Transcript from the "Wrapping Up" Lesson
>> Time for call to action, isn't it? Time for me to have my signup form. So you can download the slides and you don't need to sign up to anything to do this. Go download the slides at subscribe.boagworld.com/findclients. If you wanna sign up for my newsletter as well, you know exactly what you're gonna get by this stage [LAUGH] of things but that's entirely up to you.
[00:00:23] The slides have got all of the information we've talked about, they've got links in it. And I really wanna emphasize that at any stage even if you're watching this four five years from now, if you've got a question, drop me an email, my email address is in the slide so every question there's a link to my email address.
[00:00:42] I'm more than happy to answer questions because I know how much anxiety finding clients and keeping work coming in can be. And to be honest, I've had moments in my life where it's really damaged my mental health and I don't wanna see anybody else in that position and if I can help, I honestly will.
[00:01:02] Talking of questions, we got any final questions before we wrap up for today, I would love to deal with them now if you've got them.
>> Are there any thoughts whether freelancers should do their website on a domain named after themselves or after their own company?
>> Yeah, I'm probably the worst person in the world to ask this question from.
[00:01:28] Yeah, inadvertently I've managed to build a brand name on Boagworld. How egotistical does that sound, right? How did that happen? That was such a mess up. It was supposed to be just a personal site and it kind of escalated and before I knew it, now it's my brand name.
[00:01:49] Well, here's the thing, it depends on your aspirations. If you intend to build an agency one day, if you tend to take on multiple employees then you might wanna consider one that's not around your name. The one thing that you should definitely, definitely not do is to pretend to be something you're not, right?
[00:02:10] And what do I mean by that? I despise with a passion freelancers who use the word we, right? When it's just one person, okay? There is this perception that to attract big clients you need to be a big agency and that is complete BS, right? I work with UNICEF, I work with European Commission, I work with PUMA, I work with Shell, all of these massive companies and it's just me on my tod, all right?
[00:02:45] That has nothing to do with it. If you are a single person, an independent freelancer or consultant just like I am, be honest, there's no shame in that, in fact there's a lot of benefits to being that, okay? For a start, one of the things that companies hate is they hire an agency and they end up with the billy staff, right?
[00:03:09] When they hire you, they get you and that's a great selling point. Whether or not that domain name is your name or not, that doesn't really matter, that's a toss up whatever you fancy. I think if you're intending maybe to one day grow into an agency, it's probably better to avoid it.
[00:03:25] But on the other hand, it's quite nice, it's quite personal if it's your own name. So I haven't really answered the question but hopefully there's a few thoughts in there worth having. Any others come out?
>> Do you ever find that maybe getting work or having a job disrupts the process of making a survey or a report or extrapolating out of those to get your content?
>> How do you manage those?
>> That's a really good question cuz yes, it would. Yeah, it does. So it's a tricky one because there are certain things that you can leave gaps between and there's certain things you can't. Once you've first reached out to your audience, that cold list, you have to move relatively quickly to delivering the report because otherwise they go cold, right?
[00:04:19] So your first email needs to go out then maybe two weeks later, the survey needs to go out and then maybe a month later, the report needs to be there. So in that period of time, you really need to pick a period where you know you're gonna be free and gonna be able to do this, right?
[00:04:38] So that might be that you book it out from client work which I know is really hard to turn away. Maybe it's you take a holiday for that length of time, maybe it's you pick a time where you know it's gonna be nothing much goes on, whatever, but that bit you can't really split up.
[00:04:57] Everything else really can be fitted around normal client work cuz after that you're talking about guest posts, you're talking about interviews, these are just one of little things that can be done whenever. And you can grow your list at whatever speed you can afford to do. The only thing that obviously needs to be set is your email to go out every fortnight or every month, wherever is possible.
[00:05:22] So it's just that first bit that really you can't let client work get in the way of, which I haven't found a way around that yet but it is a weakness because I know that's hard to do.
>> Have you thought about doing outsourcing because you are outsourcing by using these tools that you have in a sense.
>> Have you thought about actually having a list of other freelancers that you reach out to do some of your, could be even just maintaining these things that you do like tracking, analyzing your surveys and-.
>> Yeah, there's quite a lot of opportunities if you wanted to go down that route.
