How To Survive (And Thrive) As A Freelancer | Simon Wiffen | Skillshare
Drawer
Search

Playback Speed


  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

How To Survive (And Thrive) As A Freelancer

teacher avatar Simon Wiffen, Freelance Web Developer & Photographer

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Welcome

      1:19

    • 2.

      Knowing If (And When) To Jump

      5:40

    • 3.

      How To Price Yourself

      5:17

    • 4.

      How To Market Yourself

      6:15

    • 5.

      Taking Care Of Business

      3:11

    • 6.

      Creating & Maintaining Client Relationships

      4:00

    • 7.

      Managing Your Workload

      2:00

    • 8.

      Maintaining A Work/Life Balance

      2:56

    • 9.

      Don't Waste Quiet Periods

      1:45

    • 10.

      Assess Your Performance

      3:10

    • 11.

      Final Words

      1:27

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

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.

143

Students

--

Projects

About This Class

This class is a comprehensive and honest look at how to survive (and thrive) as a freelancer.

Join award-winning Freelance Web Developer and Photographer Simon Wiffen as he draws on his own experience and success to share valuable insight into how to make your business a success. With over 20 years’ commercial experience, Simon offers valuable insight including:

  • The pros and cons of freelancing
  • Exercises to identify your own strengths and weaknesses
  • Building client relationships
  • Maintaining a healthy work/life balance

Whatever your business, whether you’re trying to work out whether freelancing is right for you or you’re already working for yourself, you’ll learn essential techniques that you can apply to ensure you don’t just survive, but thrive as a freelancer.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Simon Wiffen

Freelance Web Developer & Photographer

Teacher

Hi, I'm Simon. I'm an award-winning Freelance Web Developer and Photographer from the UK with over 20 years of commercial experience. I'm also a Dad, a husband and a record collector…

See full profile

Level: Beginner

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
    Exceeded!
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%

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.

