How long have you been freelancing? Even if it’s just been a handful of years, you’ve probably noticed how quickly your industry changes.
Just look at the freelance news journalist, who initially delivered his craft in long form, typewritten prose; then transitioned to faster, shorter digital copy; and now is looked upon for instant, informative updates, delivered in micro-blurbs.
Every profession is impacted by advances in technology and social media, and to remain fresh and marketable, you’ve got to accommodate those changes. But you don’t have to invest large amounts of time or money to do so; here are 6 tips to help any type of freelancer evolve with the changing times. Continue Reading
After using Google Drive for the last few years (previously known as Google Docs), I learned a few things along the way to make organizing the layout and view in a web browser.
In this short walk-through I will show you how to get around the interface and tweak it based upon what you’re doing at the time. Using the search bar, filters, and sorting tools will help you find files fast. But the layout settings can help further when working with images and other visual-based files.
Once you have installed Google Drive, it can be a challenge to both find files and access your documents in other programs.
In this video I will show you how to make your files and folders immediately accessible in just about every program you might need them in when using Windows.
After two decades of solo freelancing, I’ve developed a craving for an audience.
Take, for example, the recent Forbes magazine article, “Entrepreneurs Who Master Storytelling Win More.” This article references a book and a couple of well-known role models, but the masters of storytelling have much more training.
I ask a storytelling mentor how I can improve, and he offers a surprising answer: “Improv!” Continue Reading
Do you occasionally long for the opportunity to hash things out with a group of colleagues? Whether it’s an upcoming sports game or a great new iphone app, that casual back-and-forth banter is usually absent when you’re a solo worker.
Joining in a twitter chat is one way that freelancers can replicate this. A Twitter chat – also called a party - is when a group of individuals meet on Twitter at a set time to discuss a planned topic. A moderator usually organizes the event. They’ll start things off, welcome the attendees, and keep the conversation going.
Aside from enjoying some interaction with your peers, attending a chat is a great way to grow your Twitter presence. Continue Reading
Getting Google Drive up and running on your computer just takes a few minutes. In this short video I show you where to find the download link and how to get up and running fast. This video also shows you some of the simple toolbars you’ll want to be aware of in case your Google Drive software needs to be re-sync’d or restarted.
In this video you will:
- Sign into Google
- Download and install the Google Drive software
- Start Google Drive up for the first time
- Sign into Google Drive on the computer
Google Drive has more features than I could possibly list, but when it comes to using it for freelancing, there are certainly some highlights. I use Google Drive daily for key tasks that make my life a lot easier and my work more efficient. In this video, I’ll show you how I use Google Drive to:
- Backup my files in real-time
- Share my work with team members
- Collaborate efficiently when needed
- Search for files fast when I need to quickly update or share
Also worth mentioning here is that Google Drive is device agnostic – I can open and edit most files on my phone, laptop, desktop – accessing them from anywhere I have an internet connection. This comes in very handy as a freelancer who has to travel regularly and who has a terrible tendency to lose or break my gadgets. Continue Reading
Freelancing is all about networking, and surprisingly networking extends beyond just people. How? The Internet can organically drive traffic to your site. That’s why you need to be link building or backlinking – the art and science of getting other sites to link to you.
But you can do yourself more harm than good if you don’t know what you’re doing. Search engines like Google are very sensitive to the links that point back to your site. So how can you make sure every link you get is helping and not hurting? Make sure to focus on the right link building strategies and avoid those that will harm your website. Continue Reading
It’s probably been a while since you learned the skills that moved you ahead in your career, but to keep that success going, you need to continue learning, indefinitely. But logging classroom time isn’t the only way to grow – by keeping an eye on like-minded entrepreneurs, you can stay abreast of current trends, keep your pricing competitive, obtain ideas for ad copy, and more.
Conference badges seem to only ever increase in price, but not attending at least the occasional conference means that you’re missing out on major business opportunities.
It’s not always possible to attend every conference for free, but there are several options to consider if you just don’t have room in your budget.
1. Organize the Conference
Many big conferences got their start because someone wanted to attend a certain type of conference that just didn’t exist yet. You might consider starting your own conference or, more practically, get on the organizing committee for any conference you want to attend.
This strategy requires a lot of planning in advance — you’ll probably need to get involved close to a year in advance. But it can be an option to not only get a free ticket but get to meet a lot more people involved with the conference in question.
2. Speak at the Conference
Many conferences post open calls for submissions at some point before the plans for the conference are finalized. If you feel comfortable speaking in public and you have some expertise, consider putting in a proposal to speak. You’ll be more likely to get chosen for bigger events if you have some speaking experience under your belt, but many small conferences draw from a local talent pool. Continue Reading
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.
The day you start freelancing, you’re running a business. That means that you have certain obligations to your clients to ensure that their information is secure. Depending on the clauses in any contracts you sign, you may take on additional obligations — an NDA, for example, can turn into a lawsuit if you don’t take adequate steps to protect any information you’ve been provided.
Exactly what constitutes adequate security is hard to define. For some professions, like lawyers or accountants, there are fairly strict guidelines as to how client information is to be handled. It’s less clear for most creatives. Continue Reading