As a freelancer, we trade time for money. Plain and simple: I have the talent to produce the visual content, my clients need for their business, and they have the money to pay me for my time and skill. Figuring out what to charge for a project then largely depends on your cost of doing business and how much your time is worth. ZEIº can help.
Time is the great equalizer – everybody gets 24 hours in a day. Doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, male or female, young or old. You get 1,440 minutes in a day – that’s it. So how do you know how much your time is worth? I think you’d first have to figure out where your spending your time, but keeping track of your day seems like a waste of time, because – well it takes too long to log your hours. Freelancers resort to estimating how long they’ve been working on or you guess at whatever task of your small business you’re working on – so most of us don’t bother.
We’ll just go ahead and guess. I’ve dived into productivity and efficiency lately. You can define efficiency as the ability to successfully use resources without wasting them and the most critical and limited resource we have is time.
Wouldn’t it be great to get an accurate account of how you spend your time, without wasting time to record the time you spend? I mean that would be great not just for yourself to see where your time ends up going, but especially for entrepreneurs who bill by the hour.
Enter ZEIº – a little device that keeps your time in check. It’s an eight-sided cube that links to your phone or computer via Bluetooth. ZEIº by Timeular keeps track of your time effortlessly, once you’ve set it up. Then all you have to do is rotate the ZEIº to the activity, or client, or project you want to track – you get to define as many ZEI activities as you want in the software, and the time tracker can handle 8 activities, which are easily interchangeable.
ZEIº even integrates with Toggl and Jirra at this time, and there are more in the works. Imagine what you could do with a Zapier or IFTTT integration …
ZEIº is a blank slate (literally, it comes in white) and you can write on its surface or use the enclosed stickers to define which each tracked activity. ZEIº looks like two four-sided pyramids stacked on top of each other.
I got my ZEIº today, but I’m currently tracking the following activities:
In my case, the first three activities correlate with my workflow and will have the same color coded sides as the Post-It note system I’m already using. The other ones pertain to all the hats we wear to run out small businesses that make it possible for me create as a visual content creator and for you to sell your freelance skill.
ZEIº tracks all activities and reported in real-time and sync to all your devices. I’m hoping the guys at Timeular integrate tags so that one could keep track of all activities related to a specific job number, but you’ll always be able to extract that out of the reports to get a summary of all the time ZEIº tracks on client X or project Y.
You can play with the app or software, it’s a free download from Timeular.
To stop tracking time, just stand the ZEIº in its cradle. To record, flip it onto the relevant side. Add a note, so you know what this particular activity was about and voilá! You’ve just tracked time.
You’ve just tracked time.
How would you use an automatic time tracking device like ZEIº?
Do you see a need in your small business for Timulars time tracking tool.
Which 8 activities would you pick on your ZEIº?
Younger generations of workers are now choosing to steer clear from the traditional employer/employee work environment, to a less traditional, freelance career or what some call “micro-entrepreneur”. This trend seems to be a lot more common for the millennial generation. According to research commissioned by the Freelancers Union, 53 million Americans now freelance in some capacity. Of that, 38 percent are millennials, compared to 32 percent of non-millennials (i.e., people over 35).
This choice was the subject of a recent workshop, The Business of Freelancing that took place at Miami International University of Art & Design in collaboration with CollabMiami featuring six panelists from different industries discussing their experiences in making freelance a career choice. The panelists included:
• David Verjano, Social Media Consultant, Verjano Communications, www.verjanocommunications.com
• Amanda Abella – Millenial Financial Expert and Blogger, Make Money Your Honey, www.makemoneyyourhoney.com
• Julio Galindez – DJ and Musician, AtellaGali, www.atellagali.com
• Pascal Depuhl – Photographer and Cinematographer, Photography by Depuhl, www.depuhl.com
• Friks 84 – Callingrapher and Illustrator, www.friks84.com
• George Cuevas – Graphic Designer, Creative Director and CollabMiami Founder, www.georgecuevas.com
Top 10 Freelancing Tips
Read the top freelancing tips we shared on Marcia’s post: “Freelance as a Career Choice“
This article was published on the Miami International University of Art and Design website and is written by Marcia Gomez.
Over the last few weeks I’ve hosted a couple discussions in various LinkedIn Groups asking “does personal work matter?” Predictably many of the photographers, who chimed in, answered a resounding YES! We get to show our capabilities without the constraints of a client brief, art buyers love to see personal work, it’s satisfying, ect.
The answers that surprised me though came from the other side of the desk, from art directors, creative professionals, designers and editors from around the world:
“I can see how personal projects can become an obstacle.“ – Creative Director, Serbia
“All personal work could seriously affect your commercial success.“ – Marketing President, USA
“I have not hired someone, because of their personal work.“ – Designer, Netherlands
“No personal work to me is an indication of stagnation.“ – Magazine editor, Germany
Wait, what? I thought personal work was always a good thing. Something that would always benefit your career. “Be careful” warns the US Marketing exec. “If your personal work is too provocative, it may leave the wrong or negative impression in a client’s mind.” Another US branding director echoes this sentiment: “If [the personal work is] very offensive I would reconsider hiring the [artist].” I hear it again and again: Have two sites. What about the case that someone has done pro-bono work for a certain cause, that you feel strongly against?
