Robert Vlach THE FREELANCE WAY
Best Business Practices,
Tools & Strategies
for Independent Professionals
The most comprehensive book for freelancers ever written. Packed with proven freelance know-how, including exclusive advice provided by world-class experts David Allen, Adam Grant, Austin Kleon, and David H. Hansson.
“A unique book” — Steven PressfieldMore praise for The Freelance Way
BUY THE BOOK
🌍 English international edition by HarperCollins (HarperBusiness & HarperAudio):
- AUDIOBOOK → Audible as well as B&N, Apple Books, Libro.fm, Kobo, Audiobookstore
- EBOOK → Amazon Kindle as well as B&N, Google Books, Kobo
- PAPERBACK → Amazon USA, UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Turkey, India, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, UAE
Czechia → Melvil
Slovakia → Absynt
Bulgaria → Locus
Serbia → Harmonija
Montenegro → to be published in 2023 by Zlatna gora
About the book
Freelancing is by far the simplest approach to doing business on the free market. With very little capital, risk and equipment, you can turn gigs and side jobs into a successful business career, become your own boss and do meaningful, well-paid work.
Yet over time, freelancing may also prove to be quite a challenge for your self-management, for a freelancer is both an expert and a businessperson. Failing to recognize this leads many freelancers to a bitter end, so developing both your expertise and business skills is essential for attaining sustainable professional growth and better profits.
There’s just one more catch. You may soon find out that the rules for success written for companies and startups lack relevance for freelancers. Freelancing is so distinct, that what you need isn’t just any business strategy, but the freelance strategy. In other words, you need this book.
The Freelance Way is THE business book for independent professionals. It presents the best available and fully up-to-date freelance know-how, compiled from hundreds of quality sources, including surveys, the latest market data, advice from world-class experts, as well as real-life experiences and stories from hundreds of professionals in different fields and countries, which makes the book highly relevant to freelancers worldwide.
The contents of this volume cover all the basics and best practices for beginning freelancers, as well as advanced career strategies and tools for freelance veterans. There are practical tips for greater productivity, successful teamwork, smart pricing, powerful business negotiations, bulletproof personal finance, effective marketing, and much more.
Regardless if you've been in business for 20 years, or are just starting out, this book will help you to grow, avoid countless mistakes and develop a successful personal business based on your expertise and good name, to live a free, independent, and fulfilled life.
1 / BUSINESS
- Can Business Be Learned?
- Your Niche in the Market Universe
Why is freelance business more than just the gig economy?
- A Good Name
Why is your reputation crucial for lasting success?
2 / THE PROFESSIONAL
- It’s a Freelance Life
What are the pros and cons of freelancing?
- The Foundations of Success
What makes a professional a success?
- A Business Plan Makes a Career
What should be the foundation of your professional and career strategy?
3 / KNOW-HOW
- Personal Productivity
How can you do it all on time and with no headaches?
- Professional IT
How to keep your data safe and what tools should you use?
- Teaming Up
How do you team up and share work with the right people?
- You’re Only As Good As Your Clients
How do you care for your clients and build a clientele?
How much should you ask for your work?
- Business Negotiations
What are the best practices for negotiations?
- Getting Paid
Can you outsmart non-payers?
- Websites, Blogs, and Social Media
How can you fully harness the internet’s potential?
- Freelance Marketing
Which kinds of self-promotion should you choose?
- Personal Finances and Risk Prevention
How can you prepare for the worst?
The Freelance Way
Where are the limits of professional growth?
THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU IF:
- You are a freelancer.
- You are dealing with freelance problems that people around you don’t understand.
- You are considering quitting your job to freelance and are afraid to take risks.
- You are just starting out in small business.
- You have been freelancing for a long time and want to acquire new business skills.
- You are thinking about your career strategy and where will you be in ten or twenty years.
- You are doing gigs alongside your daily job or studies and it already resembles a business.
- You are self-employed, working for a single client and want to be more independent.
- You are running a company or agency founded by you and on your good name.
- You want to understand freelancers, freelancing and the gig economy in general.
