dcsimg
A Flash Developer Resource Site

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Better Ways 2 Market Yourself

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    55

    resolved

    There's been a lot of discussion on freelancing and how it is more profitable. However, its only profitable if you can market yourself.

    If you go the freelance way, is it better to start your own company, working by yourself, and thus providing a professional image that could be compared to other companies?

    Or, would it be better to just come right out and say you are a freelancer and this is what you can do? I'm asking this because I started doing freelance work about a year ago, and thought it would be a good idea to create the image of a company, because it might give me a more respected image, thus allowing me to pick up bigger projects.

    I'm worried now that people might not want to hire a company to do their projects, and turn to a freelancer instead to save money. Since my image comes across as a company, I might lose business...right?

    I'm 21 and my website is http://www.truefocus.net. In it, I never use words like "I" or "my ability." I always say "we" and "the people at truefocus." I do have two other people I can call upon if I need help, but for the most part I do 95% of the work thats available. Is it wrong to imply that we are larger than we actually are?

    So for those that say they are freelancers, and those that are freelancers but created a company name to hide under, I encourage you to reply so that we can get an idea of what the general community thinks about this subject.


  2. #2
    Moderator
    The Minister of No Crap

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,685
    Its hard to say either way. I've been doing freelancing for a while. On my site:

    http://www.scottmanning.com

    I advertise myself as a freelancer. I've thought about changing it up to be a company, but have decided against it. The reason being is even though I may outsource 5% of the work, the truth is that I am not a company. I'm just a guy with some flash skills. I feel that by advertising myself as something I am not, I've already gotten off on the wrong foot with my clients. If I'm not completely honest with them, how can I expect the same? It all comes down to business ethics, I guess.

    I suppose that I've lost out on some big projects that people felt they needed companies to do, but if I keep up my current track record with my clients, then their word of mouth would be my best promotion. Some of my current clients I met as referrals.

    So that's my two cents. Take it for what its worth.

    -scott
    http://www.scottmanning.com
    [Edited by nocrapchurch on 05-31-2001 at 05:48 PM]

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    27
    Rock on!!!
    I don't know what you should do. I'm also 21 and have been freelancing for only 2 months. But I take it a step further. Not only do I refer to myself as "we," I pretend there is another person writing the music for my company ( it's all me .) However, I'm presenting the image of being a company because being 21 and working out of my apartment doesn't exactly command respect. I'm trying to present a respectable image even when dealing with small local companies in the hopes that larger companies wont see me as a punk kid. We'll see, good luck!!!

    Oh yeah, check out my cheesy HTML website. I'm working on a Flash page, but dealing with small local companies, it's annoying to hear things like "i couldn't see your site cause I was too scared to download anything to my computer, it could be a virus" so I stuck with simple.
    http://www.dioxidelabs.com

  4. #4
    Moderator
    The Minister of No Crap

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,685
    Originally posted by kamikaze808
    However, I'm presenting the image of being a company because being 21 and working out of my apartment doesn't exactly command respect. I'm trying to present a respectable image even when dealing with small local companies in the hopes that larger companies wont see me as a punk kid.
    I forgot to add that I am 21 also. I'm sure there are people that don't respect me for being 21, but if you've got the skills, most companies don't care. Don't you worry about people finding out that you are just a 21 year old kid? I think that would be the quickest way to lose all respect.

    -scott
    http://www.scottmanning.com

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redmond, Wa
    Posts
    701
    Your age is not a problem.

    Working out of your apartment is not a problem.

    Pretending that you have more people in your organization than you really do is kind of flakey and will actually do more damage to your business & credibility than being a solo freelancer.

    As long as you have:

    an address
    a phone number which is your's alone
    professional contracts
    a nice website
    examples

    Then you have your bases covered and I wouldn't worry about losing business.

    People are more wary of people trying to trick them now-a-days.



  6. #6
    Moderator
    The Minister of No Crap

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,685
    Originally posted by Agent_Coop
    Your age is not a problem.

    Working out of your apartment is not a problem.

    Pretending that you have more people in your organization than you really do is kind of flakey and will actually do more damage to your business & credibility than being a solo freelancer.

    As long as you have:

    an address
    a phone number which is your's alone
    professional contracts
    a nice website
    examples

    Then you have your bases covered and I wouldn't worry about losing business.

    People are more wary of people trying to trick them now-a-days.


    Well said.

    -scott
    http://www.scottmanning.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    189

    I'm with NoCrap and Coop

    The first design of my site gave the impression that I'm a company - after some good advice from various sources - mainly to do with the design and the content presentation, I decided to go with presenting myself as a casual person with Flash skills.

    This is mainly because I'm not a rocket surgeon. If someone's looking for really complex back-end scripting, this is out of my league at present, and I'm better off telling the client that that work will be subcontracted out to someone who knows what they're doing. I don't want to make any promises I can't keep, basically. I'm a good mom and pop shop designer who likes to work at home, where I can smoke cigarettes and drink tea like a civilized person. So I've presented myself as a lighthearted person who does flash; someone you can talk to, someone who can help you understand what the internet can and can't do for you. And I think that "aw shucks" presentation will work well with the demographic that I'm trying to attract.

    I think you need to sit down and think hard about what kind of work you're ready for, what kind of work you want, and then put your site together to attract those people. And I think it's really good you brought up this topic, too - a lot of young designers out here don't really have a clear idea of how to make their mark and how to market themselves.

    Check out NoCrap's site - it's a great example of how to do this well - he's got enough stuff on his site to show off how much he can do, but it doesn't go all Flash-happy on you, and there's a sense of humour to the whole thing that lets you know, this is a guy who does what he loves (and that's not butt-kissing, scott - I think your site is really really cool, functional, and above all, a tasteful display of your technical ability).

    So there's my two cents (3.5 cdn)....

    Tyke

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    27
    Yeah, you guys are probably right. For my next site, I'll probably ease up on the whole company thing. It is kind of cheesy. To tell you the truth, I never even gave it a second thought when designing my page. I never came out and lied, but I tried to sound as professional as possible. I guess I got a little carried away

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redmond, Wa
    Posts
    701
    Easy to do..

    It's kind of funny when you think about the fact that merely having a website, whether Geocities, etc..makes you an instant

    GLOBAL PRESENCE

    I'm sure we could come up with some funny buzzwords and then list their actually meaning.

    On a serious note..

    I use the word "Associates" a lot when describing some of our resources.

    I have composers & developers I can call upon to assist in any projects.

    That way I can always be up front with the customer about what is provided and what is subcontracted.

    -Cheers!

    Tom


  10. #10
    ....he's amazing!!! lesli_felix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    London UK
    Posts
    1,507
    I've been wrangling with a similar dilemma.

    I was going to market myself as a freelancer, but that gives the impression of somebody who doesn't have to get out of bed until lunchtime. The word FREE also suggests things that are bad for business...

    Then I decided to market myself as a company, but became worried that potential clients might think that I was actually a freelancer masquerading as a company - even before lunchtime.

    Then I cracked it, I decided to be a....CONSULTANT! Not necessarily the one who does all the work, but certainly knows who can, and it smacks of someone who has a good overview of the industry. Unfortunately a consultant is a breed of creature not too far removed from the...MIDDLE MAN. Eugch!!

    What else could I be???

    A Partership?? No - Partners fall out!

    A GURU????? HHMMMMMMM!!.....NO - to pretentious.

    A WIZARD??? Oh don't be silly.

    FLASH GODCOMPANYASSOCIATELANCER FOR HIRE?
    ...its got a ring to it...



    Seriously, Market yourself as exactly that which you are, and bear in mind that as a freelancer, you're more likely to win work with other web design companies as well as end clients.

    J.C.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    178
    Wow, this is really a great thread, but I think it is confusing my too

    I am really just a one person set-up, but I do sometimes refer to myself as 'we'. After reading this, I think I will try to cut back, if for nothing other than ethics. (I suppose that 'we' would be referring to me, myself, and I....)

    For me though, I have never really tried to sound like a big company, I just really find it awkward saying 'I'. I like the antonym of 'we'.

    I really don't know that I really want to be a 'freelancer' per say either though. I am meeting all the requirements for a service based business in my state, so I am really a business. I have other contacts for out-sourcing work, so I really don't feel/know that I will be working by my self.

    What options do people think there are if they want to sound more like a business. I really don't care if people know that I am just one person, but I really don't want to go around using 'I', if for not other reason than it is poor English in proper writing (at least that is what a comp teacher once said).

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    27
    I agree, good thread.

    As I said, I never gave it much thought when I first started, but I've been thinking about how to market myself A LOT lately. Here's a question. Right now, it's all me. The "company" DIOXIDE Laboratories is all my bad self. But I do have plans to get bigger in the near future. In fact, I plan to hire an artist I know to do some Illustration maybe next month. I know all the people (freelancers) I need to call if a bigger job were to pop up. And it's not *just* Flash I do. Though I'm not amazing, I can work through ASP, HTML and JavaScript. So actually, DIOXIDE is a group of freelancers. Is that a company? Is it wrong to make myself sound as big as I want to be? Please, give me your opinion, I think it's really interesting.

    And Lesli, stick with FLASH GODCOMPANYASSOCIATELANCER FOR HIRE

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redmond, Wa
    Posts
    701
    I just came back from a meeting with another company..they are pretty much faking the whole "we" thing.

