Earlier this year, I wrote an article about presenting at Ignite. To recap, Ignite is an event that happens in more than 100 cities worldwide on a regular basis. Participants get up on stage in front of an audience and speak for five minutes on a topic they’re passionate about.
At Ignite, you speak to the accompaniment of a 20-slide Powerpoint that you create beforehand. But you don’t have control over the slides – one of Ignite organizers runs the projector.
Well, after doing a couple of Ignite presentations, the above no longer seemed daunting. I was looking for a bigger challenge.
I found it in the form of a chance encounter at 2nd Saturdays Downtown, a monthly event here in Tucson, Arizona. A local group called Odyssey Storytelling brings its Story Cart to big happenings, and curious people are invited to stop and tell a tale.
Social media is a brilliant way to build your brand, which in turn grows your client base. But it can suck hours out of your busy day. And time is the one resource that we freelancers crave.
Struggling to manage your Linkedin connections, group discussions, guest blogging and website updates. It can be overwhelming. Sporadic Tweets and rushed posts can quickly spoil a quality campaign.
But with a simple routine, you’ll soon put those hours back in your day. The secret lies in preparation, combined with sensible scheduling – and a loud alarm clock. By implementing ten simple tips, you can manage your web presence without it managing you.
After well over a decade of working in agencies, freelancing, and running an agency, I’ve come to believe that there are really two kinds of freelancers.
- The ones who always seek to understand their clients’ core business strategies—and deliver based on them.
- The ones who appear to be unwilling or unable to understand their clients’ strategic business goals.
There are a lot of differences between these two camps. But there’s one that’s probably most important to you, the freelancer who’s always on the hunt for bigger and better clients.
The designers, developers, bloggers, illustrators and photographers who “get” their clients’ business strategies get something else. They get the most business, make the most money, secure the most long-term and repeat clients, and run the most successful and enduring freelance businesses.
Creative professionals who demonstrate that their work reinforces strategic objectives, and delivers on brand value, command the higher rates and the most respect.
They’re fatter and happier. Continue Reading
It’s not unusual for a client to put a clause in your contract that, if there’s an issue, they want to go to mediation, rather than court. Whether or not mediation is a good thing for you, as a freelancer, isn’t a simple yes or no question.
Why Mediation is On the Table
Especially if you’re dealing with a larger company as a client, mediation is popular because it’s theoretically faster and cheaper than going to court. If you’re based in one state, and your client is somewhere else, just figuring out which jurisdiction to file in can be incredibly complicated. Mediation can take place wherever the parties involved agree on, and there’s a little more flexibility about being in the actual room where the mediator is sitting.
Picture this: You own your own catering business. Long days of persistent marketing and hard work have paid off and you have a steady stream of corporate clients. At a networking luncheon, you’re seated next to another caterer new to the area. She seems pleasant and you’re enjoying her conversation.
You’re just about to bite into your chocolate cheesecake when she asks: “You do a lot of business with Big Juicy Client. Who is your contact person there?”
Sounds strange, doesn’t it? But the same thing happens to many freelancers. While most self-employed individuals understand the taboo behind asking a colleague for contact information, at the same time, a fairly large percent don’t. It can be uncomfortable when someone asks you for information that you don’t care to share.
As freelancers, the thought of trying to tackle a legal problem can be scary: whether you’re just trying to collect on an unpaid invoice or you’re facing a much bigger problem, the fact that we don’t have lawyers at our backs can make things more intimidating.
But just because you aren’t in a position to plunk down a few hundred dollars on a lawyer’s desk doesn’t mean that you are absolutely out of options. There are organizations that offer other alternatives, such as pre-paid legal services.
The mechanics of the opportunity are not so different from an insurance plan: you choose a plan and pay a monthly fee. Then, when you need legal help, you go to a lawyer and your plan pays the costs.
There are limits, of course, but the prices for most plans are much more affordable than an hour’s time with an attorney would be otherwise.
Honest freelancers keep their word to get work done on time. They value their reputation and their strong work ethic pays dividends. An enthusiastic customer recommendation about a freelancer’s performance can bring a number of new offers and better income.
It’s important to have several positive reviews in your profile. However, an experienced employer goes beyond these words and digs into more information about you. To keep tabs on your reputation online here are some simple, free tools that get the job done:
Don’t be surprised. Google you name. You may find work reviews you had no clue about. Check Google blogs and discussions tabs to see all posts. Besides, set Google Alerts to your name and get email notifications as soon as a new article with your name springs up. Thus, you keep track of your web reputation.
To describe SEO as a simple process would be a lie, but it’s not magic. There are quite a few simple things you can do for yourself that will improve SEO on your website.
Bear in mind that search traffic generally has a higher conversion rate compared with other online sources, so if you are going to invest time and resources in online marketing, SEO is definitely worth considering.
Search engine optimization in its most basic format can be separated into four areas; keyword research, on-page optimization, content development, and link building.
Follow this DIY guide to increase your search engine visibility, get more visitors, and grab more clients. Continue Reading
Providing effective “on-demand” technical assistance and support often involves not only one’s personal IT knowledge and experience, but also a reliable set of technical products that help get the job done.
The rise and evolution of remote desktop software has enabled IT businesses of all sizes to deliver immediate “incident resolution” to their clients and colleagues located anywhere in the world, while eliminating geographical distances, national borders, and other constraints that were at play only 15 years ago. Such products play an essential role in improving the overall bottom line of any freelance IT business by excluding various costs associated with time consuming on-site visits.
The recent years have delivered a significant expansion of the remote desktop software industry, and today a business of any size is able to choose from a number of various remote desktop products based on its own budget and functionality requirements. As the owner of a small IT company, I am able to share my personal experience regarding the evolution of browser-based remote desktop software as an alternative to VNC-based products that dominated the market only several years ago.
I suppose I could have given this article a really provocative title. Something like “Set Your Career on Fire with Ignite!” Or worse.
But, since this is FreelanceSwitch, I’ll have to be more low-key while telling you the truth. And that is to suggest you try something new. And, at first, you won’t be very good at it.
The “it” I’m referring to is called Ignite. Despite its name, Ignite has nothing to do with fire. Although you may feel like you’re on fire while you’re participating.
Simply put, Ignite is an event that happens in more than 100 cities worldwide on a regular basis. Participants get up on stage in front of an audience and speak for five minutes on a topic they’re passionate about. Does this sound like a challenge you’re up for?
As a freelancer, there will be times in your career where time is a lot easier to come by than cash. That means that trading some of your working time for something you need directly — rather than taking the long way around and trying to earn the money first — can make sense. Bartering some of your work for what you need can be a useful way to get it.
Bartering services can be especially useful when you’re just starting your freelancing career: if you need some help with a particular part of your marketing materials, approaching another freelancer and simply offering to trade can get the job done.
If you have more than one freelance specialty, one strategy is to dedicate a separate site (blog) to each specialty, develop strong targeted brands, and grow them independently across multiple social media. With this strategy comes the question of how can we manage all our sites, keep up with our branding efforts and handle our social media accounts (such as Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin) all at once?
There are pros and cons to having different social media accounts for multiple websites. It’s important to choose a social media promotion plan that fits your business structure and future goals best.
Though I’ve been writing for a long time, I started publishing when I discovered blogging is a wonderful way to share my interests, and build a portfolio along the way. However, it is also a demanding activity that requires one to be their own blogger, editor, web designer, marketer, SEO specialist, and social media manager. While I mostly enjoy these tasks, it is becoming harder to stick to my own deadlines while I am managing multiple sites. After all, I have an entertainment blog, a writing blog, and several others. Numerous blogs mean that all these tasks are multiplied.