Being a freelance warrior sometimes gets lonely and gloomy. You could lose your groove, struggle to get clarity about scaling your business or, the worst part, you might be unsure where to find the right advice.
A traditional job has the perk of letting you consult with seniors and learning from your peers in person. You can come up to someone’s desk and ask them to show you some new stuff. Freelancers, sorry, but you don’t get that perk. The good news is that there are many amazing and helpful folks out there ready to share their wits and hacks with you.
The following seven thought leaders are among the greatest sources of information and inspiration to follow and recommend to other freelancers. They are industry leaders who really know their stuff, walk the talk, and are generous with what they know and are learning. Whether you are just starting out, or need a virtual kick to move your freelance business further, these fellows may help you out.
1. Abdullahi Muhammed
Abdullahi Muhammed is a freelance writer, entrepreneur, social media personality, and contributing writer to a number of household name publications including Forbes, The World Economic Forum, Entrepreneur Magazine and The Huffington Post. His regular column on Forbes will empower and inspire you to transform your passion or side hustle into a highly profitable freelance business. The best part is that all the advice is first hand as in less than 5 years, Abdullahi has gone from “just another freelancer” to a six-figure business owner. His consulting company, Oxygenmat, has served clients from some 22 countries and boasts a hefty 87% customer retention rate.
2. Chase Jarvis
Chase Jarvis is a photographer, filmmaker and entrepreneur. He is also the CEO of CreativeLive – the go-to educational hub for creative folks, who want to leverage their skills and learn from the top industry pros. Chase hosts a regular video series addressing topics relating to creativity and common entrepreneurship struggles. Chase Jarvis Live show is an excellent resource as well, as he interviews creative thought leaders including creative directors, angel investors, best selling authors and community leaders.
3. Sara Horowitz
Sara Horowitz is the acclaimed founder of the Freelancers Union – the one and only organization fighting to create better work conditions for freelancers. Essentially, Sara has taken up the mantle that labor organizers did over a century ago. This time, the focus is on ensuring that freelancers are treated well and respected. One of her accomplishments has been to provide a platform to help freelancers get access to insurance and other benefits, get educated on their rights and actually force changes. Their most recent win is a new bill passed in NYC, which protects freelancers from non-paying clients.
4. Paul Jarvis
Paul Jarvis is a man of many talents. He’s an incredible writer, traffic generation expert, former designer and a power connector. If you are still not on his newsletter (which Buzzfeed urged to refrain from “if you despise creativity”) go join it now. Jarvis shares a lot about pushing your name out there and winning that first work and building a personal brand. He’s got his bylines in Fast Company, Forbes, BuzzFeed, LifeHacker, and others top publishers, which led him to five-figure retainer contracts. Additionally, follow Paul if you are interested in self publishing – he wrote and self-published several books on freelancing.
5. Mridu Khullar Relph
Mridu Khullar Relph is a freelance journalist with bylines in The New York Times, TIME, Vogue, Marie Claire, CNN, ABC News and a couple of other top publishers. Mridu runs The International Freelancer, a blog for writers of various backgrounds and origins determined to make a name for themselves on a global scale. She shares a lot of incredibly personal and genuine advice for freelance writers, journalists and content marketers determined to take their business to six-figures. Her book, “Shut Up and Write” is action-driven and makes a good read.
6. Carol Tice
Carol Tice is a Seattle based freelance writer, possibly more known to everyone through her award winning blog, Make a Living Writing. She’ll teach you how to actually earn more, polish your skills, create better client offers and writer pitches that land you work. Her advice is backed up with years of industry experience. She’s been writing for print editions and online publishers since 2005, and worked with American Express, Costco and a bunch of others household name clients. She also has a subscription-based job board of curated freelance writing work coming from her contacts.
7. Brennan Dunn
Brennan Dunn is the guy behind Double Your Freelancing. As the name suggests, his primary objective is to help freelancers charge what they are worth and learn to understand the business side of freelancing. If you are struggling with scaling your operations and making more profits, Brennan will give you just the right tools and advice. Additionally, he talks a lot about creating reliable and ongoing sources of income for your business and runs a great podcast with experts like Joanna Wiebe (CopyHackers), Julia Kelly ($300/hour cartoonist) and Paul Jarvis (no more intros needed).
It’s important to have a community of entrepreneurs and go-to mentors to learn from as you journey through the freelance world. Freelancers have their own autonomy but they don’t have to be alone! With the number of self-employed workers increasing every day, you can connect with thousands of like-minded individuals, learn from and grow with them. Moonlighting is one such platform that houses entrepreneurs, small businesses, and self-employed hustlers with whom you can network and find work. Join this community today — and don’t forget to keep up with our blog for inspirational stories, resources, and tips on making it in the gig economy.