Author: Nik Speller

Two extremely useful things I’ve learnt from going ‘9-5er’ to self-employed so far

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Brand You / Freelancing

If there's one thing that has surprised me most about working freelance, it's the sense of community amongst those who work for themselves. Everyone, no matter how experienced, seems interested to hear the stories of others: what inspired them to set out on their own, how they dealt with any hesitations before taking the leap, and how they controlled their nerves once they began. There's a lot to be gained from this, besides the realisation […]

Ditch the Shotgun Approach and Use a Market Map to Focus Your Client-Finding Activities

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Networking / Promotion / Selling / Taking Action

In a previous life I had a boss who was a devout advocate of the ‘shotgun’ technique for sales and marketing. He liked his numbers big and encouraged his team to ‘fire’ emails and calls blindly at a large list of potential customers, hoping something would stick. This technique spread our efforts too thin, our ‘Dear Sir/Madam’ emails failing to make a genuine connection with prospects, and as a result, our conversion rates were very […]

Are UnPaid Creative Projects Worth Doing? Here’s How They Can Be

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Business / Finance / Freelancing / Money / Promotion

It’s an experience many creatives have suffered, particularly early in their careers - taking on a project that promises exposure rather than financial reward. Often poorly defined and almost never accompanied by a written agreement, the nature of these projects allows the client to tweak, twist, turn, and change the scope of the project at their whim. Eager to please, you work late, you work early, and you rush what needs to be done, increasing the chance […]

Do You Map Your Client Universe? How ‘Customer Relationship Management’ Can Fix a Lost Creative Career

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Administration / Business / Networking / Productivity / Taking Action

For an independent creative, bringing in regular work is important. Obviously. Not only do consistent projects equal consistent income, but life is a lot calmer and more rewarding when your time is filled with projects and not panic. Business literature will advise any freelancer, regardless of industry, that time should be set-aside each week for ‘business development’: aka the hunt for new projects. The truth is, most of us take projects when we can and […]