Author: savvy

Professional or Freelance Photographer?Professional or Freelance Photographer?



I’ve been freelancing for over 30 years doing stills, portraits, copy work, nature, and journalism. Why? Because it’s a hard market and I find if you don’t have the finances, patience, or persistence to develop your craft, then you shouldn’t quit your day job. Am I a professional? Only when I’m getting paid! Sure, I’ve done weddings. Everyone with a camera has done weddings. Did I get paid? No..it was a gift. Was it professionally done? I hope to think so. I certainly wouldn’t do it on a full time basis, because I’m NOT a professional wedding photographer. And what I’ve learned from this experience, I wouldn’t want to be. Most people not in the business have no clue what’s involved in providing a sucessfull wedding shoot.

I tend to use the term professional photographer loosely. I prefer “Freelance Photographer” because that’s what I really am. Yes, I do a professional job and provide what the client expects. But I don’t do it day-in and day-out. And I didn’t quit my day job (lol). My clients, if and when I decide to accept them, are very demanding and if they want cheap, I decline. As the saying goes, “good work isn’t cheap, and cheap work isn’t good”. In fact, my best advice to any aspiring photographer is to avoid job offers in the local paper or online classifieds. Start out as an assistant with an established professional. The people posting online are looking for cheap. That would be like hiring a novice pilot to fly me somewhere. I’ll be darned if I’m going to put my life in the hands of someone that doesn’t fly regularly and who isn’t listed in the Journal Of Professional Pilots (or whatever trade publication they use). It really does surprise me though, how many people are willing to hire just about anyone with a camera to capture their wedding or important event. Why would you trust that to Uncle Bob?

Although most freelancers are true professionals, they don’t necessarily have the experience you may need for your next project. Be sure to find out what their specialty is and ask to see a recent portfolio of their work. Just because they have impressed you with some of their best shots doesn’t mean they are impressive. Ask to see more examples of the type of shots you expect. If it’s a wedding, ask to see samples of numerous weddings to be sure the photographer is consistent or just got lucky. Remember, alot of freelance photographers don’t do this full-time and may lack the experience your looking for.…

Freelance Bidding Online: Creating a Killer ProfileFreelance Bidding Online: Creating a Killer Profile



So you’ve decided to give the freelance bidding sites a try. The first step, regardless of what site you have chosen, is to set up your professional profile. Your profile is important in two different ways.

 

The first is that employers can do searches on the sites for freelances that have the qualifications they’re looking for. If your profile is incomplete, or very general in nature, it is unlikely that your name will come up in a search for a specific topic or type of writing.

Avoid generalizations. “I can write about any topic” may sound great to you, but it doesn’t distinguish your talents from all the other writers out there. At the same time, you don’t want to be so narrow in expertise that it limits the types of jobs you are considered for. So, what’s the happy medium between the two? If there is an area of writing that you specialize in, such as grant writing or marketing materials, go ahead and state that in your profile description. If not, then decide what it is about your writing that sets it apart. Are you a great researcher? Are you clear and precise, or do you have a relaxed casual style? Use those writing skills to catch the attention of the type of client you are looking for.

The short profile description mentioned above is important, because it generally will show up in conjunction with your bids on projects. It needs to grab their attention in the first sentence. The next part of your profile to focus on is your experience. One of the key points here is not to limit this area to writing experience. List the different fields you have worked in: medical, educational, construction, retailing, real estate, etc. Also list other areas of experience or interest such as, homeschooling, crafts, fashion, automotive, etc. Employers are often looking for writers who have background knowledge in specific fields. Listing your fields of knowledge and experience can bring your name up in a limited search on one of those topics.

The third part of your profile is your writing samples. Make sure that what you post here has been carefully proofread for errors and well formatted. Provide a variety of article types as examples. A blog post and an informational article might be two different types. You might include a humorous piece and a news worthy piece, examples of the wide range of writing that you are capable of producing.

