She’s a stately golden-throated Greek goddess, but Petrula Vrontikis is also one heck of a savvy businesswoman. In her session Freelancing 101 at the HOW Conference, Vrontikis (“little thunder” in Greek) outlined some basic and not-so-basic tips for the often scary world of freelancing. Five that caught our ears:
1. Negotiate both your rate and your terms. Sure, you’ll spend hours making sure your bid is right, but you should also work out what percentage of money you’ll get up front, after 30 days, etc.
2. If you think a project will require you to change your original bid or rate, tell your client right away. Don’t ever wait until it’s finished to ask for more.
3. If you have a specialized skill, charge more. If you can demonstrate that you’ve got exceptional experience or a technical talent in a specific area, don’t be afraid to raise your rate.
4. You must function as a businessperson, even if you feel like an artist. Forget your ego, your talent, your portfolio. You’re the owner of a small business and you have to do what’s best for that business.
5. Just call people back. A huge, huge advantage for any freelancer is that you have the time and resources to give exceptionally personal attention to your clients. Stay in touch.
Vrontikis seems to draw from this vast reservoir of cool, and once we found out she studies and teaches yoga, it became obvious that this woman is totally in control–spiritually and enterpreneurially (hope that’s a word). Read the awesome story about why her firm’s website address is 35k.com.