The Secret of Finding the Right Freelancing Advice for You

You may not realize this, but not all freelancing advice fits all freelancers. That’s because not all freelancers are exactly the same.

You’re unique. I’m unique.

We have different personalities, freelancing specialties, and goals. What works well for one freelancer may not work for another.

With the online advice deluge from a myriad of so-called gurus, blogs and books–it’s easy for a freelancer to forget what makes them tick and get caught up in trying to follow the latest fad.

Yet following the wrong freelancing advice can be a bit like trying to force a square peg into a round hole. It’s hard to do and if you do manage to get it done it just doesn’t work right.

I’ve never been a believer in one-size fits all advice. When I give advice, I share what generally works for me based on my own experience–but I also encourage readers to share their own thoughts and experiences.

In this post, I’ll explain how you can get the most from online advice and provide some tips for finding the right advice for you.

Know Yourself

The first part of finding the right freelancing advice is being honest about yourself. You need to know yourself in order to find advice that works well for you.

Here are some questions that you should ask yourself:

  • Why do I freelance?
  • What are my freelancing goals?
  • What type of working environment do I prefer?
  • When do I like to work?
  • How much work am I willing to do?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you have a filter that you can use to review all future freelancing advice. Consider what you’ve learned about yourself each time you decide whether or not to take someone else’s advice.

For example, if you know that you’re just not a morning person (and never will be), then productivity advice that tells you to get up an hour earlier each day probably isn’t going to work for you. Now, there’s not really anything wrong with that advice–it just doesn’t fit you if you’re not a morning person. That same advice might work well for someone who is at their peak in the morning hours.

In addition to knowing yourself, you should also take the time to review the qualifications of the guru who is giving you the advice.

Know Your Advisor

Before taking online advice, you should consider the source. As yourself, why is this person qualified to give advice?

Here are some questions you can use to review an advice guru’s qualifications:

  • What experience does the expert have?
  • What type of specialty is the advisor working in?
  • Does the advisor’s personality seem similar to yours?
  • What do others say about this guru?

While there many qualified experts online and a wealth of good information online, there are also those who simply don’t know what they’re talking about. If you don’t like what you find, look elsewhere for an advisor.

To find out more about a particular online expert, check the following sources:

  • Their website
  • The social media profiles (and particularly their LinkedIn profile)
  • Any online articles or posts that they’ve written
  • Testimonials about the expert

But remember that even an advisor who doesn’t match your specialty or personality exactly can provide a tip (or two) that you can learn from.

The Bits and Pieces Approach to Using Advice

Just because someone is offering freelancing advice doesn’t mean you always have to follow all of that advice (or any of it). What works for someone else may not work for you. Often, however, you will find a few good ideas to implement in advice that otherwise doesn’t apply to you.

Also, don’t feel guilty about not taking advice that doesn’t really fit your needs. Don’t let yourself feel pressured to do something just because everyone else seems to be doing it. There are trends and fads in popular advice just as there are in other things.

Most of the time it’s okay to take the bits and pieces of freelancing advice that apply to you and forget the rest.

Your Turn

There’s a huge amount of good freelancing advice online, but not all of it is for every freelancer.

What’s the very best freelancing advice you’ve ever gotten? Why was that advice so good?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Comments

  1. says

    “. . . ..you learned to seek advice from those who were competent through their own experience to give it.” This comes from “The Richest Man in Babylon” and it still serves me well.
    Too many people think that a well-stated opinion constitutes advice. It does not.
    Here is my advice about taking online advice, if what a person has to say does not resonate with your beliefs, then even if your mind accepts it your heart will not. Secondly, if using their free material cannot help you earn a few bucks, DEFINITELY do not purchase any of their information products.

  2. says

    I think the most helpful freelance advice I’ve read or heard has just been advice about business or productivity in general. Don’t limit your gurus or role models to freelancers, look at anyone who is doing what they love successfully and listen to what they have to say, but judge for yourself if it’s helpful or applicable in your situation.

  3. says

    The fact each of us have different goals and different personality is very true- At the beginning i listened to most speakers or advisers or any one with experience. Not all went wrong but If I go back to those years, I just consider WHAT i like to be or have and listen to the people advices that I like their personality. Nice tips.

  4. says

    I’ve found that the best advice is from those who use their own experience or lessons they’ve learned from others. It’s also important to understand when they learned that lesson or when they imparted the knowledge, because it may no longer be applicable. This is one of the reasons I like reading advice on blogs that have dates near their posts. I know the gurus say it’s more effective to omit post dates, but sometimes when I read something and go, “that’s not true anymore,” I’ll look at the date, and suddenly, the discrepancy is cleared up. Dated information can throw off the reader/the learner, thus, I think the date should be evident.

  5. says

    The best advice I’ve gotten has been from my life coach, who is also a friend and client. She told me to practice stating my fees over and over again until they just came out naturally. Then she advised me to be ready to explain why I was justified in charging these fees.

    Running a very close second was the advice I got from Mark Hunter, The Sales Hunter. He has a lot of great advice about sticking to your price, not giving discounts, etc. This has helped me stand my ground when people question my rates. His website and blog are at thesaleshunter.com.

  6. says

    I’m one of those freelancers who started eager to take in any piece of advice that I read or hear from others. I can say that I’ve tried various techniques on how to handle freelancing well, but not all of them worked out fine for me. Critical thinking really needs to be practiced. This is just like why I fail in losing weight because I always shift from one diet program to another.

    I love the bit about how readers/freelancers like me should research more about the advisor. I am definitely going to practice this starting now. Thanks.

  7. says

    Getting the right advice is not an easy thing to do for a freelancer, as each freelancer has differences from other freelancers. Doing some online research and finding some articles on going freelance would help, but we are after all different. What works for me maybe would not for you…

  8. says

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