The Freelance Way
“If you want to succeed as an independent professional, it is essential that you educate yourself about running a personal business. You can either learn this the hard way through trial and error, or read this unique book instead. It covers virtually everything you need to know as a freelancer on how to start, manage and grow your business — be it a local or a global one, working remotely. Robert's book is packed with proven advice, tools, stories and wisdom from people who have gone down this road before you. It will undoubtedly help you live and prosper, the freelance way.”
world-famous author of Gates of Fire, The War of Art, and The Legend of Bagger Vance
“As freelancers, we know why we should run our indie careers as a business, but how is often a challenge. This essential book delivers actionable advice and practical tips you can use to build a solid business foundation right now.”
author of the best-selling Well Fed cookbook series
“Are you an experienced entrepreneur? Then this book will save your ass several times over. Are you a newbie freelancer starting out? It may even save your life! The Freelance Way is one of the most useful books that I have read on my journey to a free(lance) life.”
freelance writer and digital storyteller with major brands like Puma, T-Mobile, and O2
“Just because you're a freelancer, you don't have to figure it all out on your own. There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom out there from people who have succeeded on their own terms as independent professionals — and Robert Vlach puts it in your hands with The Freelance Way. The book is packed with practical advice on the challenges you will encounter, from the mundane to the artistic. And whatever your current level of freelancing experience, Robert reminds you and me that there is always more to aspire to.”
creative coach and host of The 21st Century Creative Podcast
“The Freelance Way is the most comprehensive freelance guide I have ever read. A lot of books on freelancing are just repurposed 'best practices' that you could get from Google, but Robert’s book shares deep expertise and experience that you can only have from being an independent worker for many years. Instead of giving silver bullets and 'secret' formulas, Robert shares his incredible knowledge as a freelancer and top-tier business consultant, which gives freelancers the information they need to forge their own path.”
business coach and one of the leading voices on freelance business in the U.S.
“The Freelance Way is the best book for freelancers EVER published. No fluff and tons of practical advice and procedures that you can simply follow. It helped me immensely in becoming a real professional. I recommend this book to all my students.”
entreprenur and business mentor, awarded as The Woman of the Year 2021 in the Work category
“Robert is passionate about creating and realising individual business stories, taking that inspirational spark and enthusiasm for an idea and making it real. To make it real you need to understand the details and dynamics of doing business. Robert’s book is a must read, full of practical and actionable advice, allowing you to discover the entrepreneur in you and to make that passionate idea come to life. I can’t recommend this book enough.”
three-time UK barista champion and entrepreneur at Colonna Coffee, author of The Coffee Dictionary
“I had the privilege to work with Robert many years before he wrote this book. He is the best business advisor I’ve ever had and he played a significant role in my career move from the corporate world to freelancing. The Freelance Way is a must-read for anyone leaving the corporate bubble and taking back control of their professional identity and destiny.”
leading data privacy and GDPR advisor, former diplomat to Canada and top executive in Fortune 500 companies
“There’s an estimate that freelancers will make up the majority of the workforce by 2027. Do you want to succeed in this new economy? By buying this book, you can make Robert your personal advisor. I don’t know anyone who could be a better guide for you on this journey.”
founder of Surf Office’s international network of company retreat venues
“If I was going freelance today, this book would be an eye-opener for me. Because what's in there, are things that I had to figure out on my own for a long time… A fantastic book.”
prominent technology evangelist and influencer for Apple products
“Six weeks ago I finished reading the final manuscript of Robert Vlach's new and reworked freelancing bible. (I guess I was a good boy all year!) I have been waiting for the launch day so I can finally recommend this sledgehammer combo of business practices. So… Today's the day: Bad news for everyone else writing about entrepreneurship, because I doubt you will ever need any other book. Bad news for your competition, who hasn't read it yet. Warning: It may also make you feel like you don't know anything about business or wonder how the hell did you even survive up to today. But you came to learn, so give yourself a pat on the back, take a deep breath and slip into Robert's book of dreams. I mean tools.”
designer and artist, awarded Czech Digital Marketer of the Year 2016
“The Freelance Way is a book you will be returning to…for years, over and over again. It is written for both beginners and established professionals, so as you grow, it will give you new insights each time you read it. This book is a must for every freelancer, regardless of their profession.”
illustrator and art director, founder of the comic book app Nanits
“Robert’s upbeat book about freelancing ends on a fascinating and unexpected twist. Even seasoned freelancers will find this work a great opportunity to go back to their roots and recalibrate their freelance business.”
