Being a freelancer is not easy. I’ve been writing as a freelancer since 2011, and it’s had its share of ups and downs.
I get to work from home and more or less set my own schedule! Awesome.
I also get crushed every year when it comes time to pay taxes. Ouch.
I can “go to work” in my underwear! Isn’t that great?
I don’t have paid vacation or any other benefits. Ugh.
I’m not trying to scare you away from freelance work; quite the opposite. Instead, I’m here to show you some killer courses that’ll help you be a better freelancer.
If you’re just beginning on the road to being a freelance writer, web designer, photographer, or whatever, the courses we’re going to look at today will arm you with some incredible skills that’ll help as you embark on one of the most rewarding (and stressful) career journeys.
Seth Godin’s Freelancer Course
Rating: 4.7 out of 5.
We might as well cast the widest net we can to start with. This $27 course covers a wide range of topics that are important to freelancers. It starts out with breaking down what a freelancer actually is (though, you probably already know that if you’re signing up for the course). More than that, though, it breaks down why you’d want to be a freelancer, which makes it a great starting point if you’re unsure about whether or not it’s right for you.
Some of the specific topics you’ll find are how to deal with clients, strategies you can use, pricing your products or services, building a reputation, promoting yourself, and all kinds of other stuff. It has 87 lectures, and each hits on an important aspect in the life of a freelancer.
As far as the quality of the course goes, it has over 14,000 students enrolled and a 4.7-star rating from over 1000 reviews. Basically, you can rest assured that it’s filled with quality content. And its Seth Godin who knows a thing or two about this subject.
Become a SpeedDemon: Productivity Tricks to Have More Time
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
One thing I’ll admit I wasn’t fully prepared for was dealing with time management. All your clients care about is that your work is delivered when you promise it at the level of quality they expect. There’s no boss standing over your shoulder making sure that you do your work. You need to be your boss and you need to motivate yourself!
That’s why I’ve decided to recommend a course dedicated to learning how to be more productive. This one has 10,000 students enrolled and a 4.5-star rating, so just about everyone who’s taken it has left happy (and presumably, more productive).
There are 37 lectures in this course (which makes the $12 price tag a pretty solid deal), and each will teach you some key productivity techniques that will help you get more done with the time you have. Doing more work in less time directly equates to more money (which is really the ultimate goal of working for yourself)!
You’ll learn about automating tasks, staying healthy and fit, healthy and unhealthy multitasking, and plenty of other good stuff. Taking this course, (or possibly looking into one of the other productivity options on Udemy), is critical to getting used to motivating yourself and getting work done.
Building a Personal Brand by Gary Vaynerchuk
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
What’s your name? Mine is Dave LeClair. But as a freelancer, my name isn’t just my name: it’s my brand.
This $30 course is designed to teach you how to build your personal brand across all different platforms, which will help you get more business (and notoriety, if that’s the sort of thing you’re into).
You’ll learn that building a personal brand takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight. You won’t wake up the next day with a million Twitter followers and a name that everyone knows, but if you put in the time and effort, you can get your name out there.
It doesn’t matter what field you want to freelance in (or what field you’re already in), this course will be an invaluable resource.
Gary Vaynerchuk, the instructor of the course, is a 3-time NYT best-selling author. He’s made appearances on The Conan O’Brien Show, Ellen, CNN, and others. Basically, the point I’m trying to make is that he knows his stuff, and you can rely on the information he’s giving you to be useful.
From one of the many 5-star reviews on Udemy, this sums up the course pretty well: “Gary tells things like they are. No sugar-coating or fluff here.”
Personal Financial Well-Being
Rating: 4.7 out of 5.
The other big shock you’ll experience when you start freelancing is the way your finances change.
Remember when your taxes came out of your paycheck and you actually got a return every year? Sorry, those days are long gone.
Remember when you made a set hourly rate and you were guaranteed 40 hours a week (maybe even some overtime)? Yeah, you can forget about that, too.
Basically, you need to understand personal finance to make sure that you handle your money intelligently. There will be times when business is booming, and there will be periods where things are slow, something you’ve probably never experienced in a 9-5.
The $50 class on Udemy will teach you about generating cash flow and saving money for the long term. You’ll learn about managing debt, investing, and all kinds of other important finance-related things. These topics are important for everyone, but for a self-employed freelancer, they’re even more critical.
Freelancing is Hard
Freelancing is not for everyone, but these courses will help you get a leg up, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been doing it for a while and feel like you’re struggling.
Do you freelance? What are some of the biggest struggles you’ve had to face? Any courses you’d recommend? Let us know in the comments!