When you open an agency, you’re the head honcho. Everybody else has to do what you say, while you kick back and put up your feet.
Or, at least, that’s what we’d all like to think.
But, while you do get to define your team’s roles at the agency, you’ll still have your hands full with work of your own. The big question becomes what work you’re going to take responsibility for at your agency.
As you first start working towards an agency model, the answer will probably be ‘all of it.’ But it’s worth setting some expectations of where you’d like to wind up. That way, you can prioritize what sort of team members you’ll need to bring in first. Continue Reading
Are you getting any results from all the time and effort you put into Twitter?
How can you really know whether Twitter is working for your freelance business?
In one sense, the answer is simple. If you’re meeting potential clients, networking with other freelancers, having a good time, learning new things, and watching your follower count grow, then Twitter is clearly working for you.
For many freelancers that’s enough.
But for those who’d like to know the mechanics of how Twitter is working for them, there are easy to use and low-cost tools available to help you dig deeper.
Keeping track of your metrics is a form of research. Your aim is to find out what works at engaging clients, and what doesn’t.
In this article, I look at what you can (and can’t) discover by digging into your stats, the types of stats you should be measuring, and the tools you can use to measure them. Continue Reading
When you’re first marketing yourself as a freelancer, you have to make sure that your clients trust you. The entire point of your marketing is to convince each prospective client that you, personally, will do an awesome job on their project. But that approach doesn’t work when you won’t be personally doing every piece of work that passes through your agency. You’re going to have to make some major changes in how you handle marketing in order to get your agency’s name out there. Continue Reading
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
If freelancers could invent our own clichés, one might be: no two jobs are the same. Each gig we take on brings with it new personalities, new challenges and new rewards. Despite these differences, most any freelancing gig will fit into one of these twenty types.
Where does the job you’re (supposed to be) working on now fit in?
Have you done each of these kinds of jobs before?
My guess is that most experienced freelancers will have encountered quite a few!
1. The magnum opus
The job you’ve always wanted, the job you’ll tell your grand-kids about. You get asked to write a book, land design work for a super-company like Coca Cola or get an article published in Business Week. The money doesn’t really matter — though it’s probably pretty good! Because this kind of opportunity doesn’t come along every day, you make this job personal, you obsess over it and make sure every single detail has been polished to a brilliant shine.
These kinds of jobs can feel more like play than work. They’re hard to forget for all the right reasons, and can take your credibility and perceived value as a freelancer to the next level.
Magnum opus jobs can be time vacuums. Being paid $X,000 for a project doesn’t work out to much if you spend a hundreds of hours polishing up the bells and whistles.
Nearly every freelancer I meet seems to be starting a blog, or at least thinking about it.
But there’s a problem: Many freelancers tell me they’re posting like mad on their blog…but nothing’s happening.
No comments. No shares on Twitter or Facebook.
Even worse, no client nibbles, and especially, no firm new clients.
Blogs are a big time investment. So if you’re blogging away and not getting results, that’s not good. If you can’t get the hang of this, you might want to consider spending your marketing time another way.
Now that you’ve set up your Twitter account, it’s time you got some followers.
Followers are great for two reasons:
Followers provide social proof. The more followers you have, the more people will assume you’re good at what you do. Every follower is like a micro-testimonial. Think about it: if you were hiring a freelancer, would you first check out the freelancer with 10,000 Twitter followers or 10 followers? The more followers you have, the quicker you gain the trust of potential clients.
Followers help to spread your message. When you want to use Twitter to promote your blog, business or services, the more followers you have, the bigger your reach.
In previous articles, I’ve covered the basics of what it takes to grow your Twitter following. First, you must complete your Twitter profile. This includes a biography targeted at your ideal followers, and a smiling picture of your face. In your biography, give people a reason to follow you. Make sure you mention what you’ll be tweeting about. Second, write top quality tweets that are valuable and relevant to your audience.
Before taking a look at some more advanced tactics for growing your following, let’s consider what your mindset needs to be to become a Twitter authority with a tribe of loyal followers. Continue Reading
Time management is a topic that often comes up in conversations among freelancers. That’s because each of us has to take responsibility for getting everything on her plate done, without someone else nagging us about the work.
But when you establish an agency, the situation becomes harder: on top of getting the creative work done that you need to keep clients happy, you also need to assign work to everyone else at the agency, if not keep checking to ensure everything get’s done.
For some freelancers, it’s a fast way to go crazy. For others, it’s just a matter of making sure that there’s a good system in place and that you know what your priorities are. Provided you feel comfortable with a little management responsibility, getting everyone organized is very doable. Continue Reading
My personal experience as a freelancer so far has included lots of juggling kids, errands, running a household, family and friends who think you don’t need to work during the day, and – as a result – trying to get some bits of work done here and there. My iPhone has been my saving grace in the last couple of years. I can easily check and send emails, keep up with social media news, even make edits to documents in Drive using my Google mobile app.
However, I have found that one of the best ways to take advantage of my time – while waiting in the drive-thru line, waiting for an appt., or watching my kids at sports events – is to get some social media marketing done. This helps with efficiency when I am sitting down at my computer trying to get some writing done – I can easily tell myself that I do not need to get onto Twitter or Google+ because I just updated them earlier while sitting at the doctor’s office.
Looking for a new client? The FreelanceSwitch job board is a great resource of freelance gigs and opportunities. These opportunities are in various fields, from development to writing to design, and come from a wide range of potential clients. The job board is hand-moderated by dedicated staff and volunteers from the freelance community.
Each week, we’ll feature a selection of the best job opportunities posted for the week. This week, we’re featuring jobs in Marketing Design, Web Designer, Animation and more!