All designers are familiar with the amount of time and energy it takes to find clients.
Some might be lucky enough to have a backlog of people who want to work with them, but for most, a big portion of the working week is spent pitching, searching, giving quotes, following up, and otherwise trying to convince people to exchange money for design services.
Few designers would say this is the highlight of what they do. Designers do what they do for the love of being creative and doing good work, but it can feel like more time is spent pitching, giving quotes and marketing than actually designing. And while many freelancers will eventually build up enough of a reputation that they no longer need to market themselves, building this level of reputation and skill takes time, and years of experience.
Is there a way to make design freelancing better? Continue Reading
Here at FreelanceSwitch, we’re really excited to let you know about our new sister site Microlancer. If you have graphic design skills and are looking for freelance work, there is an incredible opportunity to get your foot in the door and start earning a real income by selling creative services on Microlancer. Interested? Read on!
Microlancer is a digital marketplace where you connect with freelancers who offer services to help you get your creative projects off the ground. We put you in touch with those who can provide logo design, app icon design, branding elements, UI features, web design and a whole lot more – easily, affordably, safely and transparently. We’ve only launched with the graphics and design categories so far, but are planning to rapidly expand to other areas like 3D and video soon. Continue Reading
We’re ready to announce something new and exciting — the Tuts+ Hub beta!
As you know, Tuts+ is all about helping people learn. With Hub, we’ve worked to deliver an experience that makes it easy for you to find exactly what you’d like to learn, with a delightful interface for reading.
What you see is a brand new layer that sits atop our current websites. All the articles and tutorials are still here (along with your comments), but we’ve designed a new way of presenting them and built new tools to help you navigate the library. Take a look now, and read on to find out more.
Facebook is an integral part of my small business. See, I own a niche wedding publication and use Facebook to interact with my readers and fans. It’s important to me to have engagement not only on my website, but on my Facebook page, too. I use Facebook to publicize events, tease readers about blog posts, and share information to wedding professionals as well as brides planning a wedding.
I really liked this blog post on DanZarella.com about data he collected on more than 1.3 million posts published on the top 10,000 most-liked Facebook pages on how to get more likes, comments, and shares. He analyzed the posts and here’s what he came up with: Continue Reading
I’ve written a couple of blog posts this week about plagiarism. It’s a serious offense for writers—freelance or on staff—and has ruined many a journalist’s career.
You’d think these journalists would learn from the mistakes of others. But apparently not, as Hearst recently fired one of their award-winning reporters for making stuff up.
Paresh Jha was a reporter for the New Canaan News in Connecticut. He’s been fired for fabricating sources and quotes in at least 25 stories over the past two years.
“We have found 25 stories written by Paresh Jha over the last year and a half that contain quotes from nonexistent sources,” David McCumber, editorial director of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group, said Friday. The problem was discovered when unusually spelled names were fact-checked by the editing staff. “When confronted, Jha admitted that he had fabricated the names and the quotes,” McCumber said.—NewCanaanNewsOnline.com
The stories that were discovered to have fabricated information have been taken off the weekly newspaper’s website.
In May, Jha won two awards at the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists Awards—a first place and a third place award in the community non-daily category.
Jha isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, journalist who resorts to making stuff up. One of my favorite stories about fabricating sources is the one of Stephen Glass, who worked for the Washington D.C. based-The New Republic. This was such a crazy story that they turned it into a movie—Shattered Glass—which came out in 2003.
I first watched this movie in graduate school. I was taking a media ethics course from none other than the guy who outed Stephen Glass. My professor, Adam Penenberg, was working for Forbes at the time and had been scooped on a story by Glass. “Hack Heaven,” written by glass, was the exact thing Penenberg covered for Forbes, and when Penenberg looked into the story, he realized the entire story had been fabricated by Glass. The unraveling of the tale is appalling, and makes for a good movie. Continue Reading
I recently wrote about content theft, how my FreelanceSwitch blog posts ended up on another person’s blog without proper credit. Scratch that—there was no credit! My blog post was published and another author was taking credit for it. He claims it was unintentional, but it was against the law — frustrating.
I learned some valuable lessons when this happened, and I thought I would share them with you and how you can handle plagiarism if it happens to you (and I hope it doesn’t).
Lesson 1: The power of social media
A friend of mine alerted me to the fact that someone was publishing my FreelanceSwitch blog posts on his business blog. When I checked it out, I sent the link to the editor of FreelanceSwitch, Sean Hodge, to handle. I wasn’t sure what was appropriate, and I didn’t want to get in the middle of it.
Instead of emailing this man, named Kevin, myself I posted a link to two of my blog posts on my Facebook page, calling him out on it. I figured my friends would be on my side, but some of them actually went on to Kevin’s site and left messages that what he was doing was wrong.
Three hours after my Facebook status update, all of my FreelanceSwitch blog posts (and other blog posts from various FreelanceSwitch authors and other blogs) were taken off his site. He even wrote a post trying to apologize. How’s that for service? Continue Reading
If you know me, you know I love a good study. And I found the findings in the 2012 Oriella PR Network Global Digital Journalism Study to be fascinating.
Titled The Influence Game: How News is Sourced and Managed Today, the study shows the deepening penetration of digital and social media into all areas of newsgathering and production.
The study was conducted in April and May of this year and surveyed 613 journalists who work for a variety of different media outlets (from broadcast to blogs) in the following countries: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, the U.K., and the U.S. On average, 38 journalists were surveyed in each country.
The global economy is affecting newsrooms
The study found that journalists in Asia, Brazil, and Russia had a sunnier outlook on their news organization than those living in Western Europe and North America.
