When I first saw this video I was confused. Sure, the jingle was catchy and the editing was swell, but, was this guy for real? Did people actually buy his terrible drawings? He doesn’t do this for a living…does he? I decided to put on my investigative journalism hat and see if I couldn’t get some answers about this crazy cat guy. I went straight to the source. Continue Reading
It’s not uncommon to find educational conferences and seminars for most professions. But finding educational opportunities when you’re a freelancer can be a more difficult matter.
Cal Evans, the founder of Day Camp 4 Developers is looking to solve that problem — at least for developers.
The Importance of Educating Freelancers
Whether you’re a developer, an illustrator or some entirely different variety of freelancer, getting the right skill sets to grow your business can be tough. Even identifying those skills can be problematic: there are plenty of great schools turning out top-notch developers and other creatives. But very few teach anything in the way of how to mange the business side, even down to the basics of how to create an invoice. Continue Reading
Welcome to Part III of our series on civic mindedness. Previously we’ve heard from the head of the Northwest Freelancers Association in Washington State and a freelance public relations manager in Ohio. Today we talk with a top-notch professional wedding photographer with a big heart.
A former photographer and photo editor for USA Today and The Washington Post, Emilie Sommer moved to Portland, Maine in 2003 to open her own wedding photography business called emilie inc. Her business has grown to include two additional photographers, videographer, graphic design artist, and photo booth.
In the ultra competitive world of wedding photography, Emilie Sommer stands out from her peers, not only because of her talent and business acumen, but because of a side project—Pink Initiative. Sommer started this nonprofit to bring wedding industry professionals and private donors together to fund awareness, outreach, education, and research for breast cancer. Continue Reading
Welcome to part two of our discussion on the importance of being civic minded. In researching people to interview on the topic, I virtually stumbled upon a website called Good Things Going Around. Owner Lisa Desatnik is a freelance public relations manager and runs her Ohio-based business with an emphasis on raising awareness and strengthening relationships for clients who have a heart for the community.
Desatnik’s cause-related PR campaigns have earned her numerous regional awards. She is currently working with the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, the Cincannati Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired, and the Appalachian Festival, among others.
Why is it important to you to be connected to your community?
Being connected to my community and thinking about others is just a direction that my heart takes me. The type of gratification I receive from bringing smiles to others is just immeasurable. My parents have instilled in me an appreciation for all of the beauty that life brings us and I hope to share that with others because life is really special.
Richard Roberts is a US based illustrator and designer, known in the field for his work with Photoshop, and surreal style. He’s worked hard to build strong relationships with his clients, and has learned to adjust to the variable flow of freelance work.
He thrives on working on diverse projects and riding the wave of freelance projects, while always focusing on delivering high quality art – he’s proud of. He shows how focusing on art, while promoting your work, is a winning path for freelance illustrator success.
Q: How did you get into illustrating?
The story behind my venture into digital art is quite interesting. When I was thirteen I played online games like most other kids my age, and I came across a digital art piece on a gaming forum and was instantly fascinated. It led to me installing an early version of Adobe Photoshop.
For a few years it was just a hobby, but it grew into more of a profession once I knew it was possible to make a living off it. My school years were quite dysfunctional because of moving, which led me to finishing high school online. This allowed me to have ample free time, which resulted in me putting my full focus on improving myself as an artist and mastering my trade.
Although I have much to learn, my current knowledge and skills have got me to where I am today. Three years ago I started theotherstream my online portfolio and freelance company. Since then my freelance career has really taken off.
Q: How long did it take you to get on your feet as a freelancer? What were some of the challenges?
I would say about two years, at first it was quite hard to find work, as I hadn’t really established much of a name for myself. I had the odd job here and there to keep me afloat. I think the main challenge I faced was simply keeping myself in the mindset that I could do it if I tried hard enough. The biggest challenge would be the lack of clients at times.
Justin Knechtel lives in between the cities of Seattle and Bellevue, Washington, on Mercer Island. As the founder of the Northwest Freelancers Association (NWFA), an independent nonprofit organization, Knechtel works with freelancers throughout the entire Pacific and Inland Northwest.