[00:06:04] I'm a bit of a control freak and also I'm fortunate that I've got enough space in my business to be able to do it myself. For a start, all that boring research at the beginning of making the list of companies and influencers and all that kind of stuff, I have been known to get my wife to do that.
[00:06:26] She kind of volunteered [LAUGH], so I guess I outsourced that a little bit, that's a great one, anybody could do that, you could get student doing that. Equally getting email addresses and all that kind of stuff. Any contact with the client I wouldn't outsource or people in the list so your emails, your newsletters, all that kind of stuff.
[00:06:46] Landing page, you could outsource that if you wanted to. If you're not a good designer it makes sense to do that. Your kind of analytics, maybe you could do that. Social media updates, getting someone to take content from your report and turn it in social media updates, you can outsource that.
[00:07:04] So yeah, absolutely, if you wanna go down that route. I just think it depends on how much cash you've got to do that kind of thing. A lot of freelancers are a bit tight on their cash flow and so don't really wanna do that but an agency certainly could.
[00:07:22] So yeah, it's an option. Any more questions from chat or should we call it a day?
>> Any advice to younger freelancers or advice you would give yourself earlier in your career?
>> [LAUGH] Yeah, I get asked this question all the time. And I was kinda talking about this earlier because I'm actually the worst person to ask that question of cuz I started in my career in 1994, right?
[00:07:56] So any experiences that I learned then are definitely not relevant today. Unlike anything I know now, I'm so skewed by all my years of experience and my well established business at the moment that actually my advice for a freelancer probably isn't particularly useful for a young freelancer. I will give the same advice that I gave earlier, I think it was in a break or over lunch which is that, if you are just starting out, right?
[00:08:29] Maybe you've just done a boot camp or you're very early on in your career. My advice is not to jump straight into freelancing, right? My advice is first of all, spend even just a year working for an agency and see how they do things even if they're a terrible agency, right?
[00:08:46] You will learn loads about how not to do it and you'll get exposed to these kinds of soft skills and the kind of stuff that you don't think about when you set up a freelance business. You just think, well, I can build a website so I can run a freelance business.
[00:09:04] Yeah, but can you sell yourself? Can you deal with clients? Can you do project management? Can you do finances, right? That took me by surprise [LAUGH]. How complicated that was when I went by myself cuz when I ran an agency I had a partner that dealt with all of that and so that came as a real shock to me.
[00:09:22] So take a bit of time in an agency before jumping into freelance, that's really the only advice I can give. I guess another piece of advice I'd give myself is, don't spend too much time learning the latest framework or the latest design tool or the latest whatever, they come and go really fast, right?
[00:09:48] What doesn't change is people. People are always the same. So spend your time, I'm not saying don't learn the technology, of course you've gotta learn technology and Frontend Masters is an excellent source of advice on all the technology you could ever want to learn. But in addition to learning that stuff, don't forget to learn the soft skills, don't forget to learn how to deal with clients, how to build relationships with colleagues, all of those things.
[00:10:20] Those are the things that last and don't change. Technology will come and go. So yeah, just bear that in mind.
>> I feel like sharing my own experience.
>> Go for it, yeah, do it.
>> [INAUDIBLE] this. In the early stages, I always worked for pennies on the dollar just to get experience.
>> And so I did a ton of websites for cheap under selling myself. However when I did get a full time job again, I was underpaid but I did learn a lot at an agency building a lot of things.
>> And then to take the leap what I did was, I got a 20-hour week contract.
>> That would essentially cover my living expenses.
>> And then from there I would try to get the high paying work which I eventually replaced that 20 hours a week with.
>> Once that was up and I had more work flowing then I was continually kind of like climbing that ladder of increasing my rate, getting better and better projects and no longer under selling myself.
[00:11:33] But it took a lot of work in the early stages to get the reputation and the skills to be able to manage even at kind of a lower where we were getting paid $10 an hour or peanuts or whatever.
>> For a long time but anyways.
>> That idea of of taking a 20-hour contract, so don't jump into freelancing with both feet overnight cuz that's terrifying. But actually to do it more gradually I think it's excellent advice, totally agree with that. I think on those words of wisdom from Mark, we should finish simply.
[00:12:06] Thank very much for watching this course. Hope you found it useful and good luck with your future career and direction.