From Full-time to Freelance:
The Ten Commandments of Contracting
by Jon Jones
Outsourcing Manager at smArtist
jon@gameartp...
THE FIRST COMMANDMENT.
Thou Shalt Set Up a Sacred Workspace and Shun False Idols.
• Don't work where you play.
o You will ...
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT.
Thou Shalt Know the Day and the Hour.
• Amateur: “I’ll have it done in two hours!” Delivers it in ...
THE THIRD COMMANDMENT.
Thou Shalt Heed the Words of the Technical Guidelines
Tablet.
• Amateur: “Here’s the delivery!”
– F...
Thou Shalt Heed Thy Client’s Word to the Letter.
• Amateur: “Sure, I’ll incorporate that feedback!”
– Does half the job.
–...
THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT.
Thou Shalt Be Mindful, for the End of Day is Nigh.
• Amateur: “I’ll have it ready for you by the en...
Thou Shalt Honor Thy Customer and Thy Reputation.
• Amateur: “I just make art. What’s customer service?”
• Professional: “...
Thou Shalt Not Mock the Client with Feeble Protestations.
• Amateur: “My dog ate my stylus!”
• Professional: “I dropped th...
THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT.
Thou Shalt Form an LLC and Understand Thy Taxes.
• Consult a tax professional.
– They will probabl...
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT.
Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain.
•Email:
•you@yourname.com is ideal.
•If you use ...
THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. (cont)
Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain.
• Use your real name if possible.
•If you...
Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain.
•If you must hyphenate, use only one.
•Bad example:
c-o-n-c-e-p-t-artis...
Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain.
• If it takes longer than three seconds to say or explain, it’s too lon...
Thou Shalt Know and Love Thy Web Tools.
• Manage leads and deals.
•Resource: www.zoho.com/crm/
• Manage time tracking, bil...
Thanks for reading!
For more detailed information on all
of this and more, visit my website:
www.jonjones.com
Jon Jones, O...
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From Full-Time to Freelance: The Ten Commandments of Contracting

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Ever wondered what life would be like if you quit your full-time job to become a freelance artist? This presentation will give you clear advice and direction on what to do, how to think, and give you the tools you need to succeed.

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From Full-Time to Freelance: The Ten Commandments of Contracting

