Look we’ve all been there, man… You’ve got a task to do and you don’t feel like doing it. You put it off… you do the dishes (maybe even clean your entire house), or just play video games and go down youtube’s rabbit hole…
It’s procrastination: pure and simple. You’ve fought it since you were 13 years old and had a 15 page essay to write, due in 2 weeks. But as a dev or a programmer; new or veteran, you’ve got a job to do and you can’t just put things off (for too long, anyway…).
Let’s start off by trying to understand procrastination and then we’ll go into some techniques to combat it…well, ONE technique really but it’s pretty effective. When it come to procrastination there are really 3 problems at play and you could have one, both or all mixed in a cocktail of “I’ll get to it later…”, which is a terrible cocktail cuz it never gets made <baddum-ching>.
1- Fear: Ah yes, that old chestnut… But yeah, fear this isn’t going to work, fear that you’re not going to go anywhere or that you’re missing out on other things, etc, etc. 2- Being Overwhelmed: There’s too much to do, too much to learn, etc… 3- Boredom: This one is pretty insidious. We don’t really have the end goal planned out (the job we’re going to get/money we plan on making, the skill we’ll have learned, etc.).
The key answer for all these problems and procrastination in general is something your mom or even your teacher might have told you (and believe me, I hate to admit they were onto something too)…
…Do 20 minutes a day…
I know it’s so simple you almost have to laugh but it’s true. Doing 20 minutes a day of any activity has so many benefits but I’m only going to list a few here: -It’s an easy to achieve goal. 20 minutes can go by pretty fast and if you find yourself ‘getting into it’ and want to take longer, you can! -You tend to learn much more quickly if you expose yourself on a frequent basis to that activity you need to get done. Some interesting math: 20 minutes a day for 5 days a week (cuz we need our weekends) is 100 minutes. That frequent exposure is going to help your brain learn faster and more effectively than 200 minutes once a week.
I can’t even begin to tell you the length at which this is covered in the VLOG and shameless self promotion: 20 minutes a day is roughly how long the lessons in our courses (link below) are structured for, so don’t have to sit there for hours wondering when it will end with a fried brain. Check it out…after the video game, heh. Enjoy!
How to get Clients to Produce Content for their Websites?
Clients, man… Can’t live with ’em, can’t make a living without them, amirite?
On your travels out there as a freelancer, you’re going to come across times when clients aren’t are late with, or aren’t delivering the content you need to work with. Maybe you find yourself doing what should be their responsibility or job, just to move things along so you can get to completing YOUR job on time. What can we do?
First off -SHAMELESS PLUG- we tackle this in our “Freelancer Course”; links at the bottom.
Second, essentially, you’re going to need to specify a lot this in your contract. Yeah, I know it’s more work for you to write this out, but it’ll save you so much grief in the long run. For example, something like ‘after the second draft has received approval, I will then need pictures, written content, etc. going forward’ if the content is to be delivered in whatever time you specified (ex: 30 days), work will be halted until ‘content’ has been received, etc.
Third, “gentle reminders” and emails. Clients sometimes forget things, they’ve got stuff going on too… so you email them with a “gentle reminder” (and seriously, be gentle. Use phrases like “at your leisure”, “when you have a second”, etc.), letting them know that you need ‘X’ material to continue. Also, we really do recommend you email them. That way there is a time-stamped copy of the request so they cannot come to you later saying that you were late on the project or anything else. You simply (and calmly) call up the email and show them that you attempted to get the material…
Lastly, unfortunately, this is “par for the course”, meaning that it happens and it’s totally normal if not expected. Have some other projects going on so that when one stalls, you simply refocus your effort the next. Now, fair warning: This does involve time management and juggling, so don’t bite off more than you can chew, especially if more than one of these projects has the capability to suddenly demand all of your attention at the same time…
Check out the video where we into more detail and check out our “freelancer course” link at the bottom so you can benefit from our mistakes experiences in the past, when dealing with client expectations. At the end of the day, it’s best that everyone knows where they stand and what expected of them. Enjoy!
A basic business lesson…be very careful about who and what binding business relationships you establish.
The general idea I want to get across is: don’t get into unnecessary deals with third party companies. Really think hard about what the “partner” brings to the table for you to want to “partner up” with them.
Now, specifically I want to talk about…
MCN: multi-channel network: A company that claims to help “grow” your channel (YouTube, in this case…), by taking control of your channel for x number of years, where generally all the income is funneled to the MCN, and after the “number of years” the income is returned, minus the MCN’s cut and generally you have no idea what the MCN has done, did or was planning on doing or the “help” they provided was ambiguous, uncertain or (in your best Unicorn voice), highly dubious. In my opinion it’s predatory. Also, see rent-seekers.
Generally the stuff they offer is stuff that sounds like you need their help getting but when you think about it, you don’t. Example: free access for using stock footage (you can get that yourself for about 20$ a month which is way less than their fee).
In the video we’ll link to some YouTube content creators that got hosed real bad (if you haven’t already heard) as an example. Plus some of the experiences we had in the past. Enjoy!
A couple of tips on how to price your freelance web design and development contracts.
Okay, you’ve got your first paying/serious/ for real-sises (technical term) job and after giving you the lowdown on the job, your client asks what the price tag is going to be?
Well, maybe you think to yourself, “I charge ‘X’ amount of money per hour and this looks like a ten hour job, so -” whoa, whoa, whoa, champ! there’s soooo much more to take into account.
First off, Shameless Promo: Check out the link to our freelancer courses that we offer. They’re real and they’re spectacular!
