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  1. #26
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    A Business Plan

    Don't take it lightly, having a detailed plan that include all of the what if 's Yes, a Business Plan. Being an expert on your previous job can alway's contribute to business sense as a freelancer. And keeping up with the newest trends in your targeted market. And most of all advertising, knowing, how to reach the most people. Learning the internet advertising secret's yes there are secrets, but it's easy when you find them out. very simple. Hope this help someone. www.mytips1.com

  2. #27
    Bad Ass Mother F#$%^& Devious's Avatar
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    Experience has nothing over power-selling.
    Logo Design & Identity Branding Consultant.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gator99
    The point is that you need business experience before you become a freelancer. Unless of course you want to become a foreign provider to US bottom feeders.
    That is patently untrue.

    I faked my way into my first job with a design firm. After two months of peddling thier crap to customers, I quit. Cold turkey, no job offers or even a portfolio. I had ZERO business experience, and no degree.

    OMG what to do?

    I bought a few domain names, and built some very solid sites on those domains. I put those in my portfolio, and shopped myself out to local businesses. The first 3 months I maxed out my credit cards, and barely paid our bills (married)... After that, enough constant work came in that things evened out and improved. I'm now making enough to be welcoming my first child into the world.

    I take jobs when I need them, and I sell off my generic design work I do for fun/practice as one-off templates. I dare say when it all comes down to it, I make more than the average web developer working full time for someone else.

    To each his own, but there are no absolutes in anything... and that is important to remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by bellybub
    And all this from a person who started in this game by taking on a challenge, biting off more than he could chew, and then reading furiously from a book called PHP in 24 hours
    That is one of the best and most dangerous way to learn. Taking on projects that are just out of your current skill set is a great way to improve.

  4. #29
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    I have to concur with what everyone is saying in this thread. A great portfolio speaks greater than a bunch of college degrees. It shows potential clients that you have talent and experience, which you can not necessarily get just by going to school.

  5. #30
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    Let me start with my background:
    When I started out I had nothing - no home - no educations - no life prospects. But I managed to finished school(which is a great achievement in my country of origin in Africa!)... my parents had no money nothing to their name because of apartheid... and against all odds I managed to survive!

    If there is a will there is a way is my motto to life!

    I started out doing admin work. This paved the way for evening classes at a local college to finish my high school education. I managed to get good marks and a high school certificate. I then got a position in doing basic database work... really basic. I did not get the position because I had experience or qualifications - I got it because I think positively and the company found me to be an interesting hard-working person with good team-work and people skills. They told me that most people had put as hobbies: Watching TV and going to the movies -how interesting!

    I then started a part-time studying towards a University degree. My reason – because everyone said that I was not cut out for it and I wanted to prove them wrong! And secondly because I realised if I was going to get anywhere up the ladder I had to gain a degree.
    My degree has taught me how global business functions – accounting -business management – customer behaviour- marketing management- OO programming- advanced databases- strategic management and so many new things that I really don’t know where to start! Take subjects that interest you. Have flexible modules to study! I study through UNISA. University of South Africa – you can write the exam anywhere in the world – I wrote in Berlin and Dubai, you can do it in London, the USA, Mauritius you name it – anywhere in the world. They have an online forums where student internationally communicate. Its internationally recognised! (Nelson Mandela studied his degree through them while on Robben Island fighting for our right to freedom!!!)
    www.unisa.ac.za

    Being a non-white female in the IT industry was not exactly what companies in South Africa where looking for at the time when I hit the job market... so I had to adjust to what the market was asking and prove that a woman can also do this - the door was closed in my face hundreds of times... no degree - no foot in the door. So get down to the books and learn - education is important as it opens the door!

    I am currently finishing this year that degree in Informatics and Management. It’s a combined degree where you do Information Systems as your major and Management as a second major.

    Studying has opened the door – I got jobs doing technical services, database management, designing and web development... and I am still learning! I have found my talent to be in programming and I enjoy it!

    1. Company Experience YES OR NO:
    I would recommend having a bit of Company experience as it helps you develop an overview of how things work in the world out there – (some people are gifted and already know everything or think they know everything…). School does not prepare you for real the world – and neither do textbooks – it’s a big world and trial and error – bad and good decision are part of life so therefore gain LIFE EXPERIENCE. When you feel you ready to take the challenge to freelance then do for it and don’t be scared of the challenge of going freelance – it is hard work but rewarding. Not everyone is cut out for it though and accept it if you feel you cannot handle it.

    2. EDUCATION – degree or not?
    Everything can be taken away from you in life – material possessions your partner, but knowledge is a gift you give yourself that no one can take away. Knowledge is power and don’t be put off if you lack it. We all lack knowledge in one area or another – so make the knowledge that you gain marketable.
    -- Ask yourself what I can do better than others. Look at what you want to become (goals, dreams and ambitions) just wanting a job any job is ok at the beginning but then you have to find out what makes you happy and work towards it!
    -- Other question to ask:
    --- what am I good at?
    --- And most important of all do you like what you do?
    I ask these questions because if you like what you do you will learn better in that field and you will then succeed then.

    I started off with no educations and worked hard for 8 years to finish high school and pay my way to get a degree. And instead of wasting 3 years full-time at a university I studied part-time and worked full-days to get the work experience to backup the degree. Learning and working go hand in hand. Work smarter and work harder!!!

    3. Secure an entry level position – How I did it.
    What I do is my CV has each job I have done - what projects I worked on –a brief description of the program or website what technology I used. Elaborate more on it in the interview.
    What if you have none of that? And how to get the interview in the first place? Think positive when going for that entry level position. Get GOOD reference letters. Use positive words – look on Moster.co.uk or similar and learn what employees want to see. Redo and redo your CV – it’s always a work in progress.
    I once went for a position as a junior assistant designer… no experience NOTHING! My portfolios were a few drawings and some computer skills. The interviewer threw it in my face and told me this is rubbish don’t waste my time you have no experience - I looked him in the eye and said – “I know I have no experience - but how am I suppose to get it if no one gives me a chance to prove myself.” he hired me there and then!

    It is not the same for everyone I know – but think positive. Learn how to talk the talk and walk the walk! Never think that you are inferior because of your lack of knowledge, heritage or background!!! NEVER! If you lack the knowledge LEARN, LEARN, and LEARN! There is no other way – there is no magic pill we can take and wakeup in the morning with the knowledge gained!

    4. SELF-TAUGHT - FREELANCER – TEAMWORK SKILLS
    self taught? Good you are learning, you are independent and making something of yourself! Teamwork is not everyone’s thing.
    Ask yourself:
    - have I ever played in a team sport – did I enjoy it?
    - Can I take criticism?
    - Do I enjoy helping others and others helping me? Do I enjoy learning from others?

    I don’t think teamwork is something one can learn – it has to come from within – sorry I cannot help you on this one!

    5. JOB PORTFOLIO – GRAPHIC DESIGN
    Best bet would be to look at the ads that are out. What skills are being asked: then decide what you have and what skills you have to gain to get the position. Also look for new upcoming trends… in your field!

    Good luck and hope that you have all the success and reach your goals.

    What helped me is non-stop learning – you can never know it all … it has taken me 8 years to get this far. There are no shortcuts. When one grows-up underprivileged you learn that only hard work and education opens the doors to a better life!


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