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Freelance Chat

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Yeah similar story here, but I think I should have billed higher, I basically billed what my employee rate would have been anyway (125 USD an hour for those curious) but I don't get insurance and other benefits. Maybe I should have billed closer to 175 or 200 an hour
If you work for two clients, you should work partime for both or at least one. Likewise, there are several problems such as the overlapping me meeting if the clients are in similar timezones or that you do not have much free time to rest or do basic things. My recommendation is to have a client who pays you very well and then do developments or activities for you that give you a passive income.
It is common that if a company assures you a full time position, it treats you as an employee. You may not have the benefits that an employee has but you should have an income that allows you to compensate for the lack of those benefits, otherwise it is convenient for you to be an employee who works remotely.
In my experience, you either scale and learn how to build an agency or you end up an employee. Age works against freelancers and freelancers are usually leveraged to save money.
Eventually the struggle of maintaining clients and hunting down work loses appeal.
If you are talking about how much you can handle, you have already lost because you are not delegating.
Interesting, do you run an agency yourself?
No, I have a saas now.
I freelanced for over 10 years before it could support me.
Most of the people in my cohort, they either now have agencies or are full time employees.
The other option is you move into consulting.
Iโ€™m not working in software development, but as a freelancer for over 8 years Iโ€™d say that by having 2 clients you make sure youโ€™re not royally fucked in case one of them decides to stop working with you. However, if you do have one single client that pays you really well and you can save a ton of money per month, then thatโ€™s is totally fine โ€“ if they kick you out youโ€™re not gonna panic and will still have the nerves to look around for a new job without accepting anything just to start making money again. Iโ€™ve been in both situations and what I learned is that as long as you do NOT depend on the client(s) youโ€™re working for, youโ€™re good, youโ€™re not desperate, youโ€™re not going to accept any shitty client that comes your way just to pay the bills. You need to either find this balance by having enough savings or by having enough clients.
Also, Iโ€™m a freelancer for ages and I have zero interest in opening an agency โ€“ I def donโ€™t wanna go from having to take care of myself to having to take care of multiple people.

I also believe what btfkfyksmkgcfdyiv said in your spare time, find other ways to make money that are not your main freelance business (preferably passive income, even if itโ€™s just investing).

I can be a freelancer for the rest of my life and just charge more for my hours over the years โ€“ thatโ€™s totally doable imo and Iโ€™ve been doing it, working less and making more money over the years โ€“ but Iโ€™m not sure I wanna work in my field (advertising) forever, so things might change. Thatโ€™s why Iโ€™m building a side business that might allow me stop working as a freelancer in the future if I decide to do so
nioeovzwu Well the idea behind an agency is you work towards building something that is autonomous from yourself, if you keep the agency tiny that would be the case. Essentially you convert your business into an asset. So you are building a side business so you can get a way from freelancing (that is what I did) but that further reaffirms my point, freelancing isn't really sustainable. Theoretically you could do it for the rest of your life but it doesn't really get easier.
Whether you create a separate business, get money from investments, build an agency to a point you can be nearly hands off, the objective is always the same - to stop being a freelancer.
because freelancing sucks, it has some benefits, but chasing works sucks and working directly with clients all the time also sucks.
advertising might be a bit better than software development because software development is insanely time intensive.
Jesus, with 11+ years experience I still don't even get $100usd
imo it should be the objective of all freelancers to figure out how to eventually stop freelancing if only for the fact that I feel in general, patience does not increase with age and you really need herculean levels of patience when working with clients.
Yeah that makes sense rynwotmeualqdhxdw it's just that I don't like having similar expectations as an employee, if I wanted to be in an employee, I'd have gotten a job rather than freelancing, in my mind. However I guess you can't beat the income of billing 40h a week
czhdmwibvhfgg I started low and then my friends just told me to keep billing higher and higher so that's what I did, maybe for your next clients you could try billing 100 and see what they say. I target companies that have VC money so they're funded, not sure if that's who you're targeting as well
I agree that one should have a side income, I don't think freelancing sucks though, and not sure I'd want to start managing people in an agency, that's a whole different skillset.
Then you have really good clients, it's better than some other options.
kcvojlmwvuepz it's all about marketing... 100 per hour is a lot depending on what you do, but you'd be surprised at how much people are willing to pay you... Aslo obviously depends on where the client is froml, how much they have, etc...
Ya most of my clients are Canadian
Yeah that makes a difference. Since I target San Francisco type companies in the US, the hourly rate is a lot higher. Maybe you could arbitrage where you charge US rates / clients but live in Canada where it's cheaper presumably
Some say that a business shouldn't depend on any single client for more than 15% of its revenue.

... and I'd say the same for freelancing.

If you depend on any client then you're better off working for them as an employee.

Freelancing/contracting for one business (or several) is the worst of both worlds IMO.