Second, if you’re freelancing you have to factor in all the stuff that goes around the project. ie: phone calls, re-writes/edits/corrections, etc. and those take up your time too and therefore need to be accounted for.
The good news is, you’re worth it, all of it. But, you do need to get into the practice of being able to correctly judge the price of a project.
Some businesses want know the sum total at the end of a job (“Is this going to cost my business 1000.00$? 5000.00$?) and you’re going to have to give them that. Check out the Vid below where we give you a few pointers and for maximum coverage, checkout our link below to our freelancer course.
Sure, you’re gonna learn a lot of stuff the hard way out there in ‘freelancer world’, but if we can save you a few hard knocks with our own experience, isn’t it worth it?
Do Web Developers need to Promise Web Sales for Clients?
So you’ve got a client; maybe they’re your first, so you really want to do a good job and WOW them. Maybe they’re not but you’re a professional and always putting your best foot forward. But these clients are asking/demanding something that you’ve never really had to deal with before. They want you to prove the efficacy of your work. They want a tangible return on investment. Maybe you want this job so bad that you decide offer a guarantee that few others in your field can offer…
Can you/should you offer web sales?
Short answer: No. Why would you? That’s not really your job. General rule of thumb: “If you have to convince a business that a website is good for their business, then you probably should move on to another business.” “It’s like convincing a business that having a telephone is going to be good for business, so that the client can call them”. In short it a little crazy, bordering on unreasonable and not you responsibility.
On The Other Hand…
If you’re positive you can deliver on this promise (maybe you’ve even negotiated a tidy 25% of the sales generated from the website on top of your fee), then provided things go smoothly, Cha-Ching! But, would you be about to watch this video if you were 100% sure things were going to go smoothly? All sorts of problems can arise from you not being an expert in the client’s; not knowing what drives sales or their model, to your client booting you and you having no recourse, just to name a few…
We’re gonna look at some of the challenges facing web sales for clients and throw a few tips and strategies your way. And just in case you’re feeling a little anxious by all of this, stick around to the end of the vid where we’ve got a nice little view and a moment of serenity to keep things in perspective. For some of you already in the middle of a bad client web sales drama, take a breather.
There’s a lot of hype surrounding blockchain. But before you start signing up for blockchain 101 consider this…
Cryptocurrency. Bitcoin. Blockchain… These words have garnered their fair share of both esteem and infamy. But are we really talking about when we use these words? What’s the correlation and (let’s be honest with ourselves), how can we use it to make money?!
Well, let’s take Blockchain. Essentially it’s just a database, albeit an ingenious and very popular one right now, that regularly updates -and continually reconciles- all information stored on it (files, spreadsheets, etc.) in real time (for lack of a better word). Two users (or more likely two million users) can be messing around – editing and changing information at the same time- with no loss or corruption of data. Which makes it ideal for keeping track of and implementing Cryptocurrencies like BitCoin.
And just like any new and interesting thing on the market that can be implemented in ways that potentially save or make millions of dollars , there are classes and courses sprouting up everywhere offering education and certification in Blockchain – makes sense right? Should you drop everything and learn Blockchain? Not necessarily…
To be clear, we are not taking anything away from Blockchain, it is an amazing database that has and will have some incredible applications. We just think you should consider all your options. And as for cryptocurrencies like BitCoin, we have some insight and friendly advice into that too. But that’s another post… in fact, this one…right here…
Chasing Tech Trends and Cryptocurrency Fraudsters.
You’ve heard the stories, no doubt; a friend of a friend, or maybe even your cousin (yeah, that one…) bought Bitcoin for pennies a couple of years ago and now they’re rich…like stupid rich… Then you turn on the TV and you see a bunch of twenty-somethings who took all the money, in what little savings they had, and just threw it at the bitcoin machine and BAM! Millionaires. Financial Companies on TV, newspapers or even YOUTUBE channels are recommending anywhere from a gentle toe-dipping to a full on swan-dive into the Crypto-Ocean…the CryptOcean? Or maybe riding the Cryto…CURRENT…cy? Okay, THAT was the last one, for real!
Of course, we all want to make money. We all want to be that person who had the insight, the investment know-how, that “gut-feeling” that paid off big time in the face of all the doubters and nay-sayers! Unfortunately, there are others out there that are literally “banking” on just that. In this video we want to touch on the possible pitfalls of chasing trends and the fraudsters that are waiting to take advantage of those who “get caught up in the nerd hype”.
Now just a quick heads up, we are not putting down cryptocurrencies, Cryptoinvestments or Blockchain, they are amazing databases, decentralized banking opportunities, etc… We just want to give you a little advice from our perspective. And it’s only a perspective, legally speaking, of course… We do not mean to give you financial advise or investment advice, let’s leave that to more qualified people, shall we?
AI will eventually replace most jobs. But how soon will it replace programmers?
Whether we love or hate our job, we need it for financial support (also, sometimes as a reason to not attend our buddy’s improv show). And in this brave new world all of us have thought at one point or another, what will happen to me if/when automation takes my job? There’s no real easy answer as technology is rapidly evolving, but there are some things we should understand about AI to help us going forward…
“The way to look at AI, is to consider that pattern recognition is easiest for AI. [Therefore] Any jobs that are largely based on finding patterns will be the first to go.”
But how safe are programmers? One would think the very nature of their work would make it ripe for automation… you’d be surprised! In this video we pump the brakes on “Skynet”, and look into how automation will most likely be used in the workplace. No one can argue that the future is upon us, but we believe it’s a little more “human” than you think…