Transcripts

1. Welcome: Hi, I'm Simon with in I'm a freelance Web developer, photographer from the UK I've been working as professional Web developer for over 20 years . I spent over a decade working in digital agencies. In the last eight years of said, I work for myself as a full time freelancer with quite alone. Now, I've learned alive State is on in this course. I'm gonna share my experience to help you make your business a success with you. Just trying to work out with three months is right for you or you're already working for yourself will cover essential techniques to make sure you don't just survive but thrive as a free man. We're gonna be covering the pros and cons of freelancing, pricing, branding, positioning and some exercises to help us identify our own specific strengths and weaknesses. We'll talk about the business side of things. How Bill client relationships have money, work, lives working for yourself. Sometimes build any place that we'll talk about some techniques to make sure that we're looking after our own mental health and have to make sure we maintain a healthy work life balance. By the end of the course, you have a whole set techniques that you can take apply to your own business. There's a lot to cover. I'm excited to get stuck in, so if you already let's get stopped. 2. Knowing If (And When) To Jump: Now, before we dive into the specifics about free lunch in this first video, we're just gonna take a step back on. Think about specific pros and cons of what free hearts and means, because at the end of days is not a good fit for everybody. We need to be quite aware of our own personal strengths and weaknesses and whether it's a good fit, whether it's something that's gonna much are personal and work ethic. Um, and there's this certain things that you may not really thought about a lot. People don't really think about when they go for you. Not so Let's just look at these in detail before we press ahead. Tears of prose. If you get it right, the work life balance could be fantastic. Free, not second coffee. Brilliant flexibility. If you look, you may have the looks. You've been out. Choose which projects you work on, keeping the work fresh, keeping yourself interested and engaged. And, you know, if you're busy for us and can be very lucrative No, it's not all fantastic. There there is several columnists have been a freelance is that it's really important that we acknowledge and talk about So let's look at those you know is a freelancer. There's no holiday pay. There's no sickness pay. If you're not working, you're not getting paid. And that's important to remember that the income could be erratic. You know, sometimes freelancing can be a little bit of feast or famine. You know, one month you may be so busy you having to work away another. You may not have any work that requires careful financial management. Freelancing could be lately. Sometimes it's free, like you make working on your own in an office. You know, you may miss the camaraderie and the company that being in the work environment can bring. And at the end of the day, it's not a great fit for everybody. It depends on the individual, so it's relaxing right for you. It comes down to individual personality. I would say, if you're going to be successful for you, not so you really need to be proactive and self motivated. But conversely, you know, a worrier we looked at the list of cons, you know, is things like erratic income or potential loss of income. Is that the kind of thing that would worry would make you one. Well, we have to really take an honest look at ourselves and see whether that's something that is gonna be a good fit for us. It isn't a good fit for everybody. Now, in order to build a successful business around ourselves, it's really important way we take an honest look ourselves and understand our own specific strengths and weaknesses. Now that leads us to our first exercise. So we're gonna carry out basic SWAT analysis. So if you're not familiar, a SWAT analysis is a way of analysing your strength, your weaknesses, opportunities and external threats. This is a really good exercise to take just to get an overview way, way around. Sometimes writing things down really helps to smell that in your mind. Now you can download the template for the SWAT analysis at the bottom of this page on what I want you to do is start to fill in each of the four columns under strength. Think about what you're best at, what the skills you have. The compliment lease. Do you have any particular advantage over anyone else under weaknesses? You know what we insist you have that might affect your success? Is a freelancer. Have you got any specific knowledge gaps? Now Where do you think you could improve? And you have any particular disadvantage over all the people that give me in a similar market space? Then we have opportunities. Now what opportunities exist, Teoh grow and enhance your business. Are there any emerging technologies that you could embrace? The aware of any interesting trends that coming up, which is maybe see an opportunity to work, will collaborate with somebody else and finally, threats No one to hear. I want you to list external threats, things outside of your control that could impact your business, keeping up to date with trends and techniques. Is there a risk of you falling behind? You were over reliant on one or two clients. Maybe if you have a big client that suddenly you lost, does that leave you in a precarious position? Is your cash flow okay? You know, these these kind of things that you need to think about that could threaten your business. Okay, so we've looked at the pros and cons of freelancing which take an honest look at ourselves in terms of our own strengths and weaknesses. And we've decided Yeah, I think freelancing could be a good fit for me. Fantastic. How do we know what it's the right time to make the change? Is there ever a right time to make a change? A lot of people find themselves freelancing, is a result of factors outside of their control of perhaps have been made redundant. Other people choose to hand in their notice and give up the security of a full time job to go it alone. Now there's