    It's one guy who thinks he's slick but doesn't know the business.

    And one guy who apparently does all of the work.

    Pulling off the "we" thing and trying to make it look like there were 10 people cost them in our eyes.

    I would have rather they just say..look..we're just starting out, but here's a sample of what we can do rather than try to front us as being more than they were.

    Florentine Design Group (moi)is part of a three man production team, though we have consulting projects of our own, we always make sure we have enough sub-contractors ready if projects spring up on us.

    Really good thread, because I went through all of this when I first started FDG by myself.

    Here in the Seattle area (Dot Com Graveyard) Freelancer is also what most recent unemployeed folks are suddenly calling themselves.

    Cheers!



  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    178
    Ya, that got me thinking (be it good or bad...)

    I have though more about the work 'freelancer'.

    The reason that I really have not/don't want to call my self a freelancer I think is just because, in my case, I don't think the word applies.

    FREELANCER, n, 'Free-lanc-er', A person that acts as a self employed employee, doing work for other companies or business that have extra work, or need a specific skill. A freelancer normally dose not work directly with the general public, but instead works with or for a organization or company. Normally a freelancer deals as an individual, and on an individual basis.

    Well, the above is my definition of a freelancer. While it quite possible for a freelancer to grow into a larger business, I don't think that a freelancer is necessarily what we normally think of when we think about service based business that deal with the general public. (For example, most here probably do not restrict self-promotion to just contacting ad-agencies and such. We are glad to get business from anyone with the dough.)

    Anyway, that is my take. I really think freelancing and freelancers are great, but that dose not mean that every one person business/designer fits the definition of a freelancer I think.

    Just my latest take.
    -Zach
    -http://www.v9code.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redmond, Wa
    Posts
    701
    Just be like a building contractor..take jobs you know you can immediately subcontract out to reliable sources who can deliver on a timetable you'd be willing to stake your name and reputation to.

    Most sub contractors think that whoever contracts them is making money off their efforts, that's not really true in most cases.

    The primary contractor takes on the liability, even with a subcontractors agreement.

    However, even with an agreement like that, if the subcontractor works in another country..the primary will always bear the brunt of responsibility.

    I recently had a contractor from this board do an intro with what was supposed to be "original" music..and it turned out to be copyrighted..in a big way.

    Not to mntion the sometimes pain and hastle of micromanaging your subcontractors..it can add a number of steps..

    Anyway..ranting.

    Right now I have had some great luck with a member named "The Spann" http://www.custombusinesspresentations.com
    in Australia, and I want to subcontract out more once I get back to freelancing full time..



  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redmond, Wa
    Posts
    701
    Oh..and my point..

    is that sending payment to countries outside your own

    (see http://www.xdude.com for his banking problems)

    can result in checks being held for a month (sorry Spann..)

    I hope PayPal goes back to International/AUS soon, that's how we were sending out Proposal Kit commissions(still do in the US)


  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    178
    Yes, sub-contracting out work can be a real risk at times. At first it looks so easy and fun "I will just set here and let all the little ants do all the work", but tis' not always the case...

  18. #18
    Senior Member mg33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    1,539
    Kamikazi,

    When we click the link for your site, why do we get this (http://www.dioxidelabs.com/index.asp?bhjs=1&bhsw=1280&bhsh=1024&bhswi=932&bhs hi=664&bhflver=5&bhdir=-1&bhje=1&bhcold=24&bhrl=-1&bhqt=-1&bhmp=-1&bhab=-1&bhmpex=&bhflex=5,0,30,0&bhdirex=&bhcont=lan&bhkb ps=73868)
    for the url?

    mg33

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Redmond, Wa
    Posts
    701
    Yeah..I'm curious about the monster query string myself?


  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    27
    I was wondering if anyone would notice!
    Actually, that's how I detect for the Flash plugin. I bought a program called BrowserHawk from http://www.cyscape.com that detects all kinds of stuff about the users browser. But before buying the program, I never noticed that massive query string that it sent. I think it's tacky looking, but I don't think many people (besides web designers ) will notice. For my current website, it's not important to get the users information, but I store all of the info in a database to see what type of software potential customers are running. Later I plan to make two different HTML sites, one for lo-rez monitors, and another for all you graphic designers with 21 inch monitors.

    Also.
    This is pathetic that I don't know the answer to this. But what's up with when I try to view my site in Netscape? The tables for the images get all funky. I know IE and Netscape handle tables differently, but I made these pages with ImageReady and DreamWeaver. I would figure such high quality programs would supply the fix for that themselves. Anyone know what kind of JavaScripting I need to do?

    Thanks!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  




Click Here to Expand Forum to Full Width

HTML5 Development Center