I live freelance style, as do a lot of my friends, and as a result, I’ve spent a lot of time this holiday season thinking of gifts for me and for my friends that will give their freelance game a boost.
(Like a full-time job! Just kidding — you’d have to maim and brainwash me before I’d plop down in a 9-to-5).
If you have any freelancers in your life, consider these five foolproof gifts that will make you the most awesome friend ever:
1. For the Freelancer You Only Know Well Enough to Spend $8 On
Universal tablet stylus pens! When you’re going into a meeting with a client, there is nothing — NOTHING — that will impress them more than whipping out your tablet and started to draw diagrams and jot down notes with a stylus pen.
“He’s so tech-savvy and digitally wise,” the client will think. ”Let’s give him $500/hour and LEVERAGE THE HELL OUT OF HIS VOODOO TECH MAGIC.”
Yes indeed, using a stylus pen is probably the best way to impress people without demonstrating actual skills — kind of like having a Twitter account five years ago.
With this gift, you will be crowned the best cheap gift-giver ever. Just make sure that your friend owns a tablet first — if he doesn’t, belittle and ostracize him until he runs to Best Buy, crying in defeat. Trust me, it’ll be for his own good.
2. For the Freelancer Hustling For Work
Lately, some brands and publications have begun only hiring writers with a certain number of Twitter followers, as if a writer’s 1,200 followers are going to set off an avalanche of traffic and social engagement.
So, what’s a writer with less than 500 followers to do? She can either spend her days crafting brilliant one-liners for a year until she breaks the thousand-follower mark — or, she can start following hundreds of like-minded people in hopes that 20-25% of them will start following you back.
But what to do with all those excess followers you now have? Enter Friend or Follow, an application that, for $5, lets you unfollow everyone who isn’t following you with one click. If you have any freelancer friends that need to increase their follower count, Friend or Follow is the gift that keeps on giving.
3. For the Freelancer who Shoots Video
The Kogeto Dot is probably the coolest smartphone accessory on the market — an affordable $50 iPhone attachment that lets you shoot stunning panoramic video and stream it directly to Facebook and Twitter.
Just wait until the first time your freelancer friend gets to casually tell his overjoyed client, “Oh, I shot some panoramic video for the piece, too.”
He will love you forever, and hopefully buy you beer.
4. For the Lazy Freelance Writer
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12 Premium. Despite what it sounds like, this is gift is not a real-life talking dragon. Sorry to get your hopes up. When I read the review, I was disappointed, too.
Still, Dragon is the first voice-dictation software that seems to really, truly work. And didn’t all of us dream of having access to perfect voice dictation software by 2013?
Gone are the days of oppressive slavery to the keyboard; in its place, a new age where you can load up at eggnog, head home to ramble-out the great American novel, and sell it for $3.5 million by pretending to be Lena Dunham.
(Suggested Accessory: Lena Dunham wig.)
5. For Every Freelancer
Sobieski Vodka Gift Set, for three reasons:
1. At $18.99, this is a great deal on an underrated vodka. It comes with a handle and a flask! (I am way too excited right now)
2. Every freelancer needs a good stiff drink sometimes.
3. You’ll probably get to drink some of it, too.
Happy Holidays! Don’t forget to decorate your assignments with non-denominational tinsel!
Top image courtesy of LHF Graphics/shutterstock