to determine your availability in this video. I'm going to talk about some things to consider, and I'm also gonna talk about some tools you can use to help you manage your time. Well, before you freelance, you must have available time. You must balance the administration, the marketing and the production off your good or service. So let's think about some of the ways in which you can do that. One of the key ways which I talk about a lot, is to measure what your hourly rate is for yourself and in another video actually show you how to do that. Once you've come to an amount, you can then admit, determine which administrative marketing and production tasks could be done by someone else who is willing to accept a lower rate. And so what you can then do is essentially by their time, instead of spending yours on something that you would do for less. Okay, so as an example, if you paying yourself $100 an hour and there's an administrative function such as inserting data that someone could do for $10 an hour, $15 an hour, then rather, give it to them so that you can save yourself that our which you could then use to service your customers and your clients. Right? These are some strategies that you could use. However, the key question is, what are the priorities in each sphere? What do your priority administrative tasks, marketing tasks and production tasks that only you can do if you have a list of five things that you need to do every week, um, that only you can do, then those are the things you need to look for and then build your customer relationships around those five priorities on your calendar. Talking about your calendar, Let's go into the next piece. How can you manage your time? Perhaps one of the most important tools that I use in my work is Google Calendar. That allows me to not only have meeting requests but also do plan on my priorities. However, it's not a project management tool. In other words, I can't necessarily integrate my work functions in as effectively as the other two tools that you have available to you, such as asana and trailer. Now I want to make clear that I'm not advertising these. I'm just letting you know that these are available to you. I have used a sauna, and I've used trailer. And both have been incredibly effective at helping me both manage my tasks on my projects and stay up to date with my calendar itself. Right? I'm able to schedule meetings. I'm able to see what needs to get done. And I'm able to actually tag priorities from what that helps me do is get to the center off this video, which is Do I have time? Well, none of us have time. Uh, all of us have 24 hours. But the key question is, are you able to spend your time on the priorities? And that's really where some of the tips of this video will help you along. I hope you enjoyed it. 3. How to Determine Your Value: whether you're a freelancer, whether you're a consultant or whether you're an employee. Determining your value is one of the most important things you can do when engaging with customers, clients and even engaging in your work itself. And I'm gonna talk a little bit about how to determine your value. So this two key ways the 1st 1 is to think about the hourly rate based on the expenses that you have. And the second method is an hour hourly rate based on market rates. Okay, so let's talk about those too quickly. The 1st 1 is thinking about what your cost actually is, right. So think about your step. One is obviously to think about what kind of profit you want to make and then what your cuts are. And you've got to get toe a break even number, okay? And once you get to a break even number, in other words, your income equals your expenses. You add your profit on top of that. All right, so let's say your expenses are $100 your income are $100 and that means that you would be breaking even. OK, and then you want to make a profit. So you want to charge $120 to make a $20 profit? Well, that means that a minimum that you would want to charge for your services in that case is 100 and $20. Okay, so that's the basic outline of what I'm trying Teoh to say to you. Is that you? There's no point in charging a price that's under your expenses. In other words, you expenses are high, then your income, right? Okay, so let's That's the basic, um, assumption of this of this particular method. So let's take a look at the steps. Number one, Add up your costs. Number two. Add your profit and calculated annual salary. Step three. Calculated an annual overhead step four. Choose a profit margin. Step five. Determined your billable hours and make sure there's 25 to 35% administration. Uh, feed built in there. Alright and work on 13,000 to 15,000 hours per year with a two week vacation, Right. So think about this for the year and then work backwards, and that really will help you make sure that you reach your profit goals and then you also make sure that you have your administrative hours in there and that you have two weeks vacation. How great is that? So let's look at Sam, a Web designer, all right. He has earned 1000 $100,000 per years and employees and feels that he should receive at least the same salary as an independent consultant, right? The estimates that his annual overhead will