Freelancers Shun Social Media, Expect Good Year, And More Freelance Forecast Highlights

The third annual Freelance Forecast survey, an online survey of freelancers worldwide, is out.

Among the highlights: freelancers said their business in 2010 was better than in 2009, and more than half (57 percent) expected to have an even better 2011.

Freelancers said that referrals were their best source of new clients. Social media was sixth on the list, behind even freelancers’ own websites.

While the survey by its nature covered a self-selected group, you would expect freelancers active enough on the Internet to respond to an online survey would be more active in social media, not less.

Most of the respondents were involved in content creation or editing/copyediting/proofreading; most were full-time freelancers, and more than half of the respondents had been freelancing for a decade or more.

Only 17 percent of respondents always require a new client to sign a contract. Half either “sometimes” or never ask for contracts. Seriously?

And more than one third (39 percent) aren’t contributing to any retirement plans. Fellow freelancers, we know it’s rough out there, but you have to save something.

Finally, here’s a chart that shows that print is not actually dead, at least among freelancers: