Since FreelanceSwitch started, there is one question that I get asked more often than any other. How can a freelancer find more work and generate new client leads?
Well at FreelanceSwitch we don’t shy away from the pressing questions. So as the kicker for a new series on how to get more freelance work, we have put together an enormous list of ideas, ranging from ones that take 10 seconds to 10 days. There’s something for everyone to try and I guarantee there will be plenty of things you never thought of. Continue Reading
For some time now Skellie has been the editor here at FreelanceSwitch. As I’m sure you will agree she has done an amazing job with FSw, and helped take the site from strength to strength. In fact she’s so good that when a new management position came up at Envato, we just had to ask her to take it on.
So sadly Skellie is moving on from FreelanceSwitch. She tells me she’ll still be checking in daily as, like me, she’s pretty attached to FSw by now.
Happily we can now announce that we have a new editor to captain the FSw ship. We are so pleased that we were able to ask someone of his talents to lead the FSw team and he actually said yes!! That person is Glen Stansberry.
If you don’t already know Glen, chances are you’ve come past some of his work. He’s the brains behind the LifeRemix Network, LifeDev, and Webjackalope. He’s a working web developer, an all-round nice guy and supremely talented individual in all things freelance.
So welcome Glen, and thanks for coming on board the HMS FreelanceSwitch!
With over 200 entries from a very talented group of individuals, it was mighty hard to pick two winners of the GoMedia Arsenal Calling Card Competition! Jeff Finley from GoMedia and Cyan Ta’eed from Eden were the judges, and they unanimously chose these two winners:
Jairo Cabriga lives in Tayabas City in the Philippines and is currently studying at college.
Ben is the Director of Creative Media for the Southern California Seahorses Los Angeles office, a freelance designer and an ex-pro baseball player!
Congratulations to Hyro and Ben who have both won a Go Media Vector Arsenal prize pack with every one of their amazing vector packs. That’s almost US$370 worth of royalty free vector art – and well over 1000 complex vector illustrations.
And our runners up were (in no particular order):
There were many more great calling card designs, so thanks to everyone who entered!
More design related posts for you web and graphic designers out there. Enjoy!
Do you need inspiration? Then Sabet.tv is the place to go. Not only is it gorgeous, but it has every possible creative stimuli for you to enjoy.
Roughstock Studios are Killing Off 5 Design Myths. This made me laugh because it’s so, so true.
Are you a Photoshop face like Collis? Then check out these Beautiful Photoshop Brushes From JavierZhX, brought to us by the always fantastic WebAppers. They’re really nice, and best of all they’re free!
The fantastic Jeff from GoMedia Studios (who were recently profiled in Computer Arts Magazine – props!) has written a very helpful guide on What To Do When Your Designs Are Stolen. It is so infuriating when this happens. An example from a month or so ago was when we discovered a porn site had stolen the design for Faveup. A Faveup fan alerted us to the rip and Collis opened it up without thinking… when my mother was in the room. Oh it was so bad. I won’t link to the site because it’s pretty gross – but it’s identical!!! Anyway, the porn people were nasty and suggested that we redesign their site if we want them to change the design. True story!
Finally, a bit of light entertainment – the Make My Logo Bigger Cream website!
This Weeks Photo:
This week’s photo is by Rene-Pierre Normandeau, a photographer and graphic designer. He originally competed as a snowboarder then transitioned to photographing the sport and eventually published a magazine on the subject. Rene-Pierre shoots sports, events, action and the natural beauty of his home, Quebec.
My father’s a photographer (hence my name) and I spent most of my childhood going along to shoots, standing in so he could test skin tone, and generally watching him work. As I got older I played assistant if he was ever caught out without one. Because of that I’ve always loved photography, and working with photographers was always one of my favourite things about being a graphic designer. Here are some links for all you amateur and professional photographers out there – and for people (like me) who just love looking at beautiful work…
If you’d like to know how to do HDR (High Dynamic Range) Photography, then check out this HDR tutorial roundup over at TutorialBlog.org.
I think the whole world has seen this by now, but in case you haven’t, rush over to Nick Brandt’s portfolio. These photos are just so unbelievably gorgeous – I have no words. Turns out he studied painting originally and you can really see that influence in his photos.
