There are hoards of freelancers that swear against websites that outsource freelance work, but there are just as many contractors that say these sites can yield a successful career.
At 24, Luis Lazo drew upon his experiences completing projects for RentACoder.com and leveraged that into a second career running RACSuccess.com, a mentoring service for coders and other freelancers. Luis has an interesting background and a unique take on freelancing—let’s hear what he has to say about using outsourcing sites.
One of the best things about working here at Envato is that we have an awesome team of people building, managing, writing, reviewing and working on our sites. Yep, things have come a long way since the early days when there was just a few of us trying to do everything!
Recently our awesome Tuts+ interviewer Emil asked if I minded being video interviewed with some questions put forward by the Psdtuts+ readers. Since no-one really wants to see my enormous head on screen for too long a period of time, I asked my lovely wife and partner in crime Cyan if she’d be in on the interview and we thought we’d put up the video to help celebrate 3 years of Envato.
She’s got a well-known celebrity client and tons of tricks for getting and retaining clients. And she wants to help entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground.
That’s why I thought we could all get something out of an interview with Laura Roeder of Roeder Studios. This California-based social media and publicity guru has plenty to share about how she’s effectively positioned her company—and how you can do the same with yours.
Got a camera? Great! But can you turn it into a business?
Aaron Lindberg did. After paying his full-time dues and freelancing on the side, this 30-year-old full-time freelance photographer from Kansas City, Missouri, has earned a solid reputation for himself and says the key to that is to keep promoting—and keep shooting!
How did you get started in photography? Did you go to school for it? Have you participated in any continuing education programs? What type of equipment do you use?
My photography career starting in college at the University of Kansas while I was getting my BFA in Art. I needed a job to pick up some extra money so I approached the school’s newspaper. I started shooting for the school newspaper (University Daily Kansan) and after shooting there for a couple years I got a part-time gig with the city newspaper (Lawrence Journal World). After graduation I moved back to Kansas City and my careers took off and haven’t looked back since. 98% of what I know was taught hands on in the field from taking on assignments at the newspapers. I shoot with digital SLR equipment (Nikon side of things) with a bag full of photo toys.
Interviewing other creatives is always interesting; I like to see where they draw inspiration from, how they built their business and what keeps them ticking.
So when I came across copywriter Jon Wuebben—who has also written a book on his craft, along with creating a few other ventures—I knew he would captivate the freelancers that read our blog. Read on to learn more about how Jon has created several businesses and published a book, all while keeping his eye on his clients.
Photo by costi.
The unfortunate truth is that many people who attempt to go freelance fail. Of those who make the attempt, a smaller amount manage to brave the unknown and make a living for themselves doing what they love best. An even smaller number of freelancers are able to build their businesses to the point where they can’t handle the work they’ve got – let alone take on any more clients – and are doing very well for themselves, financially speaking. Sometimes these guys are happy to draw the line, cut back on the marketing efforts and keep going as is, but another group wants something more: to create a business that can expand, to work less and make more all while giving other deserving freelancers the chance to have more work.
It’s definitely possible to create a business from a small but successful freelance operation. There are many challenges – for instance, how do you transition from a personal brand to a business brand without losing recognition or customers? But perhaps one of the most important struggles is creating a structure that works. All too often, freelancers create their start-ups with all of the organizational structure that they had before – in other words, for most, none.
If you’ve ever heard of a white paper, you’ve probably heard of Michael A. Stelzner. He wrote the book, —literally—on white papers. (White papers are used by businesses to explain products and services and promote their benefits in detail. They’re one part case study and a whole lot of marketing copywriting…and they can make writers big bucks.
Michael’s website, WritingWhitePapers.com, offers a wealth of information on breaking into this lucrative field. In the writing industry, this 40-year-old San Diego resident is kind of like a legend. So of course I wanted to see how he captured this niche, made it his own and is now sharing the goods with others looking to make a profitable living as a freelance writer.
Whether you write or not, Michael has some useful information for establishing yourself as an expert in your field and securing your spot with large clients.
At just 32 years old, Jason Caminiti has cultivated his career as an award-winning Public Access Television Show host and produced, “Pawtucket Rising,” his first wide audience feature-length documentary film about Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Jason’s in a highly coveted role as a filmmaker, a position that he dons in addition to working full-time. That’s why I thought speaking to this creative freelancer would not only give more tips on balancing your passions with your day job, but inspire those who have always wondered if they have a movie—or a book, for that matter—in them.
Matthew Heusser, a technologist hailing from Allegan, Michigan, got his roots in computer programming. But what he did with that knowledge—mixing in tons of risk-taking and determination—has made him a prominent speaker in his field as well.
I talked to Matthew, 32, to find out how he leveraged his job in programming to become an expert in the industry, how he gets paid to talk about it—and how you can do the same.
Jonathan Fields has compiled a laundry list of occupations over the years ranging from lawyer to yoga instructor, and has found a great niche in his most recent profession: Author. Jonathan’s book Career Renegade is a must-read for any freelancer. Freelancers so often get caught up in the battle of trying to survive that we forget what it means to truly do what we love. Jonathan’s book helps bring focus back to our goals, back to what we really want to do with our life, and how to make a decent living doing it too.
We were able to catch up with Jonathan for an interview in which he shares some insights into his book, and how freelancer’s can benefit from being a Career Renegade.
For Leo Babauta, the success of his blog, Zen Habits, has now expanded big time—into a book. The 35-year-old Guam resident opens up to us about growing ideas organically and, of course, the art of living simply.
Most people are fans of your blog, ZenHabits.net. How did that grow to be such a mecca?
Photo by James Sarmiento (old account)
Students in Springbook High School’s Web design classes get a real-life glimpse into being a designer—their teacher is also a freelancer!
Zac Gordon, 26, graduated from this Maryland high school just eight years ago. For the past four years, he’s been freelancing in the design business. Because he’s got a side career going, it’s the perfect platform for his students to see what being a designer is really like. Now he’s created a business platform that will enable him to work with his students after they’ve graduated. He’s still teaching in the classroom, but has found that the benefits of his full-time job have translated into a thriving business.