All posts tagged “Freelance”

Is Working Freelance Really Worth It?


Are you tired of working for clients you don’t like? Want control of your time, location, and projects you work on? Then perhaps you should consider freelancing.

Freelancing is basically being self-employed and not committed to any one company or firm. You’ve heard those seemingly perfect freelance stories. Some designer quits his jobs and starts freelancing – and now he’s making more money than he was while at a firm. All the while traveling the world and working for himself. Not to mention he gets to choose what kind of work he does.

However, there is no such thing as perfect – and freelancing is no exception. While the above paragraph might make being a freelancer out to be an ideal gig, it has its drawbacks. And some of these can be deal breakers for you.

So should you freelance? Let’s weight the pros and cons:

Pros of Freelancing

Working People
Image Source: Working People via Shutterstock.

1. Choose When You Work

When you don’t have to come into an office each day, you can really be in control of your time. You get to choose when you work. You’re working for yourself, after all. Are you a morning person that wants to stop working at lunchtime? That’s cool. Or are you a night owl that loves to sleep in? Go for it. As long as you get the work done, that’s all that matters. When you freelance, you get to choose when you work. Or at least be more flexible with your schedule (with the few exceptions that involve time-sensitive clients).

2. Choose Where You Work

Since you’re not reporting to a stationary office every day, you can choose where you do your freelancing work. Whether it’s at home, at various cafes throughout the cities, or traveling—or even moving—to different cities, it doesn’t matter. Like with being in control of your time, as long as you get the work done then it doesn’t matter where you’re located. When you freelance, you get to choose where you work. Or again, at least be more flexible with your location (if you have location-sensitive clients).

3. Choose What You Work On

The biggest drawback of working for a company or firm is you usually don’t get to choose what projects you work on. You design based on what clients are brought to you. But when you are a freelancer, you find your own clients. Thus, you get to choose what you work on. Notice the pattern? Freelancing is about choice – freedom.

4. Potentially Make More Money

If you have the drive in you, you can stand to make more money freelancing. You’re not throttled by working for someone else. You can take on more clients or more projects than if you were working for a company or firm. And more quality work equals making more money.

5. Fire Bad Clients

Similar to #3, if you get stuck with a bad client while working for someone else, you either suck it up or quit your job. And there goes all of your work and income. But with freelancing, each client is a separate source of income. So if you come across a bad client, you can freely fire them. Why waste your precious days working on something that’s annoying you? Drop that client like a bad habit.

Cons of Freelancing

Hardworking People
Image Source: Hardworking People via Shutterstock.

1. Incoming Work Isn’t Guaranteed

At a company or firm, assuming it doesn’t go out of business, you’re pretty much guaranteed work. You come in, there is always work for you to do, and you’ll never be at a shortage. As a freelancer, since you’re finding your own work, it’s never guaranteed. Sometimes opportunities can be plentiful, and other times there could be less.

2. Inconsistent Monthly Income

With inconsistent incoming work comes inconsistent monthly income. Some months you can be rolling in a steady stream of quality work. Other months your clients might not need you, or you don’t find enough work. And your income suffers as a result.

3. Potentially Make Less Money

A continuation of #2. If you aren’t finding quality clients, you could potentially make less money than if you were at a company or firm. Ditto if you’re lazy. If you aren’t a self-motivating type and need someone else to kick you in the butt, then with freelancing you could potentially be making less money than at a company or firm.

4. You Have to Find New Work On Your Own

With freelancing, you don’t just spend time creating, you also need to spend time finding new clients and work. At a company or firm, the incoming work is taken care of for you. You just need to design and that’s it. (However, if you absolutely hate finding clients but still want to freelance, one remedy is partnering with someone that can find work for you – a designer manager of sorts.)

5. You Have to Do Your Own Accounting

Similar to #4. At a company or firm, you don’t need to worry about accounting. You design, you get paid, you pay yearly taxes, and that’s it. Not so with freelancing – since you are your own company, you need to handle your own accounting. (Again, if you hate accounting then you can use software to make it easier or hire/outsource to someone that can do it.)