Finish off your profile with a photo. Seeing an actual face provides a comfort level when hiring a stranger over the internet. The photo doesn’t need to be professionally done, but it should be a clear simple head shot. You’ve completed the first step. Next week we’ll move on to the bidding process.…

Residual Earners for the Freelance WriterResidual Earners for the Freelance Writer



Freelance writing for any individual is an ideal opportunity to work for yourself, to set your own hours, to do what you want to do. The ability to communicate through the written word can be highly stimulating and lucrative given the correct sources, and along with earning money, many writers go away with a sense of pride and achievement. But writing purely for paying clients can often drain an individual’s creative streak and it is therefore important to make time for working on your own works.

 

Whilst many may think that they simply cannot afford to set aside time to work on their own whim, it needn’t be this way, as many websites offer payment schemes and bonuses for creative and original work. They don’t earn the big bucks that paying clients do, but they will earn you residual income. This may be insignificant enough at the beginning to make little change to your salary, but allowed to develop over time can earn you money whilst you simply sit back and relax.

Triond, one such site which allows upload of original content, works on a pay scheme based on ad clicks from your article’s pages. All such sites pay pennies compared with clients, but as your portfolio grows in size, you accumulate larger readership over time and you spread your articles across multiple sites, a generous residual income can be earned.

Try writing an article a day, of your choosing, on any topic. A speciality in one area may show an obvious niche market for your works. Alternatively pick and choose different topics, researching appropriately and uploading to your residual earning sites. Look at which generate the most interest and therefore boost your earnings. Choosing the correct key words, the correct topics and producing informative and enjoyable reads is as important here as it is when supplying work to clients. If anything it is more important as these works, published for millions to see, all carry your name.

The key to residual income is perseverance. There is no quick fix and there is certainly no quick cash. But for the determined writer who updates frequently, who gains an online readership both within and across websites, and who takes the time to write for themselves now and then, residual income can turn into a profitable earner.…

Times It’s Best to Deny a Freelance Graphic Design ClientTimes It’s Best to Deny a Freelance Graphic Design Client



Every time a freelance graphic designer denies a graphic design assignment from a client, twelve fairies drop dead. There’s absolutely nothing on earth that could make a freelance designer turn down work – or is there? Following are five times it’s probably best to pass your design client to someone else.

 

#1: You think the client might be trying to scam you

There lots of clients for freelance graphic artists to choose from (and fight other designers off of) but with the large number of freelance graphic design clients comes a large number of scammers. There are lots of scams that graphic artists may face on a daily basis and all of them should be avoided.

If you feel that a graphic design client is trying to get over on you, it’s best to deny taking them on as a client. Having a feeling that you are getting ripped-off means nothing if you allow it to happen. Follow your instincts because there are other fish in the sea, and you’d rather be safe than sorry.

#2: You’ve had a bad experience with them in the past

As a freelance graphic designer you’ll deal with all types of clients (with a wide range of different personalities), with the sheer number of clients you’ll have to face; there’s no doubt that you’ll face some clients that you won’t get along with all too well. When dealing with “nasty” graphic clients in your freelance business, you can never get done with the project soon enough.

It’s odd, but lots of times the annoying, nasty, or demanding client will be completely oblivious to the fact that you hate their guts, and if your work is good, they’ll contact you again and again for more work in the future. The money isn’t worth the difficulty and stress of dealing with these clients – deny working for them again.

#3: The client has unrealistic expectations

There are lots of graphic design clients out there that believe graphic designers have a magic “design button” that gets all of their design work done with just one press. These clients obviously don’t want to make your work too easy so they come up with impossible design goals that you’ll never be able to meet. They’ll want you to animate a still image, draw the back of their head (while giving you a picture of the front), or create a live website that reflects their every facial expression.

If you explain to these clients that as a freelance artist, these design plans are out of your scope (or anyone’s for that matter), they’ll just ask you to do your best (they know you have that magic design button handy). Don’t do your best – get out of dodge.

#4: The client is not planning to pay

There are lots of ways of telling whether or not a client is planning to pay you. If a client raises suspicion of being delinquent with the payment, don’t kid yourself – head for …

Becoming a Freelancer: How to Price Your Jobs and Make More MoneyBecoming a Freelancer: How to Price Your Jobs and Make More Money



As the economy lingers in a recession with little hope for a short term recovery, people who either have jobs but need more income, or are making a last ditch effort to find some income before moving back with mom and dad, should consider freelancing.