Being free to fire any client that you dislike working with is the best thing about freelancing.
My accountancy package actually warns of that
I wouldn't necessarily say blanket statements like โ€œshouldn't โ€œ etc, there are always edge cases, I've been freelancing a couple years now but just signed a contract with a great client that I'm happy to focus 100% of my time on, it pays well, I have tons of freedom, it's a great culture, but if I were an employee I couldn't leave the country for more than six months of the year, I wouldn't be eligible for their benefits programs, I'd be leaving a ton of money on the table. So I set up my own company and contract them out on a monthly basis as a third party vendor. I'm my own boss and work how I want but I work closely with the team like an employee and I am included in their ESOP
If you're good, it's easy to find more clients when you decide you don't want to work with your current client(s) anymore. Iโ€™ve always done just one or two clients at once and never been without work longer than a weekend except when intentionally taking time off.
Yeah that's how it's been for me too, more like staff aug than freelance
Have used payoneer in the past, but want to try letsdeel and wix payments.
I think Wix takes no commission. Payoneer charges equivalent to Wise, if not slightly higher if we put it on a scale where Paypal's the worst.
I think there's a difference between freelance and staff augmentation. Looks like the former in this chat is being used to mean like, you have a product or deliverable that you give to people, such as copywriting or something like that.

In contrast, in software dev, if you have 15% coming from one client, well you basically have to work for 100%/15% = around 7 clients a year, or simultaneously
It doesn't really work in software if you're trying to work a standard 40 hours a week, you cant split that up by 7
Staff augmentation type contacts is pretty much what I fell into after leaving Google (fun fact, over 50% of Google is TVC = Temp, Vendor, Contractorโ€ฆessentially staff aug)
ya i had 4 clients last year, only one at a time, invoiced monthly, i had about two months in between one of the gigs because it was supposed to be a 4 month minimum project that got cut short, then my next clients ended up being a big corporation that had a 6 week "expedited" interview process
staff augmentation is a new term to me
Ya software dev is different. Though the primary driver of freelancing pre-pandemic was for freedom. I think post pandemic, freelance for software dev is not as alluring especially for top engineers. I recently learned some companies are offering unlimited vacation, which essentially about meeting objectives not time.
i think the allure is the ability to save a ton more on taxes because you can deduct a bunch of stuff as business expenses, plus save a ton via your country's 401k plan equivalent
plus the pay can be substantially more
If you're charging like >100 USD an hour
In general even working as an employee you can deduct things as a business expense. For it to work you have to do things that most freelancers are not doing. You need to pipe the money into an actual corporation, then you need to pay yourself in dividends. If you cut yourself a payroll cheque, what you can do is save money by allowing the corporation to pay for a bunch of stuff including medical. This is highly dependent on country, but certain countries employers pick up 50% of the tab for certain things. In Canada for instance EI/CPP is covered half by the corporation and companies will regularly try to push employees to be contractors/freelancers so that this 50% is pushed to the employee. It is actually quite exploitative.
In general you should be piping money into a corporation and not your self if you are making really good money but it has to be worth it because doing corporate taxes are in general more expensive. Also, freelancers don't get stock options which while a bit of a gamble can end up amounting to millions if the startup goes IPO.
If you're a freelancer for a startup where you could of got stock options and they blow up, you're not really going to care about your tax savings.
That is _if_ the company allows you to run your payroll through your own corporation, which most don't in the US, they want to pay you directly as a W2 employee.
It's not an either or situation.
No I mean as a freelancer, you should be directing money to a corporation.
There is a lot of stories of startups blowing up and hundreds or more becoming millionaires or having some kind of windfall. There are some on this chat.
I am not even talking about ground floor either.
Oh yeah of course, just thought you meant something different since you wrote employee
Sure but the probability of that happening is not high. It's actually very low, unless you're counting joining something like Airbnb a couple years before IPO
Ya it worded it strange.
When you are joining the startup you can make a decision if you believe in it or not, so personal foresight matters. That said, even large established companies will provide stock options that over the long term can amount to a lot.
Like AAPL has had ESPP which allows employees to buy stock at a discount.
It's all very situational because contracts are different, companies are different, etc.. I think it's important to highlight this stuff because my views changed once I started employing people myself. In Canada in particular freelancers get such a raw deal. They don't EI (employment insurance), they don't get vacation time, they have to pay the entire CPP (pension plan) themselves, their taxes are in general way more complicated versus getting payroll income.

