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Quick Question? In your opinion what is the best freelance skill to learn that provides value to others?
The one you're best at
Well that's going to be hard lol
That's basically the same as asking "which career path should I choose". Answers can vary wildly in ways that won't be helpful to you.
Hey guys! Not sure if this is the right channel, but here it goes:

Iโ€™ve been working as a marketer for a medtech startup for almost a year now. The team is great, the business is doing awesome, and weโ€™re expanding like crazy. However Iโ€™m starting to find myself enjoying the work less as time moves on. As I said my role is as a marketer, but really, my passion is in design work. And thatโ€™s what I actually want to be doing.

My contract has a 3 month quitting notice requirement. And I do have the occasional freelance web development project, on the side outside of my regular working hours. My question is, if you were in my seat โ€“ would you take a leap of faith and quit my current job, and dedicate all my time to making freelance work a reliable source of income before my 3 months period is up?
If you can build up an emergency fund of 6 months of expenses, then yeah go for it.
Yeah I was thinking something along those lines too. Currently Iโ€™d be fine for about 6ish months without any new money coming in.

I also know from experience that Iโ€™ve no issue landing at least _some_ type of job in the worst case scenario. I guess Iโ€™m kinda answering my own question hereman-shrugging
I think you're just looking for encouragement. So.. DO IT!!!
I did quit my remote web-dev job to become full time freelancer. Now I work fewer hours and have way more money. Stress level is much higher tho. I'm still happy with my decision.
lwlnhicejjt Haha thatโ€™s probably true! Thanks for the the push ๐Ÿ˜„
ynopzvnj Interesting! Stress level of being compeltely in charge of your own income is a big one, but I like that responsibility tho!
gvgyghcfhapvzzmnw thank you for such a detailed response, these are the kind of questions i was looking to discuss!
I'm actually just a freelancer, Indian nationality, currently residing in canada & ACTIVELY looking to find a tax residence
From my research, Dubai seems to be the quickest and most promising, but it costs ~$6k for every 3 years
Over-communication.

Clients want to know whether you're on track, delayed, or even blocked (even moreso if they/their staff is blocking progress).

When it comes to technical/role-specific skills the first answer by tagyeuiwwzus is spot on. If you're among the best doing whatever X, you will be able to turn that into an income.
If I hire a full time VA, are they still considered as independent freelancers? in terms of employee contracts and taxation...
There is no single answer here. It all depends on yours and theirs legal jurisdiction and if in doubt, better consult with a lawyer as labor laws can be pretty brutal.
Generally no. Also - depending on jurisdiction - you might create a permanent establishment for your company in the country of residence of the VA. But there are services out there which you can use. For example remote.com|remote.com or xolo.io|xolo.io
Just look at your question independent freelancer -> a full time employee is in no way independent anymore.
In Ontario, Canada you _can_ be a self-employed individual and still have full-time contract with someone. Not against the law. But I think in California, USA that's not the case, if I understand correctly.
Cross-border that's even more blurry. As a Canadian, if I want to work for a US company, I'd be self-employed from the Canadian perspective.
iโ€™d try to pack away a year of expense since money can often burn quicker and replenishing can go slower.. and iโ€™d check out mentally at the job and pursue hobbies.. just projecting what i myself did :slightly_smiling_face:

reading through your update, congrats! happy for ya that it worked out!
Hey thanks man! ๐Ÿ˜„ I also already have a couple of leads for potential website design clients, so things are looking to work out perfectly
Hi. I have a pretty basic marketing consulting website and a custom gmail address associated with my website domain. I'm using Wix for that package and they're charging me $20 / month which seems ridiculous! What do you all use for a basic website & custom email account with Google? How much is it?
Best of luck with your design endeavours Jonathan! I dont know if youโ€™ve checked out Framer Websites, but thatโ€™s looking like a really good tool for building websites with speed โšก๏ธ Ive been using it lately and really like how little fuss is needed to get things done compared to webflow. ๐Ÿ™‚
How important is your website to your marketing function as a marketer?
super low
So there should be some free ones I thought like squarespace
Cheap websites for freelancers is my market.. build you a website and host for free if youโ€™ll be my (free) customer? :)
One cheap option:

โ€ข developers.cloudflare.com/registrar/get-started/transfer-domain-to-cloudflare/|Cloudflare for domain registration (~ $8/year) with email address blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-email-routing/|forwarded to your gmail address.
โ€ข sites.google.com/new|Google Sites> (similar to Wix, less fancy but easier to use) with custom domain (free).
Total $0.67/month
Instead of Google Sites, you can create a static site and host it free with a custom domain at developers.cloudflare.com/pages/get-started/|Cloudflare Pages>, convenient to have domain, dns, and web all in one place. This is the best option if you can code your own html/css/js by hand or use a jamstack.org/generators/|static-site generator>, because it avoids lock-in and you can extend the site with any custom functionality you might require.
In the past I have used Wordpress running in Amazon Lightsail for websites (~$3/mo) and Zoho for email ($1/user/month).
iโ€™m always fearful of those small instances sizes tho(!) .. they must be running on micro boxes in the free tier or yeah.. Lightsail sounds maybe like elastic beanstalk?

i figure people want to have a technical party on their side, but iโ€™d love to know if anyone has thoughts on what the downsides of the cheap-and-free websites are? or what could they do more of? trying to MVP a payments / booking / email for cheap but iโ€™d be happy to give away free landing pages hosted on wordpress ๐Ÿ™‚
gzovqzk which Wordpress plugin would you use as a drag & drop editor (if any)? I know those editors can have fees...
Ahh thereโ€™s the rub. Wordpress themes are a pain. I generally just try to find a free theme that is close to what Iโ€™m trying to create then fiddle with it. But it is an inexact science. Thatโ€™s why site generates can charge.
Use github pages for free static websites
Framer is great too! Havenโ€™t played around with it for a while but from my understanding it suits itself better to prototyping than delivering finalised websites. The performance of the sites Framer produces in terms of SEO and page speed seems to be a bit behind Webflow though unfortunately. But it got some great potential i think!
Ah okey! I didnโ€™t know about those aspects, looks like theyโ€™re going for finalised website builder status from their website. They added CMS functionality pretty recently โœจ
carrd.co|carrd.co is really nice for very simple stuff
Ah didnโ€™t know they added cms functionality, maybe itโ€™s time to revisit Framer then ๐Ÿ˜„
Any recommendations on free/low cost invoicing apps? Right now Iโ€™m using Freshbooks at around $40cad/month would need:
โ€ข Billing in USD/CAD
โ€ข Allow ~10-20 clients
โ€ข Stripe integration for payments
I like that I can generate a link to the invoice in Freshbooks too in case it hits their spam folder. Thanks!
why not just use stripe directly? you can create invoices from stripe and also payment links. no cost other than the processing fees
their dashboard is pretty good and 10-20 clients should be easy to manage in there
I use waveapps.com|waveapps.com. More so for book keeping rather than invoicing. But they have a invoicing system and their own payment integration, but might be able to do stripe. (it's free).
I also vote Stripe. Their dashboard is pretty robust.
rvjsgflfjx In principle, a static site generator can be any program that outputs the files directly consumed by web browsers (as opposed to server-rendered sites consisting of code that executes on the server to dynamically generate content requested by browsers). The concept of a SSG goes back to FrontPage (1995) and Dreamweaver (1997) :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. These โ€œWYSIWYGโ€ HTML editors would even work today, but I don't think anyone uses them โ€“ perhaps there are modern alternatives?

Today, SSGs are more often tools used by coders. A website is built by joining content and functional elements using a templating language to output the static assets that delivered to browsers by a CDN. This build step can be done on a laptop, but is often completed on the server, just once, when a new version of the site is deployed, usually via a git repo and CI/CD pipeline. The whole process โ€“ setting up the SSG environment, coding the templates, and configuring build pipelines โ€“ can be rather complex and technical.

There probably are no-code, GUI-based SSGs that are good for non-engineers, but I'm not familiar with any.
ifqmutqlwboq giazjdb cool I will try that didnโ€™t know you could invoice directly there and manage clients thanks!
Yes Dubai is a very popular place especially for people from Asia, Russia, or Africa to get residence. As you probably know, itโ€™s very developed and a great place to live! It also has a very good program for entrepreneurs and nomads with very low corporate tax and a pretty good banking system. There are a few places like it in the world!
true! iโ€™m actually going forward with my freelance visa setup in Dubai
Congratulations! Thatโ€™s so exciting. One thing I like most about to buy is that itโ€™s so connected to anywhere in the world. Great nomad hub. Good luck with everything
geumckt yeah seems like the static site generators are too technical for me then. Thanks for the info on how they work though!
I run a training business. I would like to automate making documents that can be digitally signed. So I would like to have a questionnaire in which the client gives a couple of inputs like subject, dates, if the training is online or at a physical location etc. Then from those inputs I would like a document to be generated with template text and dynamically have the inputs inserted in the template. After that, I would like to be able to send the document to the client and that the client has the ability to sign the document digitally and return it to me. Does anybody know of a service like this?