 

The next question obviously is, “freelance what?” It’s amazing what skills you already have that can be translated into cash whether you want full time, part time or even occasional work.

Many online sites exist that specialize in nothing other than freelance jobs. Most do require a nominal monthly fee to join. There is no long term commitment, no contracts, and it’s easy to “come and go” on these sites. For instance, if you are lucky enough to snag a three month assignment you can easily cancel or deactivate your membership (leaving all your profile information intact) until you need it again.

A simple Google search on “find freelance jobs” will give you plenty of options. The ones you choose should be ones that offer the type of jobs you want apply for. Freelance jobs range from writing blogs to full time engineering positions for Fortune 500 companies – and everything in between. Some are telecommute positions (work at home) and others actually require you to head to an office.

Again, figure out what you want to do and then these are the assignments you should target.

The trick now is to understand how and when to bid. Sure, you know what you’re worth and you know what you need to make to pay your bills. However, keep in mind that you are competing with hundreds of others, especially for work at home opportunities. If you are bidding too high, you won’t even be considered.

Many companies who post jobs online are looking for people to work for amounts that seem insulting. It’s a new game out there. And it does a bit to get used to. This isn’t to say that every company looking for workers wants to undercut you, but your chances of making what you think you are worth are pretty negligible.

Researching some sites over the past month showed me that some fairly large “real” companies are looking for workers to perform customer support services for under $4.00 an hour! Is this legal? Minimum wage in every US state dictates amounts closer to $7.00 an hour BUT there’s nothing you can do about this. Until you are hired, you don’t even know the company. You can’t complain! And if you get the job, you certainly aren’t going to file a complaint with the Dept. of Labor.

Bidding on and accepting one of these freelance assignments might even mean you don’t pay taxes on your wages. I’m not saying you don’t have to! I’m saying many of these online freelance jobs are short, meaning you don’t even reach the $600 limit that requires a company report your earnings to the IRS. By law you are supposed to report each penny you earn. …

Freelancing in a troubled economyFreelancing in a troubled economy



Everywhere I look, someone is talking about the economy, and usually in negative terms. Words are thrown around as though they lack meaning: recession, layoffs, bailouts, debt, stimulus. At some point, talk of our troubled economy becomes nothing more than noise.

 

As a freelance writer in Houston, my perspective on the economy is unique. Several days ago, my wife and I had dinner with her parents, and my father-in-law made the comment that our freelancing careers were the most stable in the family.

“You can’t get fired or demoted or have your pay cut,” he said. The man has a point.

Texas is “considered flat” with regard to the economy, according to ABC News. The state offers a relatively stable housing and job market. In Houston, the punches of a troubled economy are not quite as devastating as in other parts of the country.

Freelancing in a troubled economy is not much different from freelancing in a sound economy. I haven’t noticed a decline in work as a result of the failing stock market or the increase in corporate layoffs. I am not immune to our troubled economy nor do I exist in an ignorant bubble. Nevertheless, I choose to remain positive.

Two months ago, a client contracted me to write a series of 25 articles about our troubled economy. He wanted me to freelance these stories for a fairly generous sum because he felt posting such information on his Web site would help drive traffic. Not two weeks later, I was solicited for a similar project by yet another client.

In the past six months, more than 50 percent of my freelancing work has dealt with the troubled economy. Clients want articles and information about debt reduction, savings, retirement plans and everything else the average American worries about during a recession.

In a way, it feels as though I am profiting from other people’s misfortune. However, I choose to see it as an opportunity to help people who feel depressed about their financial situations.

Indeed, the troubled economy affects every business and industry in the United States. My freelancing clients are not limited to financial Web site owners or financial service providers; some of my clients are in the home-improvement industry, the retail business, the travel industry. They want to find ways to encourage customers to spend their money despite the troubled economy.

From freelancing to food service, a troubled economy affects all careers and businesses. But there are always ways to improve your situation. In many cases, it is simply a matter of approaching your job from a new perspective. Freelancing with a focus on the economy has accomplished that goal for me.

I’ve also found I enjoy writing articles about personal finance and business more than I did when we weren’t experiencing economic troubles. The idea that one of my articles might help or inspire someone else makes it that much more valuable, regardless of the angle or theme.…

Freelancing Tips- Commitment and FocusFreelancing Tips- Commitment and Focus



Freelancing is a profession that takes commitment and focus. You can have two freelancers, both in the same profession and experienced in their field; both who deliver fantastic work but who earn very different incomes.

