No matter what kind of freelancer you are, you need a way to accept payment from your clients. Out of all the payment options available, how do you choose the right one?
Being able to collect credit card payments is key. While some of your clients will still prefer to pay by check, many would like the opportunity to pay by credit card. Wouldn’t it be nice to run a credit card payment right from your own website, without having to push your client off to a third party site to process the transaction?
Stripe is a simple way to accept payments online. It was created by developers who believe that accepting credit cards on the web should be easy, inexpensive, and efficient for everyone.
10 “Free Forever” Paydirt accounts giveaway finalized. This giveaway has closed. Congratulations to the winners: Langdon James, Maia Roberts, Jason Hackwith, Patrick Rogan, James Dudley, Elizabeth Bright, Mikey McCorry, Samantha Geitz, Pete Brady, and Henriette Weber. All winners have been contacted with winning details. We appreciate everyone’s participation.
If you have accounting software, it probably includes a time-tracking module. What if it’s on that desktop machine back at your studio, and you’re on the road with a laptop, or you prefer a dedicated time tracking interface?
Enter Paydirt, a web-based app that tracks three key freelancing metrics:
- Your clients and their contact information
- Projects you’re doing for clients
- The time spent on those projects
Put these three things together, and you have an app that tracks time spent on client projects, and uses the time logs to generate invoices. You present a Paydirt invoice in person if you’re working on site like our hypothetical road warrior. Or you can send it via e-mail.
You can utilize Paydirt in one of two ways:
- By logging into the Paydirt website which works just fine with your browser – as long as it’s not Internet Explorer. Paydirt doesn’t support IE – and that’s a feature.
- By using the Paydirt extension for Firefox or Chrome. It will remind you to track time if it senses that you may be doing something relating to a client. Yes, sending that long, explanatory e-mail about how you’re tackling his design project is billable. So turn on that Paydirt tracker and make some money.
I recently wrote a blog post sharing the news that The Times-Picayune out of New Orleans, Louisiana, will cease to produce a daily newspaper. Instead, the company will be printing three days a week and ramping up their online news gathering for their website. New Orleans will be the largest city in the U.S. without a daily newspaper.
There’s been a big shake-up at a couple of other national newspapers as well.
The Denver Post has decided to do away with its copy desk, spreading the copy-editing duties throughout the newsroom. The pros to this model? Stories can be published to the web faster because they don’t need to be read and edited by so many people. The cons? Stories have a greater chance of being printed with errors. Continue Reading
With so many different types of programs and apps on helping you and your team keep track of hours spent on projects, it can be confusing. Most focus on what I call “self-reporting”– which relies on the person wanting to keep track and having to actually click a button to start recording time.
But how do we even know this is accurate? There are so many things online and on computers that distract us, how do we know that when we spent 5 hours on a client’s project today, that those were truly 5 hours of solid productivity devoted to that one project?
iJobo works to solve that, along with many other features. It is designed to monitor a users computer in the background, doing things like taking screenshots and recording their keystrokes. Continue Reading
Online courses make me nervous. There, I’ve said it. They make me nervous because they are hard to do well, and, as a freelancer, I don’t like to waste my time (or my money) on information that doesn’t really help me.
But this marketing course by Firepole Marketing is different.
Their Audio Coaching Program is specifically designed for small businesses (which means freelancers) and entrepreneurs. Founders Danny Iny and Peter Vogopoulous speak the language of successful entrepreneurs, and have the credentials to back up their advice.
I have a confession to make. I’m addicted to caffeine. For breakfast I either have a can of Diet Coke or a small iced mocha with skim milk from Dunkin Donuts, which happens to be a 5 minute walk from my house or a quick drive on my way to the office.
I am well aware that having a can of Diet Coke for breakfast is not healthy. I should be eating poached eggs, whole grain toast, a banana, and a glass of pomegranate juice. Here’s the thing—I can’t eat first thing in the morning or I feel sick. Here’s the other thing—I don’t have time.