Knechtel also created and runs The Small Potatoes, which is a design and consulting agency made up of freelance professionals living and working in the Pacific Northwest. The Small Potatoes works with small businesses, nonprofits, and startups to provide services on a pay-what-you-can-afford model.
When researching the topic of civic mindedness in freelancers, Knechtel seemed like the kind of freelancer who would have a lot to talk about on the topic. I wasn’t disappointed.
At FreelanceSwitch, we get plenty of mail from teen Web designers that want to be featured on the site. It’s hard to weed out who has something valuable to say, because we like to interview people with experience and wisdom to share — at that usually comes from having a few years of professional experience. But when we heard from Trevan Hetzel, we knew something was a little different about this “kid” from Iowa.
This 20-year-old has a flawless eye for design, a knack for doing business — and even his own office space. Read on to learn more about how Trevan does business. We think you’ll be inspired!
Tell us how you got into design.
I’ve always had a creative personality. I remember as a little kid playing with Legos nonstop. That’s what my parents used to ground me from when I got in trouble! It may be a bad example, but I really do think those types of toys foster creativity in kids. I actually got into Web design my freshman year of high school when I took an elective class on Web design and loved every minute of it. There were no boundaries to what you could create, and I just loved how there were endless opportunities to learn more.
I spent probably a year tinkering on my own personal project (www.hetzelracing.com) and then got asked to design a site for my school’s elementary sports program. I guess you could say the rest is history! I then got into logo design and spent my study halls and after school hours learning Web and graphic design because it was so much fun! Continue Reading
Carol Tice has made a name for herself in the writing industry. Not only is this Seattle area resident a well-known wordsmith, but she’s carved out a niche for helping other writers to establish and grow their talents through her award-winning blog, makealivingwriting.com and her eBook by the same name. I spoke to Carol to find out how she’s been so successful as a freelance writer.
Q: You have previous experience as a journalist. Why did you start freelancing?
I’d been at the Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) for nearly seven years under a great team of editors…and then they both left, and it just wasn’t the same. It was time to move on.
Q: How did you transition into freelancing?
Into the pool with no preparation really, but a five-figure severance check did help me get started. I’d been thinking about doing it, I knew it wasn’t working out, and then one day I was headed home on the ferry with all my belongings in a big box, and it was time to freelance. I initially thought I’d just freelance until I found another job, but I started earning fairly quickly, and pretty soon I couldn’t imagine going back. I have three kids and two are special needs-ish, so it allows me flexibility in my schedule that I need to help and advocate for them.
View awesome conference lectures, engaging how to discussions, and high quality freelance business advice via video here on FreelanceSwitch.
This week we look at Career Interview with a Freelance Radio Journalist by Creative Interviews. In this video Career interview with freelance radio journalist, Rene Gutel discusses the freedom and challenges of being a freelance journalist for NPR.
View awesome conference lectures, engaging how to discussions, and high quality freelance business advice via video here on FreelanceSwitch. This week we look at Orman Clark and the Business of Free by Freelancejam. Can you give great stuff away and expect to make any money? In this video Orman Clark discusses how he does it on a daily basis through his site Premium Pixels. In this episode we dig deeper into how Orman has crafted a site full of self-created freebie graphic files and used it to drive sales of his premium WordPress themes.
Cody McKibben isn’t your ordinary freelancer. After he quit his job in 2007 to begin freelancing, McKibben took off from Northern California and headed for Asia. McKibben currently lives in Thailand and has built up a successful freelance business while exploring Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Bali.
McKibben is also one of the co-founders of Digital Nomad Academy, which provides resources and information about how to create a business and lifestyle that allows you to travel and work — not a bad proposition for many freelancers.
As creative freelancers many of us have the unique working situation were we can pick up move about, relocate, travel and work from just about anywhere — well at least if you set yourself up for that flexibility. Corbett Barr blogs extensively on this subject of location independence, and in this interview discusses how he has grown his blog ThinkTraffic into a full time business as well. There are some great insights in this interview for those of you looking to add an additional revenue stream to your freelance income through blogging, or for those of you interested in the freedom of working from anywhere.