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Starting and Growing Your Career as a Freelancer/Consultant

Daf1617c9a4ff129239e922e8c56af1b?s=47 Donn Felker
September 27, 2014

Starting and Growing Your Career as a Freelancer/Consultant

You’ve worked with consultants and you have friends that consult or freelance on a full time basis. The thought of “going out on your own” looks very intriguing, so much so that you you continually think about it. The pay looks great and the freedom looks better but the only thing is … you don’t know how to start and it seems risky.

There are many unanswered questions to the likes of: “How much do I bill? Where do I find clients? How do I keep clients? Do I need a contract? Do I need a lawyer? OMG, I don’t want to die, WHAT ABOUT HEALTH INSURANCE?” (and many many more). In this session I’ll show you how I’ve calmed my fears, answered all those same questions as well as kept my client pipeline full of interesting and intriguing work for the last six years (yes, even through the recession).

I’ll discuss how you can stay on top of your industry as a leader to ensure you’re never in a famine scenario, but I’ll also discuss how to plan for a consulting famine as well. I’ll also talk about working on site vs working remote. We’ll wrap up with tips and tricks to stay effective in a remote work environment while consulting. Please bring your questions, this is a very interactive presentation and discussion. When you leave I hope this presentation will have provided you with the confidence needed to take the next step to achieving your dreams.

Daf1617c9a4ff129239e922e8c56af1b?s=128

Donn Felker

September 27, 2014
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Transcript

  1. STARTING AND GROWING YOUR CAREER AS A FREELANCER/CONSULTANT #phxmobi

  2. DONN FELKER @DONNFELKER - DONNFELKER.COM FREELANCING AND CONSULTING: 15YRS #phxmobi

  3. #phxmobi

  4. AGENDA - HOW TO GET STARTED - SURVING AND THRIVING

    - HANDING YOUR BACKOFFICE - WORKING REMOTELY SUCCESSFULLY* * - IF WE HAVE TIME. #phxmobi
  5. SO YOU WANT TO FREELANCE OR CONSULT #phxmobi

  6. #phxmobi

  7. BUT WHY? #phxmobi

  8. LOTSA MOOOLA! #phxmobi

  9. FREEDOM! #phxmobi

  10. LEARN NEW THINGS! #phxmobi

  11. ALL OF WHICH ARE POSSIBLE, BUT ... #phxmobi

  12. SO IS FAMINE #phxmobi

  13. CONSULTING - FEAST OR FAMINE #phxmobi

  14. IN A FAMINE SITUATION, YOUR FULL TIME JOBS IS ...

    FINDING NEW WORK #phxmobi
  15. #phxmobi

  16. CONSULTING AND FREELANCING: A CALCULATED RISK #phxmobi

  17. HEALTH INSURANCE Lets get this out of the way #phxmobi

  18. YES ITS QUITE A BIT MORE EXPENSIVE BUT YOU SHOULD

    BE MAKING A LOT MORE TOO, SO IT EVENS OUT #phxmobi
  19. OPTIONS HEALTHCARE.GOV HEALTH INSURANCE BROKER HOP ON SPOUSES PLAN #phxmobi

  20. THE SMALL GROUP HIRE YOUR PARTNER, SISTER, BROTHER, COUSIN, AUNT,

    ETC SMALL GROUPS, USUALLY 2-50 EMPLOYEES, GET CHEAPER BENEFITS BECAUSE OF A 'GROUP' PLAN. YOU AND ANOTHER PERSON WOULD HAVE TO BE ON THE SAME PLAN. TALK TO THE BROKER ABOUT THIS. #phxmobi
  21. THE BROKER CAN HELP FIND THE BEST RATES FOR YOUR

    GIVEN REQUIREMENTS. CAN ALSO HELP FIND DENTAL, VISION, LIFE, SHORT AND LONG TERM DISABILITY. THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY FROM THE INSURANCE COMPANIES, NOT YOU. #phxmobi
  22. HEALTH INSURANCE EVALUATE AND EXECUTE THEN MOVE ON KEEP YOUR

