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Business & Finance

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  • Business
    Business & Finance
    Session: Evolve From Freelancer to AgencySession freelancer to agency
    Are you a seasoned freelancer? Is the amount of work on your desk bursting at the seams? When you have more work than you can handle, it becomes clear that it's time to expand. This Session, written by Thursday Bram, will assist you with the growth of your business. There is a clear path to take from freelancer to agency, many have walked this path before, and you can too. Learn how to draw more clients, structure your agency, keep your team busy, market to the right clients, and set your agency up for the long run.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    The 7 Principles That Should Underpin Any Successful Online BusinessSuccess
    A lot of would-be entrepreneurs do not fully appreciate what it takes to build and manage a successful online business. The common assumption is that you need a groundbreaking idea and lots of luck. But if I've learned one thing in the two years (since I started building my own online business), it is that entrepreneurship is not quite as glamorous as some might have us believe. But that is not a bad thing by any means. For every Facebook and Pinterest there are literally thousands of less "cutting edge" businesses providing their owners with a very comfortable living. Consider my business for instance; based upon freelance writing and a blog that helps people to quit their jobs and build a successful online business. It's nothing new, but makes money nonetheless. In reality, there are just a few common sense principles that you should to apply to your own fledgling business to boost its growth exponentially. In this post, you'll learn about those principles in detail.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Build an Online Business From the Ground UpBuilding online business
    When I first decided that I wanted to quit my job and create my own successful online business back in May 2011, I was driven more by blind determination than belief. In fact, for many months thereafter I couldn't shake a little voice in my head that kept telling me how fruitless my efforts were. What I failed to realize was that launching your own successful online business doesn't have to be a pipe dream. It isn't an unattainable goal that will forever live only in your mind. In reality, becoming a relatively successful online business owner requires a few more skills than you probably have right now. The rest you can pick up along the way. What makes the real difference -- far more than technical ability or entrepreneurial nous -- is your belief and determination. Those are the assets that will pull you through the roadblocks and setbacks that inevitably await you. With that in mind, in this post I want to give you a roadmap that will equip you with the knowledge, belief and determination to launch your own successful online business.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    6 Budget Planning Steps to Professional Project EstimatesPhotodune 1545580 calculator on financial spreadsheet with numbers xs
    Freelancers are often faced with the question of how much to charge for a project. When the project is similar to others you have done, then you have a good idea of the number of hours it will take you, and the costs you will face. But what about when you are pitching for a project that is a bit different from your normal work? As a freelancer, it is essential to get your estimates right. Too high, and you might not get the project; too low, and you won’t make a profit. With a professional estimate, you will be able to show your client how you have arrived at your cost, which will help them see that your price is fair. This step-by-step guide will help you think through all the considerations involved in making a professional freelance project estimate, as well as how to set it out clearly so that potential clients can understand your breakdown.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    The Freelancer's Guide to Writing ProposalsPreview photodune 1579412 writing xs
    Writing proposals is something of an art form: you need to lay out the concept for a project, with all the amazing benefits that will make a client want to write you a check immediately, as well as the negatives, like the big price tag. It needs to be a persuasive document, but it also needs to be clearly professional.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Keep Your Creative Agency Growing in the Long RunPreview 8 growth
    Building a creative agency is not a short-term effort. You may be able to get up and running fairly quickly, especially if you’ve got some great connections among other freelancers already. But getting enough work to keep all of you busy is only a first step. Exactly how far you want to grow your agency is a question of your own goals. You may have modest ambitions, like building up enough business to be able to afford some great health insurance. You may have bigger plans, like being able to bring home six figures a year, beyond what you need to pay everyone working for you. No matter your goals, however, you’ll need to keep growing your business to meet them.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Decide Your Own Role in Your Creative AgencyPreview 7 role
