Alright, shameless self-promotion time!! We offer a kick-ass course in FREELANCING. It’s super informative and affordable.
Now before we go any further, let’s talk about the difference between freelancer and contractors: Contractor: Typically brought into an organization and you have a particular task that’s assigned to you/ have to show up at specific time. It’s usually pretty structured/you are an employee without any benefits. Freelance: Also have no benefits but maximum flexibility in terms of your work hours. Essentially you chose when and how you’re going to work.
Now the nature of freelance and why it’s so alluring is that generally speaking you don’t have to be anywhere at any one specific time. You have the freedom to plan your day according to what the demands are: for example you can go meet a client and you can decide what tools you are going to use for the job they have, and generally speaking it’s up to you when you do it and how you do it… So let’s say you work 30 hours a week (guess) at a full-time brick and mortar job, you can easily budget out another 10-15 hours in that week for your freelance job (whatever that may be).
The hard part, of course, will be managing your time when you’re starting out and really being disciplined enough to do that freelancing job after a tough day at work, but maybe someone’s been through that experience already and is just dying to share it with you!
Check out the rest of this vid for some more insight into the subject plus a tight little drum intro in the beginning, AND a winter wonderland walk that culminates in a peek into my past dating life…
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!
Another shocking discovery from the Department of Urban Humanity or “DUH”… Communication skills are a big deal for developers. I know, I know; save yourself the twitter rant but believe it or not it does bare repeating.
Look, we understand, ten or 15 years ago developers were (for lack of a better term), alone in the business world. They were largely left alone to their own devices mostly because businesses didn’t necessarily know or understand what they did…only that they needed their skills if the wanted “an online presence.” And who could developers talk to about their projects, their frustrations and victories? Other developers… So you can see why, historically, some devs might not be in a very “social” mood…
However, unless you’ve been under a rock which was then covered in concrete, lowered into well and then sealed with more concrete, you’d know that “the world went and got itself in a big damn hurry…”(that’s a quote from ‘the shawshank redemption’, which you probably haven’t seen if you were under the aforementioned rock…you should check it out, great film.).
But yeah, devs aren’t the rare birds they once were and neither is their work the stuff of wizardry. Most people/companies know what they want and how to <relatively> get it, or have access to a host of devs who can get it for them… So what’s gonna set you apart? Communication! Your sparkling wit, easy demeanor, and sly and inviting grin as you effortlessly deliver what the client wants and make the necessary changes right in front of them assuring them that not only are you knowledgeable, but so easy to get along with! They’re so lucky they found you and look forward to working with you on all their future projects!
Check out the vid, where we give you personal experiences of these situations and illuminate on the skill on communication. I mean, sure there might be lots of devs who can do what you do…but can they deliver it, like YOU deliver it? Enjoy!
PS- stick around to the end to see footage of the minute before the lich lords attacked and made us their unwilling thralls…
Many developers aspire to create their own companies and become entrepreneurs. What are the most important things that people should pay attention to?
Perhaps a side project of yours is about to receive some funding? Or maybe you’re just tired of working for someone else, you have this great idea and want to see it through… No matter the reason, you’re going from being a developer to an entrepreneur. Great! Now what? Well, I’m not gonna lie to you, there’s a lot of pitfalls out there, but if you can cut through the crap (that’s right I said it), and stay focused on your goals, you might just have a chance…
Figure out where you shine: “Figure out where your talents lie as an entrepreneur and then either hire in…hire people who do the job you cannot do…you have to realize where you suck…the biggest mistake people make is they assume they can do everything better than everybody else: that’s silly. You won’t be able to grow your business if you try and do every job out there.”
Be very careful with your money: “The lifeblood of any business is cash; how much cash you have. As long as you cash in the bank (and not your own cash -the company’s cash – don’t put all your money into it and wind up bankrupt and destitute in three years), as long as the company has cash, you’re in business.”
Be ready to pivot: “You might have to change your business model/change your product depending on what the market tells you; you have to be responsive to the market. So get ready to put out your idea and then you might have to shift and change accordingly…”
There’s so much more to get into and we do touch on it. Also, shameless plug: we offer a business course called “The Complete Entrepreneur”,(links below) and it’s worth it but you do you. Start off by watching this video and let’s take it from there. Enjoy!
PS- stay to the end of the video to watch me be an Entre…plant…eur. Sorry.
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!
These days we have many options when it comes to building websites, but which is the best way to build in 2018?
Let’s talk websites and the building thereof… So, you’re a small business owner or an aspiring website creator? Maybe you’re just interested in what goes into building a website. Well, there are many options and each has their PROs & CONs:
HTML & CSS The traditional way to do web design coding, these would be the two “languages” you’d have to learn and they can (theoretically) build any type of website. “There is literally no limitations, in terms of what you could build if you got into the nuts & bolts: the basics of building a website.” However, the downside is that you’re going to have to learn it; that is to say time investment, theory, practice; all the stuff that goes into learning a skill. But that being said, you know how to program!
Web Design Programs These can range from programs where you have to know a little bit of code (Dreamweaver, Brackets, etc.) to content management systems (CMS) like WordPress, down to easy site builders like WIX, for example. All are very different approaches (which we will touch on in the video) and vary in the amount of control you will likely have…
The key word here is control. As we go from straight up coding down the line, we lose flexibility and versatility; it goes from creating the very thing you see in your mind’s eye, to “what you see is what you get” on the building sites. And of course, that’s fine too. There’s nothing wrong or lazy with building a “wham-bam” website if that’s what fills your needs, but check out our video and you might get an idea of how to better fill those needs. And check out the links at the bottom if you’re curious about the aforementioned web design languages. Mastering the code of website creation does have it’s perks…
Things have changed much since the late 1990’s, and modern SEO is much different. In fact, it has much more to do with web marketing.
SEO – For many businesses (and the departments they employ), it’s a three letter word of DOOM!! SEO or Search Engine Optimization has been a thorn in the side of both small and huge business owners, confounding all but the most “gifted” of programmers and webite DIYers. Originally, SEO was “going into code and fixing it up so that it was more search engine friendly”. “…You essentially had to add a whole bunch of attributes to make it readable by the search engines”, so that your website/business would be at the top of the search, traffic gets directed there and you make the sale, get the views/the ad revenue, etc…
Much has changed…
Without angering too many people, I think it’s safe to say that the search engine giant of today (and probably the last 15 years…) is Google. And part of what makes google’s search engine so thorough is it’s ability to effectively “read” sites. So code has taken a backseat to content (content is king, you’ll hear that here and in a lot of videos, both past and present). Also, marketing, social media and the ability to make these things work synergistically with each other further enhances the efficacy of the infamous SEO. Our video down below explains it best (and all while holding/gesturing/not spilling a hot coffee no less 😉 ).
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?