Going Freelance

Going Freelance

Custom Design, Logos, Updates

Freelancers are the latest trend to the world. The idea of being your own boss, working your hours and boosting your creative potential to its soaring heights is a tempting wonderland dream. Many people think that their bosses just enjoy shoving down the work down the employee’s thin throat ( some may even do ). The employees think they can do better than their bosses (possibly). So to escape their hell of a workplace they start of on their own, in the search to find what their firms couldn’t help them with. They go Freelance.

If the freelancers had their own country, they might even have their own flag. Something like thisFreelancer Country

Who are Freelancers

First of all we need to know what a freelancer is and what “freelancing” means? A freelancer is usually a self-employed person who works as a web designer, developer, content writer, blogger or any other creative work (well, mostly creative). More precisely, he/she contracts a small/medium (rarely large) task from various clients and receives payment when the work is done. This means that, as a freelancer you can work at home anytime by keeping your own schedule, making your own work hours and being your own boss.

Types of Freelance Work

Like I said, freelance work is mostly creative skill exposure. The more you do the better you become. For your knowledge here are some types of freelance that you can pursue. The work may be different, but the rules of freelancing are pretty much the same

Source: Investopedia

1. Web Design and DevelopmentWeb Design and Development
There are freelance web designers and developers who create beautiful websites and ecommerce stores as well as functions to them.  It takes plenty of  skill and knowledge about the language you are using. There are plenty of sites that list freelance design/development  gigs that can help you land you clients today. It takes practice, but practice is what makes it perfect. Take this job only if you love design and development more than the pay. Freelance designers/ developers dont earn more than $5000.

2. Search Engine OptimizationSearch Engine Optmiziation
There are a few absolutely top-of-the-line SEO specialists who charge $1,000 per hour. It’s more common for high-end freelancers in this field to charge between $300 and $500 per hour, which is still very good. People new to the field can still close in on $50 per hour very quickly, provided that they can pick up the skills necessary to do the work. Since, at entry-level, you’ll generally be following some set steps to make sites more search engine-friendly, that isn’t hard.

3. WritingFreelance Writing
There are freelance writers who manage to pull in more than six figures every year. It takes plenty of work, but the upside to writing is that you don’t need any special equipment to get started. There are plenty of sites that list freelance writing gigs that can help you land your first client today. You don’t even need to be Hemingway to land these projects, you just need to be able to write clearly and avoid grammar mistakes.

4. Social Media
Social media may not even have existed a few years ago, but today’s knowledge of how social media works can result in a healthy income for a freelancer. While newcomers to the field may Social Mediacharge around $15 per hour, experienced social media experts with a proven track record can charge up to $250 per hour. It takes more than just experience to reach those higher pay grades though. You’ll need to focus on high-paying industries that don’t handle social media in-house.

 

5. Mobile DevelopmentMobile Development

While web designers and developers, in general, can make a lot of money freelancing, mobile developers, in particular, can earn a lot. Some corporate clients will pay more than $100,000 to have a single app developed. Because building the best mobile apps can take hundreds of hours to build, you will earn the fees you charge.

 

 

6. PhotographyPhotography
A freelance photographer who specializes in wedding photography can easily start his or her pricing at $2,000 for a few hours of shooting, plus some editing time and go up from there. Different photography specializations come with different price tags, but wedding photography and portraiture generally bring in the most income. Of course, a lot of photography equipment can come with equally high price tags, but you can start out small and then scale up.

 

7. Modelling
Source: Freelance modeling and Model MentorsFreelance Modelling
Freelance modeling means when you do modeling for a client or industry, but you don’t work on a long term contract basis. Freelancing modeling is for those who wish to continue their career while fulfilling their determination of modeling by providing services to clients as a freelance model.
To become a successful freelance model, you must be willing to go yourself as a professional and must be courageous, bold and ambitious in order to survive in the industry. You must maintain a complete list of contacts that have links to the modeling industry.

Freelance modeling jobs work on self promotion, and you must enter the knack of it in order to be a successful freelance model. Keep looking for any assignments which could potentially give you chances to the industry and give you opportunities. Always remember that, in the modeling industry, you must keep your eyes wide open. Since, many opportunities will come along the way, and if you will not take them quickly, you will miss them.

Freelance model rates certainly vary with each and every individual. Many modeling gigs have a predetermined rate, set by the company hiring you, which is disclosed before you agree to the job. Modeling jobs, rates, hours, and job duties vary WIDELY with each and every individual job. It is impossible to say you should expect one general “rate”, because it is entirely situational.

