There is an inherent danger whenever you work with a new client, whether designing a new website, revamping a brand, or even briefly consulting. That is, you might give them exactly what (they think) they want without delivering the desired results.
In a magical world where everyone openly and honestly communicates their needs and desires, both you and the client are satisfied with the work and accolades are poured out upon your head. However, as you work through the project, what is more likely to happen as a precursor to this happily-ever-after ending are one of these three things:
Do you want to know how you can write about technical subjects that you haven’t studied? For example, you want to know how you can write a user manual about a software system when you haven’t studied programming or the job the software will be used to perform. How can you write an effective proposal to bid on a project when you aren’t experts in how the different tasks involved should be done?
These are valid questions, but the good news is that you don’t need to be an expert in a specific field to write about it. This article focuses on skills needed to be an effective technical writer. A technical writer must have research skills, question – asking skills, and analytic skills. Without these skills, technical writer’s efforts to gather information can be unfocused and erratic.
There’s a saying that those who fail to plan, plan to fail. A well-written business plan can help you crystallize your dream and stay on track. A business plan helps you define your goals. Also, if you need to get a business loan to buy equipment, your bank will probably want to see your business plan.
As you grow your business, you may change your goals, but your start-up business plan will give you your first goals to shoot for. Once you put those goals down on paper and write how you plan to achieve them, they become more real.
As someone who’s made themselves available for freelancing over the past several years, I’ve tried a number of different outsourcing platforms.
Which of these have you tried? What was your experience?
For the most part, I’ve found these to be a waste of time and establishing online relationships and networks to be far more effective.
Here’s a look at oDesk vs Elance vs Freelancer vs 99designs — but I really want to hear from you!
Being a freelance designer isn’t easy.
You are your own boss, but along with that, is all the responsibility of taking care of billing and client relations.
Here’s a flowchart that might help you as you navigate your way through dealing with clients:
I remember when I started using WordPress.
It was pretty magical.
Like with most things you learn, it comes in waves as you master each level of skill set. Right when you think you really know something, a whole new level is unlocked and you realize that you didn’t know nearly what you thought you did!
This fun MMORPG WordPress freelancer chart really captures that dynamic well:
I’m sure you’re familiar with the phrase “tentmaking.” Tentmaking is the job that Paul did to cover his living costs whilst off on his mission trips and now the term used to refer to people who do a job some of the time to free themselves up to serve the rest of the time. To many, this may appear to be doing just one job and a bit of an easy life (work part time, rest part time), but the point of tentmaking is that you are free to serve God…which isn’t always/usually relaxing.
The digital world has opened up other possibilities for tentmaking, some people run “passive income” jobs with flexible hours so they are free to serve whenever necessary [though the idea that you can just sit back and let the money roll in is rarely true and doesn't usually last]. In fact, some people even started blogs around this theme of tentmaking online.
There could be a long blog series (and there are) about the pros/cons/ins and outs of digital tentmaking, but I want to add in another aspect to consider today.
Dunked is a new service (currently in private beta) that allows you to have an online portfolio to show off your awesome work to the masses, without needing to know anything about coding, web development, or even what HTML stands for.
All you do, is sign up for an account, and start uploading images, or linking and embedding audio or video, and Dunked does the rest.
The best part? It’s free.
They are the life-blood of freelancers.
When push comes to shove, they sign the check.
They ask, you deliver.
Some think everything you touch is gold. Which is TOTALLY awesome!
Some ask for a few tricky things, maybe even change their mind on something. No problem. It’s fun to take a few tough turns.
A few will break you. These are commonly known as, “challenging clients.”
This is a very cool concept and a great way to guide client input and the design process.
The Design Matrix.
A design matrix is essentially like a competitor matrix but ranks the client’s website against competitor websites, and it uses design attributes (“clean” and “warm,” for example) instead of other points of competitive comparison.
Finding the axis will help you pin-point the direction of the site design: