This a spotlight of a freelancer who used our 1099 expense tracker to great success. We interviewed Brandon Leuangpaseuth for him to pass along a review of Keeper Tax as well as some tips or advice for other freelancers.
Brandon's review of Keeper
Here in this section, we'll go over Brandon's review of Keeper, the 1099 expense tracking app. We'll also dive into Brandon's story of how he became an independent contractor.
How did you handle taxes before you used Keeper?
I didn’t know how to handle my freelance writer taxes when I first got into being a contractor Everyone warned me that I was going to owe a lot in taxes when tax season rolled around. I was always really worried about that. I saw an ad for Keeper and I thought it was perfect for me. I loved how easy it was to use and how the software automatically found tax write-offs for me in my credit card history. Keeper is very easy to use.
Any advice for other freelancers out there?
Track your taxes. It saved me a ton of money when April came. I would recommend you use their 1099 tax calculator to estimate how much you owe and then set up quarterly tax payments so you won’t be overwhelmed later. Plus you won’t get penalized. I was not aware of making quarterly tax payments when I first got started. I didn't know what i was. I wasn't sure what would happen if I missed a quarterly tax payment...Do yourself a favor and get that set that up right away.
What is your favorite part of using Keeper?
In short, for my Keeper review....It makes my life as an independent contractor a LOT easier. Wouldn’t you trade the small monthly fee to save thousands in taxes? I’m really grateful to have found them. I wasn’t prepared for tax season until I used them. They really look out for freelancers. They host really helpful webinars to educate you about the tax process with a bunch of tips and what it means to be a 1099 worker. The interface is really, really easy to use. I'd recommend it to any freelancer.
Thank you for being a part of the community and taking the time to give tips to other freelancers, Brandon!
No problem! Thanks for the amazing software and the service you provide. It is hands down the best app to track receipts. You’ll save a lot of other independent contractors a lot of time and money.
Brandon, great having you. How did you get into being an independent contractor?
A bit of luck to be honest. I worked full-time at an agency and when I quit, they kept me on board as a freelancer. I moved out to Asia for quite some time. I performed SEO for clients and I was a freelance copywriter. I was appalled at how great freelancing was in comparison to working a full-time job. I essentially worked my own hours and I had a lot more freedom.
Nice, how did you get into writing and SEO?
I used to pick up clients at business meetups while I was in college. You can say I’ve been a writer for a large portion of my life. It was tough pitching and landing clients. I didn't quite have the writing skills yet either. So, I decided to work at an agency. I learned how to do SEO there and I really got the chance to develop as a writer. I fell in love with writing guest posts. I love sharing valuable things I’ve learned in my life through my articles.
Awesome, Brandon. Other than business meet-ups, where did you get your clients?
At first, the agency provided me with SEO clients. For writing clients, I got them through cold email outreach. Being able to show potential clients websites where I’ve been published gave me some social proof and showed them I was a competent writer. I wanted to become a writer because I knew there was a big need for great writers. After all, every business needs great copy.
What advice or tips do you have for other people who are trying to make it as a freelance writer?
Write. A lot. Seriously, you should be writing almost every day. When you first start, it might take you a long time to write projects because you don’t have the skills to write yet. Writer's block will hit you a lot. That is why you need to keep writing. Once you break past that stage of being stuck or writing slowly, the words flow out and it gets a lot easier. Reading helps a lot too. Seeing how other writers structure sentences or ideas goes a long way when you are developing your style. Study the greats!
At the same time, don’t spend all of your time focusing on the writing aspect. There are great writers out there who are phenomenal, yet their bank account does not reflect the value they bring to the market. That is because they don’t focus on the business aspect of being an independent contractor. You have to learn how to pitch and close big deals. They come hand in hand. So you need to be a good writer, and be very business savvy. So keep pushing yourself to learn how to close and position your services. I’ve met amazing copywriters who were broke and I’ve also met decent writers who make a lot of money because they know how to sell their services.
Check out the other Community Spotlight by Addison Freeman.
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At Keeper, we’re on a mission to help people overcome the complexity of taxes. We’ve provided this information for educational purposes, and it does not constitute tax, legal, or accounting advice. If you would like a tax expert to clarify it for you, feel free to sign up for Keeper. You may also email email@example.com with your questions.