Mastering Your Freelance Business


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Presentation given August 5th, 2010 on setting tips to improve creative freelance project estimates, contracts, client management, motivation, and basic marketing.

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Mastering Your Freelance Business

  1. 1. Mastering Your Freelance Business<br />San Diego Graphic Designers<br />Prepared by: Rob Heller – August 5th, 2010<br />
  2. 2. On The Subject Of Me<br />Creative Director, UI Architect<br />Graduate of RIT, NY 2005<br />Experience in Print, Web, Interactive, Video, Audio, & Application Development<br />Founded SDGD, Nov 2009<br />2<br />Clients:<br />Johnson & Johnson<br />Heidelberg<br />ESPN<br />Jello<br />Edwards Lifesciences<br />Hoya Surgical Optics<br />Lumenis<br />Glaukos<br />
  3. 3. Words of Wisdom<br />Fabien Barral- 7 Rules To Understand Designers -<br />3<br />
  4. 4. The Big Problem<br />Underestimation<br />
  5. 5. Public Enemy #1<br />It’s ok to hate this guy<br />5<br />
  6. 6. Gauging & Defining Project Scope<br />Why Underestimating Is So Common<br />New technologies in the requirements<br />Grey areas or complete unknowns during estimate period<br />Complex projects that require heavy time to break into detail (unbillable hours)<br />6<br />
  7. 7. Gauging & Defining Project Scope<br />Other Pitfalls That Cause Underestimating<br />The client needs an estimate ASAP or they walk<br />No previous project ‘estimated vs. actual’ data<br />Estimating time for a project is just plain not fun<br />7<br />
  8. 8. Scope 101<br />We’re going to build a news website.<br />Let’s plan it out.<br />8<br />
  9. 9. The Reality of the Situation<br />Research and planning<br />Requirements gathering<br />Project planning<br />Solution design<br />Sitemap<br />Wireframes<br />User workflows<br />Functional specification<br />Design<br />Initial homepage look and feel<br />Content page<br />Master content page template<br />News main page<br />News item<br /><ul><li>Front-end development
  10. 10. 5x Templates build XHTML/CSS
  11. 11. JavaScript and AJAX
  12. 12. Cross-browser fixes
  13. 13. Back-end development
  14. 14. CMS Setup and configuration
  15. 15. News feature
  16. 16. Contact us form
  17. 17. Content entry
  18. 18. Homepage copy
  19. 19. Addition of 10x News items
  20. 20. Testing
  21. 21. Internal functional testing
  22. 22. Client User Acceptance Testing (UAT)
  23. 23. Go-live
  24. 24. Live server setup
  25. 25. 301 re-directs from old site URLs to new</li></ul>9<br />
  26. 26. Let’s break it down<br />Start tracking!<br />Timefox<br />Easy Time Tracking<br />Pen and paper<br />10<br />
  27. 27. Crunch the Numbers… Anything Else is a Guess<br />11<br />Research and planning: 5%<br />Solution design: 5%<br />Design: 25%<br />Front-end development: 15%<br />Back-end development: 30%<br />Content entry: 8%<br />Testing: 10%<br />Go-live: 2%<br />
  28. 28. Estimate, Execute, Track, Analyze<br />Rinse & Repeat<br />Start simple<br />It’s a process<br />Mistakes are OK<br />12<br />
  29. 29. Project Estimate Resources<br />Web Development Project Estimator<br />Schedule and Cost Summary<br />Tick<br />How to Estimate a Web Site Project <br />Simple process to estimate times and costs in a web project<br />How to Accurately Estimate a Web Design Project<br />Estimating Resource Time for Web Development Projects<br />How To Estimate Time For A Project<br />13<br />
  30. 30. The Contract<br />Piece of cake!<br />
  31. 31. Ingredients For A Solid Contract<br />Scope<br />Deadlines<br />Delivery Details<br />Payment Schedule<br />Revisions<br />The Fine Print<br />15<br />
  32. 32. Contract Building Resources<br />Terms and Conditions for Design Contracts<br />Design Contracts – The How and Why’s of Contracts<br />What goes into a good web design contract? <br />Using freelance graphic design contracts<br />Business of Design Online Forms<br />Freelance Contracts<br />16<br />
  33. 33. Staying Motivated<br />And Saving Time in the Process!<br />
  34. 34. Procrastination<br />18<br />
  35. 35. Get Inspired!<br /><br /><br /><br />19<br />
  36. 36. Stick to the Plan<br />Map out what projects you will work on each day<br />Create a wishlist & log actual list<br />20<br />
  37. 37. Always Move Forward<br />“I need more time!”<br />I just DON’T feel like working on this…<br />This project is dragging on forever…<br />Forget all of that, <br />you got this under control!<br />21<br />
  38. 38. Marketing Your Business<br />Mo’ Money, Less Problems<br />
  39. 39. #1 Most Important Key to your Freelance<br />23<br />Reputation Is Everything.<br />
  40. 40. Where Do You Exist, Digitally?<br />Blogs?<br />Social Networks? <br />Remember, your web presence primarily gives you two things:<br /><ul><li>CREDIBILITY
  41. 41. Communication portal</li></ul>24<br />
  42. 42. Take Action!<br />Figure out what you want<br />Move, move, move!<br />Track what works and what doesn’t<br />Adjust your plan as necessary<br />25<br />
  43. 43. Thank You!<br />Questions? Comments? Contact me anytime:<br />
  44. 44. Clients Who Don’t Pay…<br /><ul><li>Stay cool, you didn’t do anything wrong
  45. 45. Stick to the contract
  46. 46. CSS Killswitch / File releasing</li></ul>27<br />