no denying that that's high risk to walk away from a paid job to go freelance. But that's not to say it's not the right thing to do. It's just important to take into account all of the things that we've spoken about and put things in place to manage that transition. At the very least, you should have taken on a few projects and in your spare time just to test the war, just to make sure that that way of working suits the way that you like to work. If you decided to leave employment, use the time that you're employed wisely to set the foundations to manage a smooth transition, make sure you build up some funds to curry for a few months, so you've got some reserved money. If you don't hit the ground running straight away, well, can you put failure? Make sure everything's up today. Nicely presented. Think about your branding. Think about your website. Reach out to contacts about potential work. If you're handing in your notice to go three months, you shouldn't have at least one project lined up to start at the end of your notice, Period said that you can hit the ground running. 3. How To Price Yourself: So in this video, we're going to talk a little bit about how to price ourselves. Now this is always incredibly difficult. Everyone is freelancing now has gone through this dial, Um, and it's really hard to put a monetary value on yourself and what you bring to the table now, the key thing here, really, that a lot of people would say Okay, to start out, let's jot down all our expenses. Let's have an understanding of what it costs us to run our business on a daily basis, and that's where we start. And then how much do we want to win? On top of that, and that's a perfectly valid approach. I think for the most part, most industries will have a sort of a range of standard rates, and most people that are gonna fall somewhere within that ball park. So the secrets to get an understanding of the market and what that range of day Rexes. There's a few ways that you can do that. You know, maybe you've come from an agency background. If you know what your day rate was charged out at the agency, that could be a useful starting point. Maybe you come in half of that because agencies will always have a much more significant overhead costs. The Newell is a freelance, so that's not a terrible place to start. And maybe you've got friends, colleagues, contacts who are already freelancing in a similar kind of area. Don't be afraid. Just ask No, I think everyone is free months. It has been through this, and in my experience, most people are quite sympathetic and open. So there's nothing wrong with saying, you know, thinking of going freelance and cannot maybe buy you coffee. Pick your brains on a few things you can ask people. What if they mind telling you roughly what they would normally charged today? Most people will tell you they might not, of course, which is fine. But you know you will get some valuable information one way or the other that you can. You can take away from that. There may be our cause that the details of average day rates for the industry that you're working on line, but that could be really useful information to take on board as well. Perhaps there's a job listing somewhere where agencies are looking for freelancers and they're quoting the day right that they're willing to pay for the work. All this information will help you get an idea of the range within your market when most people said the next step is toe. Look at yourself in your experience and get an understanding of where you sit along that scale. You know, you relatively new to the industry you read. To be an experience, you're gonna be the lower end of that scale. You've seasoned professional, your high level consultant. You're gonna be the top end of the scale or even beyond that. We did the exercise earlier, where we looked at our own strengths and weaknesses. It's so critical t know yourself and where you sit and what you bring to the table on. All of these elements will work together and you come up with a day, right that you can base everything outside. You know, you pro rata hourly rate. Basically day if you charge slightly. If you have a discount. If you work for a week or a month, that would be based on your day, right. So what you got day right number? The next important thing is to be confident in it now. It's really important to the knowledge at this point. No, I'm British, so we're particularly bad for this. Nobody likes to talk about money no one likes to talk about. And if you talk about money in terms of your own work, that's even more difficult. So the key take away from this lesson is we need to talk about money. So it's all very well going through this process to come up with your day, right? You need to believe in it. No lows of people. When they go freelance, they'll they'll come up with a day and they say, Yeah, this is This is what I'm gonna charge and they come to do a quote and almost apologetic about the normal in my day raise. Is this What you need is a freelancer. You need to start thinking of your time in monetary terms and understand why your data is what is based on your experience, from your skills in the area that you would look and what you bring to the table. And the more confident you are in that, the that you're going to be. I think it's so common for people come up with this day, right? And then panic the arm, maybe maybe charging too much. I'll go less and it's quite hard, then toe to recover from that. So I have confidence in yourself. Believe in your day. You know, quote the day, right? Quote 1.5 times the day, maybe, and see what response you get. You might be surprised. I think most people probably undercharged you to the anxiety of people thinking that asking for too much and that's what you need to get over. Um, wouldn't you confident that you know, whether you discount that day, right? Or if there's a project that you really want to work on, a new willing to negotiate, that's entirely up to you. But the key thing is, understand your market. I understand the Ranger Day, right? Somewhere you sit on that range, come up with a right I believe in your own value and have conviction that you're worth what you're saying, and that will put you in really good stead. 