    BROKERS NUMBER HANDY IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS. #phxmobi
  23. BACK TO CONSULTING AND FREELANCING #phxmobi

  24. SO, HOW DO I START? #phxmobi

  25. YOU NEED CLIENTS #phxmobi

  26. O Clients, Where Art Thou? #phxmobi

  27. PIPELINE IS STOCKED? #phxmobi

  28. RIGHT ON! #phxmobi

  29. STARTING FROM A CLEAN SLATE? #phxmobi

  30. WHERE TO FIND CLIENTS ODesk Recruiters StackOverflow Careers / Jobsites

    Craigslist Friends/Family #phxmobi
  31. LANDED A CLIENT #phxmobi

  32. How Much Are you Per Hour? #phxmobi

  33. If I make about 90K a year, thats almost $44

    an hour ... so... if I charge $50 or $55 I should be good. — Every Programmer Ever #phxmobi
  34. NOPE #phxmobi

  35. WHEN IN DOUBT, START FROM $75/HR AND MOVE UP. I

    PERSONALLY RECOMMEND STARTING AT $90 AS A MINIMUM BUT SOME ARE AFRAID OF LOSING CLIENTS. #phxmobi
  36. PROBLEMS WITH UNDER VALUING YOUR WORTH #phxmobi

  37. RESENTMENT & REGRET (RE: HIGHER PAYING CLIENTS) UNFORESEEN OVERHEAD COSTS,

    OOPS LOWER PAYING CLIENTS CAN BE A LOT OF TROUBLE #phxmobi
  38. TIPS DONT EVER GIVE A NUMBER. GIVE A RANGE. E.G.

    - $90-$120 DEPENDING ON ROLE ALWAYS BE OK WITH THAT LOW NUMBER THIS IS WHAT WORKS BEST FOR ME. #phxmobi
  39. EXAMPLE SCRIPT IF YOU'RE NOT SURE WHAT TO SAY REPEAT

    THIS AS IF YOU WERE SPEAKING TO A POTENTIAL CLIENT I charge anywhere from $90-$120 an hour, depending on the role. If you need basic staff augmentation, then its 90$, if I'm leading a team, training your team, or architecting/etc its $120/hr. BE HAPPY WITH THE LOW NUMBER AS THEY'LL TRY TO GET YOU THERE. #phxmobi
  40. GETTING PAID NET30 IS STANDARD FROM THE POINT THE CLIENT

    GETS YOUR INVOICE THEY HAVE 30 DAYS TO PAY IT. #phxmobi
  41. YOU WORK 9/1 - 9/30 INVOICE SENT OCT 1ST PAYMENT

    IS DUE ON OCT 30TH #phxmobi
  42. IF YOU BILL MONTHLY, YOU WILL NOT GET PAID FOR

    POSSIBLY 60 DAYS #phxmobi
  43. HAVE A NEST EGG HAVE OTHER SOURCES OF INCOME #phxmobi

  44. SURVIVING AND THRIVING #phxmobi

  45. HOW DO YOU SURVIVE? Lets Talk About it #phxmobi

  46. REQUIREMENTS TO SURVIVE: GET AN ACCOUNTANT GET A LAWYER MORE

    ON THIS LATER #phxmobi
  47. TWO THINGS 1. SURVIVE AND THRIVE 2. MANAGE YOUR BACK

    OFFICE #phxmobi
  48. SURVIVING AND THRIVING #phxmobi

  49. MARKETING IS KING #phxmobi

  50. IF NO ONE KNOWS WHO YOU ARE ... HOW CAN

    YOU LAND A GIG? #phxmobi
  51. BUT I SUCK AT MARKETING, HOW DO I DO IT?