  1. 1. From Full-time to Freelance: The Ten Commandments of Contracting by Jon Jones Outsourcing Manager at smArtist jon@gameartproducer.com www.gameartproducer.com
  2. 2. THE FIRST COMMANDMENT. Thou Shalt Set Up a Sacred Workspace and Shun False Idols. • Don't work where you play. o You will always be at work, and resent it. • Don't play where you work. o You will never get any work done. ▪ Gotta do dishes! ▪ Gotta take forever making lunch! ▪ Gotta empty trash! ▪ Gotta feed the cat! ▪ Gotta bathe the cat! ▪ Gotta get stitches! • Keep these spaces strictly separate. o Get mobile and find a co-working space.
  3. 3. THE SECOND COMMANDMENT. Thou Shalt Know the Day and the Hour. • Amateur: “I’ll have it done in two hours!” Delivers it in eight hours. • Professional: “I’ll have it done in eight hours.” Delivers it in six hours. Manager Insight: What does it say about your competence if you don't know how long your job takes? • Don't make me do Artist Math. – 2 hours = 4 hours – 4 hours = 8 hours • Be realistic. Don't just tell me what I want to hear. • If truth = what I want to to hear, good. • If not, let me know. We'll work it out. I have bosses too.
  4. 4. THE THIRD COMMANDMENT. Thou Shalt Heed the Words of the Technical Guidelines Tablet. • Amateur: “Here’s the delivery!” – Files and textures named wrong or assigned wrong. – Delivers a technical mess I'll spend hours fixing. – Bonus points for weird or profane filenames. (note: Not actual bonus points.) • Professional: “Here’s the delivery!” – Technical guidelines were met. – The professional paid attention. • Manager Insight: – Did Amateur read the guidelines? Were they misunderstood? – Don’t be afraid to ask questions. – Ask questions EARLY.
  5. 5. Thou Shalt Heed Thy Client’s Word to the Letter. • Amateur: “Sure, I’ll incorporate that feedback!” – Does half the job. – Acts like nothing is wrong. – Was the feedback misunderstood, or simply ignored? • Professional: “Sure, I’ll incorporate that feedback!” – Does the full job. – Verifies point-by-point what was fixed. • Manager’s Insight: The Professional is demonstrating attention to detail. THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT.
  6. 6. THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT. Thou Shalt Be Mindful, for the End of Day is Nigh. • Amateur: “I’ll have it ready for you by the end of the day!” – Submits at 3am. • Professional: “I’ll have it ready for you by the end of the day!” – Submits at 6pm. • Manager’s Insight: – End of Day means the end of MY day, not the end of YOUR day. – Remember that it takes time to review content. • If I need it that day, a 6pm delivery means I have to work late. Thanks. – Delivering early is always nice.
  7. 7. Thou Shalt Honor Thy Customer and Thy Reputation. • Amateur: “I just make art. What’s customer service?” • Professional: “I’m a service provider. I am an artist, but my success depends on satisfying my clients.” • Manager’s Insight: – You’re in customer service. – Be responsive. Make the client happy. Maintain it. – It’s like dating. You work out, dress well and get in “dating shape” to look great. When you’re in a relationship, you let it slide because you’re safe. • Amateurs do this. • Professionals don’t. THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT.
  8. 8. Thou Shalt Not Mock the Client with Feeble Protestations. • Amateur: “My dog ate my stylus!” • Professional: “I dropped the ball on this, and I will do my best to correct it.” • Manager's Insight: I don't want excuses, I want results. a. If you screwed up, let me know so I can plan for that. b. I've heard EVERY excuse. c. I know the difference between a reason and an excuse. Think of your reputation. Which would you rather be? 1. The person that always has problems with everything 2. The person that simply gets the job done THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT.
  9. 9. THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT. Thou Shalt Form an LLC and Understand Thy Taxes. • Consult a tax professional. – They will probably tell you to form a Limited Liability Company. • Look that up. It is important. • Resource: www.legalzoom.com (that's where I did it.) • Get a business bank account. Credit unions are great. • Get to know how business taxes work. – Keep records from day 1. – Keep receipts. – Your tax pro is your best friend.
  10. 10. THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain. •Email: •you@yourname.com is ideal. •If you use webmail, only use Gmail. •Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook, MSN, Derpymail, etc look amateur. •Get a dot com. •Second best is dot net. •Avoid weird TLDs (top level domains) •Bad examples: .TV, .BIZ, .NINJA, .SPORTS, .XXX, etc – Avoid subdomains. •Bad example: “ieatpaper.iamaprofessionalartist.co.xxx.nz.abc.123.omg”
  11. 11. THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. (cont) Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain. • Use your real name if possible. •If you can’t, be simple. •Say it out loud. Will people spell that correctly? 1.Bad example: Superdeliciousartistboythatmakesart.com/portfolio/lookatmeIamcreative!!11/ 2.Good example: WorkHardMakeArt.com •Avoid internet slang. 1.Bad example: lolwutplsbesrs.net •Avoid bad spelling. ▪ Bad example: imaektehthreedeemodelz.net” ▪ It’s not cute. It makes you look dumb. Dumb is bad.
  12. 12. Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain. •If you must hyphenate, use only one. •Bad example: c-o-n-c-e-p-t-artist.com •Good example: concept-artist.com •Avoid complicated words. •Bad example: www.archaeologicalartisan.com •Avoid unintentional words. •Bad example: www.FerrethAndJobs.com » Yes, this is real, it's a law firm. THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. (cont)
  13. 13. Thou Shalt Start a Website and Find a Good Domain. • If it takes longer than three seconds to say or explain, it’s too long. – Bad example: “It’s incompatenceingameduhvelopment.com, but ‘incompetence’ is spelled ‘i-n-c-o-m-p-a to be funny blah blah blah" • Don’t pick something offensive. – Avoid the following: • Drugs, sex, bodily fluids, disease, Bieber – Bad example: snotinmyhair.com • Short and simple is best. – Good examples: • chrisholden.net • autodestruct.com • jonjones.com THE NINTH COMMANDMENT. (cont)
  14. 14. Thou Shalt Know and Love Thy Web Tools. • Manage leads and deals. •Resource: www.zoho.com/crm/ • Manage time tracking, billing, invoicing, profit and loss. •Resource: www.freshbooks.com • Shareable online documentation, spreadsheets, etc. •Resource: drive.google.com • Easy file sharing with clients. •Resource: www.dropbox.com THE TENTH COMMANDMENT.
  15. 15. Thanks for reading! For more detailed information on all of this and more, visit my website: www.jonjones.com Jon Jones, Outsourcing Manager jon@gameartproducer.com www.gameartproducer.com

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