Freelancember Day 1 Bad Client Déjà Vu

Do you keep ending up with clients or projects that aren't for you?

Fact: Running your own business is a crash course in the school of hard knocks! You have to manage yourself, your money, and your client. Talk about an emotional roller-coaster.

Another Fact: Mentally rehearsing difficult situations makes it sooooo much easier to do the right thing. No matter how scary.

Our first free gift will help you ID how you end up with bad news clients/projects. And craft a plan for change, starting right now.

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Freelancember Day 2 “Clients… can't live with 'em,
can't shoot 'em.”

Ever looked down the barrel of one more meaningless,
destructive change request, overcome with the urge to strangle
the living daylights out of your client du jour?

You can work with your ideal clients. And it does make a
huge difference in the happiness of your freelance life.

Today's Freckle Freelancember gift to you is…
a free worksheet to help you ID your Ideal Clients.

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Freelancember Day 3 Vacations Without Catastrophe

Around this time of year, you could probably use a major break. Margaritas-on-the-beach-don't-call-unless-the-house-is-burning-down VACATION TIME.

But..what if your clients evaporate? What if you miss out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? What if your website gets hacked & transformed into a virtual shrine for David Hasselhoff (not AGAIN?).

We're here to tell you: you'll survive. You'll keep your clients. And The Hoff never strikes twice. Use today's Pre-Vacation Preparation Countdown & jet away without fear!

see the pre-vacation prep list!

Freelancember Day 4 It's the Principle of the Matter

Do you feel like the goals you set for your biz strangely resemble the bridge troll-like demands of your clients?

Sometimes you just gotta stick to your guns... and your goals. Having a Principles Document to consult before taking on a new client will guarantee you don't get sucked into the black hole of resentment and dissatisfaction!

On Days 1 and 2 you identified where things went wrong and what your ideal client looks like. Today's Freckle Freelancember gift is a free worksheet to help you define your idea of a successful year.

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Freelancember Day 5 Get “Buff” in just minutes a day!

Sane scheduling means building “buffer space” into your workday.

If you find yourself booking back-to-back consultation sessions... work periods...billing... conference calls...staff training... in the name of Freelancember, give yourself a break!

You can break the cycle of overbooking.

Today’s Sane Scheduling Worksheet will help you carve out critical buffer space for Human Being Maintenance.

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Freelancember Day 6 What's Your Excuse?
6 Excuses Not to Raise Your Rates

At one time or another in their career, every freelancer has made an excuse for not raising their rates. You're not alone, we've all been there!

But truth be told, excuses are like armpits. Everybody has them, but they stink! It's easy to make an excuse, not always so easy to overcome one.

Today's Freelancember goodie lists the top 6 excuses freelancers use, and let's you in on the secret to conquering them!

see the pre-vacation prep list!

Freelancember Day 7 “ Slap your client in the face…

...then tell him your hourly rate. If he's more shocked by the slap than your rate, you're not charging enough.”
— Hard-boiled Freelance Wisdom

Don't go around accruing assault charges, though— we can tell from here that you're not charging enough. Almost nobody ever does! Even though it's better for you and  your clients.

So resolve to increase your rates for the New Year. Don't worry, we're here to help!

Check out our Top 10 Reasons to Raise Your Rates to get inspired.

Check out the top 10

Freelancember Day 8 Raising Your Rates: Checklist

Yep... now's the perfect time to raise your rates. On Day 7, you learned 10 reasons why you oughta. On Day 10, you'll figure out how much to charge. Now, it's time to learn how to tell your clients about it.

Worried they'll think you're ripping 'em off? That you'll mention your new rate and *whammo*, client stampede?

Nah. That only happens if you do it wrong! Today's Freelancember gift is a checklist that'll help you finesse your rate change. It'll go down smooth!

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Freelancember Day 9 Dear Client: Gimme More Money!

So... you're raising your rates, but not sure exactly how to broach the topic with your clients? Worried you'll sound like a no-good money-grabbing Greedy McGreedyPants?

Worry no more, we're here to help. Today's Freelancember gift is...

Two friendly email templates to help you communicate your new rate raise, penned by a professional copywriter. Writer's block begone!

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Freelancember Day 10 Your Clients Will Help You Charge More

So you're not charging enough. Okay. And how do you figure out what you should  be charging?

Most advice says: Focus on your needs (bills, time off, insurance), & add a bit on top. There's your profit. But how much is right?

What if you could just ask? You can. Your clients will tell  you how much you're undercharging. And  how to charge them more. You just need to learn how to ask.

Today's free gift will teach you how to ask.

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Freelancember Day 11 Extra Money — for Free!

Today we're going to stick to everyone's favorite topic: BILLING (cue the worldwide groans).

