The Experience of a Freelancer – What They Learned in 15 Years.

I have been freelancing for many years and have learned many lessons, some the hard way! I always enjoy learning about other ‘full-timer’ experiences. This article perfectly highlights both sides of the coin, how brands and businesses think or feel and how how that affects the individual freelancer, in this case Gwen Moran @ Fast Company.

Read a snippet here but head over to the article for the full story!

For the past several years, there has been a steady stream of research indicating that companies are increasingly turning to freelance labor to fill talent gaps and create more flexible teams. Recent research from freelance website Upwork found reports that more than one in three Americans freelanced in 2018, and the freelance workforce grew 7% from 53 million to 56.7 million in five years. Full-time freelancers make up more than one-quarter (28%) of freelancers—up 11% since 2014.

And while hiring specific, on-demand talent may seem like a perfect solution to gaps in your workforce, learning how to manage freelancers and independent contractors well is essential to making the relationship the most fruitful it can be.

As someone who has worked for myself for most of my career and spent more than 15 years as a freelance writer and editorial project manager, I can tell you that some people have great freelancer management skills—and some are just awful. As someone who has hired and managed freelancers, I can say that there are some secrets to making the most of the relationship. My “ride or die” clients share these attributes and, in exchange, have independent workers who care about them and are committed to their success.

THEY’RE PICKY ABOUT WHO THEY HIRE

Most of my long-term clients are good at vetting the people who work for them. They get referrals from people they trust and work to build teams of trusted freelancers to whom they turn again and again rather than hiring and training new talent all the time. They want people who are skilled and reliable and who don’t need a lot of hand-holding.

For freelancers, finding a good “anchor client”—a customer who delivers repeat business over time, alleviating some of the hustle that goes along with working for oneself—is motivation for delivering excellent work and added value.

THEY DEVELOP TALENT

Talent management isn’t just for full-timers. Of course, your independent workers are just that—working on their own. But you can still get to know them and what motivates them. What are their goals? What types of work do they like to do and do best? One of the advantages of using independent contractors is that you can choose exactly the right person for the project you have.

At the same time, working with freelancers on stretch assignments and encouraging them to advance their skills is also a recipe for loyalty. The clients who show an interest in their independent workers as people and work on building strong, long-term relationships are the ones who can rely on their freelancers to help them out when they have an emergency.

freelancer tips

Read the full article now.

Graphic Design Milton Keynes

 

Freelancer platform Fiverr launches online courses

Yes thats right, no matter what your opinion of the budget ‘freelancer’ platform is these guys have expanded into a MOOC.

Check out what Anna Hensel at Venturebeat has to say about their new offerings:

Fiverr launches education platform for freelancer, classes start at $19

Freelancer marketplace Fiverr today announced that it’s getting into the online education game, where it will compete with the likes of Coursera and Udemy.

Called Learn from Fiverr, the new elearning platform offers courses covering skills most freelancers need, such as how to create a proper brief for a client and how to conduct market research. Other courses are more industry-specific, like how to advertise on Instagram, how to make content go viral, and SEO optimization.

Many of the courses at launch are being taught by industry executives, who are participating in a revenue-share program with Fiverr. For now, classes start at $19 and go up to $38. All the classes are taught entirely online.

A Fiverr spokesperson didn’t say how long each course lasts — it varies by topic, and classes are designed so that students can complete different sections at their own pace. After completing a course, students get a badge that they can put on their Fiverr profile to show off their skills to potential clients.

Read the full article now.

Get Digital Forms’ free 3D scan of a clothed male figure

Get Digital Forms’ free 3D scan of a clothed male figure

Friday, September 21st, 2018 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Russian art outsourcing studio Digital Forms has released a free 3D scan of a clothed male human figure.

The model, which is raw – though pretty clean – scan data, is provided as an OBJ file without textures, and can be used without restrictions.

The data was captured using Digital Forms’ in-house optical rig of 120 DSLR cameras, also used for the studio’s commercial work. Its clients include game developers Gaijin Entertainment and Wargaming Group.

Download the free 3D scan of a clothed male figure via Digital Forms’ ArtStation gallery
(The download link is on the right of the page)

Published at Fri, 21 Sep 2018 05:59:10 +0000

This Curated Content is © the respective owner the sure to check out the original article.

The Application Folder

Under the Hood, the essential design tools for a creative freelancer.

Risky statement right! I can hear the Linux using GIMP running graphic designer reading up their soapbox’s as I write this but in my opinion this, non-exhaustive, list off apps are an absolute must for the creative freelancer.

I have used many weird and wonderful applications over the years, some great and some, well, not so great! But having reached the wise age of thirty one i’d like to think I have whittled down and weeded out the worst and best apps to be left with a powerful arsenal of creative destruction.

1. Design

Adobe Creative Cloud (CC)

Best Design Apps

How can you talk about creative tools without talking about Adobe.

Spectrum

Best Design Apps

Alienskin: Exposure X3

Advice For Freelance Remote Work Success

Working remotely freelance

Advice For Freelance Remote Work Success. – A great guide from the guys at Trello.

