I’m a freelancer, and I’m a lazy beast.
I put things off all the time. I’ve been putting off writing this article for two weeks already. I’ve discovered though, that when it comes to important things, sometimes I just have to buckle down and get it done, like my portfolio.
How about you? Have you been putting off getting your portfolio designed? Whether it’s lack of time, initiative, or skill, a good looking portfolio is a big undertaking. Maybe next month we’ll get it done.
Last month the folks over at Krop launched their Portfolio & Resume Builder application. Their goal is to get your work out there as easily as possible, and display it as attractively as possible. And I must say…it’s a nice little package.
It is a rare freelancer that enjoys marketing. It is even rarer to find one who knows how to do it right. With so many means of advertising your business, which do you chose? Which method brings in sacks of money, and which one will only deliver quick kicks to the ahem…you get my drift.
The problem many freelancers run into is that they spend all their time researching and experimenting with several advertising methods when they should be first identifying their ideal clients and then develop their marketing message.
Sound like market-mumbo-jumbo to you? Don’t worry, John Jantsch’s book Duct Tape Marketing cuts through the bull and delivers sound marketing advice.
Hot on the heels of my NomaDesk review, I had requests to review Dropbox as an alternate way to store and share files online. So come along as we delve the deep dark Dropbox, and I’ll promise to stop with the alliteration.
Much like NomaDesk, Dropbox is like a virtual hard drive that you can store and share files on. It’s a fairly straight forward way to sync your files with the added benefit of being able to access them with any computer with Internet access. Simply drop your files into one of DropBox’s folders and you’re done.
The world of photography is changing, and while freelancers have always had an opportunity to participate in this lucrative realm, it is becoming more and more accessible to the masses as the price for equipment and software falls. The difference between a good and great photography business isn’t simply based on the camera you choose. More important is the way you cut through the waves of images, carefully selecting, editing, and printing the best of breed.
If you want to be competitive, you need to learn to hone your workflow. There are many ways to accomplish the task, and in this review we are taking a closer look at Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2. Is it mature enough to provide the necessary tools for the trade? Can it give one an edge in their own market? Read on to find out.
Recently I watched a funny, quirky Japanese film called Kamikaze Girls. The movie centered on the theme that it takes courage to be happy. With so many responsibilities and demands on our time, we can often find ourselves missing the whole point of life – enjoying it.
Leo Babauta’s recently published book ‘The Power of Less’ gets to the heart of why “task and information overload” are causing us so much stress. Better yet, he tells us what to do about it.
Why do I need to read this book?
I will be the first to say that I am not a fan of self-help books. Your typical self-help book is nothing more than a medium to spoon out generalized advice on the latest empowerment craze. So when I started reading ‘The Power of Less’ I had a strong preconceived notion that I was not going to find much help in it. Couple that with the fact that I thought I was living a simple life already, and you have a recipe for a bad book review.
The fact that I really enjoyed the book speaks volumes about Leo Babauta as a writer. Leo never comes across as a talking-head that dispenses tips he picked up from Doctor Phil. His advice is always based on things that have worked in his own life. He even takes a simplified approach to his writing and keeps things straight forward and in plain English. This may be the first self-help book I actually liked.
I am a big fan of the digital nomad lifestyle. Being able to take your laptop and do your work from anywhere has a lot of appeal for me. But living the nomad life is rarely as simple as just picking up your notebook bag and heading out the door. There are a lot of factors to consider. My biggest fear is leaving important files behind sitting on my desktop while I’m a thousand miles away with a client deadline looming large.
For that reason I was excited when FreelanceSwitch gave me the assignment to review NomaDesk, a virtual workplace for digital nomads.
I have designed plenty of sites around a content management system like WordPress, but I have never yet put together a theme for distribution or resale. Hot on the heels of the opening of ThemeForest, I thought it would be a good time to delve into the world of WordPress theme design and packaging. For that reason I picked up Tessa Blakely Silver’s book – WordPress Theme Design: A complete guide to creating professional WordPress themes.
For most designers it is pretty rare that your first design will be a complete hit with your client. More often than not your initial design is going to undergo several revisions before you arrive at final version that your client can sign-off on.
That means that you and client will be going back and forth with suggestions, changes, and tweaks; and typically this will all be done via email. But what if there was a better way?
My web design sucks!
If you’re like me you’ve probably said that to yourself at least once in your career. When you browse through sites like cssBeauty and FaveUp, you are wowed by the beautiful designs, and you can’t help but ask yourself “What am I missing?”
I know some freelancers who come from a development background assume that programmers just can’t design. Others have decided to go back to school to take a course in design. But to be honest, when you are already well invested in your career, it’s often not practical or even reasonable to head back to school.
One of the biggest reasons I purchased my laptop was because I envisioned how great a tool it was going to be for working remotely. I will readily admit that although I look nothing like Mel Gibson, I had big plans on becoming the next Road Warrior.
It did not take me long to realize that there is no easy way to sync information between two computers, especially Outlook email, contacts, and tasks. I have a decent size contact list and a full calendar, so it was too late to switch everything over to online applications. For that reason I started a search into easy and affordable ways to sync Outlook between computers.
Freelancers are always on the lookout for the best way to do their billing, and you will often see the question come up on the FreelanceSwitch forum, “What is the best billing/invoicing software?”
For this reason FreelanceSwitch sent me out to review the software Bill4Time.
Bill4Time is a web-based time billing and project management tool. According to the website it is ‘designed to handle time and expense tracking & billing, project management, document filing, and scheduling for firms who bill for their time.’ But how does it stack up to the needs of the average freelancer?