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Growth is One

Growth is One

As an online business, we all want more clicks, more contacts, and more sales.  Nothing strange there at all. Not a week goes by where I have an email or a conversation with a client or a prospect that in summary goes like this. My website really isn’t doing that well Even more specifically I had a call this week with a Cork business who have a shop in the city and up to 2 months ago they’re were doing about 1K a month in sales.  Not a lot really but they were happy enough with it as it was “handy money” as we say in Cork. But his sales had all of a sudden stopped. So why do I point this out?  Well the person had no before and after measurements.  He didn’t know what his site visitor numbers were and if they had dropped.  Simple logic is if your site visitors drop your...

Money, Freelancing and Hourlies

I like money.  I don’t  care about lots of it which is lucky as I don’t  make tons of it.  I make a living and when asked by people who work in salaried positions how is work going I honestly answer like this. Not too bad.  Some months are great, some are OK and some are awful.  Thank goodness the awful months are way less than when I started out But boy I have made mistakes and I still do.  But here are some tips that have helped me enormously to improve my revenue stream and to get more business.  None of them are mystical or weird but just what I do.  I double down on them when I think things are going badly. Don’t Work for an Hourly Rate Ever Never under pain of water boarding quote an hourly rate.  Its ridiculous.  I can do now in 10 minutes what took me 3 hours 2-3...

Content is Prince

Content is Prince

I read and surf countless blogs and groups and social media where people look to get the perfect theme. Stop right now. Even the simplest theme will work for you if your message is honest from the heart and not badly written. Sure amazing writing will do better, sure nice images help, sure the latest widget will do something (or other). But get the first thing right.  The message. Still looking for that slider and that pop up. Didn’t I say stop? My number one SEO tip is writing till your fingers bleed. Check spelling, check grammar, makes it succinct.  Then market like hell. Will the slider or the widget help? Who cares. Get writing, creating, making it great.  Your great will resonate.  Put that on a billboard. Go now.

On Death and Earnings

On Death and Earnings

If you just want to make €22 and make me €22 then click here to sign up for PPH or else read the fascinating blog post I have written. Last week and this week were a bit crazy for me.  My father was in the hospital and my mother in law passed away.  Sad but that’s life. As a result, I didn’t get much work done.  Rushing between two hospitals and the death of my mother-in-law last Friday meant that sitting in front of a Mac working fell way down the priority list. My father is out of the hospital (nothing major) and we are adjusting to the loss of my mother in law this week. Besides the sadness of the loss, it also showed me two things. The first was the importance of charging for work, something I write and rant about a lot but tend to be weak at...

Hustling Like a Hooker

Hustling Like a Hooker

When you work from home you can get lazy.  There are no two ways about it.  The start time moves and the end time move all in the wrong direction.  Now Tim Ferris can have his 4 hour work week all day long but I need to work. When I am not working on client projects I need to be working on marketing – no two ways about it.  I take great holidays and now rarely work weekends. But on occasion, I find myself getting lazy and besides the start times spending a little bit more time not focused on the things that matter.  Her is what I do to kick myself in the proverbial butt. Project List – Fill it Out I, of course, know my projects but spending a half an hour reviewing my projects, cleaning up the activity lists and To-Dos (all in Google Docs clears the mind  Especially when...

The Perfect Client

The Perfect Client

When I started out “on my own” I had this picture of the ideal client. They would be executives with large budgets begging me to do work for them.  Over time I would be one of the foremost people in web design in Ireland with an orderly line of CEOs with fat wallets lined up patiently outside my office, some would even have having slept over so as not lose their slot. Of course the reality is nothing like that. I now know customers come in all shapes and sizes and with hugely differing budgets and needs. I had a client last week who cycled across town to talk about his new blog, in contrast I just started a project  with a large charity in Dublin working on a large design and development project for 2017. Two vastly different clients. The most important thing I have learned is to treat all of these clients the...

Why I Don’t Travel

I rarely leave my office these days to meet prospects or clients.  When I tell people this they look at me with shock. No I haven’t grown a beard and become a hermit.  I still leave for lunch, meet friends for coffee. Walk my dog, go for a run.  But hopping a car to drive to a prospect is something that I have practically eliminated. Here are the main reasons why. International Me I work with about 6-7 customers outside of Ireland in the UK, US and one in New Zealand(to a lesser extent).  So my hours vary wildly and I have the tools (Skype, email, Slack recently) to manage our conversations.  We have worked well for several years and I don’t need to visit them so visiting you in Cork may not be needed either and you can come to me. The Time Suck Its all about sucking time out of my...

Getting Paid

Getting Paid

We all want to get paid.  As a freelancer (don’t like the word but it will do) you need to make a living.  When I first started out I made countless mistakes.  Still do. The biggest was thinking my dazzling personality and skills would ensure my success and riches and I would be sipping cocktails by the beach in a few years. I am not writing this from the beach. One of the main and massive improvements to my discipline is how I get payments and  write proposals. I don’t  claim to be perfect and wonderful but it works for me and I learned the hard way. Agree the Price AND the Scope Always have a proposal no matter how small the job.  Share it with your customer get it signed off. Make sure there is relatively no scope wiggle.  Don’t use any fuzzy words.  If needs wlak through it with...

Hoovering

Hoovering

I just finished hoovering the living room.  Why I did it is a complicated story involving teens being on holidays and refusing to do chores.  If you have teens you would understand and if you don’t its like trying to explain advanced astrophysics. I did it during work hours.  Heaven forbid! There are companies and people in my town who will clean your house from top to bottom in about 3 hours for about 90e uro,.  I used one of them once when my wife was on vacation.  They do a great job.  They did it while I was out and the house looked spotless and I was happy (as my wife was on her return). For the mathematicians amongst you the above task is about 30 euro per hour.  But hold on buddy.  Two of them do the job. I know as I arrived as they were leaving moving on briskly...

Why Freelancing isn’t Volunteer Work

Why Freelancing isn’t Volunteer Work

One of the things that I found very hard when I first started out working for myself 6 years ago was talking about money.  I of course wanted to make money and as I had left a salary paying job I had to make money. But when you work in the comfortable confines of corporate life where your pay check gets deposited monthly you basically have little or no skills in chasing money – unless you worked for a debt collection agency -. Having the ability to face up to a customer and say that item ABC will cost XYZ with an unblinking stare of confidence takes a lot of practice. It came back to me recently in two simple examples. Smiley Face Project – The Email Newsletter An existing client for whom I have done some well received WordPress work in the past asked me to do a PSD to email newsletter conversion for them....