be about 20,000 dollars per year. He wants to own a 10% profit and estimates that he'll work about 1500 billable hours each year. Okay, so let's look at how he does this, he adds his salary and overhead together. So he adds, his overhead 100,000 plus 20,000 gives him 120,000. He then multiplies this total by his 10% profit and adds us to the amounts right. So 10% of 120,000 is obviously 12,000. He adds that in So you get 132,000 so that's a minimum. Okay. Finally, he divides the total by his annual billable hours to arrive at his hourly rate. So 132,000 divided by 1500 gives him $88 an hour. Right? Remember? So he's thinking about his minimum being $88 an hour. He rounds is up to $90. Okay, Now he has to think about how this relates to market conditions. So if in the market they're actually charging $150 an hour, then he can round it up. However, if they marking it down, then he has to adjust his hours. He may need to work more hours, or he may need to find a company different market all together. All right, so that's one way of doing it. The other way of doing it is starting from way other people are at. So, in other words, contacting organizations that you can get a sense. I know class store is a great, um resource Glassdoor dot com, where you can actually look at people's salaries for even that particular company that you work for. And once you get an idea of what people charge, you can then be market competitive right. You can charge slightly under the price. You can add extra value. Um, and you can also get a really good sense of what clients and customers are are looking for and what they perceive its value right value is a very subjective measure. Okay, so Glassdoor salary dot com and pay scale dot com has some great resource is you can use and they're out at the bottom of your screen. No, some one of the key ways that I think about the work that I do. So that's for the external. But one of the things that I think about internally is once I have determined my hourly rate, I then look at my administrative marketing and production tasks and then decide whether I someone else, could do the same tasks for less. All right, So one thing, if my rate is $88 an hour, some of the tasks on my list such as data entry, for example, or, you know, just doing some basic admin things someone would likely do those same tasks for $25 or $15 an hour, Right? And so what I then do is go onto these sites up, work five of my Tosca and toss rabbit and find someone who will do those toss for me and what that helps me do is it actually helps me free up my time to focus on my customers. Right. Um so to give you a good sense up work and fiber, you confined freelances all over the world, just like you who are able to do web design all kinds of tasks, right? My tasca is actually a dedicated virtual assistant service. Right? So what you do is you pay for 20 hours a month, 10 hours a month, and you get yourself a dedicated virtual assistant who will do 10 hours worth of work for you. So if you have something re occurring, that might be an option for you. And if the rate that they charging you is less than what you would pay yourself, you're actually saving money and you're saving time. So I hope this video is really helpful. Please don't forget to give me a review and ah, subscribe to my channel. 4. Where to Find Freelance Gigs: part of being a freelancer is actually having the right platform to reach the correct customers. And what I'm going to do in this video is talk to you about three key platforms that I've used in the past that have really put me in touch with some great customers who have utilized my services over and over again. I'm going to begin with up work and talk about fiver and then talk about task Rabbit. Before I get started, I want you to know that I am in no way affiliated to any of these sites. I have just used them as a freelancer. And I want to share that knowledge with you and share with you a little bit about what I liked about each platform. So with up work, what I really enjoyed about up work was, firstly, the process. Okay, Um, essentially, when you come to the website, it's really easy to access. And what I found was I was able to get really specific about the kind of work that I do. I'm in the sales force field and so I was able to really connect my specific administrative skills to that off the customers And so as you come through, for example, sales and marketing, you can really see who your vendors are. This is as a customer. But you can also sign up and actually become a vendor, right? So whether Europe consultant who is looking for someone or your consultant who wants to provide a service, this place is really, really good. Okay, the next up is five up. What I like about fiber is the websites really easy to manage on the percentage that you get is really good as well. Okay. And it's based on the sales that you make. But what I recommend that you do is as you come up here, just simply come up here and look for the service that you provide. Right? So I am in the field of Salesforce. So I'm gonna come right in here and click Salesforce, and what you will find is something that you really want to do is make sure that you're rating is really, really