    When you open an agency, you’re the head honcho. Everybody else has to do what you say, while you kick back and put up your feet. Or, at least, that’s what we’d all like to think. But, while you do get to define your team’s roles at the agency, you’ll still have your hands full with work of your own. The big question becomes what work you’re going to take responsibility for at your agency. As you first start working towards an agency model, the answer will probably be ‘all of it.’ But it’s worth setting some expectations of where you’d like to wind up. That way, you can prioritize what sort of team members you’ll need to bring in first.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Decide Who to Send Your Agency's Work ToPreview 4 send work
    Especially when you’re first starting out, the odds are good that you’re going to be relying on other freelancers to handle the work that you can’t manage on your own. Depending on how you choose to grow your agency, you may continue to rely on contractors well into the future. But that means that you’re going to have to take on the role of client: you’re going to have to decide who you are comfortable sending your agency’s work to. It’s a bit extreme to think this way, but the fact of the matter is that the work produced by any freelancer you hire will reflect directly on you. This doesn’t mean that you should go into full-on micro-manager mode, but it does mean that you need to be very clear about your criteria for who you will work with and your expectations throughout the process.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Find Enough Work to Keep an Entire Agency BusyPreview 3 find
    When you’ve got a whole team working at your agency, you have to make sure that you have enough projects to keep them all busy. If you don’t, idle employees can hurt your bottom line and freelancers can go elsewhere. But some of the problems that go along with freelancing — particularly the feast and famine cycles — are present in agencies, only written bigger. As a general rule, a freelancer shouldn’t even consider establishing an agency until she’s consistently overwhelmed with work of her own. That’s the easiest way to know that you’ll have enough work to at least start bringing another person on board. But you’re going to have to shift your client attraction strategies to bring in big work more often.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Structure a Creative AgencyPreview 2 structure
    One of the key decisions in establishing a creative agency is how to structure it. When you’re working on your own, structure doesn’t matter very much. Dividing your workload, even just between administrative work and client work, doesn’t seem to matter overly much when you’re the person who will need to do all of it, no matter what divisions you come up with. But when you may wind up with several people working on client projects and perhaps even an assistant on the administrative side of things, you need to be very clear on who is responsible for what. The danger of not clearly establishing structure is that you can easily wind up in situations where you need to pay someone for time in which they did no work or did the same work that another person had already completed. Putting a solid structure and clear workflow in place that shows how different tasks pass through your business processes are necessary for an agency to grow.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    How to Evolve from Freelancer to AgencyPreview 1 evolve
    Most freelancers are ambitious. We have to be if we want to build up a solid client roster and bring home enough income to justify not getting a day job. But that’s not the end of the line — in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t take a freelancer all that long to build up a full-time income. Then we have to ask ourselves what we want to do next. There’s not a clear career path that we can follow, like one might climb up the corporate ladder. One of the options that appeals to many freelancers is building an agency, which can allow you to keep working on the types of projects you like in a much larger quantity. Running an agency isn’t exactly something to jump into without prep work, but if that’s the direction your freelance career is evolving into, it’s a surprisingly practical option.Read More…
  • Business
    Business & Finance
    7 Resources New Freelancers Can Use to Figure Out What to ChargePreview
    It's possibly the most baffling question that faces new freelancers: What in the heck am I supposed to charge for my work? You don't have a sense of market rates yet. Your prospect doesn't want to tell you their budget. Figuring out what to charge for your freelance services is intimidating. If you've been freelancing for content mills, or on bidding sites, or responding to Craigslist ads, you've probably seen loads of offers at rates that wouldn't support a hamster. It's confusing to know what fees are appropriate for what type of gig. You don't want to bid too low and essentially rip yourself off. But you don't want to bid too high and lose the gig, either. Maybe you have a dim sense as a new freelancer that you should charge a bit less than experienced pros in your field. But how much less? The way to solve this pay-rate question is simple: research. There are tools and resources out there you can use to get a good idea of what freelancers in your line of work charge. Here are seven of the best types of resources for discovering what freelancers are getting paid:Read More…
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