Everyday I work remotely, wherever I am in the world I am at my desk. For some people that sounds like a huge burden, and sure I understand that, but the reality is that I have total freedom. I am not tied into the morning commute, fixed lunch breaks or a uniform, some days I work in short and flip flops!

Gaining clients in a freelance world is only half the battle, the other half is managing them. I have tried many different methods to keep on top of projects from bouncing emails back and forth to relying on Skype or Facebook Messenger (I know it sounds crazy) but until very recently I hadn’t been able to find a solution that works for me. Enter Trello.

What is Trello? In a nutshell:

Trello is the easy, free, flexible, and visual way to manage your projects and organize anything, trusted by millions of people from all over the world.

I don’t work for these guys and i’m not endorsed to offer shameless plugs but as far as remote management tools go these guys have it nailed!

I use Trello in conjunction with Slack. Slack basically creates a simple, navigable way to work in a remote office. Slack has been talked about, debated and discussed the internet over so I won’t outline what they do or how they do it but suffice to say they have worked hard to provide a great service that fosters a professional remote working environment.

I have used Slack/Trello alternatives such as Asana and have found that whilst Asana has some awesome features it isn’t as to-the-point and simple to dive into as Slack and Trello.

So why Trello?

Well for me its the ease and simplicity of its design. You can create boards, lists and then cards. My methodology is:

Board – Clientcentric
List – For the type of task, so for example “Blog Images”
Card – For the attachments.

It saves so much time drafting emails with concepts, everything is kept nice and ordered and can always be sent onto other people within the pipeline without having to forward a potentially personal email you sent to your client or having to write something new.

Trello interacts directly with Slack too. So you can easily post your content right to your remote office without having to duplicate anything at all.

In my opinion the marriage of these two platforms makes freelance project management a breeze.

Trello needn’t be about just the freelance market either. There is a very real appeal to any employ within a normal business. Everybody knows that people are more productive when they’re happy right? Lauren Moon over on Trello has kindly written an interesting blog about how the platform can work for employers everywhere.

“Let’s say it nice and loud for the people in the back:

Remote work is here, and it’s revolutionizing the way we work.

Technology has advanced such that embracing remote is no longer challenging. It requires different considerations for collaboration and communication, sure, but ultimately it is not a lower quality work experience.

How do we know? Because we are proving it out as a team right now, and so are some of the fastest-growing teams in tech.

If you’re not on the remote train yet, we’ve got you covered. We wrote a guide all about the benefits, considerations, and best practices of remote work. These are the most important tips and tried-and-tested practices we’ve picked up along the way of building out our 65% remote team.” – Trello Blog

There is even a great PDF guide that I encourage you all to grab and read through, it’s far better put together than my musings here but I encounter the “I can’t work remotely, I don’t know how to function…” type attitude all the time so thought i’d share this with you.

Freelance

Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality the Battle for the Internet

As an avid internet user i’ve been known to visit the odd website or two, I even occasionally use Google. Im joking of course! Something not to joke about is what’s happening in America right now, the Net Neutrality Bill. If you haven’t heard of this let me just sum up what this means to you.

  1. Websites wont be on an even playing field. ISP’s reserve the right to throttle sites that aren’t paying a ‘fast lane’ premium.
  2. In a nutshell thats it.

Of course there is much much more involved than simply that and you can read more about the implications and the extent of this reach on the USA Networks blog, here.

That may not sound too bad right, wrong. The internet is a wonderful network or information that we can access at the click of a button and digest just as quickly. Wether you’re researching your next blog post or watching the latest episode of [insert current trending Netflix show here] you can be sure that without equality the small guys will get lost.

Net Neutrality

For example take the mom-and-pop at home startup. They keep bees or have a modest orchard and winery, they hire great web designer *ahem* to build a beautiful website but they simply do not have the funds to ‘rent’ bandwidth from the ISP and users have to wait an age for their site to load. What will happen? What do you do when a page doesn’t load instantly? Hit the back button, find the next result in the Google search and surf away. Good bye Happy Home Orchard.

This shouldn’t happen and in todays climate, setting SEO aside, everyone has the same rights to have their sites load, after the abolition or Net Neutrality you can kiss this goodbye. Is this the internet you want?

If you want to find out how you can help visit The Internet Defense League or Battle for the Net

Surprising facts about the freelance economy, and how to get started.

Freelancers Union.

Surprising facts about the freelance economy, and how to get started.

An interesting article on how the American workplace is evolving. With a move away from ‘normal’ workplaces what kind of challenges do workers face and what benefits are there? Well the answers aren’t so easy. I have been a freelancer for around five years and this last 18-months has really been my breakthrough but with supply and demand shifting how can I, and therefore you, stay in the game?

Check out the article below and head over to their site for some great tips.

The majority of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2027. That mind-blowing prediction comes from the new Freelancing in America: 2017 report, conducted by the Edelman Intelligence research firm and commissioned by the Upwork freelancing platform and Freelancers Union.