Billing isn't at the top of most freelancers' Ultra-Fun List. But how about 10 things you can start billing your clients for, right now — without any additional work? THAT'S ultra-fun, right?

Chances are, you're underbilling. You're not billing for things you can (and should!) bill for. Let's fix that right now, shall we? Check out our Top 10 Things You Don't Bill For But Should!

see the top 10 list!

Freelancember Day 12 Destroying Disruptions

“[I]nterruptions are the enemy of work. They are the enemy of productivity, they are the enemy of creativity, they are the enemy of everything.” –Jason Fried of 37Signals

Interruptions! They're everywhere! Clients ask for "just one quick change." They call up with "just one question." Each one may take just a few minutes, but they breed like tribbles. Before you know it, you've been working all day… and you've got nothing done.

Master your distractions in 2013. Use our boundary-setting guidelines to take back your time!

Learn how to master your distractions!

Freelancember Day 13 Payment Schedules Will Set You Free

A fixed payment schedule, including up-front deposits, is one of the biggest differences between a Serious Freelancer and a Seriously Cash-Strapped Freelancer.

Chase away the in-between invoices blues, clearly defined payment schedules will set you free, with this easy to follow 3-part plan!

See the checklist!

Freelancember Day 14 Destroying Distractions, Part 2

[I]nterruptions are the enemy of work. They are the enemy of productivity, they are the enemy of creativity, they are the enemy of everything. –Jason Fried of 37Signals

Help! My clients love interrupting me! On Day 12, you identified your creativity kryptonite and you set up some boundaries. But what if your clients aren't game to play ball? Well, you'll have to train 'em. Like a prized poodle.

Learn how to broach the topic to new & old clients alike, with our handy dandy training guide.

Learn how to master your distractions!

Freelancember Day 15 Sweet Little Gift for Your Holiday Greetings

It's that time of year again: time to send greetings to
former clients, and thank you's to current ones.

Remember: Little personal touches are the grease
that makes the referral machine run!

This adorable, totally free illustration is our gift to you. It's just begging for you to use it: an ecard, postcard, holiday promo, blog post, or email!

Vector & PNG & multiple colors included!

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Freelancember Day 16 Setting Goals That Motivate You

“Goals help us prioritize and keep us from wasting time.” -Mike Schmoker, The Power of SMART Goals

Try introducing your values to your goals. Before you know it, they'll be inseparable, sentence-finishing-best-friends-for-life! On Day 4, you described your ultimate vision for your biz. But how to sustain your motivation for success when the going gets tough?

Today's gift will help you write goals that'll make you so energetic and focused you'll be drinking decaf til next year!

Learn how to set Goals!

Freelancember Day 17 Before and After Forms

Ever finish a project and wonder how in the world you managed to get sucked into that crazy chaotic mess?

It's easy to fall prey to youthful and seemingly innovative projects before you dive in. But what if you could be sure your next project fit right in with your long-term goals and develop better instincts about your work habits?

You absolutely can! Today's free gift will help you compare and contrast your expectations and estimations so that you're never led astray again.

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Freelancember Day 18 Does Self-Promotion Make You Feel Sleazy?

It shouldn't. Self-promotion is all about sharing your skills. Let's face it: You're good at what you do. You're a pro.

You've got a lot to contribute, and clients out there need  you. Desperately. Who else, if not you, is going to get your name out there so they can find you?

Yep, that's right: nobody else. It's all you, baby. Our DAILY Self-Promotion for Freelancers Checklist will help, with 5 high-impact tasks that rate a big fat zero on the sleaze-o-meter. Get out there!

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Freelancember Day 19 Shakin' Up Your Self-Promo: Weekly Edition

For a talented creative like you, self-promotion is a mission. Remember, there are clients out there who're just dying to find you!

You can't complete a mission with tunnel vision. Spend all your time promoting yourself digitally from the comfort of your home office? It's time to get out into meatspace. Pound the pavement with flyers and cards? Then it's time to get buzzy online.

We're here to help! Check out our weekly Self-Promotion Checklist for Freelancers, & spice up your sell life.

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Freelancember Day 20 Shakin' Up Your Self-Promo: Monthly Edition

Small, consistent actions snowball quickly. A guest post here, a biz card there & before you know it, you're rolling out a multi-media publicity game plan!

Daily & weekly mini-tasks keep your self-promotional house in order, like making your bed every morning. But... so do some chores every month or so—like flipping the mattress (you DO do that, right?).

Today's gift is a MONTHLY Self-Promotion Checklist: 5 "once-in-a-while" tasks you should keep bubbling on the backburner.

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Freelancember Day 21 Top 5 Annual Self-Promo Rules!

