SitePoint Podcast #5: The Principles of Successful Freelancing

By Kevin Yank
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Episode 5 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week your hosts are Brad Williams, Patrick O’Keefe, Stephan Segraves, and Kevin Yank, who are joined by their guest, Miles Burke.

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Episode Summary

Here are the topics covered in this episode:

Interview: The Principles of Successful Freelancing with Miles Burke

Thanks for listening! Feel free to let us know how we’re doing, or to continue the discussion, using the comments field below.

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  • andhapp

    Where can I post the questions to Miles directly? Is it possible to get his contact details I have a few questions related to the podcast.

  • andhapp, If you post your questions here, I’ll make sure Miles drops by to answer them.

  • andhapp

    I have a couple of questions:

    1) Miles talks about going over to the client’s office for the payment. Would that not give the client an impression that he is being chased for money and the relationship would go sour and the same client probably would not recommend you further. and I was under the impression that freelancing is all about developing and maintaining that relationship. Now there are two sides to this argument on one end – “one would play safe and not offend the client” and on other hand “why would anyone want to keep a client that does not pay them on time”? What should a freelancer who is just starting out do? He needs the money and he does not want to offend the client. (or am I just imagining these things it does not work like that)

    2) How can one create the work and personal life balance – is this a trick? Like the example Miles mentioned in the podcast that “it is six in the evening so I should go for a dinner with mates”. But If I were in his place I would rather sit and do the work and get it finished because I do not want to mess it up in the end and would rather sacrifice my personal life for a successful career. Does that mean I am taking it very seriously and I should calm down a bit? or I am just passionate towards what I do? or I am completely insane? or I have a fear of failing as I have failed before in life?

    I am not a freelancer yet but would like to be my boss one day so I decided to throw these questions at you.

  • Hello andhapp, and thanks for the great questions!

    Firstly, sitting in a client’s waiting room is a last resort. Typically, we know that they’ll either end up never paying or us never working for them again, so whilst it is a brash move, doing it can help you get paid. I’d suggest starting by a call and email on the day after an invoice is due, then again in a week, and then increase your frequency, ensuring they actually give you a date they expect to pay.

    Work and life balance is a trick. You want to work around the clock so you keep everyone happy and get paid well, but your health will soon suffer, meaning you work at 80% or diminishing percentages of effectiveness. I’m not saying be a strict 9-5, but just keep in mind you need a life. For example, I just had 11 days off over Christmas, and only feel slightly guilty!

    I hope these answers help – I go into more detail in both of these areas in the book. I hope you get a chance to read it, and would love to know what you think when you’re done.

    Good luck taking the leap into freelancing sometime in the future!

  • andhapp

    Thanks a lot. I would definately get my hands on the book as I do not want to end up working for someone else my entire life.