high, okay? And that also you have a fantastic promo video that really illustrates what it is that you do and how it is that you do it. Okay. One of the critical pieces as well is that often people will try and find niches both in terms of their levels and in terms of their price and in terms of the service that they provide. Okay. And be very, very clear about the description that you provide. This is probably perhaps a great one. I will do all configuration and APICS quoting I know exactly what I'm getting and how I'm getting it right and some catchy pictures is will really help. All right. Fantastic. These air, some things that you can think about as you're going through. Task Rabbit was great as well. You could become a Tosco right up here. Okay, It's more accessible. This website and what I would like you to think about when you when you think about toss, grab it. Is that this office more physical tasks. Okay, so this is for those consultants or freelances who may be offering moving services who, maybe often shopping services, or maybe just reaching out to someone in providing some sort of assistance in reality, right? Whereas fiber and up work offer you more virtual assistant opportunities to find out more. You really I recommend actually trying out and getting a virtual assistant yourself, right? So that's what I did when I got started, I actually went and found a sales force consultant and gave them a project to do just to get a good know how of the process that is taken. Um, and once I got that down, then I was able to actually become a freelance and figure out what it is that a customer is looking for. And look at my work through their lens, which was incredibly fantastic. So I recommend if you're in the field off digital products than up work and five are perfect for you. If you're in the field of more handy sort of moving and packaging mounting an installation than task Rabbit is right up your alley. I hope this video has been helpful. Please don't forget to give me a review. Subscribe to my channel, and I'll see you in the next video. 5. How to Legalize Your Business: Hi, everybody In this video, I'm going to talk about how to legalize your freelance of business on before I kick off. I just want is reading Krista Gray's article how to start a freelance business and five steps. It was a huge eye opener for me, and I was inspired to actually create this video. So I want to pay homage to her and thank you for such a great article. And we're gonna jump right in to some of the things that I've learned as a freelancer. But also some of the things I've read in that article, right, So step one in terms of legalizing your freelance business, remember, As soon as you become a legal entity, you really are operating in a professional way. Often freelances begin just haphazardly right. They will often have business and personal expenses together and their bank accounts, and they kind of in an amateurish kind of way, right. But however you really want to get spoke ast and you want to have a clear strategy. So the first thing is to get clear that you want to be a freelancer and secondly become clear that you have a strategy so that is a very, very important first step. Secondly, you should register your business. And what's recommended is that you go to either rocket lawyer or LegalZoom. And essentially, if you're in the United States, you have to figure out whether you want to be an LLC or sole proprietor. And what you really want to think about is if something happens, who is legally responsible for that, okay? And so a sole proprietor means you will be personally responsible. And an LLC means that the company itself will be responsible. So far, not more. Take a look at Rocket lawyer or LegalZoom. Now, just a quick heads up. I do not work for have any promotional ties to any of these companies. All I do is really share with you what I've learned and the resource is that I use. So Step three is to set up your bank account. So once you have decided what you're gonna do, you've registered your business. Now it's time to separate out your business of finances from your personal finances, and I would recommend actually doing some research. I know Chase Bank, Wells Fargo, um, Bank of America. They have some great resource is that you could possibly access to really help you get a account that works for you. And that is really something that they may ask as you register your business with them or you register your business account. Um, it's important to have yourself are interested and to have the account set up. Okay, Step number four, which is perhaps something that's overlooked in the beginning but actually becomes really important as you build your customer base. And that is to establish a crm, a customer relationship management tool on an invoice system. Okay. And sometimes they could be the same thing, but often they different. So in terms of an invoice system to Softwares that could be really helpful for you as a freelancer is wave. And so these are free Softwares, and you can actually use them to track your invoices. Um, I know ISO has one user up to 25 clients, and wave has a free software system available to you, and it has everything you need just to