4. How To Market Yourself: in this video, we're gonna talk a little bit about how to market ourselves before we can mark ourselves. It's important that we understand our branding and positioning. So if we refer back to this one hours estimated earlier, with now really good understanding what our strengths and weaknesses, um, what we offer to the market now that will help us understand where we fit in the market. On that internal helpers Anderson, who are potential customers, are who we marks into. I sound silly, but that's really important to understand that before we think about marketing now, I'm gonna deviate slightly at this point because I think it's important when it comes to branding yourself is a freelance. So when you start and you launch your business, it's worth thinking about what your aspirations are for the long term. Do you have? You have a long term strategy now? The recent long DDO inside is because this is something that, in all honesty, I don't think I got right, you know. Do you market yourself as an individual, or do you create a brand and market itself? Is that browned on? And it's a really important decision because as a solo freelance. So you are your browned. You're selling yourself, so make sense, toe market yourself in that way, if you have aspirations to perhaps take on somebody else and grow and maybe form an agency further down the line, it might make sense to have a brand name and launch that way and allow yourself to organically grow so seamlessly. But it's worth thinking about I don't In all honesty, between you and me, I don't think I got it right. I went with the company name, and that wasn't because I had aspirations to launch my own agency that that doesn't actually interest me at all. And I went with that because when I wear freelance, I wasn't 100% sure what I would end up doing. No, I do Web development do design. I do photography, this Quale off strings to my bow. And it wasn't shy Waters for May. I didn't know what kind of work out in doing so I came up with a brand on a company name was generic enough that it would apply no matter. Wines are doing, you know, admittedly, it's worked for me, but I do think in hindsight, I probably would have gone with the more personal branding. So it's worth thinking about. I think I probably got it wrong, which is why I'm deviating slightly because, you know, I'm here to give my experience, So think about it. You can, of course, change it within set in stone. But, you know, remarking a company rebranding a company with its own client base brings its own challenges . So it's not something you want to do lightly. Just spend the time thinking about it. What do you want for the future? And what's the best way to brand yourself that you don't lose your personal links? It's so critical is a figure ounces that people are buying into you as a person, but you want to make sure you have your foundations of their for the future. Anyway, that's a slight deviation, but I think an interesting in terms of marketing. I'm not gonna go into specifics. You know how we market in how we use social media stuff because that's a whole lesson of its own. You know, this isn't a marketing class, Um, but the most important takeaways a freelancer is you are your product. You're selling yourself. And because of that, you're always marketed. You know, whether you're on the clock, off the clock on social time, work time, no one else is going to separate you from your work life. And it's really important you get into this mindset that you're always all into his a marked it. You know, if your posting on social media people are gonna say they're gonna associate what you post on social media with your professional persona, that one in the same that become merged. So be professional of all times. I understand that you're always marked and always be on the lookout for opportunities You never turn off is a freelancer. And if you're socializing and someone says I will I've been this company we do this hour cable. What do you do? You talk. Are we need a new website? Well, actually, I do that, and this is how it works. No, of course, there's room for traditional marketing. And having use social media is important. And how you promote your website. It's important how you market your website. It's important, but it's a freelancer. We have to take the responsibility to market ourselves. 100% of the time. We are our product of always on show to potential clients, So it's really important to bear in mind. Always stay professional, always be on the lookout for an opportunity. A new story opens down the road to hell. Maybe I'm going to say hello himself. By the way I do this, maybe, you know we can work together. You know, there's always opportunities and even when you're ready, busy, it's really important. If you're gonna be successful, belong to me always on the lookout for these opportunities and you respond to them. And you're always came to let people know what you do. Reach out to your network, your ex colleagues. So actually, you know, I've got a bit of time. Is that maybe something I can help you with? You have to be proactive if you sit back and wait for the work just to magically appear. Unless you're very fortunate, you're gonna find that's very difficult way to kind of business. So always be on the lookout. Always be proactive, look for opportunities and just keep your professional home all of the time because you never know who's looking. And you also never know who's gonna become a client. You know that person that you're chatting to? You don't know how the conversations going. Maybe you'll end up working with them. So if your profession from the outset you were already setting that foundation I'm trustworthy, are professional. It leads to more work, So always be professional. Never stopped marketing. And you are your product. 