    #phxmobi
  52. METHODS OF SELF MARKETING BLOGGING SCREENCASTING PRESENTING GETTING PUBLISHED Always

    Do Great work #phxmobi
  53. MINIMUM OF TWO OF THESE AND YOU'LL THRIVE AND SURVIVE

    #phxmobi
  54. Always Do Great Work #phxmobi

  55. BLOGGING YOUR OWN DOMAIN USE WORDPRESS JUST WRITE! DONNFELKER.COM/BLUEHOST #phxmobi

  56. BLOGGING AIM FOR ONCE A WEEK TWICE A MONTH IF

    YOU CANT SWING ONCE A WEEK PUBLISH TO NEWS AGGREGATORS #phxmobi
  57. BLOGGING EMAIL CAPTURE MAILCHIMP Rss To Email Campaign #phxmobi

  58. THE RESULT OF BLOGGING Indsutry Notoriety Speaking Engagements More Gigs

    #phxmobi
  59. REMEMBER! ITS ALL ABOUT MARKETING #phxmobi

  60. SCREENCASTING Tools CAMTASIA SCREENFLOW CAMSTUDIO #phxmobi

  61. SCREENCASTING #phxmobi

  62. SCREENCASTING #phxmobi

  63. PLACES TO PUBLISH SCREENCASTS YOUTUBE INDUSTRY VIDEO SITES TUTORIAL SITES

    #phxmobi
  64. THE RESULT OF SCREENCASTING Indsutry Notoriety Speaking Engagements More Gigs

    #phxmobi
  65. PRESENTING PUBLIC SPEAKING ISNT THAT BAD #phxmobi

  66. What should I talk about? #phxmobi

  67. When you're speaking front of a crowd, you're an expert

    to someone. — Someone Smart #phxmobi
  68. You know something a lot of people don't. Look at

    your experiences and go from there. #phxmobi
  69. PRESENTING WHERE TO GET STARTED CODE CAMPS USER GROUPS MEET

    UPS #phxmobi
  70. Level Up by Speaking at LOCAL CONFERENCES REGIONAL EVENTS NATIONAL

    CONFERENCES INTL CONFERENCES #phxmobi
  71. PRESENTING TIPS Practice Makes Perfect AIM FOR AT LEAST 4

    A YEAR (ONE PER QUARTER) #phxmobi
  72. THE RESULT OF PRESENTING Indsutry Notoriety Expert In Your Field

    More Speaking Engagements Publishing Opportunities More Gigs #phxmobi
  73. GETTING PUBLISHED #phxmobi

  74. THE FIRST PUBLISHED ARTICLE IS THE MOST DIFFICULT TO GET

    #phxmobi
  75. WHY GET PUBLISHED? #phxmobi

  76. PUBLISHING INCREASES CREDIBILITY WHICH IMPROVES OTHERS PERCEPTION OF YOU IN

    A POSITIVE SENSE #phxmobi
  77. GETTING PUBLISHED ANCHORS YOU AS AN EXPERT. #phxmobi

  78. WHERE TO GET STARTED WITH PUBLISHING? #phxmobi

  79. Remember that Blog of yours? Sites like TutsPlus.com Small Industry

    Magazines Then go for book publishers (if you want to write a book) #phxmobi
  80. IMPORTANT NOTE YOU PROBABLY WONT GET PAID FOR ANY OF

    THIS. Remember ... marketing ... marketing ... marketing #phxmobi
  81. WHY DO ALL OF THESE THINGS? WHY DO I RECOMMEND

    IT? #phxmobi
  82. IT MAKES YOU GROW. IT BUILDS YOUR NETWORK. IT TURNS

    YOU INTO AN INDSUTRY EXPERT. #phxmobi
  83. CLIENTS LOVE TO HIRE EXPERTS. #phxmobi

  84. CLIENTS LOVE TO KEEP EXPERTS. #phxmobi

  85. BUILD YOUR NETWORK THROUGH MARKETING #phxmobi

  86. WHO WOULD YOU RATHER HIRE? #phxmobi

  87. THE INDUSTRY EXPERT #phxmobi

  88. "THAT ONE GUY" #phxmobi

  89. PROBABLY THE EXPERT #phxmobi

  90. MARKETING IS KING #phxmobi

  91. MARKETING EFFECTIVELY RESULTS IN EASILY ACQUIRING NEW CLIENTS, KEEPING EXISTING

    CLIENTS AND KEEPING YOUR PIPELINE FULL (STAYING AWAY FROM FAMINE). #phxmobi
  92. MANAGING THE BACK OFFICE ACCOUNTING, PAYROLL & LEGAL #phxmobi

