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Freelancing Tips, Other Than “Networking”?

Thinking about doing some freelance work for a while, especially now that is nearing launch. There was just a thread on HN today about freelancing, or getting a “real” job. Getting recurring freelance work can be difficult, but a “real” job provides a steady paycheck. And there’s this post on Reddit about breaking into the freelance scene, which means being able to make a real living from freelancing.

Most suggestions I hear are about starting freelancing are pretty obvious. Network, network, network. The most up-voted answer on that Reddit thread starts off “Network, network, network. It’s less about what you know, and often more about who you know.” I think most people over the age of 13 know that, so it’s really not all that helpful.

Constant networking isn’t always possible, at least not without major sacrifices (read: family being pissed). If I’m out networking all the time with friends who have a lot of contacts, friends-of-friends, possible clients, and just committing to making lots of new contacts in general, that leaves little time for family (not to mention other things).

Is it just a natural progression? Like, the longer you’re in it, the more stuff comes your way? If so, that would make the claim of network, network, network a bit misleading, it implies urgency (at least to me). Seems like network carefully and methodically is more apt. Yet, that still brings up issues, like the possibility of not going hard enough and not living up to your potential.

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So maybe there are no real tips that can be given on freelancing, other than to just stick with it.

I closed my LinkedIn account a long time ago, should I open it back up? I do literally no “online” networking, all geographical and in-person. I do have an oDesk account, which is 100% complete and I’ve completed 5 tests. My oDesk account is entirely filled out.

I’ve been thinking of doing this for a while, but @daniAWESOME made me think a lot more about it.

Any successful freelancers have any advice? Leave a comment, or @tlongren on Twitter.

Well, now what?

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