5. Taking Care Of Business: So in this video, I'm gonna talk a little bit about the business side of things. I run. A small business involves a lot of administration tasks that you may not thought about. You probably don't have any previous experience off. So things like a company structure, accountancy, invoicing expenses, business insurance. All of these things need to be dealt with, and it can be a little bit daunting at first. But you know, it's a business owner. Let's not beat around the bush. This is what you do now. Yes, you need to get used to it. It's a huge part of running your own business. But the good news is you don't have to be an expert in these areas. Why would suggest is make sure that you do your research and you understand the main obligations you have as a business. I'm in in your particular country Now that will very confused country. Here in the UK is a freelance that you're almost certainly either going to be a sole trader or a limited company. They both have their own pros and cons, depending on your particular circumstances. They also have quite significantly different legal obligations. Now I'm not gonna go into specifics of that because it's outside the scope of this course. But you do need to make sure that you do. You reading up in the country that you make sure you understand those obligations on employ experts to help and support you to make sure you meet them. My number one piece of advice to any new business in his employ. A good accountant. I can't stress enough how important it is. A good accountant will save you more money than the cost. How much of that? I can't see the you take control of its entirely up to you. You know, personally, I like to do the majority of my cap see myself because I'm fairly comfortable with it. I like to have a big picture where my business is up, and I like to have control a little bit of control Freak like to know where I'm at any one time, and that works for me. It might not work here if you're not comfortable with the county side or figures ex fine. Don't let it scare you. Many, many people been very successful businesses who, on a tall, interested or competent in accountancy. It's not problem. Three important thing is that those gaps of fills you know this stuff needs to be done on. Employ the right people who are experts in the fields that you don't understand to make sure that those needs are met. You just need to start to learn to trust of the people with important aspect of your business. That's a huge part being business, and it's something you need to start doing from day one. Um, don't let it scare you. Understand as much as you possibly can. If it's only a little bit, it's no problem if you understand those of it, great, but just understand, as much of it is, you can and make sure that the right people are in place on your wider team toe to support you and fill those gaps and make sure you meeting your business obligations 6. Creating & Maintaining Client Relationships: in this video, we're gonna talk a little bit about creating and maintaining client relationships. Now, let's be honest. If we don't have clients, we don't have a business, so it's absolutely critical to get this right now. That relationship begins with the very first inquiry. If you have an email from a potential client, asking about piece of work is critical that you reply to that in a professional, courteous and timely manner. It's amazing how many freelances happy to respond for five days later with an email with typos and grammatical areas, and that tell us that client so much about what it's like to work with you the way that you deal with the initial inquiry sets the tone for the whole working relationships or care about those details and make sure that your professional from the the absolute upset because you're already doing that work before they agreed to work with you. That's where the work begins. Now, Whether you're an extrovert or introvert, you got previous experience of being plant facing or not. Wherever you're calling to freelancing from, you have to realize there's a feel like you are now client facing. This is part of the deal. So if it's not something you're comfortable with, that's fine. It's something you need to work on, you know, speaking is is an injury, it does get better and it does get easier. But it's so important in helping that relationship to grow when a client is looking for a freelance or someone to work with, they're looking for someone who's reliable, honest and will deliver good quality work when they said they would on for the price that they agreed. These the critical things and that's what you need to bear in mind now. It's a little bit of cliches, but I'm a big fan of the adage of work hard and be nice to people because it's such a simple terms for May. That's the foundation off successful business that this so many techniques for working on client relationships and we don't have time to go into them in great detail on this. But for May, the most critical thing is be passionate about what you did. Whatever your trade is, care about what you do, because that will come across in the quality of the work that you do, and it will come across the client. They will be able to tell that your passion about it. And they will buy into your passion and extend up to them, you know, show their business the same enthusiasm as you would show your own. Understand that this is a freelance. So you're an extension of their company now, their passion about their business in the same way that your passion about yours. So ask them questions, show interest. Ask them. What is that They do what kind of those they work in to ask them about their products. They will. They will see your passion, and they will invest in. That's what will build the solid foundation of a good working relationship. And when you finish the project, follow up. I say, you know, were you happy with everything? Was there anything you think I could have done by You know that that care and attention that you give the client will make them feel wanted appreciated, and we'll keep you at the top of the list when they're looking for someone to work with on the next project. So, really, the take away here is just be professional aeltus times at all times. Whether you're face to face on the phone email whether it's the first time you've spoken to someone, whether you work with someone for 10 years, always be professional. Care about the work that