So, Should You Freelance?

So is freelancing ultimately worth it? Yes. Yes it is. You won’t get a wishy-washy “it depends” answer here. If you’re considering it, then you should freelance.

Of course, you have to be driven, confident, and independent. You should be willing to take matters into your own hands. (So it really does depend, huh?)

But the benefits of being in control of your time, location, and work you do is worth it alone. That’s true freedom right there – something we all desire as human beings. Add to that the potential to make more money—totally up to your drive, of course—and the pros of freelancing outweigh the cons. Just make sure you aren’t lazy and find actual work for yourself.

So if you are already freelancing, even if just on the side, then let this be confirmation that you made the right choice. And if you haven’t been a freelancer yet, give it a try – you’ll be hooked by the freedom and control you gain.

To recap, here are the pros and cons of freelancing:

Pros:

  1. Choose when you work
  2. Choose where you work
  3. Choose what you work on
  4. Potentially make more money
  5. Fire bad clients

Cons:

  1. Incoming work isn’t guaranteed
  2. Inconsistent monthly income
  3. Potentially make less money
  4. You have to find new work on your own
  5. You have to do your own accounting

Do you freelance, even if just on the side? How are you liking it compared to working for a company or firm, and would you recommend it to others? Share your positive (and negative) experiences in the comments below.


The post Is Working Freelance Really Worth It? appeared first on Speckyboy Web Design Magazine.


Speckyboy Web Design Magazine

7 Networking Tools For Freelance Web Designers

By the virtue of web applications, we can communicate and share our information at a much faster pace. This is how Internet has changed our communication and allowed us to stay connected with friends and relatives regardless of their distance. The two main properties of a good web application are communication and networking. everyone is getting benefited from the advancement in the information technology.

For today’s round up, we are presenting a collection of some popular networking tools for freelance web designers. Networking and communication tools are very important for the freelancers and especially for freelance web designers. Therefore, we are presenting this collection. We hope you will like this collection. Feel free to share your opinions with us via comment section below. Enjoy!

Wunderlist

Wunderlist is the easiest way to get stuff done. Whether you’re organizing your work, sharing a shopping list with a loved one or planning an overseas adventure, Wunderlist is here to help you accomplish more.

Trello

Trello is the free, flexible, and visual way to organize anything with anyone.

Freedcamp

Everything you need to run your business online. Project Management, Invoicing, Bug Tracking, CRM, and more.

Xamun

The benefits of remote work for businesses are undeniable. With Xamun, collaborate with your team and get things done in one place.

Gmail Tasks

Keep track of what you need to do.

Dribbble

Icloud


SmashingApps.com

Simplify Your Freelance Tasks With Motiv

As a freelancer, you have a lot of things to take care of. Not only do you have to work on meeting your deadline and communicating with your clients, there are also various other tasks that you need to complete to ensure that your business runs smoothly.

If you’re tired of those tedious tasks that comes with freelancing such as contracts, invoicing, timesheets, and proposals, then why not give Motiv a try? Motiv is a revolutionary app that simplifies all of those tasks and will re-invent how you work. Let’s take a look at what Motiv can bring to the table.

Starting Out With Motiv

When you start out creating with Motiv, it comes with a 5 step process. You begin by choosing of a template from the dashboard: a contract, invoice, project, proposal, form or quote.

I have chosen the invoice template and I can now create an invoice by filling out simple fields like the client name, price, project, and date on the Motiv invoice creator.

After we are finished filling out the necessary information for an invoice, we now have the choice to either download the invoice PDF, send it to an email, or print the invoice. This page also has a discussion section and invoice creation history section which displays the changes and additions you make on the invoice.

Motiv invoices can be set up for payment to be made via Paypal. One of my favorite features is that Motiv will display stats showing you whether the invoice was viewed, how many times it was viewed, and whether or not the payment has been sent.