8. Translation

If you’re fluent in a second language, translation can provide an excellent opportunity for freelancing. There are some variables in how much a freelance translator can earn that can make a major difference. However, a freelancer who is certified by the American Translators Association can earn an average of $72,000 a year, while someone without that certification will average $53,000 a year. There can also be some variation depending on just what languages you can translate. There’s just more demand for Spanish translators than for Malayalam. 

Here are more types freelance jobs by bizammo.com

Now that we have explored the kinds of jobs the world has to offer the freelance, lets look at the good and bad sides of doing this, should your temptation get the best of you

The Advantages

  1. Flexible Hours – The first advantage of becoming a freelancer is that you can work whenever you want. You get to choose your own hours. If you want to sleep in until noon, you can do that. If you want to take the weekend off so you can explore the city, by all means, go for it. As a freelancer, you can actually work during your most productive hours, and those hours don’t have to fall in during regular business hours.
  2. Control over Jobs and Clients – When you work for someone else, you don’t get a choice of who you work with. You can become stuck with unprofessional or rude clients. But, when you’re a freelancer, you can choose with whom you work. If you don’t mesh well with a client’s personality or business or payment philosophies, you can pass on the opportunity and wish them the best. It’s as easy as that.
  3. Work Wherever You Want – Whether you prefer consistency or shaking things up when it comes to your work environment, you can choose to work wherever you want, whether you choose to work in a local coffee shop or while you’re on vacation in Europe.  You are no longer stuck in an office or even in your home. Find a place in which you work best. You could work in a park, at the library, or in your living room while you’re wearing your pajamas.
  4. You’re the Boss – You no longer have to answer to anyone but your clients and yourself. No one is hanging over you or micromanaging you. You are free to do as you please, when you please. Making all the tough decisions just became your responsibility; you have all the control.
  5. You Keep All the Profits – No longer do you have to work for a flat rate, no matter how large the projects are that you complete. Now, you get to allocate or keep all the profits from your large and small projects and clients. This gives you the freedom to then use that money to improve yourself and expand your business.
  6. You can set your own rates  –  As a freelancer, you are usually allowed to set your own rates. This way, you don’t have to be stuck working for minimum wage or getting paid way less than what you’re worth. Instead, you are allowed to earn as much money as you want and charge what you feel you are worth.
  7. Meet New Clients  – Freelance can be a fantastic way to work for a number of very different clients. You get to meet lots of people and build up your contacts in the industry. Once you start building a reputation for yourself, you may find that you don’t have to seek out work so much, but that you get called back by the same places when they are busy time and time again.

The Disadvantages

  1. Not Steady or Reliable Workloads – Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that your income and your workload are unstable and inconsistent. For the most part, you won’t be able to depend on any regular project, client, or profit, whereas you would know the exact pay you’ll receive at a traditional job.
  2. Distinguishing Between Work and Personal Time – Being your own boss and working from your home also means that it can be difficult to distinguish between your work time and your personal life. This means that you can work long hours and never make time for your personal interests.
  3. A lot of Legwork – You are now in charge of finding all your own clients and projects. When you worked a traditional job, your projects were probably handed to you. But now, you’re the sole person responsible, so that means a lot of legwork on your part.  And that means you have to wear many hats, including marketing, advertising, and sales.
  4.  Not Getting Paid – Being a freelancer also means that you run the risk of not getting paid. This is fairly common in the freelance world, and one more hat you’ll have to wear is that of a debt collector. There are ways to protect yourself from non-paying clients, but sometimes you won’t realize you’re at risk until it’s too late.
  5. No Employer Benefits – Health benefits are expensive. Depending on your current health, switching to a freelance lifestyle might not be in your best interest. Also, starting your own freelance business means you no longer have paid sick days or vacation time to use. Every day you don’t work is a day you won’t get paid.
  6. You have to deal with difficult clients–When you work for someone else, you can usually pass difficult clients off to a manager or even the owner of the business. When you’re a freelancer, dealing with difficult clients is going to be your responsibility. You will now be forced to handle all the inquiries, complaints and demands that your clients have, and this can be extremely overwhelming.
  7. Incoming Work Isn’t Guaranteed–At a company or firm, assuming it doesn’t go out of business, you’re pretty much guaranteed work. You come in, there is always work for you to do, and you’ll never be at a shortage. As a freelancer, since you’re finding your own work, it’s never guaranteed. Sometimes opportunities can be plentiful, and other times there could be less.
  8. Inconsistent Monthly Income–With inconsistent incoming work comes inconsistent monthly income. Some months you can be rolling in a steady stream of quality work. Other months your clients might not need you, or you don’t find enough work. And your income suffers as a result.
  9. Potentially Make Less Money–If you aren’t finding quality clients, you could potentially make less money than if you were at a company or firm. Especially if you’re lazy. If you aren’t a self-motivating type and need someone else to kick you in the butt, then with freelancing you could potentially be making less money than at a company or firm.
  10. You Have to Do Your Own Accounting–At a company or firm, you don’t need to worry about accounting. You design, you get paid, you pay yearly taxes, and that’s it. Not so with freelancing – since you are your own company, you need to handle your own accounting. (Again, if you hate accounting then you can use software to make it easier or hire/outsource to someone that can do it.)

