After spending over a decade in retail, rage is one thing I am very acquainted with. Like a warm blanket, rage was always there to snuggle up to after a particularly trying day of work.
Imagine my surprise when doctors reveled that rage can actually be harmful for you? Such a silly notion I thought. Not my good friend rage. He’s always taken such good care of me.
In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at first contact with clients and building stronger streams of income. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing. If you have a question about freelancing that you want answered, send an email to email@example.com. Continue Reading
Developing applications, especially for mobile devices, is hot right now: there are tons of companies that want to create an app that’s usable on the iPhone or another mobile platform. But it’s a specialized area of development and you may need some resources to make sure that you’re able to give your clients exactly what they want. The books below can get you headed in the right direction. Continue Reading
Part 1: Why the Rush?
Something about the end of December looms as a natural deadline. Project fires have been burning steadily through November but this month, they are burning brightly, finally recognizable as problems that need to be controlled. And who gets the pleading call that says “Help me extinguish this” but the freelancer? Whether we like it or not, the role of fireman or firewoman is precisely what many see as the advantage of freelancers – we exist to help people out of a tight spot. Or do we? What exactly is our role in projects with superhuman requirements, and how do we get through them while maintaining a sense of best practice?
This article examines these questions in two parts, first looking at how and why we make rush jobs a part of what we do and then in part two we’ll dig into some tips and tricks to execute designs under urgent deadlines. In both articles I will share insights from some of this season’s extraordinary Layer Tennis players who are used to being short on time. They have generously taken an extra moment to afford our freelance community their words of warning and wisdom. Continue Reading
Okay, admit it. You can’t even carry a tune in a bucket. Or perhaps the happiest day of your childhood was when your parents stopped making you take piano lessons.
So, what could you possibly learn from a book written for musicians? Quite a lot!
My own encounter with David Cutler’s new book, The Savvy Musician, happened by chance. I was browsing the library’s new books shelf, and there it was. The Savvy Musician includes vignettes of 165 working musicians who enjoy meaningful and prosperous careers. I’ll admit that I’ve only heard of Anonymous 4 and the Kronos Quartet. Maybe that means that my ears need to get out more.
One thing that these musicians have in common is a high level of skill. And luck. Continue Reading
Quality product descriptions can transform e-commerce conversion rates — it’s common to see increases of 30-100%. As well as converting more visitors, search traffic increases drastically when unique copy is written for each product. Most online retailers use manufacturers’ copy or rely solely on images to sell products. They then use inadequate copy elsewhere on their site and fail to achieve a consistent tone to persuade their audience. This creates a compelling opportunity for savvy retailers — by writing quality e-commerce copy you will create a unique competitive advantage.
Can cool domains names assure the success of a site, blog or brand? No, they can’t. However, a great product combined with a cool domain name does get the word around lightning fast. Selecting the perfect domain name requires patience, wordplay and more patience. Out there in the internet, there are bunch of web apps that help suggest, crunch and spin words to get hold of that perfect name. Continue Reading
I hope you all have an amazing time with family and friends this holiday season. 2010 was truly an incredible year full of all sorts of growth and learning… and from the way things are lookin’, 2011 is gonna be even better! Thank you for reading FreelanceSwitch and being a part of our community. From our family to yours, “Here’s to a GREAT New Year!”
See our holiday wishes video from all of the Envato staff. Continue Reading
Remember when you were a kid and your Uncle kept making a quarter disappear and then he pulled it out of your ear? Pretty annoying, huh?
Well, maybe it was cool the first time he did it, but after the 10th time you were probably thinking “Give me the dang quarter already!”
So here are a few business card tricks you can try out on clients to delight them or annoy them with your amazing slight of hand!
With 2011 just around the corner, you’re probably thinking about closing out the books on this year. You might be considering what you need to get your taxes done and generally start the year off right. But 2010 isn’t quite over and there are still a few things that you can do to improve your tax situation right now.
I talked to Travis Raml, a CPA working with clients in Maryland and Virginia, to get some tips on how to end 2010 right — at least in terms of taxes. Continue Reading
Though the holiday season reminds us of many wonderful things, peace on Earth and good will seems shattered for most the minute family walks through the door. If not a visit, the annual phone call to grandmother is stressed by the repeat attempt to explain to her what it is you do for a living. At least you can tell her your phone battery is dying and you need to hang up, but even that brings an explanation as to why a phone needs a battery.
It’s based on love and concern. Keep saying that so you don’t unwrap a shotgun at the dinner table and scream, “JUST WHAT I WANTED!” Ho-BLAM-ho-BLAM-ho-BLAM!
You all know the problem; non-creatives who don’t understand how you can make a living creating, designing, developing web sites, coding or designing logos and such. Sure, old drunken Uncle “touchy” has always wanted you to do logos for his friend who owns Microsoft as a “favor to him” or to paint his company logo, consisting of a slug dressed as a sewer cleaner on the side of his panel truck, but does family understand what we do and why we love it? If they did, I wouldn’t be writing this therapeutic article and pounding on my keyboard as if I wanted to give the keys concussions. Continue Reading
When the CEO of a large corporation motivates employees with a company-wide presentation, some of the impact derives directly from the CEO’s personal style. Recognizing the CEO’s usual themes, turns of phrase, and favorite examples convinces the employees that their corporate leader truly cares about the subject in question.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the one-person coaching or design or writing or training business must sell the person as much as the product or service. When freelancers use articles and newsletters and white papers and other giveaways to enhance their visibility among prospects, to win their trust, getting their personal styles across to the prospect is just as important as any other element of those communications.
Neither CEOs of large companies nor freelancers running their own businesses always have either the time or skill to produce these communications themselves. So, if they are smart, they hire writing help.
When you can capture enough of their style to write in your client’s voice, you create opportunities for repeat business. Clients learn to love writers who can mimic the key features of how they express themselves. Continue Reading
Editor’s Note: That’s it from N.C. for the year! N.C. is taking a well-deserved holiday break and will be returning with more Freelance Freedom on Monday, January 3rd. Happy Holidays! Continue Reading