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Author Topic: Nice Blog Essay and Site for Freelancers: 10 Absolute "Nos!" for Freelancers  (Read 7360 times)

mouser

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Nice looking site and some nice tips on succeeding as a freelancer.

Quote
When I first started freelancing as a college student, I was eager to do any website and would say "Yes" to anything, regardless of my skill set or the time involved. It was just nice to know that someone needed me for a skilled task. Unfortunately, I quickly found myself working all the time, eating Ramen noodles, and not getting anywhere in terms of paying off my wonderful college debt. To make things worse, these people were also giving my contact info out to other such people (you know, the lady who has been thinking about selling dog sweaters online and has a $100 budget for an e-commerce site, 1000 brochures, and a guranteed #1 Google search result for the "dog", "sweater", and "love").

Anyways, now four years later, my world (AND financial success) now requires ample use of the answer "No." And here are ten questions I nearly always answer "No" to:



from http://www.veign.com/blog

Ralf Maximus

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You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how even bigger companies have trouble saying "no" sometimes.  I once worked for a CEO who always negotiated deals to success.  He literally believed even a bad deal was better than no deal at all.

So we'd end up doing these insane projects for little income, the promise being this was a "strategic" project and would lead to bigger, more lucrative deals with the same customer.  It's a slippery slope, though... once the customer got a whiff of free stuff, it was difficult to throttle them back.

Then money we'd get from new projects would go to fund existing "strategic" projects and the hole dug itself ever deeper...

Veign

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I still evaluate clients who can't, or won't, pay my going rate at how important could this client be for me and my company's image - since I do web development and a lot of my projects are tagged with Veign sometimes a highly visible client could be of benefit to me.

This benefit factor is actually used in the initial calculations of a projects cost.  The more benefit the lower the cost.  A zero benefit client doesn't affect the final cost in anyway, meaning it won't raise the cost.

Maybe I should do a blog post oneday that discuss how to determine the cost of a project.  For me there are a lot of factors beyond my hourly rate.

housetier

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A very good article. I should have read this before ruining my freelancing career.

mouser

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Quote
Maybe I should do a blog post oneday that discuss how to determine the cost of a project.  For me there are a lot of factors beyond my hourly rate.

yes please  :up: :up:

Veign

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Its something I am on the fence about.  One part of me says share it and another part says clients (or competitors) really shouldn't know what goes into the costing of a project.

I'll give this some serious thought and maybe I could write in a way that helps other freelances without giving away my secrets.

mcurran

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Its something I am on the fence about.  One part of me says share it and another part says clients (or competitors) really shouldn't know what goes into the costing of a project.

I'll give this some serious thought and maybe I could write in a way that helps other freelances without giving away my secrets.

Did you ever do this, here on DC, or anywhere else?

Thanks,
-- Maureen

TaoPhoenix

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Okay going a bit out of my depth here, here goes:

1. Yes, do a few "Portfolio projects". You know you will feel like $hit but that's what they are there for, to do a few things to help (feebly) that you are not a scammer.
2. Wide range of "problems" here. The first few are way too technical for me. The last few ring alarm bells. "Will it be ready by the weekend?" Really?! No. That's just managers being jerks. It takes a bit of poker playing I can't do myself but the answer is basically "you work office hours, why can't I?"
3. "Do you have an IM account I can contact you with? "
Now GRANTED that my limited experience is with less awesome people than you, but in my modest experience contracting stuff out, you NEED live chat because I want you to feed me a "piece of shit Sub-Alpha" that proves you didn't fall for one of the 10 foreseen traps sloppy devs walk into. So yes, I want you on live chat. I can't wait 6 hours for you to send me a note only for you to have missed the point and then we sorta lose a "business day" (because one of us is in a weird time zone.)

(Rant) And by not using IM/similar to fix a "specific / local problem" but instead you sent me something later, DON'T charge me for the extra 3 hours it takes you to fix it because you missed the point and your submission has a bad flaw.
(/Rant)



urlwolf

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That was a great post.