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The jump to freelance


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A presentation I gave at Bizcamp in december 2010 about making the jump the freelance as a designer.

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The jump to freelance

  1. 1. The jump to freelance Johan Ronsse - Bizcamp Belgium - 11 december 2010Tuesday 14 December 2010The jump to freelance / version 2010-12-10
  2. 2. Hi, I’m Johan!Tuesday 14 December 2010Webdesigner, 4 years
  3. 3. 1 AboutTuesday 14 December 2010
  4. 4. Webdesigner for 4 yearsTuesday 14 December 2010Webdesigner, 4 years
  5. 5. Tuesday 14 December 2010Projects over time: small, big, bigger
  6. 6. Tuesday 14 December 2010[Slide: big: AB Concerts]
  7. 7. Tuesday 14 December 2010[Slide: bigger: Gazet van Antwerpen]
  8. 8. 4/ 5Tuesday 14 December 2010Started working 4 days a week one year ago, set up company
  9. 9. Wolf’s Little StoreTuesday 14 December 2010Wolf’s Little Store
  10. 10. Easy: The easy partTuesday 14 December 2010Easy: ondernemingsloket
  11. 11. The hard part Hard: find a good accountantTuesday 14 December 2010Hard: find a good accountant
  12. 12. Now: preparing for fulltime businessTuesday 14 December 2010Now preparing for fulltime freelancing
  13. 13. 2 Why freelance?Tuesday 14 December 2010Why freelance?
  14. 14. Choose the projects you want to doTuesday 14 December 2010Choose the projects you want to do
  15. 15. ? What would you work on if you had the choice?Tuesday 14 December 2010What would you work on if you had the choice?
  16. 16. iOS user interfaceTuesday 14 December 2010iPhone user interface (slide: iPhone UI)
  17. 17. Game design http://glitch.comTuesday 14 December 2010Game design (slide: Glitch)
  18. 18. In a company: Little influence on what you end up working on (whatever got through sales funnel) Sometimes not satisfied w/ type of workTuesday 14 December 2010In a company Little influence on what you end up working on (whatever got through sales funnel) Sometimes not satisfied w/ type of work
  19. 19. Moral/ethical disagreementTuesday 14 December 2010Dont agree with the business model (e.g. personal data gathering)Moral/ethical disagreement e.g. church websites, or websites for political partiesLargely depends on employer. Everything is debatable.
  20. 20. € Company should be profitable...Tuesday 14 December 2010In the end a company has to be profitable.
  21. 21. People tell me: “Sometimes you have to do things you don’t really like!”Tuesday 14 December 2010People would say: sometimes you have to do things you dont like. I disagree. I only want towork for people I like and I only want to do projects I like.
  22. 22. “You can only work for people you like.” 14 December 2010Milton Glaser said in his essay Ten Things I have learned: YOU CAN ONLY WORK FOR PEOPLETHAT YOU LIKE.“Professionalism required that you didn’t particularly like the people that you worked for or atleast maintained an arms length relationship to them, which meant that I never had lunchwith a client or saw them socially. Then some years ago I realised that the opposite was true.I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of anaffectionate relationship with a client. And I am not talking about professionalism; I amtalking about affection.”Very good essay: read it, for everyone, not only designers would rather live on €1250 a month than do work I dont like to do.
  23. 23. Name your price.Tuesday 14 December 2010Name your price - Dont tell anyone youre making this because they have no idea what youend up with
  24. 24. 1/ 2 taxesTuesday 14 December 2010General advice seems to be: set aside half of what you make because youll have to give itback anywayIf you earned €1000 count it as 500, 500 is going to be taxed anyway.
  25. 25. Work when you want to.Tuesday 14 December 2010Work when you want to Im a night owl Hard time getting out of bed But I do have to keep a fixed schedule to get work done Just habits? I dont know
  26. 26. ...from where you want to Work when you want to.Tuesday 14 December 2010Work from anywhere
  27. 27. Interesting approach: http://www.nomadz.nuTuesday 14 December 2010Interesting: Nomadz"The travelling webdesigners"Webdesign allows for this: not much jobs doThen again, I still have a family, friends and a girlfriend
  28. 28. 3 Why not freelance?Tuesday 14 December 2010Why not freelance?
  29. 29. Not only the designerTuesday 14 December 2010Not only the designer, also other roles:
  30. 30. Sales & marketing (probably the most important!)Tuesday 14 December 2010Have to generate leads Built up reputation with blogging (500+ subscribers to Wolfs Little Store and 500+subscribers to Catalog) Speak at camps: spoke at Barcamp, Arrrcamp, guest lecture at Kaho Gent Pet projects for fun (2008 and 2009 in review) Tweet your mind (800 followers, then killed account, now 250) Not about the number, but relevancy No real portfolio yet, all leads come from reputation and network
  31. 31. Traditionally by advertisingTuesday 14 December 2010
  32. 32. I like self advertisement: blogTuesday 14 December 2010
  33. 33. Twitter honestlyTuesday 14 December 2010
  34. 34. Continuity: build your portfolioTuesday 14 December 2010Thomas (@bytte) says: build a portfolio for continuity
  35. 35. Other roles: Project manager Accountant Office assistant Web developer System administratorTuesday 14 December 2010General manager/Project manager Have to plan your own projects You have to do that anyway in a company situation, discussing the planning: now youdecide Invest money into the company or give yourself a higher wage/more goodies? Tough call, I dont know yet. Safest I guess: invest back into the company the firstyear. Get some savings.Accountant/administrative assistant You can have an accountant but he wont make your invoices He also wont set your pricingOffice assistant Someone has to get the coffee and do groceries
  36. 36. Outsource!?Tuesday 14 December 2010Maybe it’s better to outsource these tasks.
  37. 37. Investment: good coffee machine?Tuesday 14 December 2010My first investment: premium coffee machine?
  38. 38. 9 to 5? Not really!Tuesday 14 December 2010No 9 to 5 If you fuck up, its entirely your responsibility Schedule can quickly become chaos
  39. 39. UncertaintyTuesday 14 December 2010Uncertainty Dont know when projects land Sometimes will be very busy, very quit Guess its best to have a backup plan
  40. 40. ? Questions? johan@johanronsse.beTuesday 14 December 2010
  41. 41. Thanks for your attention!Tuesday 14 December 2010