Freelancing talk-done

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Freelancing talk-done

  1. 1. Freelancing is Pretty Gangster... Robert Williams Tuesday, July 2, 13
  2. 2. But freelancing isn’t for everyone... • You may have a different worldview - experiences, or opinions. • You might know you’re better in a office job. • You might not be interested starting your own business. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  3. 3. However, EVERYONE can start earning money freelancing today even if... • You have a full-time job • You have no portfolio • You have no prior experience • You just got laid off or fired • You just want to make money on the side • You’re still learning or polishing your skills. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  4. 4. You’re going to learn... • The mistakes and successes I’ve had in the design industry. • What you need (and dont need) to start a freelance business. • Exactly how I write emails that earn me over 5k per month. • How much you should charge for different projects. • Additional resources for freelancing like templates, tricks, etc. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  5. 5. My story Tuesday, July 2, 13
  6. 6. After Graduation I had the same 3 options every designer has: 1. Work at an Design or Advertising Agency 2. Work at a Company outside of the design industry 3. Freelance for myself Tuesday, July 2, 13
  7. 7. I chose to work for an agency... I wanted to work with an agency because: • They had fun clients. • They were more experienced and could teach me how to get better. • I liked the agency atmosphere. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  8. 8. Magnetic Creative (design agency) • Officially an independent contractor • But basically treated as an intern (worked full-time) • Hourly rate $12/hr Tuesday, July 2, 13
  9. 9. My time with an agency GOOD • Great atmosphere • Great clients • Great direction BAD • Slow to advance professionally • Became dependent on direction • Office politics / egos etc. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  10. 10. After 5 months I decided to look for an in-house position with a business... Tuesday, July 2, 13
  11. 11. Altman Plants • Officially a “Graphic Designer” • Only person in the entire marketing department • Salary $42k / year (about 21/hr) Tuesday, July 2, 13
  12. 12. My time with a non-design company GOOD • Got a raise after 6 months • Given responsibility and control • Good benefits BAD • Poor creative direction • Boring work (freelancing on the side) • Office politics / egos etc. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  13. 13. After 7 months, new management was brought in, and I was let go... Tuesday, July 2, 13
  14. 14. Why this time I decided I would freelance full-time: • Huge demand for design • Hated the 9-5 hour workday • Hated the 40 hour workweek • Didn’t like the hand-holding of managers • Didn’t like not having control over my own career • Didn’t like my work performance not reflecting my pay • I wanted to be able to work anywhere I wanted • I wanted to learn different things, like business, marketing, development. • Felt like I could do things better or more efficiently then my employers • Didn’t like that I could be terminated. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  15. 15. I made 30k my first 6 months of freelancing full-time... Although I was also looking for a full-time job, Tuesday, July 2, 13
  16. 16. Was that people don't want websites, applications, designs, or whatever. They want a problem solved, and usually that problem is costing them money. The main things that I came to realize once I began freelancing Tuesday, July 2, 13
  17. 17. Without making this realization, many designers focus on the wrong things. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  18. 18. Not necessary to getting started as a freelancer: • Blogging • Registering a DBA • An EIN • Incorporation or LLC • A perfect portfolio • Twitter • Networking Events • Their Website • Business Cards • Dribbble • Linkedin • Facebook Tuesday, July 2, 13
  19. 19. • Reading blogs • A website, hosting, domain • Office supplies • Designed materials (reports, stationary, mail) • Printer, fax machine • An email byline • A brand/mission statement • A business email • Paypal • Business bank account • About biography • press kit • logo • SEO • Business phone number Tuesday, July 2, 13
  20. 20. All a potential client wants is their problem fixed, so you should focus on showing them you can fix their problem. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  21. 21. What most freelance designers showcase: • Their skills • Their work • Their website / portfolio • Their blog • Not being too salesy • Their network • Their dribbble/ linkedin/twitter account Tuesday, July 2, 13
  22. 22. IT’S ALL ABOUT “THEM” Tuesday, July 2, 13
  23. 23. Great work is expected. Other factors matter just as much if not more when freelancing: • Trust • Reliability • Responsiveness • Professionalism • Value • Initiative Tuesday, July 2, 13
  24. 24. Results from my Freelancers Survey (I interviewed over 100 freelancers) Tuesday, July 2, 13
  25. 25. What I asked: How much do you make per month? How many leads do you get from your website per month? What percentage of your work comes from referrals? What do you do when you don’t have any work? Tuesday, July 2, 13
  26. 26. The average freelancer: $3,430 per month ($41,160 per year) 2.46 leads come to them each month from their website / portfolio 61% of projects come from referrals Tuesday, July 2, 13
  27. 27. When they run out of work 38% said network on social media 23% said they do nothing or wait 15% look on dribbble, or industry an job board 12% write emails directly to this prospects 12% said something else or didn’t specify Tuesday, July 2, 13
  28. 28. When they run out of work 40% said network on social media 24% said they do nothing or wait 15% look on dribbble, or industry an job board 12% write emails directly to this prospects 9% said something else or didn’t specify $2,920/m $2,316/m $3,275/m $5,515/m $5,831/m Tuesday, July 2, 13
  29. 29. So what works? Getting referrals! Sending Emails! Tuesday, July 2, 13
  30. 30. What most freelancers SUCK at? • Communication • Writing down their thoughts clearly • Writing quality sales emails to prospective clients • Presenting the value of their work • Managing projects, clients • Doing it for them • Getting referrals Tuesday, July 2, 13
  31. 31. That’s great for you... because you just have to be a little bit better, and clients will love you. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  32. 32. Start with emails. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  33. 33. What an average freelancer’s email looks like Hi, Robert. I’m not sure if you’re still looking for any extra help on your site, but in case, some my skills include: • Logos • Web design • Branding Tuesday, July 2, 13
  34. 34. Again, I’m not sure if any of these skills would be useful to you. However, if you find yourself in need, I’d be happy to also send you my resume and references. What do you think? Thanks, Random Guy Tuesday, July 2, 13
  35. 35. Why this approach is bad? Spammy. Too general. Unsure of his value. Gives me unspecific call to action. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  36. 36. What a good email looks like: Subject line: John, I’d like to help you edit your videos. Hi John, I read your article about X and I noticed that you’ve recently started using video on your website. I’ve been doing video editing for 3 years and I’d like to offer to help you edit your videos and get them optimized for the web. That would make them would look more professional and load faster (which is important for readers), and you’d free up time that you could use to create new content. We can discuss the details, of course, but first I wanted to see if this is something you might be interested in. If so, would it be okay if I sent you a few ideas on how I could help? Tuesday, July 2, 13
  37. 37. Why is this email good? • Specifically mentions an article or something in common that introduces what you want to talk about - and let’s them know this isn’t a blanket email you send to everyone. • Focused on what the benefit of your services will provide and why it’s valuable to your potential client. • Ends with a yes or no answer. Increases the chances of someone saying yes by offering an attractive freebie “ideas about how you can help” • I’ve made over 50k dollars with this email. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  38. 38. Out of 50 emails I send like this • 15 will reply • 8 will want to talk in-depth • 1 will become a client Tuesday, July 2, 13
  39. 39. If you do end up getting the client and starting a project... Continue this same approach when writing emails: • Only look for yes or no answers at the end of an email • Be clear and concise - so that it doesn’t take half an hour to read your email • Talk about the value and benefits of what you’re presenting not the features • Make it so that you’ve thoroughly thought through the scenarios and are just presenting them the possibilities. Avoid “what do you want me to do?” Tuesday, July 2, 13
  40. 40. Getting referrals Tuesday, July 2, 13
  41. 41. Start with a testimonial... and write it for them... Oh and by the way, I'm thinking of doing a case study about Govests on my website, with your permission? I would also love to include a testimonial from you about my work with Govests - something like this would be perfect: "Using Robert's talent to design results that are measurably adept at getting more customers is a guaranteed investment. Oren Davidson Founder - Govests " In fact, if you're busy at the moment, I can use that quote for now. Either way, let me know, thank you! Tuesday, July 2, 13
  42. 42. If they’re comfortable with a testimonial, then they will most likely be happy to refer you as well. Hey John, Thanks for the testimonial this was one of my favorite projects. I’d like to continue working with you - I have a few ideas for what we can do in the next few weeks to add to this project and make it even more successful. I’ll send those over soon, but for now if you know of anyone who would benefit from a similar service, I would love it if you could send me their email and I’ll be happy to let them know that you were thinking this might be right for them, and answer any questions they have about how your project worked out! Sound good? Tuesday, July 2, 13
  43. 43. What should you charge? That depends. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  44. 44. What should you charge? Money. Don’t do work for free. There’s too much of a demand for design to not charge. If you don’t charge that tells people there is no value. Clients you charge more value your time more. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  45. 45. I can’t tell you what to charge But charge at least $50/hour or at least $1,500 per logo or at least $3,000 per website Tuesday, July 2, 13
  46. 46. The skills we covered are key even if you don’t want to be a freelancer In the end, being a full-time employee is still not all about design talent. It’s about communication, trust, and value. They still want a problem fixed, and usually that problem is costing them money. So even if you’re an employee you’re kinda a freelancer. Tuesday, July 2, 13
  47. 47. Recommended Resources • Earn1k • Obie Fernandez Freelance Template • Brennan Dunn’s Books - How to double your freelance rate in 14 days • Me (my website or blog) Or email me directly! - robwilliamsgd@gmail.com Tuesday, July 2, 13

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