you do care about producing quality work and care about what you're producing for your client care about their businesses, which is they do on. They will be able to tell those details of what will set you apart from other freelances and really make them embrace. She was part of the company and lead to further work. 7. Managing Your Workload: Now in this video, we're gonna talk a little bit about how my job would like. Now the important thing here is that you get organized. There's lots and lots of tools available that will allow you to keep track of projects and tasks. It really doesn't matter what you use as long as it works for your particular needs. The important thing is that you know what you're working on the moment on, What, what you have coming up on, that you always have a helicopter to be and they never commit to a project without checking . You've got the capacity to fulfill it properly. The key take away for this video is this. Always expect the unexpected. Sometimes clients can be a little bit slow getting back to your feedback inquiries. Sometimes the requirements change unexpectedly. The trick is to start to anticipate these unexpected delays. In fact, to them in when you're estimating work, consider building a little bit contingency. Tall out for this kind of thing is especially important if you're planning back to back projects, so any unexpected delay on one project doesnt lead into problems further down the line. Don't overstretch yourself. It's really important. You always give clients realistic timescales and don't feel pressurised into changing your restaurants to make that needs. It's imperative that you give yourself a sufficient time to do the work that you need to do . Yeah, you may need to work the odd late night, but try not to make it a habit. Unless stuff particularly what you're into. Always keep track of the time you're spending on a project. Even if you're working to fix costume, you're not working time expensive. It's still really useful information. So when we come to evaluate the project, we can see how accurate our estimate waas. It also helped to identify early on whether there's a chance that we're going to go on a budget and you can get back in the boat and deal with it before it becomes a problem. And finally, don't forget there's a freelancer. Now all of our time is billable. There's lots of Ackman test that you need to carry out its part of your working week. She's Ackman marked in training. So when you, our planet in your projects, don't forget to pencil in time for those types alongside to project work so that you're not playing catch up 8. Maintaining A Work/Life Balance: So in this video, we're gonna talk a little bit about maintaining a healthy work. Life balance is probably one of the main reasons you went through ups in the first place, right? It's important that we keep that we remember that all times. Don't let work take over your entire life. No, If you overwork yourself, your body will crash eventually. If you're too ill to work, you don't get paid, so you really have to start looking after yourself. With that in mind, one of my main pieces of advice I give people is It's OK to say no. It would be really difficult at first, but if you are a capacity or if there's a project that just doesn't feel right in your gut , for whatever reason, it's OK to say now in Turn it down. As you get more successful, that will become easier and you'll find that you're able to pick and choose your project, which is one of the main perks freelancing no, on the opposite side. You know, if you get a bit too used to work from home and find yourself struggling to motivate yourself to get up on work that can also be a problem. You maybe need to have a rethink and address how you're approaching your work. If you do it from home, I always recommend happening Designate space that you were from. This helps to make sure you got very clearly defined home working modes and the key to a healthy work life balance is being able to have a clear separation. And if those lines start to blur, it can be really difficult to pull it back. Whether you have too much work or not enough, one of the key things for looking after you. Mental health has been out to recognize the signs of stress and deal with them before it becomes a problem. Freelance income sometimes be a little bit of feast or famine on one of the main causes of stress is to do with finances. If you have a quiet period and you're not earning money, the bills do still need to be paid, and that could be incredibly stressful. Bad few mental health. If you have a good period, make sure that you save money away. Build a pot for a rainy day. That way, if you do hit a quiet period Instead of worrying about bills and mortgage, you can concentrate on new business and getting yourself back to where you want to pay. Sometimes you just need to step away from the screen and give you head space to breathe. Go for a walk, a walk, the dark, maybe go for a room. These are the benefits of having control of your own time. I know a lot of people find being freelance can be quite isolating. They work from home on their own. For instance, if you do find that your mental health is suffering because of lack of human interaction, going make a friend for coffee or or go work from a coffee shop for an afternoon. If you're really struggling, maybe comes to the hot desk ing for a day or two a week, being surrounded by all the people in similar environment. A lot of people find that mental health is far better for that kind of human interaction. And finally remember why you went freelance in the first place. If you do get that sweet spot where the work life balance is right, it could be fantastically rewarding, and you'll wonder how you ever worth anybody else before 9. Don't Waste Quiet Periods: now you're my certainly have some periods that acquired it and thats okay, just don't waste the time now there's always work to be done when you were in your business . If you if you shorten kind would catch up on your paperwork, the more up to date you are with things like paperwork in, the less work there is. Next time your account Sergi, things like accounts never