Fortunately it is starting to be made illegal because some companies were exploiting freelancers here making them contractors when they should of been employees.
```It's much better statistically to grow your main income rather than relying on stock options.```
That is if stock option success is measured binary - you win or you lose. I agree that no one should rely on stock options to cover living expenses because it's a risk asset but I wouldn't always discount it at $0.

Personally, I consider 1) availability of higher income and 2) subjective probability of stock option liquidity. From there I figure out the trade-off that works for me.

1. Junior employee - high income isn't available yet (little experience, doesn't know the market well enough, weak network etc.). Startups with options pay slightly less than larger companies without options (e.g. used to be quite common in the UK). If the individual finds a startup they like (culture, career opportunities, product/business etc.) and subjectively believes that the options could be worth something -> I'd consider going for the options because the trade-off is cheap enough.
2. Senior employee hitting the ceiling of what they could earn. When there're aren't many opportunities to increase income they could consider taking _slightly_ more risk with stock options. Although in this case I'd only consider higher-probability plays (like you mentioned Airbnb pre-IPO) while keeping main income high (with a slight discount).
3. Someone in the middle with a significant upside in income that's already available should likely go for the income increase rather than settle with significantly lower income and stock options. Opportunity cost could be too high (depending on the income upside).
The above assumes a desire to maximize income while minimizing risks (employees, freelancers etc.). People with much higher risk appetite (e.g. founders, traders) are likely to have a different view.
I've worked for two companies with unlimited time off. Try taking every Friday off and see if it's as unlimited as they say. In my case it didn't work at one and didn't try at the other cause I felt constantly behind on the workload given.
I'm a marketer, so there's definitely aspects of software development freelancing that I won't appreciate.

My projects are typically 1-3 weeks long,

And I'd never want to be in a position where I depended on a client.
I think this is sort of a similar difference to a "builder" and a "painter".

Builders by the nature of the craft have longer engagements, and it's difficult to built two houses in parallel as an independent contractor.

While painters might shift between jobs more quickly, as they finish them more quickly.

Both of those, can evolve into a proper "business" and hire people and scale. A builder can create crews that build in parallel. Painters can build teams to go out and paint in parallel.

I think in itself it's not a problem to have one or a few clients, as long as your pipeline is full and you are rejecting jobs. Otherwise you'll be stuck in, what is known as, "feast and famine" cycles.
In other words, the root problem is not having a marketing channel from which you can extract leads, and clients, at a predictable rate.
yeah I think you got it spot on with builder/painter
I decided to accept the offer, and I heavily underestimated how long it takes me to prepare the content before recording :sweat_smile:
<@U1H03AZJP> you can say โ€œI told youโ€ haha but I am enjoying the process to be honest
I told you lol
you can get stock options as a contractor, although i don't know how common this actually is
Any motion designers in this channel?
what's a motion designer?
I like to do little code animations but if I ever put "motion designer" on a resume that would probably be a crime

sounds like 2d animator to me
What do you use for payment? I use Payoneer but always loose 2% + 25 dรณlares when sending the money to my bank account
It's free
Where are you located?
Switched to Wise and never looked back. Not only Payoneer fees and exchange rates are absurd, but also the product and the customer service is too cheap.
I did the same. Wise has way less commissions. Never had an issue so far.
Iโ€™ve been sending out money with very convenient exchange rates too.
Currently in Uruguay
Thanks! Will look into their fees.
Yeah so if you're doing international, Wise is better. For within the US we have bank to bank transfers. If your clients are also in the same country as your bank, you might save some money if that country has free bank transfers too
Wise Borderless. My clients make a local bank transfer and I get it fast. Everyone's happy.
i use wise all the time but I want to try out letsdeel too
I am still looking for a way to hold USD though. My business expenses are in dollars and so is my income but it gets converted twice since I live outside the US.
why canโ€™t you receive and spend from a Wise USD account?
because it's not allowed in India. I can only transfer but not hold on Wise. Will check again. Thanks for the tip.
Stripe with ACH payments.

Recurring payments mostly Stripe with CC, where 2.9% is the cost of doing business.

I still have one client who insists on sending me paper checks, which is processed via virtual mailbox โ†’ scanned PDF โ†’ take a photo of my screen โ†’ remote deposit to bank ๐Ÿคฆโ€โ™‚๏ธ
I am a videographers/editor (own gear that's completely portable). Have a business registered and everything is already set up. I guess I'm just looking for a little direction on how I can make this work in a practical way since I can earn a living and travel. I know actually working in other country without a visa proper paper work is no go. Just looking for some advice to see if this is even possible
Not sure about videographers but for people who work on their computer, a country basically can't stop you "working" on a tourist visa, since they're not gonna track your computer usage. For video though, maybe if some people see you're filming they might ask for a work permit, but you could say it's for a tourist vlog, depending on whether you have full staff there or something
hi there, any flutter dev here? a friend of mine is looking to hire some help to build a mobile app
tjwxhjyw Iโ€™ve done flutter apps before! Feel free to refer me if heโ€™s still looking. Iโ€™ll shoot ya a DM with my github / linkedin info
Hi. Looking into setting up a company as a freelance developer. Any recommendations for an agency (1-stop shop)?
That will depend dramatically on which country you're setting it up in
I set mine up recently as a Canadian and just doing it myself through the official online channels was as easy as I'd expect an agency to be, barely took an hour (caveat I just went with a numbered company so no name check)
I used Stripe Atlas
totally agree. trying to get some name drops so I a can research further.
Can anyone here build a twilio dialer?

I have a video link going through basic architecture and fundamentals but need someone to tie it all together as a custom power dialer solution for my company.

Please let me know so we can hop on a call.
This only applies if you are not claiming the FEIE, though, correct? At least thatโ€™s what Iโ€™ve been told. dzjhxdoptqcnpw wbjkjikxv ldbmeabgqjolkqggcc
agreed. unlimited time off is a good sales pitch for recruiting, but often the reality is that employees end up using fewer paid time-off days. as an employee you will often lose out, in my experience.
Not sure, would have to ask your accountant
With Solo401k? Yes, you can can still apply to FEIE as well
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