Jan de Graaf
senior business developer and expert on EU exports to China
“The Freelance Way is a comprehensive and well-structured masterpiece on freelancing, and rightfully the main go-to resource for independent professionals, entrepreneurs and creators alike. The book sums up years of experience and tons of advice and research, yet it is super pleasant to read. Robert presents a complete roadmap with hundreds of real-world examples on how to seriously upgrade your freelancing toolbox. Going freelance is a lot of fun, but it also brings a lot of challenges. Reading this book will surely allow you to enjoy more of the former and put you in control of the latter.”
EMEA Expansion Manager at WeWork
“Robert Vlach is one in a million. Friendly, hard-working, fully engaged, but most of all a true professional, who walks the talk. His book is precisely like that. Before I opened it, I wasn't really aware that I was half-freelance myself. I was awestruck by the sheer number of things I could improve on. Ever since, the book has been my go-to business guide. It has helped me a great deal and I am sure it will help anyone who reads it as well.”
investor and founder of the EU-based Vltava Fund, best-selling writer
“The Freelance Way took my business to the moon and back. A very readable and enjoyable book that taught me how to professionalize my work.”
senior social media consultant with major brands like Bayer and Johnson & Johnson
“A breathtaking business guide that will take your freelancing to the top. The Freelance Way leads you safely through valleys of failure, financial risks and tough business decisions. While climbing higher, Robert teaches you to avoid pitfalls and master the survivor’s toolkit to fix problems. Together you cross challenging spots like negotiations, pricing, and marketing to reach the peak of success, a good reputation and clients who appreciate you and your work. Standing there, up on the top, as an accomplished freelancer, you look back and know in your heart: It was worth it.”
world-class brand designer, founder of the Ziijn studio
“I could have saved myself countless blind alleys and wasted hours; miscalculated budgets for my services; neglected self-presentation; trials of useless tools; accounting and tax-filing errors, if only Robert had written this book 10 years ago, when I left my corporate job and went freelance. The Freelance Way is a must-read for all of you, who are just starting to take their lives back.”
a leading loyalty marketing expert, The Loyalty Magazine Awards judge
“For Robert, freelancing is not a fancy hashtag. For Robert, freelance means business. His truly eye-opening book is here to help you in setting the right prices, keeping your inbox sane and preventing the most common deadly mistakes.”
writer and editor-in-chief at FINMAG.cz
NEWS & UPDATES
THE SUPERHUMAN PODCAST
Georgi Nenov of the highly acclaimed Superhuman podcast hosted a 2-hour interview on freelance business with Robert Vlach during Robert’s December 2023 book tour in Sofia, organized by Locus Publishing. Listen on Spotify or YouTube:
THE FREELANCE WAY REVEALED
A longer interview with Robert Vlach about The Freelance Way and the business side of independent professionals, hosted by the well-prepared Stan Slavev, has just been released on his freelance podcast.
BULGARIAN BOOK TOUR
Robert Vlach’s week-long book tour in Bulgaria had a hugely positive reception. Organized by Kremena Metodieva’s Locus Publishing, which published The Freelance Way in Bulgarian, the book tour included a dozen high-profile media interviews and social events, as well as a book-signing at the National Book Fair and an international freelance meetup co-organized with Freelancing.eu and Networking Premium.
THE FREELANCE WAY OF PRICING
Sarah Duran interviewed Robert Vlach on The Hustler’s Manifesto podcast about some themes covered in The Freelance Way, and especially freelance pricing.
URI, the largest organization supporting freelancers in Serbia, has published an upbeat review of The Freelance Way (Put frilensera in Serbian), written by Ivana Matic. Here’s an automated Google English translation.
The Freelance Way will be published in 2023 by Zlatna Gora in Montenegro (population of only ca. 620,000).
ENGLISH AUDIOBOOK FROM HARPERAUDIO
HarperAudio has released The Freelance Way as an unabridged audiobook — now available worldwide on Audible! HarperCollins acquired global publishing English-language rights for Robert Vlach’s best-selling book earlier this year, making it available globally in paperback and e-book editions, newly complemented with the full-length 20-hour audiobook.
THE SERBIAN EDITION
Serbian translation of The Freelance Way has just been published as Put frilensera by Harmonija.
HARPERCOLLINS ACQUIRES GLOBAL ENGLISH PUBLISHING RIGHTS
Great news: HarperCollins acquires global English publishing rights for The Freelance Way! Their international edition, published earlier this spring in Asia, will be sold via major e-retailers worldwide. The audiobook production starts in September.
