Freelance Friday: Looking Forward

on Misc  

2012 is officially my fourth year as a full-time freelancer! It definitely hasn’t always been easy, but I think I’ve gotten the hang of things in general. I also have a bit more of an idea of how I want to brand myself and my business, and the kind of work I want to do:

More of this:

  • Logo designs! Logos are very challenging and (for me at least) don’t pay extremely well, but they’re good fun to design and very rewarding to get right. I think I’ve started getting pretty good at them, so hoping to do plenty more this year.
  • Complete websites – from design to development, the whole process. I love both aspects of creating websites so having a balance of both is always nice. I also have my process nicely streamlined, so things usually go fairly smoothly.
  • WordPress websites – it does have its faults and limitations, but overall I’m definitely a WordPress groupie. It’s come a long way from being just a blogging platform, and for most of my clients it’s just right as a CMS. I have my favourite plugins and base templates sorted so again it’s a nice, streamlined process.
  • Flash to WordPress conversions – lately there seems to be a lot of people moving from websites that are completely or partially dependent on Flash to a CMS based, i-device compatible system. These are usually mostly straightforward with a bit of jQuery for the dynamic element to spice the project up a bit.
  • jQuery/Ajax/dynamic stuff – it’s the way of the future, and I’m definitely on board with it. I have a bit more experimenting to do to get a good streamlined process going, but the learning is always fun.
  • Illustration – I love drawing, especially cute designs and fun characters. I haven’t pushed this aspect of my business much in the past, and it’s something I really want to promote more this year.
  • Photography – I’m still learning, but hoping to second or assist with shoots and weddings over this year to get a bit more experience.
  • Stock design/templates/illustrations – I’d really like to get a passive income set up, even if it is just a trickle to begin with. This is something I’m going to start working on when things are a bit slow with paid work.

Less of this:

  • E-commerce websites – these were a major cause of woe and unpaid work for me in 2011, so I’m taking a break from e-commerce websites until I can find a system I know inside out and can really stand behind. Related – don’t use the WP E-commerce plugin unless you want lots of woe.
  • Print work – I like doing simple things like business cards, but complex stuff just isn’t my thing.
  • Content Management Systems I dislike – I’m going to focus on WordPress wherever possible, which I think is going to serve me well enough. Trying to deal with foreign CMSs is a major learning curve, and for me it never seems to be a profitable one even in the long term. So goodbye Drupal, goodbye Joomla. We won’t be playing anymore.
  • Flash – iDevices seem to have killed Flash for the web. I can’t really claim that I liked it much to begin with.
  • Stuff I just don’t know how to do – unless it’s something that looks easy enough to figure out or will be very useful in future (like Jquery stuff), I’m going to just turn down or pass on things which are completely out of my comfort zone this year. Usually I can figure things out, but often it takes much, much too long.
  • Subcontracted/overflow work – I’m still a little on the fence about this one, as it does give a nice supplement of work to the clients I get myself. Then again, I charge less and don’t get to use the work in self-promotion, so in busier times it’s less worth it. Going to have to play things as they come.

Hopefully it’s going to be a good year! What kind of work are you hoping to do more of this year?

I’m going to try and write a weekly post each Friday about what it’s like to be a freelancer! This is something that I find a lot of people are curious about, and there’s a lot of incorrect assumptions out there. If you have any questions for me on freelancing, leave a comment here or on Formspring.

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