The term “freelance” has such a cool hippie vibe but actually has a pretty primeval origin. As a former purveyor of the greatest board game the world has ever seen, a “free lance” was a mercenary-for-hire offering his or her services to the highest bidder in times of warfare, pillaging, or other outright naughtiness. If memory serves, Saxons were a pretty hot commodity when a siege of York was forthcoming, but I digress.

Now it’s hip to refer to the new “gig” economy (the existence of which HRH guest Jeff Wald would contest) but what are we really talking about? In the simplest terms it means you are working for yourself – you say when, you say where, and you say for how much. It sounds great, right? Well, it can be – IF you have the pipeline of assignments to perpetuate future work, but make sure you go in with your eyes wide open.

The key is to differentiate yourself from others who provide the same service. Our friends at Thimble provided me with this infographic to give you some advice on how to do just that:

stand-out-freelancing

So as a freelancer, your business is differentiating your business, see? That makes you the Marketing department, the Sales department, the Operations department – the best freelancers present a footprint much bigger than their actual shoe size. Time to sharpen your spear.