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10:28 am on Mar 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Iím currently a college student trying to break into an oversaturated market (Vancouver, B.C.)Ö Iíve got very strong skills, but Iím wondering if there is any advice anyone can give meÖ

Is there money to be made freelancing, or should I just try to get a real jobÖ Iíve got a very broad range of skills, so any suggestions?

Also, is marketing yourself as a business better then marketing yourself as John Doe?

Thanks

10:23 pm on Mar 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sorry I don't understand the market you're referring to...

Web design, web marketing, travel affiliate?

<edit>


Iíve got a very broad range of skills

You're probably talking about design/development, huh?
</edit>

11:09 pm on Mar 27, 2003 (gmt 0)

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or should I just try to get a real jobÖ

No matter what arena you're talking about, this is not the greatest attitude. I have gone back and forth between freelancing and working a regular 9-5 job over the past 30 years...If you decide to freelance, you must consider that it *is* a "real job". It takes a particular mindset to make it as a freelancer - more so in a saturated market.

My advice would be to evaluate what you actually have to lose by freelancing if you don't make it. If it is serious or considerable in your own estimation, you should get a steady job. Freelancing is always my preference since I tend to make more money and enjoy it more.

12:25 am on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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:) Thanks for the responces :)

(as for the 'real job' statement I just mean a 9-5 job...)

I'm also curious, for the freelancers out there. Is it a strength or a weekness to be doing most aspects of a job? Or do you think it is better (for you) to be working with others, and only have a specific section?

Thanks again :)

12:43 am on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think it's an advantage when you're just beginning but in the long run (and this is not advice I've necessarily followed personally)I think you're better off as a specialist.

I do believe if you have the ability to communicate on all levels you are at a major advantage and will consistently save yourself and everybody else involved time and money.

10:33 am on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I agree with Quinn. And would like to add that marketing-wise, it can be beneficial to present yourself as a specialist to specific arenas. I have clients who hire me to do seo only, or web writing only, or running a marketing campaign on the web. These are clients who I met with those specific needs, and they seem more comfortable thinking that their particular need is what I specialize in - and that I dabble in the other stuff :)

The truth is, I have become a "specialist" in accounting, web marketing, HR, re-organization, running attorney's offices, managing consultants, managing musicians... over the past 30 years. But I think it's best to present yourself as a specialist in the thing you are being interviewed for. No client wants your enthusiasm spread over too many fields. It degrades your expertise somehow.

11:14 am on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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davis - it depends what you want (ie. freelance or "steady job"). I left a company two months ago to freelance (and yet by my site people think I have a full-fledged business!). I'm now doing all the running about and the design/optimisation work (although I tend to market myself as an seo specialist, which is what I feel I'm strongest at), but I enjoy it as I had reached a point in my previous employment where I felt kind of stale, unchallenged. I was doing just one thing, and could have continued at that point with a steady income and knowing that my task was all I had to do... but sometimes professional/personal growth involves taking risks and stepping out of one's comfy little corner. Just a thought.
11:14 am on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I would agree with the above - specialism is the way to go for freelancers.

There was a time when the 9-5 trade were looking for good all rounders to go into management (they realised that managers really didn't know what the hell everyone was doing! ;)).

But I would say that showing a knowledge of other areas can be of benefit too.

For yourself, broadening your skills base will give you more options.

From a work point of view, having experience in different industries can give you new ideas for the job you are currently working on.

An example from my own situation could be:

I studied a joint degree in marketing and IT. I found that my skills weren't as honed in either subject as those who were specialising.

But, from a marketing point of view I had a greater level of IT literacy than anyone else on the marketing course. This helped me lend my skills well to the web and related areas.

On the flip side, my marketing and business skills were much greater than the IT people I studied with - this helped me better understand the needs of the clients I work with.

I can better put into context the business value of IT if im working at the IT side. I can easily understand IT implications for business if im working on the marketing side.

So, yes certainly specialise in particular areas, but don't necessary exclude other skills as they aren't part of your current remit.

At the very least, new areas of understanding will give you better perspectives and new ideas to work with.

Scott

4:55 pm on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Lol. Marketing Guy's nick used to be Jack of All Trades.
5:18 pm on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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The thing about freelancing and/or running your own business that no one tells you is that on average, to be very successful, as much as *60% of your time will be spent in "sales"*.

So many people (myself included when I started) get into this line of work because they want to do whatever creative stuff they're good at/enjoy. And that's not to say you won't stumble into a series of long-term 40-hour work week contracts, or whatever - although if you do, chances are you're leaving other money on the table, because the longer the contract the more of a break clients expect.

Whatever the number or the average, you can't overlook the fact that your primary concern as a business operator, freelance or otherwise, has to be sales.

9:38 pm on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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>Lol. Marketing Guy's nick used to be Jack of All Trades

Err, no, but he may be JOAT's cousin.... LOL

9:55 pm on Mar 28, 2003 (gmt 0)

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hmmmm