THE DAY OF THE FREELANCER IN BRUSSELS
Robert Vlach will present the opening keynote at The Day of the Freelancer (or Dag van de Freelancer) conference in Brussels on October 6. Some 200 Dutch and Belgian freelancers will gather to network and learn from each other. Robert’s talk will be titled The Freelance Way of Personal Finance. Here is the outline.
THE BULGARIAN EDITION
Out of the blue — these are the first prints of the Bulgarian edition of The Freelance Way, fresh from the printing house! The book is now available from Locus Publishing, and will soon appear in Bulgarian bookstores.
Robert Vlach has been a guest of the latest episode of BW Dialogue — an established Indian business talk show hosted by Dr. Annurag Batra and fellow journalists from the BW BusinessWorld magazine. The debate covered the latest freelancing trends and other themes from Robert’s book The Freelance Way, recently published by HarperCollins. The full recording is available on YouTube:
THE UNIVERSE WRITES
Following the publication of The Freelance Way by HarperCollins, Robert Vlach has been the guest of The Universe Writes — a series of online events with global writers organized by Prabha Khaitan Foundation and Siyahi in India. With Pavan Lall as a host, they have discussed the book, its writing and freelancing as a business. You can watch the full recording on YouTube:
The Freelance Way has been published by HarperCollins for all freelancers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and Maldives — as THE business book for independent professionals, based on best practices, tools and strategies used by American and European freelancers. If you happen to be on the Indian subcontinent, you can order it from Amazon.
THE HARPER’S COVER
This is the cover of the new HarperBusiness’ edition of The Freelance Way, soon to be published in India, Pakistan and other countries of the Indian subcontinent. Designed by Saurav Das 😍
EUROPEAN FREELANCERS & WHERE TO FIND THEM
WebExpo conference has released the recording of Robert’s recent talk titled European Freelancers & Where to Find Them. Across all channels, the 41-minute video has gained over 80,000 views and counting. It has also been covered by NextConomy in Belgium and ZiPconomy (in Dutch).
THE SLOVAK EDITION
You can now pre-order the Slovak edition of The Freelance Way from Absynt as Na voľnej nohe. Absynt is arguably the best non-fiction publisher in Slovakia. Its founders, Juraj Koudela and Filip Ostrowski, both went freelance to pursue their calling — as they explain in their blurb:
“The story of Absynt is also a freelance one. In the beginning, we decided to leave our jobs in a big corporation and do something meaningful, something that interests, fulfills and entertains both of us. A small company run from our living rooms moved to the office, and the dream of creating a workplace for the two of us morphed into a small startup for which freelancing is quite natural — after all, the vast majority of our closest colleagues and collaborators are freelancers too. If we had read Robert's book a few years ago, we might have avoided many of the beginner's mistakes that cost us a lot of energy and nerves to correct. And even though Absynt has been around for several years, we can still draw inspiration and knowledge about the rules of business from it. We are very pleased to bring the book in a Slovak translation, based on a revised edition for the global market. Get advice from the best — as we had!”
HarperCollins, a world-leading book publisher, has purchased The Freelance Way publication rights for all seven countries on the Indian subcontinent — home to 1.7 billion people, many of them freelancers. We would like to thank Mita Kapur of the Siyahi literary agency, who represented the book and recommended HarperCollinsPublishers.
A NEW INTERVIEW BY JANA PONCAROVA
“Freelancing is the simplest approach to doing business. You don’t need an artificial brand and the capital needs are very low, but there’s a catch,” explains Robert Vlach in a new interview that also covers topics like productivity, money, and growth.
FREELANCE BUSINESS MONTH
As a speaker, Robert Vlach has joined the Freelance Business Month, this year’s largest online event for freelancers. During the two Q&A sessions, he discussed Freelancer’s business negotiations and Financial self-management, both widely covered topics from The Freelance Way.
Robert Vlach gave a talk at the international Coworking Symposium online conference titled What are the signs of an advanced freelance economy and how can they be supported by coworking spaces.
EUROPEAN FREELANCERS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
Robert Vlach will be joining the international WebExpo conference as a speaker:
European Freelancers and Where to Find Them — The goal of this talk is to help you navigate Europe's vast freelance economy like a pro. Whether you are an independent professional eager to approach foreign freelancers to (net)work with, or a business owner looking for rare talents, you will get new insights and useful guidelines rooted in broad market research. The talk may also open up some new horizons for you by exploring a curious paradox: Why is freelancing constantly changing and yet, deep down in its business core, it has remained as conservative as ever?