Building Contracts

When creating a contract with Motiv, there are 4 simple steps:

  1. Basic Information
  2. Contract Sections
  3. Fee Schedules
  4. Contract Design.

With these 4 steps, the developers of Motiv have made contract building a simple and organized task. You can also add your own custom sections to the individual steps to create a contract that would suit you best.

After we have created our contract, we can then send out the contract to a new client and have them sign it electronically. Similarly with invoices, the contracts have stats that show when and how many times they viewed it or if it has been signed by the client.

Time-Tracking

You can set up a timesheet to log hours and generate invoices instantly. The Motiv time-tracking function is available on the web app and you can also install it for Windows and Mac. This feature saves a lot of time and you never have to log your hours outside your invoicing app again!

Extra Features

Client Dashboard

Clients can often forget or lose documents you send them, but with Motiv, clients can easily log into their own dashboard and access any documents without the need of having you re-send it back to them or the hassle of sending documents back to you via scanning and emailing.

Custom Domains

Along with the client dashboard, you may want to use a custom domain name with your business document solution. With Motiv, you can easily setup a custom domain to go along with your account thus helping to improve your overall branding strategy and company reputation.

Pricing

If you’re interested, you can try it out for 30 days for free. After that, you can sign up for the $ 15 plan which applies to all users.

What I Liked

  • Time-tracking feature to make invoicing a breeze.
  • Pay invoices via Paypal.
  • Integrate your own website domain with your Motiv account.
  • Ability to see if a client has opened your documents.
  • Clients can create their own accounts and login to view documents which require immediate action.
  • Brand your Motiv site and documents with your own logo.
  • Contracts include important terms and clauses to protect freelancers.
  • What I Didn’t Like

    • No Dropbox, Evernote, Google Drive, or SkyDrive support.
    • No messaging between freelancer and clients (Other than using e-mail contact forms).
    • No Stripe payment support.

    Conclusion

    Motiv truly re-invents keeping your invoices, contracts, proposals, and quotes in line with its various features. It allows you to easily build professional and relevant contracts that will keep businesses protected all for a reasonable flat price. I recommend Motiv for any freelancer or business (small or large) to centralize your invoicing and business document management.





    hongkiat.com

    Get a free copy of The Freelance Handbook with the new Computer Arts

    Read more about Get a free copy of The Freelance Handbook with the new Computer Arts at CreativeBloq.com


    Computer Arts issue 236 is a freelance special, packed full of essential information, tips and tricks – whether you’re thinking about taking the plunge or are already an established freelance professional.




    Creative Bloq

    Guide To Boosting Your Freelance Career With Pro Bono Work

    People who are new to web design and development, writing or any other sort of creative work have little to show in their portfolio. And that’s a potentially major problem as thousands of experts with strings of portfolios are already out in a saturated market. What advantage could a newcomer have over someone who’s had years of experience and a reputation to boot?

    Well, you can always go pro bono to build up your professional portfolio first. Want to know how? I’ve put together a quick guide on how to leverage pro bono work to gain more work.

    What Is Pro Bono?

    Pro bono is basically work done by a professional for free for the public. But in the freelance scene’s context, it’s for a freelancer’s image. Pro bono work is tricky. I say tricky because there are two different opinions on this. There’s the professionals who hate pro bono work and the ones who are for it.

    The group against pro bono work feel that artists are getting ripped and selling themselves short of what they are worth. Alongside that you have many clients that prey on beginners to get free or extremely cheap labor.

    The professionals are right; you should never ever sell yourself short. Hate on these predators (for lack of a better term) however you want, but why not you use them to your advantage instead?

    The Sad Truth About Starting Freelancing

    Only the experienced ones are given the high-paying projects. It doesn’t really matter if you are an experienced developer, designer or writer, if your online profile is basically zero, you’re out of luck.

    You need to have an online presence.

    When I started writing as a freelancer, 5 months after finishing university, no one wanted to work with me because I didn’t have any published articles online. I only started getting work because I did one free work. After which, I was recommended to and by people.

