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Hacking Freelance: Creating and Sustaining Your Freelance Career

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How to succeed as a creative freelancer, by Amy DeLouise.

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Hacking Freelance: Creating and Sustaining Your Freelance Career

  1. 1. Amy DeLouise @brandbuzz at #GVExpo 4 KEYS TO HACKING FREELANCE
  2. 2. Today’s Agenda 4 Components of Success  BIRTH  GROWTH  MONEY  JOY 2
  3. 3. Introductions First…  Commercials, Features, Documentaries And then…  Production Co. Executive 15 yrs And now…  Writer/Producer  Author, Speaker and Brand Strategist  Paying myself since 1987 3
  4. 4. Getting in Touch  www.twitter.com/brandbuzz  www.linked.com/in/amydelouise  www.plus.google.com/+AmyDeLouise  www.vimeo.com/amydelouise  www.amydelouise.com  Slides on the Speaking tab of my website 4
  5. 5. BIRTH: Getting Started
  6. 6. What’s Your WHY?  Simon Sinek “Start with Why” TED talk https://www.ted.com/t alks/simon_sinek_how _great_leaders_inspir e_action  The Golden Circle Why How What 6
  7. 7. Jot down your WHY TAKE A MOMENT
  8. 8. 8 Defining Your Brand
  9. 9. Defining Your Essential Services  What you’re good at  What other people need  What you aspire to do 9
  10. 10. Determine Your Market 10  Broad vs. Deep  Niche marketing and specialties  Access to new markets
  11. 11. Choose an Identity  Check online  Think long term  Not too cute or “inside baseball” 11
  12. 12. Logos and Taglines 12  DO  Capture your vision and values  Convey what you do  Choose something that works in vertical and horizontal lockups  DON’T  Need to be overly clever  Use the same colors and styles as others
  13. 13. Choose a Legal Form  Sole Proprietor  LLC  Partnerships  Subchapter S  C Corporation  Consult an attorney  Protect Assets  Partner and Funder Relationships  Affects Banking  Insurance  Professional  Raise Capital  Account for Expenses  Employees or Subcontractors 13 Types Why
  14. 14. Resources 14  https://bizcircle.att.com/  https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small- business/openforum/explore/  http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/  https://www.sba.gov/
  15. 15. GROWTH
  16. 16. Keys to Growth  Managing Multi-Project Workflow  Managing Client Expectations  Managing Vendors  Managing Your Brand  Managing Your Money 16
  17. 17. Managing Workflow 17  Build a system that works for you  Maintaining schedules, assets, feedback, and deadlines  “Train” your customers/clients to use it  Be flexible if they have an existing system to use
  18. 18. Project Management Tools  Trello  https://trello.com/home  $0-$252/yr  JIRA  https://www.atlassian.com/software/jira  $120-$300/yr  Basecamp  https://basecamp.com/  $0-$1188/yr (half off for nonprofits)  Wipster  https://wipster.io/  $250-$12,500/yr  Vimeo (Pro or Business)  www.vimeo.com  $204-600/yr
  19. 19. Getting Back to WHY 19
  20. 20. Why You Think People Hire You  Knowledge  Skills  Expertise  Equipment  Tools 20
  21. 21. Why People Actually Hire You  Attitude  Problem-Solving  Communications  Analysis  Teamwork  Good Judgment 21
  22. 22. Why People Actually Hire You 22  Attitude  Problem-Solving  Communications  Analysis  Teamwork  Good Judgment This is Your “Brand Value”
  23. 23. Jot down 3 attributes that set you apart—where you bring brand value. TAKE A MOMENT
  24. 24. Marketing Yourself  Marketing v. Sales  Promoting Your Brand  Networking Do’s and Don’ts
  25. 25. Defining Your Brand 25 3 Keys to a Successful Brand  Storytelling  Authenticity  Relationships
  26. 26. Your Brand Story  Your Work  Demo Reel  Awards  Your Style  What makes you different  What makes you a great vendor/partner  But Don’t Forget…  Work in Progress  Work by Colleagues  Thought Leaders You Follow  Trends and Innovations You Care About
  27. 27. Be Authentic  Your Passions  Music You Like  Where You Travel  Books You Read  Photos You Take  People Who Matter to You  Issues You Care About 27
  28. 28. Develop Your Community  Peers  Vendors  Customers  Prospects 28
  29. 29. Peers & Vendors 29  Competitors but also colleagues  Referrals when they are overbooked  Building a team for larger projects  Hiring your competition as you grow  Women in Film, TIVA, BCPC, Post Collective
  30. 30. Be Generous  Share across physical and social networks  Don’t just talk about yourself  Find collaborative partners who excel where you don’t 30
  31. 31. Be a Friendly Curator 31 Build relationships by becoming a trusted resource
  32. 32. Curate and Share  How To’s  Blogs  Websites  Videos  Podcasts  Infographics  Trends  News  Links  Lists  How To’s 32
  33. 33. Elevator Pitch  Succinctly describe what you do, for whom and why anyone should care  One size does not fit all  Use a set of building blocks you can fit together as appropriate for time and audience
  34. 34. Jot down your Elevator Pitch. Be sure it contains 3 key elements of your work—including your WHY, your HOW. TAKE A MOMENT
  35. 35. Leverage Channels & Networks  Where is your community?  Choose 2-4 key platforms  Meet community where they are  Modify content for each platform 35
  36. 36. Do’s and Don’ts of Networking  Introduce yourself  Hint: Add an interest that is not work related  Listen  Share useful tips and information  Only talk about yourself  Hand your card out all the time  Overshare 36 DO DON’T
  37. 37. What Not to Wear  Be yourself  Respect environments  Be aspirational 37
  38. 38. QUESTIONS?
  39. 39. MONEY The following examples are from personal experience. I am not a CPA or attorney. Seek advice from a tax or investing professional.
  40. 40. Banking  Not all banks are made equal  How quickly are deposit funds available?  Terms for LOC?  Online banking options? 40
  41. 41. Bookkeeping & Billing Tools 41  https://quickbooks.intuit.com/  https://www.freshbooks.com/  https://www.paypal.com  https://www.bill.com/  https://squareup.com/
  42. 42. Setting Your Rate  Market-Based Pricing  Supply and demand  Varies by region  May vary by season  Professional associations 42
  43. 43. Setting Your Rate  Value-Based Pricing  Your unique skills, tools or qualities  Client relationships  May vary by season 43
  44. 44. Setting Your Rate  I Need This Job Pricing  Add a new skill or genre  Moving to a new area  Changing categories  Be careful
  45. 45. The Salary Approach  Target salary $65,000/year after tax  25% tax bracket $81,250 gross  FT = 2,000 hrs/year (2 wks off, weekends off)  $325/day if every day is billable (which it isn’t)  $406/day if you can bill 80% of your days  $464/day if you can bill 70% of your days
  46. 46. Flat Rates  Known and defined variables  Defined time frame  Convenience for customer  Simplicity of billing  What are triggers for overages?  Get a deposit up front
  47. 47. Getting Paid  What Does “Net 30” Really Mean?  Understanding organizational financial structures  Getting a Deposit  Milestones or Millstones?  Defining payments in your contract  Consult an attorney
  48. 48. Negotiating  “Getting to Yes” – essential book  Know Your BATNA  Walking Away From The Wrong Job/Client  Embracing “Intermediate” Projects
  49. 49. PAY YOUR TAXES!  Set aside for quarterly  Property taxes and other local taxes  Use a tax advisor to calculate an estimate prior to year end
  50. 50. Saving Money  “Pay Yourself First”  Automated monthly transfers  The value of dollar cost averaging  SEP-IRA  Reduces taxes at current (higher) rate  Low fee funds such as Vanguard and Fidelity  529 Plans for kids’ college  Many state plans are tax deductible  I am not a CPA, attorney or investment advisor—seek advice from a professional.
  51. 51. Dollar Cost Averaging  You lose less when market loses, and can gain more over time  Lump sum Jan 1 deposit of $10,000 into a stock priced at $100 a share  Stock declines to $70/share  30% loss of $3,000  Quarterly deposits of $2,500 into same stock  When stock declines, it’s “on sale” so you get more stock (decreased average share price)  At the end of the year, instead of owning 100 shares valued at $7,000 you own 119.7 shares valued at $8,379  16% loss of $1,621  If shares increase in value to $110/share, you now own $13,167 (vs. $11,000)  22% gain of $2,167 v. only 10% gain of $1,000 with lump sum investment
  52. 52. JOY
  53. 53. Work Life Balance  Where You Work  Setting Goals  Managing Change  Cut Yourself a Break, You’re Self-Employed!
  54. 54. Where to Work  Virtual  Inexpensive  Distractions  No in-house support staff  Build strategic partnerships
  55. 55. Where to Work  Physical  Increased overhead  Can improve focus  Collaborative space  More room for gear
  56. 56. Where to Work  Combination  Use one Location for Meetings and Gear  Collaborative partnerships and vendor relationships  Use Home Office for Prepro, Writing, and/or Editing and Gfx Design  Reduced overhead and distractions
  57. 57. Goal-Setting 57 Write Down 3 Things That Will Have Happened by This Time Next Year
  58. 58. Evolving Your Business  Better Projects  Higher Fees  New Direction  New Location  New Interests 58
  59. 59. Reaching New Markets  Leverage Linked In  Alumni networks  Community networks  Interest groups  Ask for Introductions  Informational meetings  Write an article
  60. 60. Re-Branding for New Goals  Referrals from clients and vendors  Introduce yourself as what you want to be  Update photos, social networks  Use keywords  Be willing to take entry level  But not too much…it affects your brand  Each position is a step towards your new goal
  61. 61. Wrapping Up
  62. 62. Wrapping Up  Know Your Why  Identify and Promote Your Brand Value  Establish Fees, Contracts & Financial Goals  Build a Work Life Equation That Works for You
  63. 63. www.amydelouise.com Thanks! Please tweet about @brandbuzz

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