get started. And to get those invoices out to your clients. You also may want to track your clients into some kind of pipeline, right? and so sales force is a very complex customer relationship management tool. But it's something that you may want to use once you become a medium to large size business . Um, the reason why I put it here is just because thinking about your customers in a funnel and tracking where your customers are in that funnel is a really critical part of your success . So this quick video just went through some of the key pieces related to invoicing. I spoke a little bit about some of the steps you need to take. Um, I've also spoken a little bit about some of the steps you have to take to legalize your freelance of business. These are some critical pieces, and I hope you enjoy this video. 6. How To Invoice Your Clients: Welcome to this video where we will learn how to track an invoice clients, invoicing customers and tracking payments is an essential part of running a successful business. In this video, I'll overview some invoices and then we'll look at some Softwares that you can use and look at the pros and cons of each. So what does a invoice have? Right? So the old school invoices, those old invoices that we would get on paper Ah, had these key features. They had the account numbers, the payment due dates, billing period, invoice names. In many cases, your they were bills. So utility bills is a great example of an invoice. So they had the immediate details, their charge details and any notes that were related to the transaction. And so what this happens is, as you are a freelancer, you will be in voicing your clients. In other words, you'll be giving them this information Ah, as a record off sale, okay and said they will have. You will have a copy of this, and each time you make a sale that they will get a copy as well. Right? So let's look at another one, and this is just another utility bull. And it's a great example of the different features, often invoice and the key thing I want to show you by just giving you two utility bills. It's just that they have. They look different, right? Invoices. I look different. They would someone say they feel different, but they have very similar pieces to them. For example, they all have account numbers. They all have some kind of address. They all have amounts totals, and they all have a reference numbers. Those are really, really critical pieces of an invoice. Okay, so if you're creating an invoice for a customer, make sure that it has those pieces. Account numbers, totals and references three critical critical pieces. So I'm going to give you three Softwares that you can use as a freelancer and these air Softwares that many freelances use in their practice. So the 1st 1 is wave and, ah, the pros and cons of wave. Firstly, wave is free. Okay, so that's a huge probe and accept credit card payments, and it has an all in one approach to bookkeeping, so this is quite a popular option for many people. However, the cons are that many people complain about the unreliability of the program, and some of the issues are that it runs slowed. It has a few bugs and the customer support can be really slow. Okay, So I'm not giving a I'm not promoting any of these software programs. I'm just trying to give you a balanced overview of what you can do, right. So with wave, you get what you pay for. Essentially, you can also look at Zo. Zo is a software that's solely focused on invoicing. Okay, so that really it has all the features you need to invoice. It also helps you manage your receipts. It integrates with things like PayPal. I know. As a freelance of myself, PayPal is a huge asset to me. So having a software integrate with PayPal is huge, right? It has some templates, and it also allows you to have up to 25 clients per user. Okay, So if you have it business where you have roughly 25 clients, I know for myself, I have many clients, so I have more than 25 so I have to actually go to the next plan on. So? So the free plan is limited. This is a con, right? The free plan is limited and would probably probably need to be upgraded, and it has a lack of integration. So that's one of the biggest drawbacks of SoHo. So the final one is fresh books and fresh books is actually online's. That's a huge pro, so there's no software installation. You could request customer reviews from clients right on the system, which is huge. It supports multiple currencies. So if you're doing work for customers around the world as a huge plus, you can refund clients and has a built in time tracker to help you build hours. Okay, now, what have some of the cons of this system? Well, a Major Khan is that it isn't free. Write it off is a 30 day trial, and it has a few add ons and integrations, but a very limited selection. So this video has just basically gone over invoicing. Some basic features remember accounts, totals and reference numbers. Okay, there's some key features. We've then gone over some three software is that you can use Zo Ho fresh books and wave, and I hope you can make some good decisions. I am. I use this software. I won't mention which one. I do. Um, I want you to make up your own mind. And I hope you enjoyed this video.