    If you are new to the scene, I highly recommend selling yourself short (that’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever write). Suppose a project’s budget is around $ 2000. If you think you can offer a 25-50% price slash, do it. If it’s a project that can be accomplished in just one day, you could even offer your services for free.

    There is a catch though. Being the lowest bidder might give the impression that you are a low-quality worker. To turn this to your advantage, explain your situation: you are offering to work for less because you are new to the scene, but your client should expect no less than exceptional work.

    Projects Worth Pursuing

    Of course you shouldn’t just accept any project you see. You need to be meticulous and make sure that the project will potentially lead to other projects.

    If you are looking for work on job boards like Elance, Freelancer, and the like, be sure to only talk to project owners with a robust history of projects. That way, you can ask them to contact you for future projects if they like your work.

    Another thing you can do is to contact businesses or organizations in your area and offer your service. Try contacting the following in your locality; usually they have very little requirements and you’ll not get too much feedback (or additional input) and will be left on your own to do your magic. Plus, if you do it for free, you can always ask them to provide a good testimonial for you or to recommend you to others.

    • Schools
    • Churches
    • Orphanages
    • Interest groups
    • Your favourite local band
    • Your favourite restaurant
    • Politicians (if you are feeling adventurous)

    When selecting your organization of choice, there are 3 important things to consider:

    Is the organization connected with other organizations?

    Organizations like to keep in contact with other similar organizations e.g. musician bands and indie groups know of other similar groups and if you were to make one website for one group, word may spread quickly of your services within the community.

    Does it have a good image?

    Where possible, you should steer clear from organizations with a bad image. Doing pro bono work should steer towards developing a positive image for yourself, not ruin it before it launches.

    Is there potential for growth?

    If the atmosphere suggests that the organization you’d want to work with has a great potential for growth, hop in without a second thought. You’ll be riding to the top with them as they popular and bigger.

    Note that these are mere guidelines, not rules. You may prefer to work with individuals first instead of organizations. That’s fine too as it helps add to your ever-growing portfolio, giving you the boost you need in a different way.

    How To Know What Works

    A lot of companies and experienced freelancers do pro bono work on a regular basis. For example, web hosting companies do a lot of giveaways, offering a year’s worth of web hosting and domains for free. While they are not getting paid for their services, they are getting back free publicity. The same can be seen in graphic artists who release business card designs, logos, icons, fonts, artwork and the like on design blogs and creative outlets like Behance, Dafont, DeviantArt, and Dribbble.

    Why does this work? People love free stuff. They will flock to you. And that’s the kind of publicity you want, a positive one. For web designers and developers, one effective method of driving people to your site is by giving away free website templates which, mind you, you can also include in your portfolio.

    Do you see the trend here now? The gateway to success is basically to give your stuff for free at first, because if people loved your product or work, you will eventually be led to people who are willing to pay for more of your work.

    Say No To spec Work

    Urgh, spec work. Do not mistake pro bono work with… spec work. Unlike pro bono work which will probably get you leads to better-paying work in the future, spec work is just downright evil. It operates like this: the client behind a project will ask many individuals (mostly freelancers) to produce a work based on a specific list of requirements.

    The bad news is, they pick, and pay, only the one result they want. After investing all that time and effort into producing spec work, you might leave empty handed, with no testimonial, publicity or leads to future project. Never engage in spec work — you’ll just encourage them to prey on other newcomers if you do.

    Pro bono doesn’t only work for people who are just starting freelance work online. This also applies to seasoned freelancers who are experiencing "rainy days”, days when projects seem hard to come by. Start building your portfolio now. Remember, always move forward, even if it’s just one small step.





    hongkiat.com

    Go freelance with January’s bumper issue of Computer Arts

    Read more about Go freelance with January’s bumper issue of Computer Arts at CreativeBloq.com


    Are you a freelance creative? Maybe you’re a jobbing designer thinking about making the leap into full-time freelance; perhaps you know an illustrator already going it alone… Computer Arts issue 236 is a freelance special, packed full of essential information, tips and tricks – whether you’re thinking about taking the plunge or are already an established freelance professional. 




