Carol Tice and I presented Session 1 of the Freelance Business Bootcamp, on Thursday, March 6. In spite of my area being under a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning, things went pretty well. The bootcamp is a live event, and attendees can dial in or listen via their browser along with viewing the Powerpoint slides. Attendees also sent in their questions and Carol and I tackled them.
During the one-hour bootcamp we covered a lot of freelance business start-up issues including:
- Naming your freelance business
- Registering it with state and local governments
- Business legal structures
- Various types of licenses, permits needed for a freelance business
- Where to go to get them
- Obtaining a Federal Employee Identification number (EIN)
- Choose an accounting application
- Setting up bookkeeping
- Keeping track of business income and expenses and possible deductions
- Business insurances
- Conducting a SWOT Analysis
- Basic business planning
- Financial reports
- Planning for taxes
- Marketing planning
Attendees were also given homework assignments. For this first session, homework included conducting a SWOT Analysis and starting their business plan. The bootcamp also provides attendees with many business resources. The bootcamp discussion forum is where folks can ask questions, compare notes and hook up with other attendees.
Our next session on March 13 will cover negotiating great rates, protecting your rights, negotiating raises and tactics to keep your income growing.
Join the maven of freelance writing, Carol Tice, and me for a very special Freelance Business Bootcamp beginning March 6, 2014!
During this March bootcamp, Carol and I will present 4 live webinars where you’ll learn:
- How to set up your freelance business
- How to protect your rights as a freelance creative
- How to negotiate like a pro
- How to handle and manage tough clients & projects
If you’re one of the many freelancers who struggle with these common, but nagging, business issues register today. The Freelance Business Bootcamp will guide you around the maze of costly mistakes and lost business. Your business and your stress level will thank you.
This bootcamp was developed for all types of creative freelancers – Writers, Graphic Designers, Web Designers, Photographers, Illustrators – any freelancer who’s either just starting out or a freelance veteran.
Plus, attendees receive a boat load of free bonuses! In addition to the webinars, you’ll also receive:
- Transcripts, video and audio/mp3 recordings of each live session — view or review whenever you want.
- 1 month membership in Freelance Writers Den included! Supplement your learning with access to 100+ hours of additional trainings.
- Bootcamp chat forums for all your follow-up questions and bootcamp homework critiques.
- Business plan review: Learn to create an actionable business plan to get your freelance biz rolling — fast. We’ll help you on the forums.
- Business forms, podcast recordings and much more!
- 13 Ways to Get the Writing Done Faster — Carol’s co-written ebook with Linda Formichelli will help you bill more and up your hourly rate!
- The confidence to build your freelance writing business and succeed!
You might be if your work isn’t formally copyrighted and you’re offered a publishing deal that sounds too good to be true. Sure, hard to believe, I know, but it happens and it happens all too often to the uninformed. Read on for some copyright enlightenment you really need to know. The headline reads, “Writing,” but the info is for all those involved in the business of creativity. Continue reading Are You At Risk Of Someone Stealing Your Writing?
Audience Research for the Freelance Writer
Writers love to research a topic almost as much as they love writing about it. Perhaps that’s too broad a generalization, but I believe it rings true for most. Research is pretty dang important when it comes to writing with authority and it sure beats making stuff up. Leave that to those writing fiction. Even writers who cringe at the thought of research, understand it’s a necessary task that must be done if they’re going to write something useful. But, there’s another type of research that’s just as important – audience research. Continue reading Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you …
The Web is buzzing these days about this new fangled thing called content marketing. Two things about content marketing. First, it’s not new, nor fangled for that matter. Second, you should care because your business’ health might depend upon it.
Content marketing has been around for as long as the Web, roughly 1990 when Tim Berners-Lee and those fun-lovin’ folks at CERN took his work with hyperlinks seriously. Come to think of it, content marketing has really been around since before the wondrous repository that contains the sum total of all human knowledge we call the Web. Continue reading What The Heck Is Content Marketing? A small business primer
I’ve recently starting writing for FreelanceWriting.com. These articles will focus on business issues and challenges facing freelance writers. Other communication pros – graphic designers, writers, p.r. folks, yada, yada, yada – will benefit as well.
My first article for the site is titled, How to Generate More, High Quality, Referrals for Your Writing Business. The article explores referrals, a sought-after and highly coveted source of business for freelance writers and pretty much any service-oriented business.
