Esther Schindler

freelancer at self Joined over 1 year ago

  • 84 stories
  • 13 comments
  • 120 upvotes
  • Posted to Got my first client. What now?, in reply to Nathan Huening , Sep 21, 2017

    Also, you can't be too detailed about step #1.

    Be really explicit about who is doing what, when. Make sure you explain what is and isn't included in the What. And who owns what.

    Be very clear about payment, and how to identify the points where you say, "Where's my money?" Most freelancers learn to ask for an advance of some kind. (Often 1/3 at signing, 1/3 at a halfway point -- which you document clearly -- and 1/3 when all is complete -- and define "complete.")

    I have found, in 30+ years of freelancing, that when something is documented there isn't a problem. You might grouse to discover that damn, you did say in the contract that you'd include the source code. But the lawyers make their money on what is left out of the agreement. For instance I had one huge job, which somehow left out, "How much will client pay freelancer if the project is canceled" and I got completely screwed in that deal.

    2 points
  • Posted to The Latest in Web Design? Retro Websites Inspired by the ’90s, in reply to Jim Silverman , Jul 20, 2017

    Well OBVIOUSLY! :-)

    0 points
  • Posted to How search worked before Google, in reply to Sam Solomon , Apr 05, 2017

    Or make the choices better!

    0 points
  • Posted to How search worked before Google, in reply to Ken M (No, not that one) , Mar 25, 2017

    Well where would YOU have put it?

    0 points
  • Posted to Paula Scher on Why and When it’s Worth it to Work for Free, in reply to John Flynn , Mar 23, 2017

    I'd like to say something pithy and eloquent here, but basically: We agree.

    I think the important point is that you take on free gigs when it benefits you and you have control. For example,it's hard to sell your expertise with a tool or skill you haven't learned yet. In such situations I might go to a community organization that would appreciate, say, a free website, as long as I get use the technology I choose. That gives a fair amount of creativity (including, "Oh, I see how awkward my first design was; I'll re-do it before I take it live), and also provides a grateful reference.

    Now If it takes twice as long to get the gig done (because none of us are adept with a new tool the first time out), that's fine.. and you can get away with that for a client who can't threaten, "If you don't get it done by Friday I won't pay you!"

    1 point
  • Posted to Freelancers! How often do you invoice clients? , Mar 08, 2017

    Most of the time, I invoice at the cadence the client is comfortable with. For most businesses, that's once a month. One of my clients currently has a system set up to pay me weekly, and I am sure not objecting to that.

    It does depend on the type of work you're doing, by which I mean "ongoing project" (as with this weekly-pay client) or "one time [large or small] task." For writing a white paper, for instance, I only invoice when the work is handed in, no matter how long it took me to write it (a factor I work into pricing calculations). For a one-off ghost-written blog post, I charge 50% up-front and then at the end of the project after everything is signed off.

    I've been using Freshbooks for several years, but in truth the software is a far secondary consideration. You can track your invoices with a spreadsheet, and I used to do that. Freshbooks (and its ilk) simply are better at reminding you, "Ya know it's been 8 weeks and those dudes have not paid yet...?"

    2 points
  • Posted to Freelancers: Sole proprietorship vs LLC vs S Corp? , Dec 16, 2016

    Honestly, ask your accountant. Some of these things vary by the state you're in. (In more ways than one, I guess.)

    If you happen to be in Arizona, I'm happy to recommend the guy I go to.

    2 points
  • Posted to What do you do to fight pitch anxiety? , Dec 08, 2016

    There's different kinds of pitching. Public speaking is only one of them. I suck at public speaking, but I'm very good with words. So I try to arrange for the "pitch" to be in a form that speaks to my strengths -- which means creating a document that sells the client on my proposal and my background.

    In the worst case, when I've written out everything I might possibly say, I can stare at the document and repeat what I wrote. But 99% of the time I can avoid that.

    10 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What do people need to know about manager-and-worker one-on-one meetings?, Aug 25, 2016

    Hey, remember I promised to share the results? The article and white paper have posted.

    3 reasons to stop hating one-on-one meetings All too often, managers and team members reject a regular check-in because they think it's a waste of time. But when done well, one-and-one meetings are a great way to build trust and rapport. That weekly time slot is a predictable time for feedback and coaching. Even when a manager and team member get along well, a regular one-on-one is an opportunity to impart information privately, to raise emotional issues before they fester, to address career challenges, and to help managers make better decisions with team input. https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/3-reasons-to-stop-hating-one-on-one-meetings

    The white paper requires an O'Reilly login, but I dare say most of you already have one. And it's benign; you're just signing up for a newsletter, not giving away personal info. I did my best to make it worth that personal pain. The Secrets Behind Great One-on-One Meetings Like any committed organization, your company wants to attract and keep loyal employees who are creatively productive and engaged with their work. And those workers want to be appreciated for the job they do. This report shows you how to align both goals, with guidelines for a powerful process that’s often undervalued: one-on-one meetings between managers (or team leaders) and the people in their charge. http://www.oreilly.com/business/free/the-secrets-behind-great-one-on-one-meetings.csp

    0 points
  • Posted to Ask DN: What do people need to know about manager-and-worker one-on-one meetings?, in reply to Mike L , Jul 12, 2016

    That's a really good point. I'm glad you brought it up!

    Anything in particular you think I should include? "Life lessons" you wish you didn't learn the hard way?

    0 points
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