Our goal is to help you (and your business) go far with WordPress. We know a lot of our freelancer friends are using their holiday break to plan what’s ahead in 2015 for their business.
We’ve compiled a “greatest hits” of our freelancer posts, and if you’re planning for 2015 this week, you’ll want to give these a read.
1. Freelance Business Plan: You Can Plan to Succeed or You Can Expect to Fail
‘Freelance’ is not a euphemism for winging it. It’s not shorthand for lazy person who wears pajamas all day.
Freelancing is serious work—freelancers make up 34% of the workforce—and it demands a serious plan. Do you have a freelance business plan? A road map that shows how you’re going to make your money and not end up broke?
A freelance business plan is big. You need to have one and we can help.
What is a Freelance Business Plan?
More than anything, the purpose of a freelance business plan is to force you to answer all the appropriate questions in running a business. It’s to make sure you’re not taking any shortcuts.
Don’t think of it as burden. It’s not one more thing on your plate. It’s the core of what you do. It’s putting down on paper exactly how you’re going to make ends meet.
A good freelance business plan will answer realistic questions about whether or not you’ll have enough money to buy a computer or how much you need to be charging.
These are questions you have to answer, or you have no business trying to freelance.
2. How to Use Trello for Freelancers: Let’s Get Organized
Freelancers have to be organized. You’re juggling so many things and most of them are closely tied to you getting paid. So you can’t drop the ball. Project management is huge.
Say hello to Trello.
It’s a free organizational and project management system (with the option for premium upgrades).
So What is Trello?
In a nutshell, Trello is a list of lists. You can organize them in almost any way you want, which is the basis of its appeal. That makes it incredibly flexible—it can work for just about anyone, from freelance developers to teachers.
Trello is a visual system based on cards. A card is the primary organizational system and contains all kinds of details—a description, checklists, file attachments, comments, due dates, members, etc.
3. WordPress Project Management is Your Friend
Project management is a freelancer’s best friend. You have to be organized and stay on top of your projects. That’s a given. But as a WordPress developer, have you considered doing your project management in the site itself? WordPress project management can be a way to merge your love of WordPress with your need to be organized.
Benefits of Project Management Systems
If you’ve been doing freelance WordPress development for any length of time you understand the need for a project management system. You need something to keep you organized and on track, and generally a post-it note won’t cut it.
Some of the most-loved benefits of project management systems include:
- Organization – Keep track of what needs to be done when. Don’t let anything slip through the cracks again.
- Deadlines – Moving a project forward means keeping an eye on the due dates. Juggling multiple deadlines can get crazy, and that’s where project management really shines.
- Collaborate – Few people work in the same office these days and can share a whiteboard together. Collaboration has to happen remotely and you need an online system to make that happen. Some systems restrict that interaction to your team, while others invite outside clients into the process.
- Archive – Collaboration is key, but you need to keep track of those conversations. A bunch of email discussions or decisions made in a chat window are great, but it’s hard to find those again when you need them. A good project management system archives those conversations and decisions so you can go back and find them in one place.
- Reporting – Every client wants to know where a project is at, and a good project management system either lets you know so you can update the client or tells the client directly.
4. Adding Additional Income to Your Bottom Line Through WP Maintenance
The feast and famine cycle is a constant struggle for the freelance WordPress developer. But you can break that cycle by selling WordPress maintenance to your freelance clients. You get steady, reliable income and your clients get peace of mind. Everybody wins.
Add WordPress maintenance services to your freelance menu and see how it improves your business.
What’s WordPress Maintenance?
Are your freelance clients seeing notices to update WordPress? As a freelance developer, you know WordPress needs to be kept up to date, but often clients don’t bother. Then you get panicked calls about hacked sites. Or some kind of oops makes a site disappear.
We’re talking about offering a monthly WordPress maintenance package to your clients. You take care of the details and your client doesn’t sweat it. To you they’re relatively minor issues, often automated and simple, but to your clients they’re business-stopping nightmares.
We would love to hear any tips you have for freelancers who are planning out their year. Let us know in the comments or tweet us @iThemes.
Here’s to a prosperous and productive 2015!