Terrible Advice For Freelancers

bad advice for freelancers peanuts“Have your say!” seems to be all I hear these days. I can’t so much as watch a TV programme without being invited to “join the conversation!” or “get involved on social media!” In some respects, an egalitarian society where anyone with a blog and an idea can be heard is a good thing. In others, it is not.

It feels like everyone, everywhere is now in the business of sharing advice for freelancers and would be entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, as well as individuals with a great message and some top advice for freelancers, that also includes people who have never even started a freelance business.

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What freelancers can learn from Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio has received four Oscar nominations, the first of which when he was just 19 years old, and has worked with iconic directors like Scorsese and Spielberg. Spawning countless memes in 2014 when he failed to win (again), Leo’s empty Oscar cabinet is regarded by some as one of the biggest snubs in motion picture history. He’s getting pretty good at that ‘losing face’.

leo's losing face

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Why Fiverr is NOT killing the design/copywriting industry

“Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”
– Paul Rand

First of all, let me make something clear. I DON’T think Fiverr is the devil. A service can’t be successful without the presence of supply and demand, and it’s pretty clear that Fiverr has both. Payday loans companies and services like Fiverr provide a service that people want and, however that sits with your own ethical views, you can’t blame them for that.

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AB testing (without the B)

Whether you’re working on something as a freelancer or building a website/project of your own, I can’t overstate the usefulness of AB testing. If nothing else, knowing about split testing means that when your boss comes out with this…

ab testing against your boss

…you can test it against your own idea and, God willing, prove that you’re right. If you’re currently asking yourself the question ‘what is AB testing?’, Optimizely has a nice breakdown here. Once you’re up to speed, come back and I’ll tell you why AB testing without the B can still be useful.

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Five reasons not to be a ‘we’

It’s a question as old as time:

Should freelancers try to look bigger than they actually are?

No, I’m not talking about platform shoes. I’m referring to the debate about whether freelancers should refer to themselves as an ‘I’ or a ‘we’.

When I first started out, I went down the ‘we’ route. There may even be a couple of them still lurking on older pages…But since then, I’ve switched to being an ‘I’.

vanellope wreck it ralph royal we

Of course, there’s no right or wrong answer. Mind you, that didn’t stop me thinking long and hard about it before I made the switch. Here are five of the reasons I came up with not to be a ‘we’:

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Why developers need copywriters (or to think like one)

This morning I woke up to a text from a developer friend asking whether, as a copywriter, I thought the slide below was sexist or just crass. You’ll find my answer a little later in this blog post, but it encapsulates a problem that I’ve been trying to put into words for a while now –

A lot* of developers and entrepreneurs etc have a problem with semantics.

* But not all of them. See later in this post.

screen shot 2014-06-04 at 1.36.42 pm

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Why no-one’s reading your company blog…

asleep at computer boring blog posts

Ok, apologies for that linkbait title. First of all, I’m sure there are people reading your blog…just not as many as you want, right? Second of all, the advice in this post doesn’t just apply to business blogs; it’s also just as relevant to personal blogs, whether they’re about tech, fashion, parenting, film or…you get the picture.

The biggest problem with blogging and online journalism is that it’s often motivated by greed; whether it be a desire to generate advertising money (online mags), hits (company blogs) or freebies (tech and fashion blogs), the line between blogging and blagging is a fine one. When people blog for selfish reasons, it always comes across that to readers; posts don’t add value, so they leave and they don’t come back!

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What did you want to be when you grew up?


Sports star. Pilot. Scientist. Lawyer. Astronaut. According to a survey conducted last year, these are a few of the jobs that children most covet when they’re growing up. With the exception of lawyer (and perhaps scientist), these dream jobs are pretty unrealistic for all but a lucky few. Despite this, children earnestly believe that their ambitions are not only achievable, but inevitable. For many, that belief sticks with us for a long time. Sure, the career path might change a bit, but we tend to believe that if we try hard at school and go to University then our dreams will come true.

At the age of twenty five I sometimes feel burnt out, like I’ve stopped dreaming. And I’m not alone in this — it’s a running joke that most young people who live in London work too hard, have zero disposable income and will be sharing flats with strangers long into their 30s. Worse still, it’s a joke that they will tell you when you talk to them, as if they’ve simply accepted a lifetime of unfulfillment.

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But what if I want a smoothie…?


Here’s an extract of a conversation I had with a friend today:

B: I’m considering quitting Twitter but I don’t want to jeopardise future prospects. Then part of me thinks “well, people were successful on the web before Twitter.” But I started wondering whether they’re still successful, or has the digital world changed? Are you some sort of nomad if you’re not on Twitter?

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