This year the study found that 12% of respondents globally believed their publication would go belly up, down from 21% last year. Check out how individual countries and regions fared when asked the question of falling (or growing) revenues:
- Europe: 43%
- Brazil, Russia, China, North America: 21%
- Spain: 67%
On a more upbeat note, journalists in Russia, Brazil, and China seem to be doing great. Advertising revenue, audience, and editorial staffing is all up in these countries. According to this study, the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China will experience double-digit growth in ad spending during 2012. France will see a scant 2% and the U.K. will see 3.4%. Continue Reading
I had a crazy thing happen to me that I want to share because it is an important lesson to anyone who works hard to create great content for their blog or website.
Someone who reads my blog posts on FreelanceSwitch contacted me today about something she thought was fishy. She had seen a blog post about making the switch from full-time work to freelance that looked suspiciously familiar to one I had written for FreelanceSwitch a couple of weeks ago.
When I saw the blog post I was appalled. It wasn’t similar—it was EXACTLY the same! The only difference between in the content are the links inserted into the copy. Even the same stock photo that was purchased for the post appeared in this new blog.
There was no mention that I was the author and no mention that the post was originally published on FreelanceSwitch. In fact, the ONLY thing that was given any credit was that stock photo. At the end of the article was an “About the Author” section, including a byline and a bio—but it wasn’t mine. It was attributed to someone else – Kevin. Continue Reading
There are roughly 1.6 million freelances who live and work in the United Kingdom—that’s about 1 in every 20 workers.
A study by Kingston University and PCG, the UK’s largest professional association representing freelancers, found that of that 1.6 million, roughly 265,000 freelancers work in the arts, literary, and media roles; 161,000 in management; 110,000 in teaching and education; and about 93,000 in IT/telecommunications.
“More and more skilled and talented individuals are opting for freelancing as a work-lifestyle choice, or because of economic circumstances. Freelancers are offering industry and commerce a flexible talent stream when and where it is needed.”—John Brazier, managing director of PCG for FreelanceUK
To help celebrate the UK’s 1.6 million freelancers, who contribute £82 billion to the GDP, a new project is currently underway called 7 Days in June. A series of seven films are being filmed in Media City UK and around Salford University from June 23 to the 29. Each of the films will highlight a different aspect of freelancing and the team of freelancers will be required to research, write, and produce all in just seven days. Continue Reading
I recently wrote a blog post about how New Orleans will be the first large U.S. city to not have a daily newspaper, as the owners of The Times-Picayune reported that they will be going to a three-times-a-week publication schedule this fall.
A new company will take over the publication of the newspaper as well as its website, www.nola.com. That company, the Nola Media Group, will focus on producing larger newspapers on the three publication days (Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday) while ramping up their website with stories published daily. It’s a bold move, but something I believe other newspapers will adopt over time.
The move has many upset, as you can imagine. Recently the publisher announced that the paper will cut 201 jobs—32% of its workforce. Almost half of the editorial team is being canned.
In addition, all the newspapers’ other employees will be required to take new jobs at the newly created Nola Media Group — in some cases with different responsibilities, less pay or fewer benefits. Some columnists are being asked to contribute on a freelance basis. —MediaPost.com
This is not an uncommon procedure, but it sucks. I worked for a newspaper that was going through similar cuts and people were taking the offered buyout left and right. Who wants to work more for less money? Continue Reading
“While compensation is definitely important, workers don’t necessarily equate success with hefty incomes,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources for CareerBuilder. “Often you’ll see intangibles such as the ability to make a difference, a sense of accomplishment and work/life balance eclipses the size of a paycheck in what matters most to workers.” —CareerBuilder
The study was conducted by Harris Interactive and included more than 5,700 American employees across a variety of industries. Here are some of the figures that were found:
- 75% of respondents do not feel that they need to earn six figures to be successful.
- 28% of respondents said that they would feel successful earning between $50k and $70k.
- 23% of respondents said that they would feel successful earning less thank $50k.
- 1 in 10 respondents said they need to make $150,000 or more to feel successful.
- Men were twice as likely as women to say they would need to earn six figures to be successful.
Success, to me, is a combination of money and personal satisfaction—as I’m sure it is with many other freelancers. Of course I feel like I am doing a good job when I am bringing in money. It means I can help provide for my family, pay bills, take a vacation, and all that other good stuff that comes along with being paid. But success to me is more than money. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t be a freelancer and run my own business.
Here are some other ways I measure success: Continue Reading
As a freelancer, your success depends on how well you can sell. Don’t like to sell or don’t know how? Too bad. Time to put away the excuses and buckle down. The future of your freelance business depends on it.
The first thing you need to do is change your attitude about sales. Dispel any notion from your brain about sleazy used car salesmen right now. There is a great blog post on Inc.com about this very topic that I’d like to pull some wisdom from. Author Geoffrey James singles out three beliefs people who hate to sell hold close to them and they are:
Selling is Manipulative
People who hate to sell believe that sales people are trying their hardest to sell them something that the customer doesn’t really want.
Selling is Annoying
Who isn’t annoyed by unwanted sales calls at dinnertime? Some sales people simply won’t take no for an answer. People who hate to sell believe they are bothering their potential customers.
Selling is Boring
Very rarely do you pick up the phone to call someone about pitching a project and they say yes right away. Selling takes time and you need to stay on top of it. The rewards are not immediate, and can sometimes seem like they take forever.
If you believe these three things to be true, of course you hate selling! But these three things do not have to be true. What you need to do is to change your attitude and find out how you can find success. Here are some tips I’ve learned from some very successful sales people: Continue Reading