My name is Morgan Feeney
You might have seen my face on Google
It’s a bit of a mouthful, and requires explanation.
Roughly translates to: Web Designer & Front-end Developer.
Thanks to Ethan Marcotte I can call myself this.
I don't really call myself this ;)
Here he is
nice hair style Ethan!
the way it was in the old'n days
more like chain-mail than e-mail
being freelance means you’re self-employed (or a company director) and work, in an almost mercenary fashion.
You work for money and, if you get lucky, work with who you want.
There are tax benefits (9%) if you are Ltd.
How it started for me
I hit a mental brick wall.
we had a board and had targets
Production line websites
Just like Aunt Bessie used to make, only cheesier.
It's everything I'm against
That's my signature on that website mate!
I had a real issue with the quality and ethics involved, and wanted to make a stand.
The Tesco's of the internet
I prefer Booths.
Web Designer Wall
Responding to change
While I was making my mind up to leave, Responsive Web Design was just starting to appear on the net.
The place I was working hadn't picked up on the emerging trend.
They just kept doing/selling the same old shit.
Reasons why I quit
- I didn't have enough time to work on my own website (still not finished, but that’s because I keep adding stuff)
- They were stuck in the past
- They didn’t use open source technology (they made their own)
- Time constraints meant that I was limited to what I could commit to in terms of private work
- I didn't have enough time to do the full time thing and do the other stuff above this line
Things I didn't have
- A well thought out plan
- A website / online portfolio
- Jobs lined up (apart from 1)
- Much money
- An office
- Guarantee of work
Things I did have
- Support from my wife; Yuan
And then there was Dexter
The pressure helped me focus on what was important. It made me realise that if you really want to do something you can.
What was the plan?
The idea was to support myself with a single client project I was working on, and simultaneously build my website so I could have a portfolio and start applying for full time work in Manchester.
Recommendations are good, m'kay?
I was lucky enough to get several recommendations which kept me afloat. This enabled me to do a number of things.
- Learn responsive (I read Ethan Marcotte’s Book)
& put it into practice
- Build a portfolio
- Support myself
- Happy days!
Growing the network
i didn't mean to be a freelancer
It wasn’t my intention to become freelance, it happened because I made myself available, then the work found me.
A portfolio is soooooooo important
I was lucky, I really was.
Without the recommendations; having no portfolio would have been an Achilles' Heel.
I was meeting clients and having to gloss over the fact I didn’t have one, I was lucky there too.
It was chicken and egg scenario: I get a job – this puts food on the table, but it means I have to drop working on my site (which is going to promote me and bring in work).
Targeting your audience
How can you target your audience?
From what I have learnt you can do this:
- Other forms of promotion such as direct mail
- Social networking – I have had 2 jobs from Meetup linking to my website, I have had other work offered through lInkedIn
if you use SEO who do you want the
work to come from?
Who are your target audience?
Which search terms are relevant?
Some practical information
- I work from home
- I work remotely
- I communicate with people using Skype, email, texties, social media and by picking up the blower
- I always communicate direct with the client
- I meet clients and pitch ideas to them
- Usually the meeting will occur after we have talked money and agreed on a price/proposal.
- I always write up a nicely presented proposal detailing the work which is involved for their hard-earned money – this way everything is in writing.
- Make sure you put things in writing it protects you and the client and
serves as a contract. I always like to state that any final payments are due
once the provisions have been met. Not when the website goes live; as
unfortunately things can run on due to content not being delivered etc.
- We all want to get paid, if for some unfortunate reason you meet a client who withholds payment you need to ensure you have a good hand. The last thing you want is to end up in court to get your money. So I usually am very cagey about certain types of client. Never work on a website you can’t control in some way, shape or form. Develop your website locally where you can and then
Types of ‘clients’ I wouldn’t touch with a shitty stick
- Clients who get scared when they see things in writing
- Clients who argue the toss over meagre amounts of money
- Clients who have split personalities and psychotic tendencies
this kind of 'client' isn't good and will probably try to rip you off - be warned
MCR Fred 9
By Morgan Feeney