Viva Las Palmas! — A debate on Gran Canaria
Beatles had their rooftop concert, Robert had his rooftop debate — about The Freelance Way to Do Business at TheRoof in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria yesterday. The event was hosted by Ignacio Rodriguez, founder of the Nomad City conference and local coworking and coliving venues CoworkingC.
A Debate at Prague's University of Economics
Robert Vlach was debating The Freelance Way of Business and Career Growth with international students of the University of Economics in Prague. The debate, hosted by Michal Andera, was also open for public. Here's the organizer's invitation:
“Have you ever considered a freelance career as a long-term alternative to being employed, and want to find out what it is all about? Or have you already been working as a freelancer, and want to improve the business side of things? Or are you just interested in the freelance economy and its future as a growing trend in the labor market? Either way, you’ll be at the right place, debating this fascinating topic with one of the leading experts on freelance business…”
Petr Mara Praises The Freelance Way
The Freelance Way has been featured in the latest video by prominent technology evangelist Petr Mara: “If I was going freelance today, this book would be an eye-opener for me. Because what's in there, are things that I had to figure out on my own for a long time… A fantastic book,” he concludes. He also goes on to praise several other titles by Jan Melvil Publishing including Factfulness, Bad Blood, Why We Sleep, Keep Going, The Bullet Journal Method, and It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work.
Petr co-produced the very first Czech videoblog Digit way back in 2006 and later established himself as the foremost Czech influencer for Apple products after having worked with the company for years as an international speaker and trainer. Lately, he has also been covering a range of other technological topics like electromobility, cryptocurrencies, biohacking and personal productivity.
Public Debate: The Freelance Way to do Business
21st Century Creative Podcast
The Freelance Way has been featured in Robert Vlach's interview for the 21st Century Creative podcast hosted by renowned creative coach Mark McGuinness. Mark is one of the leading global experts in supporting creative entrepreneurs and professionals — he founded the legendary blog Lateral Action, has written several helpful books for creatives, and started his podcast in order to interview a number of world's best creators and experts. Already in Season Four, the podcast's archive is an invaluable resource of great stories and insights by Mark's guests, who are often also freelancers.
The Impact Hub network interview
Soon after The Freelance Way has been published in the EU, here comes the very first interview with the author for the Impact Hub network titled Robert Vlach is out to change the world for the better, the freelance way. It explains the book's origin, the complex editorial process, as well as Robert's involvement in supporting both his local and the global freelance communities: “I would personally like to see us, in the near future, approaching publishers in countries where I think freelancing and my book could help many people to get out of poverty.”
The Expats.cz interview
The Freelance Way was featured in Robert Vlach's interview with Elizabeth Haas for Expats.cz about freelancing in Prague and the Czech Republic:
We see a lot of polls suggesting that Prague is a great city for freelancers. True?
“I agree. Prague is without question the single best city for freelancers in the Czech Republic and one of the most welcoming ones in Europe.” … Read the full interview
Limited English edition
Limited English edition of The Freelance Way has been published in the EU by Jan Melvil Publishing. Copies from the first edition are available as samples for publishers around the world interested in translating the book.
Would you like to publish The Freelance Way
in your country?
Or do you know a publisher that might?
To help as many freelancers as possible, we would love to partner with local publishers around the world established in educational and self-help literature for work and business. Our vision is to make this bestseller available to all readers in their native language.
We offer a full range of support for publishers:
- Sending a sample hardcover copy of The Freelance Way free of charge
- Access to the latest version of the manuscript (fully updated as of this year)
- An all-inclusive licence for the text and interior illustrations
- Illustrations source files with layers (for quick edits and translations)
- Marketing support via the FreelanceWay.eu website and author’s social media profiles
- Consulting support for translators and marketing (strategy, resources, insights)
- Direct communication with the author to arrange media interviews, public speaking events, and support for the book launch
In some countries, we are already exclusively represented by established literary agents. You can inquire them on The Freelance Way local publication rights directly:
- Spanish-language rights in Spain and Latin America, Portuguese-language rights in Portugal and Brazil — Ilustrata and Livia Stoia agencies (attn. Livia Stoia)
- Turkey — Kalem Agency (attn. Merve Diler)
If you want to inquire about other translation rights for The Freelance Way, or know a good local publisher or literary agent, who might be interested in the book, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be more than happy to write you back.
Vit Sebor & Tomas Baranek
Jan Melvil Publishing
(representing the author Robert Vlach)