 

So why is it that one can earn twice as much as the other when both are so identical in experience and professions?

Is one more skilled?

Does one give more effort?

The real truth of the matter is commitment and focus. While both have the potential to earn the same, the one with more commitment and focus will always earn more.

Willingness to commit to a freelancing career is essential, along with the willingness to seek out help when needed and to be able to recognize and accept the opportunity for help when it shows itself. Since freelancers have to be confident and self-aware, they often have a stubborn attitude. Many feel like they don’t need help or that by asking for it, they are showing a weakness.

In fact, accepting help is a strength and one that can help you go very far in freelancing. Don’t refuse guidance from those who have gone before you and can help you to have a smoother road yourself. This is all part of the commitment that can help you earn more as a freelancer.

Focus is equally essential as it is not enough just to want success. You need to be able to commit to goals and then focus until you achieve them. This is one of the most important freelancing tips you will ever receive.

Freelancing itself can be an unstable career choice. But it is also one that comes with many benefits if you plan properly. For example, there is no cap to your earning potential when you are a freelancer. However, many less committed freelancers find themselves struggling every day just to get by, find or complete assignments and stay on task.

This is where your focus will come in to be important. When you don’t have the commitment and discipline to stay focused on your goals, achieving them will be much more difficult, if not impossible.

Forbes shares 9 Steps to Freelancing Success which is a great resource to any freelancer looking to find more focus and commitment.

If you are not yet committed to freelancing, you should ask yourself Is Freelancing Really for You?

If you are a freelance writer or looking to start a freelance career as a writer, here are some additional articles you may enjoy:

Freelance Writing Tips- Self Discipline You Can Live With

Freelance Writing Tips- Keeping Clients After a Project is Complete

Charge for Phone Consultations as a Freelance Writer

How to Be a Freelance Article Writer

How Can You Get Freelance Writing Assignments?

The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Finding Jobs

Typical Work Day for a Freelance Writer

Top 3 Tips for Becoming a Freelance Writer

How to Know What to Charge as a Freelance Writer Pitching Yourself to Companies as a Freelance Writer…

Being a Freelance or Temporary Employee in BahrainBeing a Freelance or Temporary Employee in Bahrain



If you are moving abroad to take um overseas employment in Bahrain you will most likely be a temporary worker as the Bahrain government does not permit foreigners to become fully integrated into the society in Bahrain. If you are just considering going to Bahrain for employment and are wondering what is out there you should note that there are a lot of freelance and contract temporary jobs in Bahrain. The industries with the most opportunities are construction, ship building and repair, and oil.

 


While it is possible to come to Bahrain without a job and find your self a contract position, many foreign workers simply transition from one contract job to another. Often times foreign workers are able to stay in Bahrain for many years as they move from one temporary contract job to another.

If you are most interested in temporary casual work as opposed to a contract job then you may be able to find that type of position as well. Typically the best places to look for this type of work are office administration jobs, retail jobs during tourist season, restaurant jobs during tourist season, driving jobs during tourist season and something like nursing if you have all of the necessary qualifications. These types of jobs are usually advertised in English language newspapers and even with recruitment agencies. Women may have an easier time find this type of open position as there are almost always jobs for women who want to work in nightclubs as hostesses. Working as a hostess in a nightclub in Bahrain means that you would be talking to male customers in an effort to encourage them to run up a high bill at the bar in the club.

Recruitment agencies play a major role in placing foreign workers with local companies in Bahrain. You can even find offices of these agencies in major cities around the world like London and New York. Agencies usually have a specialization and do not charge a fee to workers. Fees are paid by employers instead. Besides filling placement for long term and short term contract workers, agencies also help expat wives take up employment in Bahrain. Agents usually help with visas and other paperwork and can even help expatriates that are changing jobs.