Odds are, you’ll want to know how to become a freelancer, either full-time or part-time and either as a side gig while you’re holding down a full-time job or as a way of earning income in retirement. I’ll offer three suggestions in a minute.

The  Freelancing in America: 2017  study surveyed 6,000 U.S. workers (freelancers and non-freelancers) to analyze the growing freelance economy and the role it plays in the future of work.

Of course, no survey can predict exactly how many people will be working on a temporary, contract or project basis 10 years from now. And even determining how many people freelance today is tough; statistics on the freelance economy are notoriously elusive. But this report’s findings leave little doubt that we are rapidly barreling toward a freelance-based workplace — and the sooner you prepare for that shift, the better.

A few fascinating findings from Freelancing in America 2017:

  • The U.S. freelance workforce has grown three times faster than the overall U.S. workforce since 2014. Currently, 36% of the workforce is freelancing.
  • Although freelancers skew younger, many in their 50s and 60s are freelancing, too.  About half of freelancers are millennials; roughly 28% of workers in their 50s and 60s are.
  • More freelancers are doing it full-time these days, not as a way to supplement their income.Over the last three years, the number of full-time freelancers increased by 12 percentage points, to 29%, while the percentage of moonlighters and part-time freelancers fell. And 63% of freelancers started freelancing more out of choice than necessity (that’s up 10 points since 2014).
  • Freelancers are doing well financially.  Nearly 2/3 of freelancers surveyed said they now make more than they did when they had an employer. That’s up 10 percentage points since 2014. Of those who earn more now than before, 75% said that happened within the first year of freelancing. The survey found that 36% of freelancers now earn $75,000 or more. Notably, half of freelancers claim they wouldn’t even consider a traditional job, no matter how much money was offered.
  • Technology is making it easier to find freelance work online.  Nearly 3/4 of the freelancers surveyed said they found work online this past year, up 5 points from the year prior. In short: As technology has improved and companies continue to outsource work, freelancing is becoming a more acceptable, enjoyable and desirable way to work.

This doesn’t mean freelancing is a perfect work solution, though. The triple whammy of unpredictable work assignments, fluctuating cash flow and the challenge of securing and paying for health insurance is still a major obstacle for many freelancers (although most freelancers surveyed believe the Affordable Care Act has helped them and prefer Congress keep it). Worth noting: 63% of full-time freelancers dip into their savings at least once a month; just 20% of full-time non-freelancers do. This article is reprinted without permission from NextAvenue.org .

Freelance Facts

Virtual Reality, VR, can work for you too!

VR - Phil Shaw Digital Media

2016 came and went and the waves of VR devices subsided as this fad wore off right? Like the hoverboard it hasn’t really been able to revolutionise anything, I still enjoy walking just like I enjoy seeing with my eyes and nothing else.

Wrong! Ok ok I was a sceptic, I never jump onboard any new tech bandwagons until they have really made a splash. Thats to say I was stung by minidisc in the 90’s/00’s with the endless hours transferring all my CD’s onto the new tiny little earth shattering, music changing, heart stopping portability of the plastic miniature floppy, only to be awed by the iPod a year or so later (and breath). Fool me once technology goddess, shame on you. SO lets fast forward 15 years and Hamlet on the Holodeck is our reality with the linear nature of gaming having long moved off of the table top onto screen, but, now it’s being beamed into your eyes, well almost.

“Get to the point” I can sense you thinking and I will. If you’re a naysayer like me I challenge you to not find a VR experience you enjoy. Im not talking about playing games through something like Oculus Rift for example, that may not be your jam, but the applications for VR are vast!

VR - Phil Shaw Digital Media

I very recently purchased a VR headset in Walmart on rollback for a mere $11 with the intention to see what was going on with this. I love it. My first port of call was Youtube to check out some scary VR experiences, I have bluetooth earphones that work an absolute treat. I was blown away by “Float” the I.T. Trailer, the mix of rail visuals and sound design makes this really pop. This then led me down a path of exploration and I watched a a number of independent and studio released VR content and honestly have loved it.

A couple of applications of the tech outside of gaming are really engaging to me, such as; tailored movie experiences like “Float” and something else i’m very interested in, VR hikes! Sound odd right? Well think of this, a home gym, a cross trainer, 2 hours to kill, a VR headset, an iPhone and the Grand Canyon….

This idea appeals to me, I love visiting new places but sometimes, like when you’re waiting on emails or simply have a little time to kill, it’d be great to beam off somewhere and get a little exercise too. Youtube is already a wash with VR content taking you through some truly inspiring vistas around our world and as time progress I only hope more are made. Today I walked 3 miles through Yellowstone Park on my treadmill without falling over or throwing up. It only took about 4o minutes and got me away from my desk whilst waiting for a scene to render in Cinema 4D what an innovative idea!

I could spend hours listing the literally thousands of cool things that can be done with this tech but why bother when other great writers have already done so. For example take a look at this article by  I was a Virtual Reality Non Believer I know exactly where he’s coming from.