Conclusion

Freelancing is not for everyone. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So often in creative fields we feel like if we’re working in a corporate environment that we’re somehow not as creative as those who have set out on their own. But there’s very little truth in that.

Freelancing is a career choice and something that every designer and developer has to decide on in respect to their personal situation.

For some, freelancing is a dream come true. But for others, it’s like a prison sentence. Don’t feel ashamed to stick with your corporate job if that’s where you’re comfortable and it’s fulfilling to you.

Freelancing is equal parts positive and negative. You just have to decide if you’re willing to take the risk that almost always accompanies it. Freelancing means professional freedom, but it also means instability and the risk of failure. And that may not be what you need in your professional life. But if you risk your stability for something more in tune with your professional goals than a traditional job, you have the opportunity to build your name and reputation and reach your professional goals.

So is freelancing ultimately worth it? Yes. Yes it is. You won’t get a wishy-washy “it depends” answer here. If you’re considering it, then you should freelance.

Of course, you have to be driven, confident, and independent. You should be willing to take matters into your own hands. (So it really does depend, huh?)

But the benefits of being in control of your time, location, and work you do is worth it alone. That’s true freedom right there – something we all desire as human beings. Add to that the potential to make more money—totally up to your drive, of course—and the pros of freelancing outweigh the cons. Just make sure you aren’t lazy and find actual work for yourself.

So if you are already freelancing, even if just on the side, then let this be confirmation that you made the right choice. And if you haven’t been a freelancer yet, give it a try – you’ll be hooked by the freedom and control you gain.

Did I miss out anything. What do you think about freelancing as a career choice. Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Update 12 April 2014

Updates

Dear Readers, followers and my friends

I am happy to announce that the better version of this blog is live and running. I have been working on it to customize it according to my needs and make your blog reading experience even better. Most of the important stuff is done, still working on minor details. I was hoping that you would guys would give me your valuable reviews and comments about it. I would love to hear them.

Please send your suggestions, complaints, reviews etc to [email protected].

Checkout the new Design Playground

 

Thank you

Tarantej

 

 

 

Code and Design

Code and Design

Updates, Web Design

The Scenario

In the modern day of the booming web, having one skill is just not enough for today’s job world. We need to be equipped with as many solutions to scenarios as possible. Freelancers don’t have enough income to sustain themselves, let alone hire someone to help them out. They choose to be a “lone wolf” or a “one man army” on their own terms. For those of us who still haven’t or don’t want to embrace the path of the Freelancer, We must enhance our skills consistently, as if it was the last thing left to do on mother earth.
designers-vs-developers

Think of this as a zombie apocalypse: Survive or die.

That being said, Having knowledge of design and code ( YES, BOTH OF THEM!!!) has become an essential attribute for the modern day job hunter. In my opinion, the skills required by a modern web designer/developer/graphic designer etc are :-

  • Knowledge of Design and Graphics (Photoshop, Illustrator, Alternatives to photoshop)
  • Knowledge of code(HTML, CSS, Classic ASP, C#, JavaScript and JQuery, JSP etc.)
  • Knowledge of Search Engine Optimization(Onpage (Offpage optional), Social Media Optimization, URL Rewriting, Image Optimization etc.)
  • Knowledge of Responsive Design(HTML5, CSS3)
  • Knowledge of PHP and MYSQL
  • CMS Management(Working with WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Magento etc.)

The list never ends……

The above list is only a sneak peak for the basic arsenal of the modern job hunter

Now we come to the two clashing sides of the same coin : – Designers who cannot code AND Developers who cannot Design

What’s holding them back ?

Before we dig into the reasons why the designers/developers are not taking a step into unknown waters, let’s check first what are the reasons why some web designers just want to focus on designing and why developers only want to just code .

Why web designer doesn’t want to learn code.

