Jumping full time into the freelance game can be pretty intimidating. This month, we’re rounding up some of the best articles from 99U to walk you through some starter steps to find solo success in the freelance industry. Learn how to pick up your first clients, avoid early pitfalls and make time for personal projects.

The 5 most common mistakes new freelancers make

If you’ve been considering making the leap from employment to being your own boss, then this one’s for you. I’m not going to butter you up with motivational quotes about embracing risk or perseverance.

Instead, I’m going to assume that you’re in a similar situation to the one I was in back in 2008: You’re ready to make the leap and you don’t exactly have a trust fund at your back. (read more)

How to get more people to actually see your work

A few years ago, the investor and entrepreneur Paul Graham wrote an essay on the nature of startups. He opened matter-of-factly “a startup is a company designed to grow fast.” Of course, all businesses want to grow quickly. The phrase “grow or die” existed long before Facebook. But a startup is a special kind of company. (read more)

3 steps for bridging “The Confidence Gap”

The primary obstacles to risk-taking are the existing patterns that shape our work lives. Tracy Candido, the entrepreneur behind Lady Boss, an NYC-based networking and mentoring organization, admits, “I had reached a wall—I felt tired of going through the cycle of being bold and assertive at work, getting negative feedback, changing my behavior to be more quiet and go-with-the-flow, and then getting negative feedback again.” (read more)


Your “Just For Fun” projects are what set you apart

In an environment where commercial jobs can begin to look all the same, personal projects set your work apart from the masses. They emphasize your personal style and way of thinking through pure expression. (read more)

Always be creating

With constant work comes constant inspiration. Ideas are not a predefined bucket that you should live in fear of drying up. Work creates a state that connects new ideas. Often called the creative ear, when you’re regularly working on things you enjoy, the walls come down and seemingly insignificant moments spark inspiration. (read more)

How to fine-tune your intuition

Intuition is a strong instinct, crucial to creative discovery. Your intuition tells you whether or not you’re working with the right partner, whether or not a design looks or feels right, and whether or not you’re approaching burnout. (read more)

Have another tip for new freelancers? Share it in the comments!