Do you love your coffee? Check out these amazing shots of coffee meeting milk. They’re extraordinarily beautiful.
Digital Photography School has a very handy guide to making your own inexpensive light tent. This is great for aspiring photographers on a budget, or early-days freelancers who need to photograph their work but can’t afford a professional… yet!
EpicEdits did a really interesting experiment – he asked 28 photographers to edit one photo using post-processing and cropping. The results are far more different than one would expect, and serve as a reminder for photographers and designers that there are many ways to interpret a photograph.
Photopreneur tells us how to earn $1000 an hour as a photographer. This one really surprised me!
Also from the Digital Photography School is a great guide to taking better candid photographs.
Finally, Crestock ran a photography competition with the theme Speed Demon and profiled the highlights. Some amazing work there!
This Weeks Photo:
This week’s photo is by Dennis Good, a graphic designer from Indianapolis who loves the world of photography. He works full time as a web designer, but stays busy with photography and print design outside of work. He books weddings, family portraits, and baby photos on the weekends and also specialize in logo design and corporate identity.
We all have days where our clients just drive us crazy. I had one of those days today. With that in mind, here are some links to hopefully ease the pain, and if that fails then count to ten and meditate…
Is your client giving you a hard time? The Positivity blog has a great article about Handling Criticism And Getting Something Good Out Of It.
Is your client asking for something silly that you just can’t agree to? How To Disarm 10 Difficult Client Observations/Requests at Ideas Online covers some of the popular ones and how to deal with them.
Does your client ring mental alarm bells? Then make sure your terms and conditions are up to speed before you begin working with them. Shane has all the answers in this article.
Finally, if none of that works, you may just want to fire your client. Inside CRM has the Top 10 Ways to Fire the Client From Hell. We’ve only had to do this a couple of times, but very occasionally it is necessary!
This Weeks Photo:
This week’s photo is by Mike McCaffrey, a Washington DC based freelance web developer and photographer. He is currently putting together his third local exhibition.
We here at FreelanceSwitch would like to officially welcome our new advertiser, FreshWebJobs. FWJ have just completed an overhaul, and the site is looking pretty snazzy. As you’ve probably guessed from the title, this job board is for web jobs. So if you’re a developer or web designer, this is the place to go!
Since the upgrade Fresh Web Jobs have added custom search xml feeds so you can apply for relevant jobs straight away. That’s especially handy if a job ad gets lots of applicants or needs to be filled urgently. You can also save job postings all over the web with their bookmark (the ‘Freshwebjobs bookmarklet’), and mark jobs you already have applied to!
The board is international and jobs cover freelance, fulltime and contract positions. If you want to post a job it costs US$75, and right now first time job posters get a discount!
So if you want a job or are looking for talent, go check out FreshWebJobs! And thanks to FWJ for supporting FreelanceSwitch so we can keep doing what we do
News – GoMedia Competition Update, Blog Action Day Donations and Johnny B (our new content editor!!)
A bit of news today!
Firstly, I wanted to formerly welcome FreelanceSwitch’s new Content Editor, John Brougher. You’ve probably heard John hosting our podcasts, and we’re so pleased that he’s going to be helping us grow and expand the site. John is on a worldwide search right now for new writing talent, so if you want to write for us, fill in this form and let John know!
Next, if you want to see how Blog Action Day went, you can see it here. It was a great success, and we are really grateful to all that participated.
Because of this post we are donating US$57 to an environmental charity. Also, there was a total of US$96 donated by you guys (go all of you)! We are donating our earnings for that day, which was US$139.
So that comes to a grand total of $292!
Thanks to everyone who entered the Moo postcard competition. We had many brilliant entries, and it made it very hard for us to pick two winners! In fact it was so hard that we could only narrow it down to four
So we’re pitching in to get postcards for two entries as well.
If you weren’t lucky enough to win, now is the time to get your Moo Postcards, with free shipping (in the US) for a limited time. So that means that you can get 20 individually designed postcards for US$20 – which is darn cheap considering I for one used to pay hundreds of dollars when printing postcards (and that’s with only one design).
So here are the ideas that won, but check out the comments on the original post for more – there were lots of great ones…
Suzanne had a very innovative idea to source new local clients:
What would I do with some free postcards? Why, I’d put my contact details on them along with teaser images of my web design work.
