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Should You Freelance or Become an Entrepreneur?

October 15, 2009

Whether it’s due to current economic challenges or the freedom to choose your own work, many individuals have considered work as a  freelancer or as an entrepreneur.  American University’s Career Center recently had four esteemed panelists, with established companies, speak to students about their success and challenges.  Check out these timely words of advice given by the panelists:

Adrena Ifill, Owner of DoubleBack Productions

  • *When trying to determine your fee, conduct an internet search for similar companies and pull their price list.
  • *The best way to sell services is to first think of yourself as the business
  • *I had several iterations of my existing company but my overall push was to finish a historical documentary that I wanted to share
  • *If you’re not ready to freelance full-time, then consider freelancing agencies that will hire you out on a project-by-project basis

Greg Smith, Creative Guy and Co-Founder pf LoudMouth DC

  • *You can adjust to changes in the marketplace when you own your own company
  • *When it comes to the perception of the next client, a high price behind great service equates with high value
  • *Always have a clause of what service(s) you’re willing to provide and the additional fees you would charge for extensive changes

Troy Woods, Chief Photographer & Owner of Clark Bailey Photography

  • *Constantly do things that distinguish you from other businesses, such as I’m the photographer that races motorcycles
  • *It wasn’t difficult to secure my first client, it was difficult to attract the client I wanted
  • *I now see networking with competitors as a way to expand my business.  Everyone can’t photograph every event so it’s great when they refer business to me
  • *Outsource the stuff you don’t want to do, but stay involved
  • *I believe in underselling but over delivering, so identify the interests of your clients because you want them to be your evangelists

Cynthia Washington, President of Washington Concepts, Inc

  • *Be able to do what you said you can do because you can get a bad name fast
  • *When you’re ready to expand, look for what else you can do for your customer and supply other services
  • *When trying to figure out the type of company you want to start, look for a problem that’s not being solved.  Problems you solve for people will determine the money you make
  • *If you’re not successful after being in business for 3 years, then chances are you won’t be successful
  • *Educate yourself through small business development training, such as through http://www.sba.gov

Read more about “How to Become a Freelancer” through this link

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