Self-promotion isn't all spotlights and jazz hands. Sometimes, you need to light a scented candle and get introspective.

Once a year, set aside a quiet day for a thorough self-promotion audit. Are you getting where you wanna go?

Today's gift is an ANNUAL Self-Promotion Checklist. You can certainly complete the checklist more than once a year, if you want to—but take it easy, tiger!

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Freelancember Day 22 Top 5 Ways to Curtail Your Email Addiction

If your email sucks you in and spits you back out hours later, you may want to consider slowly backing away from the inbox.

On Days 12 and 14 you learned some tricks of the trade for tackling distractions. Now it's time to assess how unproductive your email is really making you. Don't let your inbox wear the pants in your work relationship!

Shake off that ol' ball and chain with today's gift, The Top 5 Ways to Curtail Your Email Addiction.

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Freelancember Day 23 Earn More with Packages Worksheet

Lots of your clients end up needing the same types of work from you over time, right? And even if they don't hire you for all of it right outta the gate, they end up hiring you to do 'em later on. And if they don't, they should. Right? Right.

That's why you should make it easier on yourself (and your client!) by bundling up some of your services into nice, clean, tidy, profitable packages.

Not sure what that entails? Awesome, because today's free gift is a Package-Building Cheat Sheet!

download the cheat sheet

Freelancember Day 24 Getting Good Client Testimonials

Ever feel like trying to get those award winning client testimonials is harder than actually winning an award?

FACT: People tend to wrinkle their noses at tasks that require writing.
FACT: Writing you a testimonial is a non-urgent task to your client, and will always get moved to the bottom of their to-do list.

Getting great client testimonials is like doing a card trick. There's no real magic, just pure skill that makes it look like magic. Today's free gift will help you hone your skillz and magically get those golden testimonials!

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Freelancember Day 25 How Much Aren't You Working?

Ever feel like you're absolutely glued to your computer, and you can't even bill your client for all that time? Then you're getting pushed around by the Unbillable Time Bully.

It's time to show that bully who's boss. Put your unbillable time to work, and you'll find that it's not only useful, it's valuable.

Today's free gift is the story of one business owner who found hidden treasure (and leisure) in her freelance business!

Read more!

Freelancember Day 26 Using Minimum Billing Increments

They say that time is money. But when you're a freelancer, time is more than money, it's your most precious and valuable commodity.

If you're not tracking all the time you can bill for -- like those pesky 4 minute phone conversations with your most needy client -- then you're missing out on money and undervaluing your time.

Today's free gift is the Top 5 Reasons to Use Minimum Billing Increments and take back your time!

Read more!

Freelancember Day 27 Diversifying Your Income Streams

Whoever said, “Don't put all your eggs in one basket”, must have had a few freelancer friends... because it's great advice!

You don't want your income pipeline to dry up simply because a client suddenly goes out of business, a project you're working on is axed, or simply because the seasons have changed. Step away from that one-stream-stigma and your bank account will thank you.

Get some helpful hints on diversifying your business with today's free gift!

Check out the checklist!

Freelancember Day 28 The SMARTest Goals in Town

“If you don't know where you're going,
you'll end up some place else.”
-Yogi Berra

Goals got you down? It's not you, it's your goals. On Day 4 you defined your vision for your biz and on Day 16 you discovered what makes the most motivating goals. But what if your goals still look like they need to hit the gym and pump some iron?

Use today's Freckle Freelancember gift to make your goals look like the best dressed goals in town!

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Freelancember Day 29 Website Clarity Checklist

Want to razzle dazzle every person who views your website? Having a lead luring website is all about presentation. You wouldn't wear a bathing suit to a job interview. Right? Right!

Just like you wouldn't hide your contact information all the way at the bottom of the page in little ity bity writing.

Today's free gift is a Website Clarity Checklist. So you can be sure your website is wining and dining all the prospective clients who visit.

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Freelancember Day 30 6 Ways to Attract & Land Sexier, Better-Paying Clients

Are you constantly making concessions or cutting your rates just so you can win a client? Landing clients doesn't have to be a major pain-in-the-tuchus.

You can land sexy clients who want nothing more than to pay you for your amazing work, just by getting your brand out there and in front of all the world to see!

Today's gift will put you on the path to finding clients who want to work with you, and only you.

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Freelancember Day 31 Happy New Year, Habits!

Statics say that New Year's Resolutions typically last until about Valentine's Day. But who wants to create a resolution for their biz just to have it fizzle out?

Take it from us, habits are the new resolutions. You've learned a lot this Freelancember. Now it's time to put it all to the test!

This last gift for you is a list of 3 habits that will take your freelancing biz to the next level!

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