Lessons learned from 7 years of freelancing as a WordPress Designer and Developer

C3312856d17db180d7a470f44a065376?s=47 Sonja Leix
April 27, 2016

Lessons learned from 7 years of freelancing as a WordPress Designer and Developer

I’ve made every possible mistake there is in the last 7+ years of freelancing as a WordPress Designer. I lost money, time, and was struggling.

In this presentation I'd like to share my experience and most important lessons learned. It will help you boost your freelance business by implementing small changes, that take you to the next level.

Presented at WordPress Meetup Sofia (April 2016) and WordCamp Bilabo (June 2016)

C3312856d17db180d7a470f44a065376?s=128

Sonja Leix

April 27, 2016
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Transcript

  1. Lessons learned from as a Designer & Developer 7 years

    freelancing WordCamp Bilabo 2016
  2. 7 YEARS AGO I worked as a full-time Designer

  3. Alternative FREELANCE?

  4. SO I QUIT MY JOB to be my own boss

  5. AS A FIRST TIME FREELANCER I had no idea what

    I was doing
  6. The 3 most important LESSONS I LEARNED AS A FREELANCER

  7. Lesson 1: IMPROVE YOUR SKILLS

  8. “If you don’t keep up with technology and trends today,

    
 you’ll be out of business tomorrow.“
  9. “One of the biggest mistake we can make, 
 is

    to stop learning.”
  10. SCHEDULE TIME to learn new skills

  11. BLOCK 2 HOURS EVERY WEEK and dedicate it to learning

    new skills
  12. COMMIT TO LEARN 1 NEW THING that has been on

    your list for a while
  13. Don’t know where to learn new skills?

  14. codecademy.com Free library of interactive courses on how to program:

    HTML & CSS | PHP | JavaScript | SQL | Angular | Git …
  15. lynda.com Extensive library of video courses for business, design, 


    and development:
  16. wordpress.tv Watch recorded presentations from WordCamps 
 all over the

    world:
  17. “If you are asked, as the best man, 
 to

    give a speech at your friend's wedding, don't forget to mention WordPress REST-API. #SoHotRightNow” 
 – Luca Sartoni
  18. JavaScript for WordPress Master Course by Zac Gordon javascriptforwp.com Learn

    JavaScript for WordPress in depth:
  19. feelingrestful.com 28th October 2016 in Boston, USA Conference + Workshops:

    Learn from the people who built 
 the WordPress REST API:
  20. CONTRIBUTE to WordPress

  21. MAKE WORDPRESS BETTER make.wordpress.org

  22. CONNECT to the WordPress Community

  23. 80+ WORDCAMPS around the world every year

  24. “Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t.” 


    – Bill Nye
  25. ATTEND WORDCAMPS & LOCAL MEETUPS central.wordcamp.org make.wordpress.org/community/meetups

  26. GO TO make.wordpress.org => community team

  27. Lesson 2: COMMUNICATE YOUR SKILLS

  28. IS YOUR BUSINESS a blank store front?

  29. If a potential client does NOT understand what your skills

    are, and how YOU can help their business, they won’t hire you!
  30. FREELANCERS: USA vs. Europe VS.

  31. MY OLD WEBSITE didn’t represent my business

  32. “Can you please tell me everything you can do, 


    so I can take full advantage of it. I feel like I don't really know 
 about all services you offer.” Client of mine a few years back asked:
  33. Not communicating my skills clearly, ATTRACTED THE WRONG CLIENTS

  34. MY SKILLS IMPROVED over the years but I never communicated

    it
  35. You need to communicate THE VALUE you provide to your

    clients!
  36. MY NEW WEBSITE launched 2015

  37. Clients are willing to PAY FOR VALUE!

  38. BE MORE LIKE AN AMERICAN FREELANCER! Tell people how good

    you are at what you do! Don’t be shy!
  39. Lesson 3: CHOOSE YOUR CLIENTS WISELY

  40. “Freelance is defined 
 by the projects you decline, 


    MORE than the projects you do!
  41. EVERY CLIENT PROJECT is a different experience

  42. If you feel like the client DOESN’T TRUST YOU it’s

    not fun!
  43. “I want to work with passionate people! Small business owners

    who trust me and are excited to work with me.”
  44. ATTRACTING THE RIGHT CLIENTS is the key to be a

    happy freelancer
  45. Working with a client is all about clear COMMUNICATION, TRUST,

    and COLLABORATION!
  46. CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR IDEAL CLIENT! Make sure they are a

    good fit for your skill set 
 and your personality.
  47. LOOKING BACK I made the right decision

  48. LOCATION-INDEPENDENT I work and travel the world

  49. Today, I only work on FUN PROJECTS with AMAZING PEOPLE!

  50. MAKE A LIST OF LAST YEAR’S PROJECTS Sort them by

    how good you feel about them, then commit yourself to drop the worst project!
  51. “Happiness is the highest level of success! You deserve to

    be a happy freelancer!”
  52. SONJA LEIX happy location-independent WordPress Freelancer
 
 Twitter:
 @sonjaleix