The Week In Freelance: April 13th

Posted: April 17th, 2009

  • From We Are Not Freelancers: A good question to ask ourselves as freelancers.
  • In the wake of the Jon Engle copyright case, The Logo Factor sheds light on copyright infringement concerning spec work and design contests:  “Lest we be tempted to believe that this is an isolated case, on an isolated website, let’s also take a look at this contest on Chicago-based design “crowdsourcing” platform Crowdspring. While the entries are now ghosted out (the contest closed in February), we can still see that 32 of the contest entries (from two designers) can be tracked back to iStockPhoto, a stock photography and illustration website. Problem is, iStockPhoto strictly prohibits the use of their illustrations as logos.” Graphic designers, take note.
  • Zach Dunn of Build Internet has more on the practice of crowdsourcing: “Crowdsourcing is different. Work is taken from the professional realm and thrown to a large group of people from all over the world with the hope that someone in the crowd will have the necessary qualifications or a winning idea. This cuts costs because instead of paying in advance for a possibility of success, most crowdsourcing works with a “paid on satisfaction” method. Investments are made on successes only.”
  • Jon Engle happened to bring his case to a public forum, using Twitter and his blog,  initially receiving massive public support. The problem was that others decided to look into the matter further and post their findings which contradicted Jon’s claims. The major backlash that followed doomed Jon and probably his career in the process. A big lesson is you may want to think twice about airing any wrongs, whether lawsuits or complaints, out of outrage. The collateral damage could be severe. That said, if it is already too late, maybe you can erase some of the backlash damage.
  • Working on your own can bring about a lot of stress and anxiety. Flying Solo has some easy ways to manage them. Understanding this helps:  “Stress and worry often present themselves as physical symptoms in our bodies. Some of the common feelings include tense muscles, racing heart, shortness of breath, a whirling feeling in the mind or a knot in your stomach. Spending just five or ten minutes allowing yourself to physically relax can reduce the amount of adrenaline in your system and help you to feel instantly calm.”
  • From Pragmatic Outsourcing: The ten annoying things freelancers do destroy their business. Take note, too. The author, Nick Krym, actually hires freelancers.
  • Looking for your niche in freelancing? Freelance Switch has the 20 hot industries that are hiring freelancers. Big surprise: real estate.
  • Spec work has been an issue for freelancers since no compensation is paid for actual work done. Well, internships can also be a disguise for getting work for free. Allison at Bizzia tells you how to tell the good interships from the bad. Her post refers to writers but can also apply to the other fields of freelance as well.
  • From Skellie of Anywired on the #1 source of untapped income for freelancers:  “You don’t have to ‘be’ a consultant to do it. If you can teach or advise clients about something, you can provide consulting services for them. If you already do this for clients, you’re already doing consulting work – but may not realize it, and as a result, you’re probably not charging what it’s worth.”
  • Do you track the time spent doing each one of your freelancing tasks during the day? If not, be warned. Your time spent doing “other stuff” can put a serious dent in your billable time.
More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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