    Creative Bloq

    Why one pro designer swapped freelance life to start his own studio

    Read more about Why one pro designer swapped freelance life to start his own studio at CreativeBloq.com


    This summer, motion designer, art director and long-term Computer Arts collaborator Alex Donne-Johnson (aka Vector Meldrew) gave up a healthy freelance career to form his own design studio: Dazzle Ship. Here, he explains why he closed the door on seven successful solo years for studio life, and the advantages that come with establishing a tight-knit creative team…




    Creative Bloq

    Is Crowdsourcing Crowding the Freelance Graphic Designer?

    Over the past few years the demand for crowdsourcing services has skyrocketed. This is particularly true for the design industry where crowdsourcing platforms such as DesignCrowd offer a cost effective way for small to medium businesses, start-ups and even individuals to get graphic design services done with very little effort. The processes are managed completely online and the platform provides the means of communication, payment and transfer of final design files.

    So with highly effective design crowdsourcing sites like DesignCrowd working their magic for consumers, where does this leave the freelance graphic designer? Obviously not every single design project is run as a design contest on DesignCrowd or a similar platform, but with each passing day more and more will be.

    Freelance designers now have a choice – do they choose to continue scouting out freelance work through word of mouth, referrals and other channels, or do they jump on the crowdsourcing band wagon and start entering design contests?

    The answer lies solely with the freelancer and their view on graphic design crowdsourcing, however there is a significant list of benefits that comes with putting your design talents forward via a platform like DesignCrowd.

    Below is a list of the benefits that freelance graphic designers will find by using crowdsourcing – by no means is this list exhaustive, but it does illustrate just how effective crowdsourcing can be for both consumers and designers.

    The Never Ending Flow of Work

    Crowdsourcing platforms have a large customer base – with a continuous stream of new graphic design jobs in all categories of design, from logos to flyers and all the way to 3D. What designer would say no to the chance of earning a stable income via a guaranteed work stream?

    Feedback and Process Management

    For many freelance graphic designers, looking after the day to day communication with clients and the continuous rounds of feedback can be a laborious task. However, by managing work via a site such as DesignCrowd you can manage your work on the platform. Submit designs, get feedback, submit revisions and even manage payments all in one place.

    Risk Mitigation

    A large risk for many freelancers is the fact that clients may disappear off the face of the Earth! Unfortunately this happens more than it should for freelancers, meaning the handwork they have put in is not rewarded as payment wasn’t taken upfront. Using a crowdsourcing site means that payments are made upfront to the platform, which holds the funds until the project is complete. Once a winner is chosen the funds are released and the winning designer is paid.

    Experience and Design Portfolios

    Building a portfolio of great design work is a must for freelance designers. They require this collateral to convince would be clients that they are worthy of their job. DesignCrowd and other platforms offer the opportunity to not only hone your craft by entering hundreds of design contests, but also keep a log of all designs via a designer’s profile. This enables freelance graphic artists to build a portfolio which is both online via DesignCrowd for example and off line by utilising the designs they’ve submitted.

    Want a custom logo design like these?
    Save 50% on logo contest fees now!


    Fuel Your Creativity

    14 pro steps for setting up a student freelance practice

    Read more about 14 pro steps for setting up a student freelance practice at CreativeBloq.com


    You don’t need to wait until you graduate to grow your client list. Savvy students can gain valuable experience, cash and contacts by taking on freelance projects well before finishing formal education. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between studying and working. Go about it the right way and you’ll gain new design and business skills, make contacts and add real-world commercial experience to your CV. You’ll earn some money, too.




    Creative Bloq

    29 Best Podcasts for Freelance Graphic Designers

    As a freelancer, I don’t get many opportunities to surround myself with similar creative minds to keep me sharp. While attending meet-ups and co-working can be great ways to engage with others, it…

    Click through to read the rest of the story on the Vandelay Design Blog.


    Vandelay Design