Remember that for any type of employment in Bahrain that foreigners are required to have a local sponsor to be able to legally work. Your employer will be your sponsor and will take care of making sure that you have all of the required paperwork and forms needed to be legally employed in the country. Your sponsor will also take care of opening up a bank account for you and signing a rental contract for you when you find a suitable place to live.…

How to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your ProjectsHow to Hire a Freelancer and Outsource Your Projects



The idea of hiring a freelancer when you need to outsource your projects can make any small business owner panic. You may not know how to hire a freelancer. You may not like the idea of contracting an online professional you don’t know. You may not feel comfortable trusting someone else to complete projects as well as you do.

 

All small business owners want to be successful. With that success comes growth. Eventually, you may find you can’t get it all done yourself. You will also likely find you aren’t knowledgeable in some tasks that are essential to running a successful small business. There are a few things that will make hiring a freelancer easier.

1. Collect Bids – There are only so many hours in the day. If you are at point where you are already burning the small business candle at both ends, you may not have the time to actively seek out a freelancer. There are thousands of freelance professionals online. Searching and sifting through hundreds of websites to find those qualified may be impossible. Place an ad through a freelance board or RFP site. Let those qualified and available come to you.

2. Be Specific – When placing an online ad or RFP, be as specific as possible in what your needs are. Look at other ads that relate to your project and see what information other small business owners are including. If deadlines are involved, be sure to list that. Be detailed in your project description to ensure you are attracting only those freelancers with the proficiency you desire.

3. Expertise – Finding one freelancer to handle all of your tasks may sound ideal, but it is not always the best option. You will likely find some projects are completed to your standards and others are subpar. Do not hire a jack of all trades. If you have several projects to be done, seek out several professionals each specializing in a specific area. Conversely, you can hire an online business manager who will place those projects with qualified individuals for you.

4. Credentials and References – Always ask your potential candidates about their background and education. Complicated projects require experienced freelancers. Ask for references. If they have completed similar projects, they should be able to refer you to a few happy clients you can speak with. Do not rely on the glowing testimonials on their website. Speak with individuals directly. Your business is at stake. Take the extra step.

5. Work Samples – If you are hiring a freelancer writer or web designer, ask for work samples. Ask if they have previous projects available online that you can view. This will ensure their style is similar to what you are looking for.…

Freelance Invoicing: Get Paid!Freelance Invoicing: Get Paid!



When you work for someone else, your paycheck is always expected on a certain day, and by law it must arrive. The security that comes with working a full-time job no longer exists as soon as you begin freelancing; it is now up to you to collect money for services rendered.

 

If you are uncomfortable with asking for money, or with billing clients after a job is finished, then you’ll either have to find another line of employment or learn how to do it, because a business can’t survive if you work for free. The trick is to come up with a set method of invoicing, and to make that method clear before you even begin working on a job.

Your Contract

If you provide freelancing services, you should have a contract – or agreement – that must be signed before work commences. Have an attorney look over the contract before you submit it to clients, and never start work until you have a signed copy in your hands.

The contract should state the method of payment, when it is expected, and the consequences for nonpayment. As long as those three factors are made clear, you are covered.

Deposits

It is certainly advisable that you receive a deposit before beginning a project. The most common amount is 10%, though some freelancers require as much as 50% up front. Whatever number you choose, the deposit requirement should be strictly enforced. Never begin a project without a signed contract and a deposit up front.

Example in your contract: “Before work on the project can start, a 10% deposit is required from the client. This deposit will be subtrated from the final payment amount owed.”

Time To Pay

Some freelancers perform large projects that cost thousands of dollars. If this is the case, your clients may want to set up a payment schedule. For example, if you charge $5,000 for a 30-page website, the client may want to pay you in $1,000 increments for five months. If this is an acceptable agreement, get it in writing and attach it to your contract. You should also obtain the name, phone number, address and fax number of each client so that you can reach them at any time.

Example in your contract: “If payment cannot be made in full, we will arrange for installments to be paid on a monthly basis. This payment structure is non-negotiable, and must be signed by both parties prior to commencement of work.”

Date Due

Your contract should state exactly when payment is due. For example, you can state that payment is due three days upon completion of the project. That way, you are assured to be paid promptly. If you are in any way unclear about this, you could be invoicing customers for three years before you see a dime – it isn’t worth it.

Example in your contract: “Payment is due three days after the final product has been delivered.”

Consequences

Your contract should also clearly state the …