Next up, I’d pay a visit to the nearby libraries and head to the sections containing info on business start-up/management. I’d identify the books that are checked out regularly & pop a postcard inside. Everyone needs a bookmark… hopefully the next wannabe entrepreneur to open a book that I’ve stuffed is looking for a website too.
Ozan Caglargil had a fantastic idea for an office mural:
Maybe I can create a wall decoration from postcards just like this… (he originally provided a link but I’ve posted it to the right)
Russ shared a fabulous promotion idea:
I’m wanting to send out postcards to various large company marketing managers, to get them interested in my company’s new motto of being their best friend (in an agency sense). It would feature shots of everything a best friend does, from holding back your hair after a long night, helping you move, loaning you a few bucks, and more.
This would be combined with a scant bit of clever copy, and the tag, “come meet your best friend on November 6th”, the date our website relaunches (and hopefully get lots more clients!)
And Luyza had the nicest idea ever – your mum is one lucky lady (and as an aside, it’s nice to have some backup on the Cornetto issue ):
I would write small reasons why I love my mom on each postcard, and send her one every week. We haven’t seen each other for a year and a half and it’s difficult for both of us, and since I’m usually pretty busy, we don’t get to phone often.
So thanks to all that entered, and thanks to Moo for the great prizes!
In this week’s Linkswitch I’ll be sharing some tips, distractions and entertainment for the freelancers working day…
Are you feeling a bit tight in the shoulders right now? Having some back pain or just a little rundown? Then do some Simple Stretches You Can Do at Your Desk for Increased Energy right now!
Comments has Notes From The Virtual Office: Spend On Yourself. I agree – these are the three things you shouldn’t skimp on when setting up a home office.
One for the writers (although i think we can all relate): 101 Excuses Not to Write.
Bruno of the fabulously designed Curbly has just launched Uncooped, a site you should look at if, like me, you dream of spending some time outdoors (biking, fishing, kayaking, or running) but are glued to your computer. It is also beautifully designed so even if you’ve sworn off the nature you can go look at it for a little eye candy.
Are you feeling a little uninspired? Then take a break and look at The Ten Videos to Change How You View the World over at Lifehack. They’ve videos from the TED conference and they’ll… like… blow your mind!
Finally, I really want to go to the Seed Conference. Sadly, I’m not only about as far from Chicago as anyone could be, but the tickets have sold out. But, if you live in sunny Chicago you can win a ticket to the conference by answering a question over at the Freshbooks blog! It closes in three days so if you want to win you better get in quick.
This Weeks Photo:
This week’s photo is by Robert Hauk, a Vienna based designer and photographer with a small network of freelancers, specializing in clean-code mash ups of content management systems like Joomla and WordPress and providing the fitting marketing tools for small and medium sized companies (web, print and copywriting).
Editor’s note: This competition has now closed. Thanks to those that entered
Everyone has a business card, but how many of you have a calling card? In ye olden days, before telephones, text messaging, email, or Skype were invented, if you wanted to talk to someone you just went over to their house. If they weren’t there, you’d leave your calling card so they knew that you’d been by and they could go visit you later. Continue Reading
29 Simple Ways to Become a More Environmentally Friendly Freelancer (+ Help Us Donate $500 to Charity!)
The great thing about being a freelancer is how much control you have over everything. There are no bosses to tell you what company policy is or how you should do things. That means YOU have not only the ability but the responsibility for your work life. Today for Blog Action Day we’re going to look at some simple ways that freelancers can make their work-life more environmentally friendly. Because remember it’s the small steps that produce the big, sustainable changes.
Listed below are a ton of ways that you can become a more environmentally friendly freelancer. And because we *REALLY* want FreelanceSwitch readers to really take this on and work towards being more environmentally friendly, we are pledging to donate $1 to charity for every reader who comments here as a pledge to take on any one of the suggestions below (or their own). Just write what you’re taking on in a comment and we’ll put $1 in your name towards the Blog Action Day charities up to a total of $500.
There are lots of really easy suggestions here that are completely free and don’t take much effort at all. So make today the day to change one habit for the better. Continue Reading