No matter what it is you do, whether it’s graphic design, web development, illustration, copywriting, or anything else, there’s one thing every freelancer has to deal with day in, day out.
Some days, it seems we haven’t done any productive work because we’re battling our way to inbox zero.
In this video, I talk about a few ways I make my daily email work-flow more efficient. Many of these tools and tips apply specifically to GMail, but they can carried over to any email client in one way or another. The tools and tips discussed include:
- How to personalize your Gmail Canned Responses
- One effective use for Gmail Labels and Filters.
- Set followup reminders via email with followup.cc.
- Write it now, send it later (and track it too) with RightInbox or Boomerang.
- Apps for a better Gmail interface: Postbox and Sparrow.
For many freelance web designers, there comes a point in your career when you decide to renew your focus, tighten up your business, and find new ways to scale up and grow. One way to do that is to focus on a niche market. For more on that, see my previous article, Skyrocket Your Freelance Business by Going Niche.
In this video, I look at the differences and advantages between a general web design business compared to a niche web design business.
In a general web design business, every client has different goals, every project has different requirements, and you as the web designer craft a different solution for each. In a niche web design business, we target a specific market who tends to have a similar set of goals and requirements. This way, you can design a similar solution that can be easily replicated to more clients.
What do you think? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
As freelancers, we often feel like we have super powers and are able to take on any project, any customer, and any challenge that comes our way.
This “do-it-all” attitude is a great way to build our skill set and personal growth, but is it the best way to grow your freelance business?
At a certain point in your freelance career, it may be time to go niche. Contrary to popular belief, focusing on a targeted niche (and turning away anything that doesn’t fit) is an effective way of marketing your services and growing your business.
So what does it mean to go niche? Well, take my recent experience as an example. I’m a professional web designer. When I first went freelance, I did all sorts of web design projects for freelance clients. I created blogs, shopping websites, HTML emails, web-apps, you name it. Then, a few years in I decided to focus only on WordPress web design. Now, with my latest company, Restaurant Engine, my niche is WordPress web design for restaurants. Get the idea? Continue Reading
Isn’t it about time you got a raise?
As freelancers, it can be difficult to make that happen. Sure, we might be making a comfortable living today, but what about tomorrow? If you’re supporting a growing family or if you’re looking to upgrade your lifestyle, you’d better start thinking beyond just your next project. You must begin thinking about how to scale your freelance business.
So how do you do that? Most freelancer’s incomes are tied directly to their time. Since there are only so many hours in the day, how do we break through our income ceiling? The answer boils down to this: Stop working alone.
In this article, I will outline six steps you can take to scale up your freelance business, and grow your income, without sacrificing your leisure time.
Being a freelance web designer certainly has its perks. You get to make your own hours, set your own rates, and control your own professional destiny. I’d add that designing for the web, like any freelance field, is a craft that most of us are truly passionate about. There’s something about the merging of beautiful design and cutting edge technology that keeps our creative juices flowing and keeps us endlessly engaged in our work.
But as any freelancer or small business owner knows, sketching diagrams, arranging pixels and constructing code make up only a small part of this profession. At the beginning and the end of the day, it’s still a business, which brings it’s own inherent challenges. At the top of the list is something we all must deal with every day: managing client expectations.
In this article, I intend to cover several aspects of working with clients as a freelance web designer (but these tips apply to any freelance profession, really). These are all based on my own experiences and lessons learned the hard way.
The tips I offer here will benefit not only the health and stability of your business, but your own personal health and well-being as well. Stress is a killer. When you’re running your own business, stress often goes unnoticed to outsiders as and sometimes yourself. By effectively managing your client relationships, you’re also keeping your own stress level in check. When you’re feeling good, you do good work and prosper. It’s as simple as that. So let’s get into it. Continue Reading
For freelancers, the question of how to price your services is always up for debate. Should you charge by the hour or per project? What should your hourly rate be? What type of payment terms should you require? The answers to these questions will vary based on your industry, your reputation, and your personal preferences for your business. But there is one thing that I believe should factor into every pricing decision you make:
Price your services based on value. Continue Reading
So you’ve hired a freelancer to help you achieve your business goals. Now what?
It’s vitally important that you, as the client, do your part in fostering a positive working relationship with your contractor. Embarking on a new project can be overwhelming, especially if it involves technical aspects (such as web design). That’s why you’ve hired an expert!
But in order to make your project a success, you need to develop a solid working relationship, and be aware of some basic “rules” when working with a freelancer.
We know all about the rewards of working as a freelancer. Flexible schedules, a variety of projects, little or even no commuting. But this lifestyle doesn’t come easy.
Finding success as a freelancer requires a steady stream of paying gigs. Obtaining new business through referrals is great, but referrals alone won’t keep your schedule packed with paying jobs, especially when you’re just starting out.
Online classifieds such as Craigslist and the FreelanceSwitch job board are great places to generate new business leads. In this economy, the competition for work is fierce. To stay ahead, you must combine two key elements in your approach:
- Quantity: The more jobs you respond to, the more potential leads you create.
- Quality: Present yourself well and stand out from the crowd.
Here are some tools and tips to help you land more freelance gigs: