Freelancing: How not to Suck

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How not to suck at freelancing for Drupal

How not to suck at freelancing for Drupal

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  • \n
  • How many of you are freelancers?\n How many of you are considering freelancing?\n How many of you got lost and ended up here accidentally?\n Story Time.\n
  • How many of you are freelancers?\n How many of you are considering freelancing?\n How many of you got lost and ended up here accidentally?\n Story Time.\n
  • How many of you are freelancers?\n How many of you are considering freelancing?\n How many of you got lost and ended up here accidentally?\n Story Time.\n
  • How many of you are freelancers?\n How many of you are considering freelancing?\n How many of you got lost and ended up here accidentally?\n Story Time.\n
  • Don’t freelance.\n
  • Income\nCan you handle a reduced salary paid sporadically?\nSelf Discipline\nIf you're anything like me, you have less than you think you do.\nGetting Clients\nDo you have or can you round up clients?\nAccounting & Legal\nAre you good at record keeping?\nThink you don't need a good contract? Think again.\nProficiency\nHow proficient are you? If you get stuck and you don't have paid colleagues to consult, are you going to be able to pull through?\n
  • Income\nCan you handle a reduced salary paid sporadically?\nSelf Discipline\nIf you're anything like me, you have less than you think you do.\nGetting Clients\nDo you have or can you round up clients?\nAccounting & Legal\nAre you good at record keeping?\nThink you don't need a good contract? Think again.\nProficiency\nHow proficient are you? If you get stuck and you don't have paid colleagues to consult, are you going to be able to pull through?\n
  • Income\nCan you handle a reduced salary paid sporadically?\nSelf Discipline\nIf you're anything like me, you have less than you think you do.\nGetting Clients\nDo you have or can you round up clients?\nAccounting & Legal\nAre you good at record keeping?\nThink you don't need a good contract? Think again.\nProficiency\nHow proficient are you? If you get stuck and you don't have paid colleagues to consult, are you going to be able to pull through?\n
  • Income\nCan you handle a reduced salary paid sporadically?\nSelf Discipline\nIf you're anything like me, you have less than you think you do.\nGetting Clients\nDo you have or can you round up clients?\nAccounting & Legal\nAre you good at record keeping?\nThink you don't need a good contract? Think again.\nProficiency\nHow proficient are you? If you get stuck and you don't have paid colleagues to consult, are you going to be able to pull through?\n
  • Income\nCan you handle a reduced salary paid sporadically?\nSelf Discipline\nIf you're anything like me, you have less than you think you do.\nGetting Clients\nDo you have or can you round up clients?\nAccounting & Legal\nAre you good at record keeping?\nThink you don't need a good contract? Think again.\nProficiency\nHow proficient are you? If you get stuck and you don't have paid colleagues to consult, are you going to be able to pull through?\n
  • "I want more time to code."\n "I don't like BS meetings."\n "I don't like my coworkers."\n "I'm going to make more money next month."\n "I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to my presentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)\n Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.\n
  • "I want more time to code."\n "I don't like BS meetings."\n "I don't like my coworkers."\n "I'm going to make more money next month."\n "I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to my presentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)\n Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.\n
  • "I want more time to code."\n "I don't like BS meetings."\n "I don't like my coworkers."\n "I'm going to make more money next month."\n "I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to my presentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)\n Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.\n
  • "I want more time to code."\n "I don't like BS meetings."\n "I don't like my coworkers."\n "I'm going to make more money next month."\n "I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to my presentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)\n Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.\n
  • "I want more time to code."\n "I don't like BS meetings."\n "I don't like my coworkers."\n "I'm going to make more money next month."\n "I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to my presentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)\n Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.\n
  • "I want more time to code."\n "I don't like BS meetings."\n "I don't like my coworkers."\n "I'm going to make more money next month."\n "I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to my presentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)\n Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.\n
  • "I want to have a flexible schedule."\n "I want to work for myself."\n "I want to have an unlimited income."\n
  • "I want to have a flexible schedule."\n "I want to work for myself."\n "I want to have an unlimited income."\n
  • "I want to have a flexible schedule."\n "I want to work for myself."\n "I want to have an unlimited income."\n
  • Start Small.\nMost employers don't mind you taking on freelance work during your spare time; they may even encourage it. Take on small freelance jobs to try just to get acquainted with it.\n\nBuild up your client base while you have a full time gig.\nTake on more and more work until you are having to turn down freelance work to keep your full time job. Don't do client work at your full time job; it's unbecoming and someday you will hire people who could do the same thing to you.\n\nFire your boss, but nicely.\nYou're the captain of your fate; the master of your soul. And also a fresh new slave to clients. You have now placed the wellbeing of your time and finances into the hands of people who sincerely believe that you can replicate facebook in about a day or so. Good luck.\n\nDon't burn bridges.\nYou should, in fact, keep as many bridges unburnt as possible. These people can freelance refer you work they run into, or even work the company you're at doesn't want to pursue. These relationships are gold!\n\n
  • Start Small.\nMost employers don't mind you taking on freelance work during your spare time; they may even encourage it. Take on small freelance jobs to try just to get acquainted with it.\n\nBuild up your client base while you have a full time gig.\nTake on more and more work until you are having to turn down freelance work to keep your full time job. Don't do client work at your full time job; it's unbecoming and someday you will hire people who could do the same thing to you.\n\nFire your boss, but nicely.\nYou're the captain of your fate; the master of your soul. And also a fresh new slave to clients. You have now placed the wellbeing of your time and finances into the hands of people who sincerely believe that you can replicate facebook in about a day or so. Good luck.\n\nDon't burn bridges.\nYou should, in fact, keep as many bridges unburnt as possible. These people can freelance refer you work they run into, or even work the company you're at doesn't want to pursue. These relationships are gold!\n\n
  • Start Small.\nMost employers don't mind you taking on freelance work during your spare time; they may even encourage it. Take on small freelance jobs to try just to get acquainted with it.\n\nBuild up your client base while you have a full time gig.\nTake on more and more work until you are having to turn down freelance work to keep your full time job. Don't do client work at your full time job; it's unbecoming and someday you will hire people who could do the same thing to you.\n\nFire your boss, but nicely.\nYou're the captain of your fate; the master of your soul. And also a fresh new slave to clients. You have now placed the wellbeing of your time and finances into the hands of people who sincerely believe that you can replicate facebook in about a day or so. Good luck.\n\nDon't burn bridges.\nYou should, in fact, keep as many bridges unburnt as possible. These people can freelance refer you work they run into, or even work the company you're at doesn't want to pursue. These relationships are gold!\n\n
  • Start Small.\nMost employers don't mind you taking on freelance work during your spare time; they may even encourage it. Take on small freelance jobs to try just to get acquainted with it.\n\nBuild up your client base while you have a full time gig.\nTake on more and more work until you are having to turn down freelance work to keep your full time job. Don't do client work at your full time job; it's unbecoming and someday you will hire people who could do the same thing to you.\n\nFire your boss, but nicely.\nYou're the captain of your fate; the master of your soul. And also a fresh new slave to clients. You have now placed the wellbeing of your time and finances into the hands of people who sincerely believe that you can replicate facebook in about a day or so. Good luck.\n\nDon't burn bridges.\nYou should, in fact, keep as many bridges unburnt as possible. These people can freelance refer you work they run into, or even work the company you're at doesn't want to pursue. These relationships are gold!\n\n
  • Start Small.\nMost employers don't mind you taking on freelance work during your spare time; they may even encourage it. Take on small freelance jobs to try just to get acquainted with it.\n\nBuild up your client base while you have a full time gig.\nTake on more and more work until you are having to turn down freelance work to keep your full time job. Don't do client work at your full time job; it's unbecoming and someday you will hire people who could do the same thing to you.\n\nFire your boss, but nicely.\nYou're the captain of your fate; the master of your soul. And also a fresh new slave to clients. You have now placed the wellbeing of your time and finances into the hands of people who sincerely believe that you can replicate facebook in about a day or so. Good luck.\n\nDon't burn bridges.\nYou should, in fact, keep as many bridges unburnt as possible. These people can freelance refer you work they run into, or even work the company you're at doesn't want to pursue. These relationships are gold!\n\n
  • Networking Meetups.\nIf you love nametags and cheap wine, this is for you. Otherwise I suggest you not bother with it.\n\nCraigslist.\nCraigslist is the public transportation of freelance work. The rich, the middle class, and the poor use it, but mostly the poor. That being said I have found some of my best clients from Craigslist by LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE. More on this later.\nStory: my craigslist adventures.\n\nOdesk, etc.\nUsually you're competing against countries with a very low cost of living, so I don't recommend these sites. $20/hr just ain't gonna pay the bills.\n\nWord of mouth.\nThis is your best bet. Contribute back to Drupal, get credit for it, and get contacted about modifying your work for pay. Tell your friends and family you are starting a web development business. Do a good job for clients and get recommended.\n\nRecruiters. (LinkedIn.) \nGood for building a referral base but not great for long term relationships as they often take around 40% of your rate.\n\nPortfolio Site.\nThese days I get a fair bit of work (about 50%) via my site's contact form.\n
  • Networking Meetups.\nIf you love nametags and cheap wine, this is for you. Otherwise I suggest you not bother with it.\n\nCraigslist.\nCraigslist is the public transportation of freelance work. The rich, the middle class, and the poor use it, but mostly the poor. That being said I have found some of my best clients from Craigslist by LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE. More on this later.\nStory: my craigslist adventures.\n\nOdesk, etc.\nUsually you're competing against countries with a very low cost of living, so I don't recommend these sites. $20/hr just ain't gonna pay the bills.\n\nWord of mouth.\nThis is your best bet. Contribute back to Drupal, get credit for it, and get contacted about modifying your work for pay. Tell your friends and family you are starting a web development business. Do a good job for clients and get recommended.\n\nRecruiters. (LinkedIn.) \nGood for building a referral base but not great for long term relationships as they often take around 40% of your rate.\n\nPortfolio Site.\nThese days I get a fair bit of work (about 50%) via my site's contact form.\n
  • Networking Meetups.\nIf you love nametags and cheap wine, this is for you. Otherwise I suggest you not bother with it.\n\nCraigslist.\nCraigslist is the public transportation of freelance work. The rich, the middle class, and the poor use it, but mostly the poor. That being said I have found some of my best clients from Craigslist by LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE. More on this later.\nStory: my craigslist adventures.\n\nOdesk, etc.\nUsually you're competing against countries with a very low cost of living, so I don't recommend these sites. $20/hr just ain't gonna pay the bills.\n\nWord of mouth.\nThis is your best bet. Contribute back to Drupal, get credit for it, and get contacted about modifying your work for pay. Tell your friends and family you are starting a web development business. Do a good job for clients and get recommended.\n\nRecruiters. (LinkedIn.) \nGood for building a referral base but not great for long term relationships as they often take around 40% of your rate.\n\nPortfolio Site.\nThese days I get a fair bit of work (about 50%) via my site's contact form.\n
  • Networking Meetups.\nIf you love nametags and cheap wine, this is for you. Otherwise I suggest you not bother with it.\n\nCraigslist.\nCraigslist is the public transportation of freelance work. The rich, the middle class, and the poor use it, but mostly the poor. That being said I have found some of my best clients from Craigslist by LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE. More on this later.\nStory: my craigslist adventures.\n\nOdesk, etc.\nUsually you're competing against countries with a very low cost of living, so I don't recommend these sites. $20/hr just ain't gonna pay the bills.\n\nWord of mouth.\nThis is your best bet. Contribute back to Drupal, get credit for it, and get contacted about modifying your work for pay. Tell your friends and family you are starting a web development business. Do a good job for clients and get recommended.\n\nRecruiters. (LinkedIn.) \nGood for building a referral base but not great for long term relationships as they often take around 40% of your rate.\n\nPortfolio Site.\nThese days I get a fair bit of work (about 50%) via my site's contact form.\n
  • Networking Meetups.\nIf you love nametags and cheap wine, this is for you. Otherwise I suggest you not bother with it.\n\nCraigslist.\nCraigslist is the public transportation of freelance work. The rich, the middle class, and the poor use it, but mostly the poor. That being said I have found some of my best clients from Craigslist by LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE. More on this later.\nStory: my craigslist adventures.\n\nOdesk, etc.\nUsually you're competing against countries with a very low cost of living, so I don't recommend these sites. $20/hr just ain't gonna pay the bills.\n\nWord of mouth.\nThis is your best bet. Contribute back to Drupal, get credit for it, and get contacted about modifying your work for pay. Tell your friends and family you are starting a web development business. Do a good job for clients and get recommended.\n\nRecruiters. (LinkedIn.) \nGood for building a referral base but not great for long term relationships as they often take around 40% of your rate.\n\nPortfolio Site.\nThese days I get a fair bit of work (about 50%) via my site's contact form.\n
  • Networking Meetups.\nIf you love nametags and cheap wine, this is for you. Otherwise I suggest you not bother with it.\n\nCraigslist.\nCraigslist is the public transportation of freelance work. The rich, the middle class, and the poor use it, but mostly the poor. That being said I have found some of my best clients from Craigslist by LEARNING TO DISCRIMINATE. More on this later.\nStory: my craigslist adventures.\n\nOdesk, etc.\nUsually you're competing against countries with a very low cost of living, so I don't recommend these sites. $20/hr just ain't gonna pay the bills.\n\nWord of mouth.\nThis is your best bet. Contribute back to Drupal, get credit for it, and get contacted about modifying your work for pay. Tell your friends and family you are starting a web development business. Do a good job for clients and get recommended.\n\nRecruiters. (LinkedIn.) \nGood for building a referral base but not great for long term relationships as they often take around 40% of your rate.\n\nPortfolio Site.\nThese days I get a fair bit of work (about 50%) via my site's contact form.\n
  • It's not your bedroom.\nHaving attempted to "work from bed" many days during my first year of freelancing, I can assure you will get plenty done, but getting to the last level of angry birds doesn't pay well.\n\nIt's probably not your living room.\nIn fact, if you can avoid the home at all, do it. There are plenty of distractions--laundry, dishes, children, and other annoying time drains. These chores turn into great opportunities to procrastinate and are best tended to during a set time.\n\nIt's probably not a coffee shop.\nCoffee shops can work, but they can be lonely and are often full of distractions. Wifi is also unreliable, and the overhead of setting up every day costs a lot of time.\n\nIt's probably a home office or a coworking space.\nI prefer coworking spaces. Great communities, fast, reliable itnernet, one desk you can come to and from, and not too expensive.\n\n
  • It's not your bedroom.\nHaving attempted to "work from bed" many days during my first year of freelancing, I can assure you will get plenty done, but getting to the last level of angry birds doesn't pay well.\n\nIt's probably not your living room.\nIn fact, if you can avoid the home at all, do it. There are plenty of distractions--laundry, dishes, children, and other annoying time drains. These chores turn into great opportunities to procrastinate and are best tended to during a set time.\n\nIt's probably not a coffee shop.\nCoffee shops can work, but they can be lonely and are often full of distractions. Wifi is also unreliable, and the overhead of setting up every day costs a lot of time.\n\nIt's probably a home office or a coworking space.\nI prefer coworking spaces. Great communities, fast, reliable itnernet, one desk you can come to and from, and not too expensive.\n\n
  • It's not your bedroom.\nHaving attempted to "work from bed" many days during my first year of freelancing, I can assure you will get plenty done, but getting to the last level of angry birds doesn't pay well.\n\nIt's probably not your living room.\nIn fact, if you can avoid the home at all, do it. There are plenty of distractions--laundry, dishes, children, and other annoying time drains. These chores turn into great opportunities to procrastinate and are best tended to during a set time.\n\nIt's probably not a coffee shop.\nCoffee shops can work, but they can be lonely and are often full of distractions. Wifi is also unreliable, and the overhead of setting up every day costs a lot of time.\n\nIt's probably a home office or a coworking space.\nI prefer coworking spaces. Great communities, fast, reliable itnernet, one desk you can come to and from, and not too expensive.\n\n
  • It's not your bedroom.\nHaving attempted to "work from bed" many days during my first year of freelancing, I can assure you will get plenty done, but getting to the last level of angry birds doesn't pay well.\n\nIt's probably not your living room.\nIn fact, if you can avoid the home at all, do it. There are plenty of distractions--laundry, dishes, children, and other annoying time drains. These chores turn into great opportunities to procrastinate and are best tended to during a set time.\n\nIt's probably not a coffee shop.\nCoffee shops can work, but they can be lonely and are often full of distractions. Wifi is also unreliable, and the overhead of setting up every day costs a lot of time.\n\nIt's probably a home office or a coworking space.\nI prefer coworking spaces. Great communities, fast, reliable itnernet, one desk you can come to and from, and not too expensive.\n\n
  • With a partner, you can tackle a larger range of projects. Many times clients who need programming also need design, and vice versa. You can both benefit by referring the other work.\n
  • As a programmer or designer, it’s easy to focus on your piece of the process. But there’s more to it!\nYou’re used to focusing on your piece of the process.\n Client expectations management. (Story: “uploading a PSD”).\n Today I’m giving away my process that I’ve built over five years.\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Paperwork\n Planning\n Graphic Design\n Development\n Testing & Training\n Content Entry\n Site Launch\n Maintenance\n
  • Estimate\n Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly?\n Demo: Estimating tool (I’m giving this away, too).\n Statement of Work\n
  • Estimate\n Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly?\n Demo: Estimating tool (I’m giving this away, too).\n Statement of Work\n
  • Estimate\n Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly?\n Demo: Estimating tool (I’m giving this away, too).\n Statement of Work\n
  • Estimate\n Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly?\n Demo: Estimating tool (I’m giving this away, too).\n Statement of Work\n
  • I’ve been to plenty of these presentations that talk about rates, but none of them mention numbers. So let’s get real here. I’ll tell you first, I charge $100/hr.\n POLL: What are your rates\n $0 - $50/hr?\n $50 - $75/hr?\n $75 - $100/hr?\n $100 - $125/hr?\n $125+?\n
  • I’ve been to plenty of these presentations that talk about rates, but none of them mention numbers. So let’s get real here. I’ll tell you first, I charge $100/hr.\n POLL: What are your rates\n $0 - $50/hr?\n $50 - $75/hr?\n $75 - $100/hr?\n $100 - $125/hr?\n $125+?\n
  • I’ve been to plenty of these presentations that talk about rates, but none of them mention numbers. So let’s get real here. I’ll tell you first, I charge $100/hr.\n POLL: What are your rates\n $0 - $50/hr?\n $50 - $75/hr?\n $75 - $100/hr?\n $100 - $125/hr?\n $125+?\n
  • I’ve been to plenty of these presentations that talk about rates, but none of them mention numbers. So let’s get real here. I’ll tell you first, I charge $100/hr.\n POLL: What are your rates\n $0 - $50/hr?\n $50 - $75/hr?\n $75 - $100/hr?\n $100 - $125/hr?\n $125+?\n
  • I’ve been to plenty of these presentations that talk about rates, but none of them mention numbers. So let’s get real here. I’ll tell you first, I charge $100/hr.\n POLL: What are your rates\n $0 - $50/hr?\n $50 - $75/hr?\n $75 - $100/hr?\n $100 - $125/hr?\n $125+?\n
  • I’ve been to plenty of these presentations that talk about rates, but none of them mention numbers. So let’s get real here. I’ll tell you first, I charge $100/hr.\n POLL: What are your rates\n $0 - $50/hr?\n $50 - $75/hr?\n $75 - $100/hr?\n $100 - $125/hr?\n $125+?\n
  • Do not undercharge. If you are here and it is not your time using Drupal, you should be charging less than $60/hr.\n Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actually need them.\n Always invoice.\n Work either for free or at your full rate.\n Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.\n Watch for red flags: story time.\n
  • Do not undercharge. If you are here and it is not your time using Drupal, you should be charging less than $60/hr.\n Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actually need them.\n Always invoice.\n Work either for free or at your full rate.\n Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.\n Watch for red flags: story time.\n
  • Do not undercharge. If you are here and it is not your time using Drupal, you should be charging less than $60/hr.\n Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actually need them.\n Always invoice.\n Work either for free or at your full rate.\n Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.\n Watch for red flags: story time.\n
  • Do not undercharge. If you are here and it is not your time using Drupal, you should be charging less than $60/hr.\n Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actually need them.\n Always invoice.\n Work either for free or at your full rate.\n Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.\n Watch for red flags: story time.\n
  • Do not undercharge. If you are here and it is not your time using Drupal, you should be charging less than $60/hr.\n Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actually need them.\n Always invoice.\n Work either for free or at your full rate.\n Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.\n Watch for red flags: story time.\n
  • Do not undercharge. If you are here and it is not your time using Drupal, you should be charging less than $60/hr.\n Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actually need them.\n Always invoice.\n Work either for free or at your full rate.\n Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.\n Watch for red flags: story time.\n
  • Sitemap\n Wireframes\n But it's simple enough that I don't need to wireframe! No, it's not.\n
  • Sitemap\n Wireframes\n But it's simple enough that I don't need to wireframe! No, it's not.\n
  • Sitemap\n Wireframes\n But it's simple enough that I don't need to wireframe! No, it's not.\n
  • You should know about this already so I’m skipping it, except to say...\n COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLIENT\n
  • You should know about this already so I’m skipping it, except to say...\n COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLIENT\n
  • Explain to clients that bugs are normal (and are not free to fix)\n Test it yourself thoroughly (or hire testers if you can)\n Walk clients through the features of the site by having them add content. As they go along, they’ll find things you missed. Fix them promptly.\n
  • Explain to clients that bugs are normal (and are not free to fix)\n Test it yourself thoroughly (or hire testers if you can)\n Walk clients through the features of the site by having them add content. As they go along, they’ll find things you missed. Fix them promptly.\n
  • Explain to clients that bugs are normal (and are not free to fix)\n Test it yourself thoroughly (or hire testers if you can)\n Walk clients through the features of the site by having them add content. As they go along, they’ll find things you missed. Fix them promptly.\n
  • Make sure to set the expectation that this process is not automatic. There is no big red button you are pushing.\n
  • Security & feature updates can be great recurring revenue.\n Some models for maintenance contracts:\n Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours)\n Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.)\n Monthly invoice\n
  • Security & feature updates can be great recurring revenue.\n Some models for maintenance contracts:\n Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours)\n Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.)\n Monthly invoice\n
  • Security & feature updates can be great recurring revenue.\n Some models for maintenance contracts:\n Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours)\n Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.)\n Monthly invoice\n
  • Security & feature updates can be great recurring revenue.\n Some models for maintenance contracts:\n Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours)\n Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.)\n Monthly invoice\n
  • Security & feature updates can be great recurring revenue.\n Some models for maintenance contracts:\n Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours)\n Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.)\n Monthly invoice\n
  • Story to sum up.\n Find the estimating tool and my process at my blog, blog.andy-walters.com\n

Transcript

  • 1. FREELANCING: HOW NOT TO SUCK Andy Walters andy@andy-walters.com
  • 2. INTRODUCTION
  • 3. INTRODUCTIONHow many of you are freelancers?
  • 4. INTRODUCTIONHow many of you are freelancers?How many of you are considering freelancing?
  • 5. INTRODUCTIONHow many of you are freelancers?How many of you are considering freelancing?How many of you got lost and ended up hereaccidentally?
  • 6. INTRODUCTIONHow many of you are freelancers?How many of you are considering freelancing?How many of you got lost and ended up hereaccidentally?Story Time.
  • 7. THE FIRST WAY NOT TO SUCK AT FREELANCING
  • 8. THE FIRST WAY NOT TO SUCK AT FREELANCING Don’t freelance.
  • 9. WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FREELANCE
  • 10. WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FREELANCEIncome
  • 11. WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FREELANCEIncomeSelf-Discipline
  • 12. WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FREELANCEIncomeSelf-DisciplineAttracting Clients
  • 13. WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FREELANCEIncomeSelf-DisciplineAttracting ClientsAccounting & Legal
  • 14. WHY YOU SHOULDN’T FREELANCEIncomeSelf-DisciplineAttracting ClientsAccounting & LegalProficiency
  • 15. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING
  • 16. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want more time to code."
  • 17. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want more time to code.""I dont like BS meetings."
  • 18. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want more time to code.""I dont like BS meetings.""I dont like my coworkers."
  • 19. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want more time to code.""I dont like BS meetings.""I dont like my coworkers.""Im going to make more money next month."
  • 20. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want more time to code.""I dont like BS meetings.""I dont like my coworkers.""Im going to make more money next month.""I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to mypresentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)
  • 21. BAD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want more time to code.""I dont like BS meetings.""I dont like my coworkers.""Im going to make more money next month.""I can get away with telling everyone to show up naked to mypresentation at Drupal Camp." (Apparently, this is true.)Incidentally, I started freelancing for all of these reasons.
  • 22. GOOD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING
  • 23. GOOD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want to have a flexible schedule."
  • 24. GOOD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want to have a flexible schedule.""I want to work for myself."
  • 25. GOOD REASONS TOSTART FREELANCING"I want to have a flexible schedule.""I want to work for myself.""I want to have an unlimited income."
  • 26. DON’T QUIT MONDAY
  • 27. DON’T QUIT MONDAYStart small.
  • 28. DON’T QUIT MONDAYStart small.Build up your client base while you have a full timegig.
  • 29. DON’T QUIT MONDAYStart small.Build up your client base while you have a full timegig.Fire your boss, but nicely.
  • 30. DON’T QUIT MONDAYStart small.Build up your client base while you have a full timegig.Fire your boss, but nicely.Dont burn bridges.
  • 31. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTS
  • 32. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTSNetworking Meetups
  • 33. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTSNetworking MeetupsCraigslist
  • 34. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTSNetworking MeetupsCraigslistOdesk, etc
  • 35. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTSNetworking MeetupsCraigslistOdesk, etcWord of Mouth
  • 36. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTSNetworking MeetupsCraigslistOdesk, etcWord of MouthRecruiters
  • 37. FIND THE RIGHT CLIENTSNetworking MeetupsCraigslistOdesk, etcWord of MouthRecruitersPortfolio Site
  • 38. FIND YOUR ZEN SPACE
  • 39. FIND YOUR ZEN SPACEIt’s not your bedroom.
  • 40. FIND YOUR ZEN SPACEIt’s not your bedroom.It’s not your living room.
  • 41. FIND YOUR ZEN SPACEIt’s not your bedroom.It’s not your living room.It’s probably not a coffee shop.
  • 42. FIND YOUR ZEN SPACEIt’s not your bedroom.It’s not your living room.It’s probably not a coffee shop.It probably is a home office or a coworking space.
  • 43. FIND A PARTNERDesigners, meet programmers. Programers, meetdesigners.
  • 44. DEFINE & SELL YOUR PROCESSAs a programmer or designer, it’s easy to focus on yourpiece of the process. But there’s more to it!Client expectations management. (Story: “uploadinga PSD”).Today I’m giving away my process that I’ve built overfive years.
  • 45. MY PROCESS
  • 46. MY PROCESSPaperwork
  • 47. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanning
  • 48. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanningGraphic Design
  • 49. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanningGraphic DesignDevelopment
  • 50. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanningGraphic DesignDevelopmentTesting & Training
  • 51. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanningGraphic DesignDevelopmentTesting & TrainingContent Entry
  • 52. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanningGraphic DesignDevelopmentTesting & TrainingContent EntrySite Launch
  • 53. MY PROCESSPaperworkPlanningGraphic DesignDevelopmentTesting & TrainingContent EntrySite LaunchMaintenance
  • 54. PROCESS: PAPERWORK
  • 55. PROCESS: PAPERWORKEstimate
  • 56. PROCESS: PAPERWORKEstimate Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly?
  • 57. PROCESS: PAPERWORKEstimate Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly? Demo: Estimating tool (I’m giving this away, too).
  • 58. PROCESS: PAPERWORKEstimate Flat vs. hourly. How many work flat? Hourly? Demo: Estimating tool (I’m giving this away, too).Statement of Work
  • 59. RATES
  • 60. RATESPOLL: What are your rates
  • 61. RATESPOLL: What are your rates$0 - $50/hr?
  • 62. RATESPOLL: What are your rates$0 - $50/hr?$50 - $75/hr?
  • 63. RATESPOLL: What are your rates$0 - $50/hr?$50 - $75/hr?$75 - $100/hr?
  • 64. RATESPOLL: What are your rates$0 - $50/hr?$50 - $75/hr?$75 - $100/hr?$100 - $125/hr?
  • 65. RATESPOLL: What are your rates$0 - $50/hr?$50 - $75/hr?$75 - $100/hr?$100 - $125/hr?$125+?
  • 66. PAYMENT
  • 67. PAYMENTDo not undercharge.
  • 68. PAYMENTDo not undercharge.Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actuallyneed them.
  • 69. PAYMENTDo not undercharge.Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actuallyneed them.Always invoice.
  • 70. PAYMENTDo not undercharge.Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actuallyneed them.Always invoice.Work either for free or at your full rate.
  • 71. PAYMENTDo not undercharge.Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actuallyneed them.Always invoice.Work either for free or at your full rate.Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.
  • 72. PAYMENTDo not undercharge.Do not take “portfolio” projects unless you actuallyneed them.Always invoice.Work either for free or at your full rate.Always, always, ALWAYS get half up front.Watch for red flags: story time.
  • 73. PROCESS: PLANNING
  • 74. PROCESS: PLANNINGSitemap
  • 75. PROCESS: PLANNINGSitemapWireframes
  • 76. PROCESS: PLANNINGSitemapWireframesBut its simple enough that I dont need to wireframe!No, its not.
  • 77. DESIGN & DEV
  • 78. DESIGN & DEVYou should know about this already so I’m skipping it,except to say...
  • 79. DESIGN & DEVYou should know about this already so I’m skipping it,except to say...COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CLIENT
  • 80. TESTING, TRAINING, CONTENT ENTRY
  • 81. TESTING, TRAINING, CONTENT ENTRYExplain to clients that bugs are normal (and are notfree to fix)
  • 82. TESTING, TRAINING, CONTENT ENTRYExplain to clients that bugs are normal (and are notfree to fix)Test it yourself thoroughly (or hire testers if you can)
  • 83. TESTING, TRAINING, CONTENT ENTRYExplain to clients that bugs are normal (and are notfree to fix)Test it yourself thoroughly (or hire testers if you can)Walk clients through the features of the site by havingthem add content. As they go along, they’ll find thingsyou missed. Fix them promptly.
  • 84. LAUNCHMake sure to set the expectation that this process is notautomatic. There is no big red button you arepushing.
  • 85. MAINTENANCE
  • 86. MAINTENANCESecurity & feature updates can be great recurringrevenue.
  • 87. MAINTENANCESecurity & feature updates can be great recurringrevenue.Some models for maintenance contracts:
  • 88. MAINTENANCESecurity & feature updates can be great recurringrevenue.Some models for maintenance contracts: Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours)
  • 89. MAINTENANCESecurity & feature updates can be great recurringrevenue.Some models for maintenance contracts: Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours) Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.)
  • 90. MAINTENANCESecurity & feature updates can be great recurringrevenue.Some models for maintenance contracts: Discounted hour chunk (e.g., 60 hours) Use it or lose it (e.g., 10 hours/mo.) Monthly invoice
  • 91. YOU’RE GOLDEN!Story to sum up.Find this presentation, the estimating tool and myprocess document at my blog, blog.andy-walters.com