I suspect that many of you that work in the fast paced media world might also have a caffeine addiction and also don’t have the luxury of a breakfast that includes all of the food pyramid. Am I right? So coffee (or Diet Coke) it is.
I’ve created a list of some of the top coffee makers that should perk up any freelancers day. And, depending on your lifestyle and taste, there is a coffee maker for you on the market; I guarantee it!
New web service Tischen is on a mission to rid the world of unemployment. The site provides users with a variety of ways to showcase their skillset on the Internet and make themselves available for contact with prospects, whether they be freelancers in need of clients or job seekers on the search for steady work. At the core of Tischen’s mission seems to be the belief that a lack of visibility is the biggest barrier to getting a job.
There are two kinds of memberships–free, and Plus memberships for $9 a month. Free members get their own Tischen page, an availability calendar and business card templates with their page URL. Plus memberships afford several benefits, including:
- A domain name included in the price
- Text alerts to your phone when you get a job request
- Preference in search results
The site’s founder, Saman Rahmanian, says that Tischen “is based on the premise that everyone has a skill to offer and that no matter how bad the economy, people still need to get stuff done. So Tischen is a platform that lets people show what skills they have and when exactly they can offer them. People in turn can search for these folks on the site to get their work done.”
It’s an interesting concept, and at the very least it’s another place for new freelancers to get their name out there. Go take a look.
With the ever expanding growth of high speed internet connections, video is cropping up on most major websites more and more. Whether you are informing potential purchasers with a screencast or hoping to direct the next viral experience, video is something that most designers and developers should have at least a basic understanding of.
Enter – Making Web Video that Sells eBook by Doug Heacock & Glen Stansberry.
Who needs to read this book?
If you have a good grasp on web video and screencasting already, then this book is probably not for you. But for those new to web video or those hoping to better educate their clients on the importance of adding video to their marketing options, Making Web Video That Sells is great starting point.
Before reading the book I thought I had pretty good understanding of web video. I’ve put together some screencasts and shot some marketing footage before, but after reading the book I have to wonder if I’m truly making the most of video for my personal projects and for those of my clients. Continue Reading
Twitter seems to have a very polarizing effect on people. Some love it and some hate it. Some even love to hate it when they haven’t even tried the service yet. What makes Twitter so divisive?
Recently, actor Sir Patrick Stewart came down on the usefulness of Twitter in his life calling it too simplistic to reduce life to 140 characters. But whether you agree with the Captain or not, Twitter – when used correctly – can be a extremely beneficial tool for your freelance business.
With its growing list of books, Rockable Press recently released Twitter Up Your Business: How to Market Your Business on Twitter. The mini-book promises to teach you how to use the service, and explains how Twitter can help your business. Let’s see how it delivers.
When I first heard that the Smashing Magazine was putting together a book, I naturally wondered what it could possibly contain. Pages filled with 100 Outstanding Websites that are Yellow? 50 Really Cool Wine Websites?
Perhaps they were putting together an inspiration picture book?
For those that have been following Smashing Magazine over the years you have probably noticed a subtle shift recently towards less Digg bait and more solid article writing. It is fortunately this style of writing that makes an appearance in the Smashing Book.
Marketcircle recently released Billings Touch for the iPhone to accompany their popular invoicing software Billings. When you first open up Billings Touch, you have two options. If you have Billings already set up on your computer, you can connect your iPhone to that account. By using that information, you can check up on your invoices easily from your phone and generally use your phone as a mobile extension of your laptop, when it comes to invoicing clients.
Everyone hates it when their work gets blatantly ripped off. Although it’s one thing to look to others for inspiration, it’s a completely different story when ideas get stolen lock, stock and barrel.
So what recourse are you left with when you find your intellectual property stolen? Your first reaction may drift towards baseball bat justice. But while baseball bats can be enjoyable, it rarely fixes the problem. Better yet, you can use a service like Myows to deal with cases of infringement.