  93. GET AN ACCOUNTANT #phxmobi

  94. TOOLS I RECOMMEND QUICKBOOKS ONLINE FRESHBOOKS XERO ONLY CHOOSE CLOUD

    OPTIONS #phxmobi
  95. DO BOOKKEEPING MONTHLY AT A MINIMUM #phxmobi

  96. HATE BOOKKEEPING? ! THEN OUTSOURCE IT #phxmobi

  97. PUT YOURSELF ON PAYROLL ZENPAYROLL.COM #phxmobi

  98. GIVE YOUR ACCOUNTANT A LOG IN TO YOUR ONLINE ACCOUNTING.

    YOU WANT TO STAY OUT OF THEIR OFFICE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. #phxmobi
  99. DO YOUR TAXES OR FACE THE WRATH OF THE IRS

    #phxmobi
  100. GET A LAWYER GET ONE BEFORE YOU DECIDE TO AGREE

    AND SIGN ANYTHING. #phxmobi
  101. THEY WILL ASK FOR A RETAINER USUALLY 1-2K Pay It.

    #phxmobi
  102. "Why do I need a lawyer? I trust the guy

    I'm working with."" #phxmobi
  103. THATS FUNNY. #phxmobi

  104. Everything goes good, until it doesnt. — Unknown #phxmobi

  105. LAWYERS ARE AN INSURANCE UNDERWRITER FOR YOUR REVENUE, CAREER AND

    FUTURE. #phxmobi
  106. SO, YES .. YOU NEED A CONTRACT A CONTRACT IS

    THE INSURANCE POLICY FOR THAT CLIENT #phxmobi
  107. A CONTRACT INCLUDES STATEMENT OF WORK COMPENSATION TERMS PAYMENT TERMS

    (NET15, NET30, ETC) LIABILITY CLAIMS AND MUCH MORE #phxmobi
  108. WHEN THINGS GO BAD, YOUR CONTRACT IS THE SAFETY NET.

    #phxmobi
  109. FIND A GOOD TECHNOLOGY LAWYER #phxmobi

  110. There are two bills I enjoy paying every month. One

    is my accountant. The other is my lawyer. Because of these two I know I'm taken care of. — Mike Monteiro (paraphrased) FROM THE TALK "F*CK YOU, PAY ME" VIA CREATIVE MORNINGS #phxmobi
  111. LAWYERS AND ACCOUNTANTS KEEP EVERYTHING IN BALANCE SO YOU CAN

    DO YOUR WORK. #phxmobi
  112. THANK YOU FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER @DONNFELKER #phxmobi

  113. PLANNING FOR THE FAMINE CONSERVATIVELY, PLAN FOR A FAMINE EVERY

    6-9 MONTHS. #phxmobi
  114. SAVE 3-6 MONTHS OF HOUSEHOLD COSTS #phxmobi

  115. SHARPEN THE SAW KEEP YOUR SKILLS SHARP DON'T STAGNATE #phxmobi

  116. REMOTE WORKING REMOTE ISN'T EASY #phxmobi

  117. HOW TO WORK REMOTE BOOKS: REMOTE, ROWE, TEAM GEEK AND

    MANY MORE #phxmobi
  118. BENEFITS OF WORKING REMOTE YOU PROBABLY GET MORE WORK DONE

    BETTER WORK/LIFE BALANCE (SOMETIMES) AVERAGE COMMUTE TIME IS 8 SECONDS #phxmobi
  119. PITFALLS OF WORKING REMOTE DISCONNECTED FROM TEAM IT CAN GET

    QUITE LONELY CABIN FEVER IS REAL #phxmobi
  120. GET OUT COFFEE SHOPS COWORKING LOCATIONS SHARED OFFICE SPACES #phxmobi

  121. INTERACT WITH OTHERS USER GROUPS MEET UPS CONFERENCES #phxmobi

  122. COMMUNICATION IS KEY HIP CHAT SLACK SQWIGGLE JIRA #phxmobi

  123. #phxmobi