1. They enjoy graphics more than codes. 

Some web designers tend to focus on their artwork and illustrations and have more passion on the creative aspect of the website. They love to create stunning web layouts by choosing the right fonts, color, images and icons, but don’t want to deal with the coding aspect to make their graphics alive and real.

2. No time to spend for learning. 

Several web designers find it difficult to learn coding while others can’t keep up with a fast pace of development. They think that if they spend time to learn coding, they might be left behind when trending design concepts are being talked about. They believe will not be able to improve their creative skills.

3. They think it’s hard.

Some web designers think that they would suck at it that’s why they became afraid to try. Learning to code is a process just like a flower takes time to bloom.

Why a Web Developer needs to take a look at the design too

1. User experience is a big deal

Building a website nowadays requires more than just coding. Regardless how interactive your website is, website visitors might not have a good experience browsing it if the structure and design look awful. Thus, you lose the site’s quality and visitors.

2. They need to be more than code-generating groan people

With the modern web gradually developing, we are expecting much more out of our digital life- and the guys behind each website. Web developers are typically problem solvers. They most likely prefer to make the web pages work than make it look good and fascinating. But this might not work nowadays.

3. No client wants an awful looking website

Have you tried hiring another developer for a project you are working on?

You went through the process of verifying that developer’s skills before hiring him or her. You informed that developer about all the details you want for the site project, including the design and features. That developer confirmed that he or she can do it on time.When, in the end, the web developer presented the website, the site design still looks awful, though features are there.

A lot of clients have had this kind of experience. That’s why it is important that a web developer must also learn the design process to become more efficient and productive.

Now that we know what problems are faced by  web designers and developers , let’s now discuss on why a web designer should learn coding and web developers should learn to design.

Why web designers should learn how to code

1. Flexible roles for each project.

If a designer knows how to code, he can easily change roles with a web developer. Developers can be web designers too and if a web designer knows how to code, he can also work on the coding aspect too. Since the two can switch roles, both are making the process more flexible and efficient.

2. Fast and efficient delivery of projects.

It would make a lot faster to finish a project if a web designer knows how to code it. For instance, when a web designer creates a mock-up in Photoshop, he can easily cut the images and code the markup. The web developer then can focus more on the complex issues.

3. Efficient technical communication. 

If a designer knows how to code, he can easily interact with the web developer and talk about codes. In that case, the designer will be able to help the developer with minor bugs and updates on the codes of the site.This will make the team more efficient, saving more time, thus, delivering the projects on time.

4. It’s not a rocket science- it can be learned.

When I started learning how to code, I was thinking that I was not born for it but later, I found it exciting and enjoying. Learning to code is really not easy but it’s also not that hard. Everyone can learn it.

5. The key to the next level. 

When you’re learning how to code, you begin to think logically. This would lead you to learn more coding languages and techniques since you already have an experience on how to code. Eventually, you may learn the skills the web developer has.

Why web developers should learn how to design

Being a web developer is great but being a web developer that knows how to design stunning websites, is a lot more fantastic.

The following are the reasons why a web developer should learn how to design.

1. Improve your graphic design skills.

Learning the design process will immerse you to different graphic design tools and design inspiration

2. Improve your web design taste.

If a web developer learns how to design, he or she can easily differentiate a stunning website from a terrible one. It’s more about improving the aesthetic eye, that is, visual skills will become more refined and the web designs skills will naturally conform to your acclimated aesthetics.

3. Competitive web development.

Learning the design process will help the web developer understand the business requirements more. He or she can be edgier because he or she can bring some excellent look and feel apart from the interactivity he or she brings to the table.

4. One man web development.

If a web developer knows how to perform the task of a web designer and web developer, this allows that said web developer to earn more as he or she don’t need to get someone who can design for the project.

 

Conclusion

Based on my experience, it all started when I got curious on how to code. Being curious made me search and look for tutorials that led me to learning. I love what Walt Disney once said: “When you’re curious, you find lots of interesting things to do.” Exactly true!

The power of curiosity makes everything more enjoyable to learn. Start being curious before it’s too late. I encourage developers to learn proper web design process and how this will benefit them.

There are so many advantages in learning coding and designing at the same time.  Both of the skills will help you achieve effective web development results. I want to emphasize that talent is not as much of a factor as most people would think. More often, passion is what people confuse as “talent.”

If you truly have an passion in something, you will be motivated to immerse yourself in it and practice it. Likewise, if you are a web developer, you can achieve creativity by learning and practicing it, which will later give you a lot of advantages in your career.