Bonsai x InVision Guide to Freelancing
This is the guide we wish we had when we started freelancing. Like many freelancers, we had a long road filled with successes, failures, and lots of learning ahead of us.
It took many years and projects to figure out how to run a successful business. As we talked to other freelancers who were just starting out or several years into their journey, we saw them struggling with many of the same aspects – from pricing projects to creating good contracts to getting paid on time.
As we talked to more freelancers, we realized that many of the challenges (and best practices of freelancing) were universal, regardless of your location or skill set. It didn’t matter if you were a graphic designer in Los Angeles or a developer in Sydney or a videographer in Berlin. Everyone struggled with similar problems, and the most successful freelancers came to the same tried and true solutions.
The second major realization was that the most successful freelancers weren’t necessarily the best at their craft, whether it be design or coding. They were the best at running a business.
Freelancers spend a ton of time honing their craft, but relatively little on learning how to successfully run a business – such as the complex or mundane tasks of finding clients, managing a workflow, getting paid on time, and stabilizing your cash flow. These are things that newer freelancers don’t know how to do, don’t want to do, or often aren’t very good at doing. But these critical skills hold back many incredible freelancers from huge successes.
The purpose of this e-book is to cover that other set of skills. It’s an introduction, rather than a comprehensive overview, and much of the benefit you’ll get will be in applying these lessons as well as learning from and adapting to your particular market or experiences. While it will be most helpful to newer freelancers, it can be equally helpful to those with experience looking to boost their business. The best business practices should be revisited over and over throughout a career.
It’s also not meant to be read chronologically. Feel free to read it straight through, or to jump around to the chapters that are most interesting and relevant to you. So, whether you’re just starting out or an experienced freelance, we hope this book provides you with some new strategies to start or grow your successful freelance business.