Now to be fair each one of these people who hire us also said that personal work is vital, critically important and that they love seeing it. Just remember that the assumption is you had unlimited time and resources to craft this piece of personal work into the perfect calling card for your brand. “To me [personal work] matters quite a bit. (…) that’s where we most often have the chance to stretch our abilities, research new methods and test them” says a US director of marketing “pet projects may very well become tomorrow’s next big service!”
“Your personal work shows me what you’re really passionate about, and how creatively and independently you tackle such a self-chosen project. It tells me how you work conceptually. I also get a good idea about the style you prefer and you feel comfortable with.” says the german magazine editor “Or how versatile you really are.”
Personal work is a must for today’s creative. The fastest (and scariest) way to revamp your career is to throw out the images that show what you have shot and only show those images and projects that you would like to shoot. Christina Force a folio consultant wrote a great blog post called 4 reasons to throw out your babies. Personal work is what your passionate about, stand behind it whole heartedly. Personal work must be excellent, award winning, your highest caliber work. Personal work must set you apart from the pack–take risks, be willing to fail. If you don’t go for the impossible, your results will be mediocre and average at best.
This article was first published on the American Society of Media Photographers blog Strictly Business.
Workflow is about as individual as your small business. It’s a series of processes that begin the first time a potential client contacts you to the point where you delivered your goods or services and are on to the next job. Actually it starts a bit earlier, if you want to including marketing and branding. Or maybe you’re running a couple of jobs concurrent, in which case it’s even more important to understand your workflow. A plan on how all your business processes work together makes your work flow smoothly.
work·flow ˈwərkflō/ noun
the sequence of industrial, administrative, or other processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion.
There are more than one way to skin a cat and the same is true for your workflow. There’s really not only one right way that workflow works. They are as personal to you as many other decisions you make in your small business.
In my mind there are two schools of thought when it comes to working with a workflow solution:
Solutions like Shoot Flow fall under the first. They are solutions specific to one type of photography. In the case of Shoot Flow, it’s for wedding photographers. Zach and Jody Grey took their experience at shooting weddings and built a workflow solution around it. They basically let you duplicate the way they work a wedding.
The upside – especially for the inexperienced wedding shooter – is that you get a step by step roadmap to how to work a bride and grooms day. Zach and Judy do a fantastic job, not just on shooting weddings, but also in how they work with their client before and after that day.
In my mind the downside is that you are going to workflow weddings just like they do. I’ve never used shootflow (I don’t shoot weddings) and I know you can customize some of the way it works, but it’s not like what I use.
[Please don’t misunderstand me here. I am not dissing shootflow or other solutions like it. In fact I believe it’s vital that we all have a well-integrated solution of our own.]
My customized solution follows my business processes. This doesn’t make it necessarily more expensive, but it does make my workflow solution match my workflow. I use a Customer Relationship Management system as the backbone of my workflow solution. It’s called SalesForce and is one of the largest CRMs in the world. SalesForce aggregates all information I have about a clients, accounts, jobs, ect into one place and since it’s this huge service it integrates with pretty much everything. For instance I use Evernote to …
Remember to change copyright info to include the new year in your copyright notices today. A legal copyright notice requires 3 elements:
The correct copyright symbol is © and that’s not (C). On a Mac you can insert it by pressing <OPT> + <g>. The HTML for the symbol is <©> and in ASCCI it’s <ALT>+<0169>.
Just in case you haven’t noticed it’s 2017. Happy New Year.
In my case that reads: Photography by Depuhl
This is information I learned at an ASMP symposium on copyright. Your copyright notice should read:
© 2017 Photography by Depuhl. All rights reserved.
Take a few minutes to change your © notices today. Start with your website and blog, if you’re using footers – as many of us do – make sure they get changed. Also don’t forget to change the metadata settings in Bridge or any software your using to tag images. If you’re using a watermark on the images you post online (read here why you should), don’t forget to change the notice in your water marking app as well. Most importantly you need to change the metadata inside your camera to show the new year in your change copyright info.
I use PhotoShelter for my website and have a copyright notice in the footer code. Log into your personal account and go to …
Website -> general settings -> footer code
Add this script to your copyright notice:
Now you never have to change the date manually again :)
In WordPress, check your theme, if you’re running one. In my theme the code in the footer can be changed in …
Appearances -> ‘Theme’ Options -> Other Graphical Elements -> Footer
HT @ for pointing out that you don’t have to hard code the year, when you change copyright info anymore (like I did until 2015) – this is even better – instead of having to change the date into your blog and website every year by hand, Bredan suggests the following PHP snippet:
“© <?php echo date(“Y”) ?> [YOUR ATTRIBUTION HERE]“
Where YOUR ATTRIBUTION HERE would be the name of the copyright holder. Although this did not work on my sites, it made me do a little digging and this script works like a charm:
var today = new Date()
var year = today.getFullYear()
Thanks for pointing this out Brendan!