Within the article, I look into the nature of referrals, their sources, how to get them and make the most of them … all while not alienating or otherwise freaking out the referrer.
Freaking out? Continue reading FreelanceWriting.com – for all your freelance writing needs … really
I have a new article on GraphicDesign.com. Actually, it’s the first of the three-part series about graphic designers and presentations.
The first deals with handling the job interview, which is a type of presentation. If you don’t nail this one, the other two won’t matter too much.
The second installment addresses the new business presentation. If you work at a firm or agency, you might be thinking, “Hey, that’s not my job. The account exec does that stuff.” AEs might be the liaison between the clients and creatives, but many prospects wants to meet the people on the creative team before they sign on the dotted line.
The third installment is deals with the design presentation. After your stellar performance at the new business presentation, you landed the client. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to designing. With concepts in hand, you’re off to see the client. How you handle this presentation can mean countless revisions or worse, losing the client. Conversely, handle it right and your client will be doing the happy dance and singing your praises.
Follow this link to read the first installment, Presentation Tips for Graphic Designers – Part One: The Employment Interview. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful. Don’t forget share a comment or two. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts and/or experiences about presentations and the graphic designer.
New business is the lifeblood of an independent professional’s practice. Sure, we all want to bring in a new client. We want to fill up the job roster with nifty projects that challenge us and allow us to shine in whatever it is we do.
But, new business can also be a double-edged sword. Like Damocles, there’s a sword hanging overhead that can kill a business in a subtle, clandestine way. Here’s how.
Let’s say you’ve been courting a big potential client for a while. You’ve done all you could to demonstrate your value and build the relationship. Yet, you know that the time invested in the courtship is futile until something changes. There needs to be a falling out with their current supplier or perhaps it’s a project with an impossible deadline that their current supplier or in-house staff can’t handle.
So you wait. You keep in touch and wait some more.
Then one day the phone rings. It’s the prospect asking if you can come in and take a look at a project. Hallelujah! Your heart be still. You don your best threads and head off for the meeting.
It turns out to be a rather involved project and yes, there’s a next to impossible deadline. You tell the client, “No problem,” and head off to roll up your sleeves and get this beast handled and completed in record time.
Come presentation day, you stand in front of the client’s key movers and shakers. You dazzle them with your brilliance and they sign off on the finished deliverables.
Whew! You did it. Continue reading Is Your Business Being Threatened By Your Main Client?
Here’s a choice for you. Either you can buckle down and plan your career or, like so many, let your career just happen to you. If you opt for the latter, many years down the road you may well find yourself asking, “Hey self, where did the years go and what the heck happened?”
That would be a bad thing. It’s especially bad when you realize you’re 70 years old and putting in your application for the oh so glamorous position as a greeter for Wal-Mart.
It doesn’t have to work out that way. Planning your career is paramount, especially if you’re young, full of ambition along with a dash of spit and vinegar.
Here are 3 tips for boosting your career as a creative.
1. Learn All You Can
Sure, you go to school to learn the ins and outs of your discipline. But it doesn’t stop at graduation. Learning is something you’ll do for the rest of life. Get used to it.
The creative landscape is ever changing. There are always new techniques to learn and master. You might be like me and think that just when you have a handle on things, they change the rules.
I’ve never been too sure about who “they” are, but I do know that I need to keep up with them in order to stay relevant. For me, I learned all about graphic design, the tools of the trade, its history and the like. Well … marker layouts, X-Acto knives, paste-ups and rubylith overlays gave way to PageMaker, QuarkXpress and, ultimately, InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator. Then came the Web, HTML, CSS, WordPress, yada, yada, yada. It’s enough to make your head explode. But, I had to keep up with the evolution.
It’s not just about design, writing, illustration or photography. To be successful, you need to learn about the business end. You’ll have meetings to attend, proposals to present, sales to close, etc. That’s a requirement whether you work for a company or go off on your own. Before I hung out my shingle and opened my business, I spent several years learning the business side. I worked as a designer and photographer, but also as a sales rep, marketing manager and as a director of production and promotion for a magazine. I worked for ad agencies, design firms, publications and corporations. Paying my dues paid off and when I set out on my own, I was confident that I had learned a solid foundation of business know-how.
I recently did and interview with Kieron Lewis, a young, upcoming graphic designer based in London. He hit the nail on the head with his answer to the question, “Any words of advice for those considering a career in graphic design?”
Continue reading 3 Surefire Tips To Boost Your Creative Career