Be Free, Lance | The Best of 2013

In honor of the new year, I thought I would put together a little “best of” recap from my Be Free, Lance column. It’s something that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed developing + curating for you all, as well as the discussion that always follows. So many of you have fascinating viewpoints and that’s exactly why I love doing this. Together we share, learn, and grow for the better. I’ve spent a good part of this year brainstorming ways in which I can take BFL to the next level and I’m excited to announce that I will be developing a Be Free, Lance workshop ( online ) sometime in 2014. It’s very much in the beginning stages and I plan on taking my time to get it just right … but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to let you know it’s in the works!! So without further ado, feel free to click through and browse a few of my favorite posts from this year. And don’t forget – the comments section in all of these is a gold mine for other thoughts, too!

01. Setting Boundaries. As creative business owners, we often bend over backwards for our clients. But how much is too much? Making sure you have your own rules is 100% essential to stay sane.

02. Schooling. I get many emails asking if you NEED to go to school to become a professional in your creative niche. The answer, though, isn’t very simple. While traditional education is great – there are so many other options out there to take advantage of nowadays! There isn’t really a right or wrong path.

03. Breaks are Okay. The workflow of a freelancer isn’t always very consistent. You’ll have days, weeks, and months that are busier than others, which can feel unsettling at times. But guess what? It’s okay. Use the inconsistency to your advantage by working on personal projects or even just taking the day off.

04. Google Calendar. Project management is really important and necessary for us to keep everything together, both professionally and personally. After trying many different ways of organizing my daily to dos, I finally landed on a solid plan to keep track of it all. Thank you Google Calendar!

05. The Best Hours. Some of us work better in the morning and some of us work better at night, but that doesn’t really matter. Even though the typically work hours are 9-5, you have to work the same way. Find your BEST time and utilize it.

06. Invoicing. This is a straight up informational post on the ins and outs of invoicing clients. Plus, tips and tricks in making the whole process smoother, too!

07. Saying No. Just because an inquiry comes knocking at your door, it doesn’t mean you have to say yes. Over time, finding the right client for you is key to staying fresh and feeling positive about the type of work you are putting out there.

08. Contracts. Another informational post outlining the importance of a contract and how it can protect you from worst case scenarios. Tips on setting it up and resources for base contracts, too!

09. Connections. When you have your own business, it’s important to establish connections, whether it’s through professional friendships or collaborations. You never know what reaching out to others will do to help your biz!

So there you have it! My freelancing tips list of 2013. And with that said, this is probably the last post for awhile as we head out of town in a few days to enjoy Christmas with our family. I can’t wait to relax and enjoy good conversations + tasty food. I hope you all have a great Holiday season as well. See ya soon. :)

  1. Shivani says:

    I went back to your gcal post to refresh on organizing tips, only to find that I’d commented on it way back when as well – I’d forgotten!

    A perhaps updated thought on to-do lists and gcal: I’ve recently started using Google Keep ( for ongoing, color-coded to-do lists. (Mine: red for work, green for blog, yellow for personal.) They don’t appear in my calendar, which is unfortunate, but you can set reminders on each “sticky note,” which for me works fairly well. Always useful to have your grocery list pop up on your phone when you arrive at the grocery store!

    • breanna says:

      Oh wow, I had NO idea Google Keep even existed! Thank you for pointing that out to me – I’m off to research that right now. ;)

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks Breanna! I’ve loved this column; even as someone who doesn’t really freelance it’s helped me immensely as a graphic designer in getting organized, laying boundaries, getting things done and focusing. I cannot WAIT to see how your workshop turns out!

    • breanna says:

      Aww, that’s great to hear that it’s gone outside of the freelancing world, too! And thank you about the workshop. My head is spinning with ideas – so exciting!! xx.

  3. Definitely bookmarking this – as I’ve been following and enjoying you BFL column, I absolutely love the compilation here. Thank you for sharing with us your tips, thoughts and feelings, Breanna! Merry Christmas! Enjoy the holidays with your family!

  4. Kory says:

    That’s so exciting! You have so much that you can teach the rest of us, so I can’t wait to hear more about the workshop! Happy holidays! :)

  5. Monika says:

    You should make your own freelance class or school :)
    I can learn from you, so many things!

    Have merry Christmas and pleasant time with your loved ones!

  6. Danielle says:

    Merry Christmas to you and yours! I’m excited to hear more about your online workshop in the New Year :) xo

  7. alicia says:

    That sounds pretty excited! I look forward to hearing more about this little workshop :)

    Have a relaxing few days off :)

  8. Sarah says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading your thought in the be free lance series this past year, as well as contributing my own experiences. You always have such clever and thoughtful commentary on all this creative business. It seems pretty clear to me why you’ve ben so successful, and I look forward to learning more about the workshops!

  9. Jo says:

    That’s exciting news, I can’t wait to learn more about it.

    Thank you for sharing all this knowledge in Be Free, Lance and the spin-off! I’ve really learned a lot from all the useful advice. Happy Holidays and cheers to the new year!

  10. Brianna says:

    Congrats Bre! So exciting – and I can’t wait to see what you do with it. If you need any help with it, let me know, I’d love to help support you on this new venture. Merry Christmas lovely!

  11. PEARLSPEAK says:

    thank you for this post! especially enjoying your post on our best hours and how to get better organized with the convenient use of the Googs ;)

    much appreciated! merry christmas eve!

  12. Kerry Rose says:

    a workshop! exciting news. hope you have a lovely and fulfilling new year :)

  13. Hazel says:

    I only discovered your series midway through the year so I‘m looking forward to setting aside time to absorb all the wisdom from your past posts. As a student freelancer, these have been especially helpful for me so thanks so so much!

  14. thank you so much for sharing. Excelent

  15. Love the Be Free, Lance series! I was wondering, do you have any experience working with web developers? I’d love to read a post about how all of that works!

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