In Adobe Bridge, you’ll need to change the copyright notice in your Metadata templates. Go to …
Tools -> edit metadata template -> scroll to the template you need to change -> scroll to ‘copyright notice’
Capture One (the best RAW processing software on the planet #EndOfAd :) will pull the copyright info from your camera into their metadata field, however if for some reason you need to add it by hand just go to the INFO tab in the software – so if you change copyright info in your camera, you don’t need to do this, but it’s always nice to know where the copyright notice lives.
Scroll down to the IPTC section in the tools column and change your copyright notice there.
If you are importing from a Card, then Capture One will remember your last copyright notice in the import window. Change the date here as well.
Last but certainly not least, you want to change copyright info in your camera, which sometimes is a little tricky.
“How do I get clients?” is a question I asked myself often, when I was starting out. Today I see many small business owners and freelancers on this quest to get clients. So what’s the secret? How do people figure out you’re the guy or gal that can solve their problems, create the content they need or provide the service to help their business succeed?
This should be a given. Your work (in my case photos and videos) needs to speak for itself. It needs to stand out from all the other work out there. Show only you very best work. The stuff that’s won awards, that’s been showcased, stuff others can’t stop talking about – that’ll get clients talking.
Your work has get in front of the right audience. If it sits on your hard drive or on your shelf I don’t care how awesome it is – no one is going to hire you based on work they can’t see. Build a strong web presence. Write a blog. Learn social media. Have a good website. Make it easy for potential clients to find you. Build an audience – (here’s a Roadmap to building your audience.)
Clients book you, because they see a still image or a video you created. And they need something similar. This is what Google calls the moment of relevance. The closer you can get to it in your response to a prospective client, the more likely your chances of getting work from them. (I’ll talk about my response time a little in this post). You must make sure that the work you want to do is searchable – that’s especially challenging for a visual content creator, since search engines don’t speak photo. They needs text to find the imagery people are searching for. Get rid of those IMG_1234.jpeg filenames on your website and help people find your work. [Read: Your filename must include this work.]
Some may say “but I don’t have an image or a video of what I’d like to shoot.” Let me guess and since you don’t have it, you can’t show it – and since you can’t show it, you don’t get clients to book you to shoot it – so you don’t have it … you get the idea.
Shoot it anyway. Shoot it for yourself. Find a non-profit that needs that photo or video and create it for them. Then you have the work to show the next prospect, that proves to them that you can shoot this, because now you can show it. Think that’s to expensive, to complicated, to risky? I went to Afghanistan to produce, film, edit and promote a short documentary for a non-profit, because that’s the kind of work I want to create, the work that would help me get clients.
You know what my clients biggest donor said?
We’re talking about a commission, that represents group of governments, who work with hundreds of non-profit humanitarian organizations around the world and see even more films showcasing the work those NGOs do. What do you think happens, when I show this corporate documentary film to my prospective clients? You think it get’s me more clients? You bet!
“My work speaks for itself.” Yeah. Sure. Future clients want to know…
After falling into shooting images on a whim as a teen, Pascal honed his art over a number of years before starting his own company about a decade ago. Now he boasts an impressive lineup of clients, including National Geographic, SeaRay and Mars thanks to constant hard work and dedication to his craft.
We chatted with Pascal about the first big job that launched his career, how he learned to stand out in a saturated industry and the secret sauce for keeping your happy customers coming back for me. [Much of my success has to do with how I use SEO.]
Read on to hear his story!
Name: Pascal Depuhl
Business: Photography by Depuhl
How did you start your business?
I’ve been getting paid for my photography since my late high-school years. I began assisting and apprenticing after college for four years [Read more about that in “This phone call made my career.” BTW a blog post is a great way to use SEO.] and got my first full-time job in 1996, but I only launched my company in 2004. I honestly don’t know what first drew me to photography! I was saving money to buy a mountain bike and ended up walking into a store and picking up a camera instead.
I opened up my own shop out of necessity. I had gotten laid off from two full-time photography jobs in 12 months and didn’t want to have to rely on someone else to earn my livelihood.
Who was your very first customer?
A friend of my dad had an ad agency that needed photos for one of their clients. I was a senior in high school when I got that job, and the budget for the whole thing — including travel expenses, food, lodging, film, processing, my time and equipment — was a little over $1,750 dollars.
My dad’s friend told me he didn’t care how long I stayed in Israel to photograph, as long as I didn’t go over budget. I was there for a month!
When did you know your business was going to work?
I got an unsolicited email from a company that provided a retouching service to photographers. I realized that they found my business online and were looking to sell me their service [To be honest at that time I did not know much about how to use SEO]. I was so excited, because I’d spent absolutely zero money on advertising, yet someone who didn’t know me figured out I was a photographer based on information that was out there online.
Today, what is your most effective means of getting new customers?
Everything I do, from writing a blog to keeping an active social media presence on sites like Instagram and Twitter, from putting on workshops to volunteering and being deeply involved in the local small business community [all good examples of how I use SEO to build my online brand], is done with …