fall. When you've got time to be with them. That's lesson one. So if you can catch it with some of the slack earlier when you got the time, you might your life so much easier further down the line, you don't tidy your desk or your office. Sometimes that there is mundane is cleaning up. Your workspace can have a really positive change on the way you approach your work. If you do find yourself with someone expected free time, invest in your own personal development. Instead of seeing time without client work is a problem. Embrace it for what it is and give yourself the opportunity to improve yourself and give yourself better skills to take forward into your work. Catch up on latest trends. Watches instructional video right a blawg learning new technique. Take the time to make yourself better. If you know that you've got an extended period of free time, one come up with a personal project. I find personal projects whether they're smaller or larger. You know, they give you fantastic opportunities to try new creative techniques or skills that you might not necessarily feel comfortable with using on a client project. Now give your brain a chance toe. Think of something new, and they keep your brain active and keep you motivated to do the work. They could be really rewarding. And in my experience, personal projects. You you almost always learn at least one technique that you'll take forward into client work further down the line. 10. Assess Your Performance: back at the start of this course, we took the time to do a SWAT analysis so that we could honestly assess our own strengths and weaknesses. Now that's not something that you do once and then put away. For May, the key to being a successful freelance it is to constantly assess you performance. There's nobody else to make that assessment other than you. So it's really important that you take the time to critically assess yourself regularly as you move forward. Now each project that we do is an invaluable opportunity to get inside into our performance , and you shouldn't waste it. So the end of your project, I want you to take the time to evaluate exactly how that project went. Now that leads us nicely on to our next task. I want you to evaluate the last product that you worked on. Now consider the last project you completed, and I wanted to write for sure evaluation. Don't worry. If you're not yet working for yourself, this could be a work project, a class project or even just a personal project. The important thing is that we're looking at how we did and evaluating it with an honest set of eyes so that we can learn from it to take forward to the next project. I want you to think about things like what went well, what didn't go as well. Would you do anything differently? What could have been done better? How did the actual time compared to your estimate? Now the critical thing to do whenever we're evaluating ourselves is, to be honest, I didn't, you know, keeping up appearances for anybody else. Your business is you, so the more honest you are with yourself, the better. So when you are assessing yourself, be brutal. I live the way to learn from your mistakes. It's just hold your hands and say, You know what? I didn't do very well on that. Or maybe I was a bit slack on that. I could do that with a little bit better. The more critical you are on, the more often you assess your performance, the better you will be. The target is to be thriving. Is a successful business on the way to do that is to be honest with yourself, because the end of the day you don't have a manager to please. It's you and you alone. So to be successful, you have to be honest and you have to do this regularly. I find the end of financial years of quite a good time to sort of step back and take stock and assess the year and say, and maybe redo your SWAT analysis each year, so Okay, well, I said this was a threat last year. Haven't really addressed it. Maybe I should I should look to do that, you know, always be looking. Don't stand still, like to be successful. You always have to be on the move. You have to be improving yourself. If you identify gap in your knowledge, you fill it. You learn this skill that you're missing. Will you bring an extra resource that can feel like gap? It's all about keeping ruling all the time and assessing regularly don't stand still. Sometimes when we're really busy, it's easy to fall into the trap of Stein to go through the motions and maybe not deliver work to the standard that we would like. If you're assessing regularly, can keep sight of that and see these problems before they become a real issue and just never lose sight of the aims and objectives. The reason that you went freelance these are the kind of things that allow you to make into a career. 11. Final Words: So this is it. We've reached the end of our journey together. All that remains is to me just to summarize a few final thoughts based on what we've learnt . Enjoying this course work hard and be nice to people is a cliche. Like I said before, it's true. You know, being a successful free answer is no easy. Now be prepared to work hard, and there are plenty of rewards. If you get the balance right, it's worth it. Be professional, constantly assessing performance. Honestly, always honestly. Remember, you are your business. Understand your own strength and build around. There's be and stay passionate about what you do. Don't lose sight of why you went freelance in the first place. Thanks for sticking with me. I really hope you've enjoyed this course and that you picked up some useful tips that you could take forward into your own business. If you feel like it, please douche SWAT analysis and your product evaluations below. I'd love to see what you come up with. If you have a portfolio, feel free to share the link there as well. I think it's really important for self employed people to support each other So let's start here today. Feel free to connect with me on social media. I've not been able to cover everything in this course, obviously, but I'm always willing toe chat, unanswered questions. Feel free to reach out For me on there. All that remains to be said is emotional. The best good luck.