The Keeper Community Spotlight series highlights awesome freelancers using Keeper, their stories, and advice to others.
Thanks for having me! To begin, I spent years as a full-time employee first in IT Consulting and then at a web development firm. I hated the bureaucratic aspect of a traditional 9-to-5, but I always loved to build and to create. Freelancing has given me the space to do it on my own terms, as a part of a lifestyle I really enjoy.
Yes! I’m a musician and the cellist in a four-person folk music band, The Riverside. We’ve been traveling across America for the past two years with a pretty rigorous touring schedule, so it has become a huge part of my life. All the while I kept up my freelance programming on the road.
Well, it can be hectic. I generally do my development work in the mornings, and music gigs in the evenings. Sometimes one of those will spill into the other, though, and I'll have to take a work call from the back of the van, haha.
I started off using online marketplaces for new jobs, but today most of my work comes from repeat clients. It’s so much easier and less of a hassle to work with people you already trust. Then when billing and contracts come into play I’d rather not risk it with more unknowns.
The second is to value your own time. I started off charging far too little and it sent a signal to my customers that my time wasn’t valuable. Since raising my fees, I feel like the work I’ve been doing has also become more interesting and I’ve been treated more like a thought partner along the way.
Yeah, it was hit-and-miss. For a while I was trying to use Quickbooks but it just wasn’t for me. It was just a lot to get acquainted with. I have a very specific need - I just want to keep track of expenses. I don’t have a complicated payroll or inventory like a traditional business. All of the products I used were overkill for my needs, and time-consuming.
I feel like I’m in this middle ground. It’d be good to have a bookkeeper, but it would be expensive and probably overkill. I just remember thinking, “I need something simple.”
It does one thing - tracks expenses - and then it gets out of the way. It’s not another app to constantly check in on. It’s an easy interface - text messages - that doesn’t require too much babysitting. It’s like hiring a bookkeeper without all the hassle. They have so many useful tools like their free 1099 tax calculator.
Absolutely. I appreciate what you’re doing to make the freelancing lifestyle more enjoyable and manageable. Thanks!
Want to read another community spotlight? Here's Brandons.
Keeper finds tax deductible expenses among your purchases ... automatically! Save $1000s a year claiming the tax write offs you’re eligible for as a contractor.