At the moment I am looking at building it with Airtable and some other services, but i think I would prefer an out-of the-box solution if it exists.
Docusign?
Doesnโ€™t Stripe charge a percentage fee for invoicing? Seems mad to me that itโ€™s 10x the cost to issue a $1000 invoice as a $100 one..
fee is to receive credit cad payment
no fee for issuing invoice (or if they e.g. send a check and you then mark it as paid outside of stripe)
docassemble.org/ does this, it's open source, but I think they also had a hosted version.
I use Singapore and highly recommend Osome. They are very proactive and responsive with everything to do running the company. For example they helped sign a letter to support my visa application under 2 hours from request.
I use wave app in the US to handle accounting for two businesses, estimates, invoicing and payments all integrated in one free service. It's been a life saver for me. A Canadian company if I remember well
I chose none of the options and went with ErHub instead because I felt they are smaller and can offer a more focused support. I heard Xolo is primarily focusing on Spanish markets these days and Companio I liked, but I had many questions at first, and the only way to get to them was by opening support tickets.. which I thought was a very bad UX ๐Ÿ˜„ Maybe things have changed recently..?
Thanks
New Client is six days late with the first payment. What is a professional way to let them know I will put services on hold until the payment is received?
just like what you just wrote...
Mail something like;
```Hi {client}

I've noticed the payment for {project} is still outstanding.
Please check that payment for the project has been initiated.
I'm happy to continue working for you as soon as I received the outstanding amount.```
โ€œI will put the service on hold until I receive the payment.โ€

I can't think of anything more โ€œprofessionalโ€ than being straightforward & clear
Obviously, I don't know the full context, but I generally give a fair amount of slack on the first payment being late. I would not go to "withholding services" for 6 days late.

I generally write my contracts Net-15. Some companies, though, only pay Net-30 and the hiring manager does not know to revise the contract.

Setting up new account payable takes time at a lot of companies. At one company I worked for, they were getting ready to go public and were restructuring and upscaling their Finance department. Figuring out who was supposed to approve and the actual mechanics of paying me was a huge mess that took almost two months.

If you don't think they are actually going to pay you, that is a bigger issue.
Second what the vyccirdtibh said. I've almost never had a medium or large company pay quickly. The larger the company the long is the payment term.

I only make a stink if they are regularly late for no explainable reason.
I wouldn't like if it someone would state an ultimatum like that. I'd expect to discuss it first. Ask your contact when the payment will be made and why is it late.
I use freeagent 10 usd p/m
I have one big company I work with force a net 90 on all vendors.
Any VA's around here? How do you find your clients? Any tips? Much appreciated ๐Ÿ™
sumx19d
A US company I write copy for is starting to really drop the ball in terms of getting me the materials - copywriting briefs etc. - that I need to complete projects on time for them. Historically they've gotten me stuff anywhere from 3 months to 2 weeks in advance which has been fine, but recently they've been getting me related materials the week a deliverable is due (after multiple email follow-ups) or going radio silent and just failing to get me materials before related deliverable due dates then being super apologetic when they finally do send them over. This would be less of an issue if this were a smaller client, but it's a larger client so not being able to reliably work on these deliverables during the time I have blocked off to work on them is wreaking havoc on my schedule.

Unfortunately, the contract doesn't stipulate a time frame that I need to receive these materials in order to complete deliverables on time. Everything goes through one contact at the company so it could be them being overwhelmed by their workload (or experiencing personal issues). It could also be related to the company going through internal changes that are opaque to me as a lot of companies are going through strategy / personnel changes of various kinds right now.

How would you approach a situation like this where a client has previously met reasonable expectations for providing resources for deliverables in a timely fashion, but is no longer doing so?
i do some VA work. mostly Upwork and networking.
i always try to be clear about how long it will take for me to deliver the first draft once I have all the materials I need. it usually always work when I send a heads up saying that the whole project will be delayed if they donโ€™t send the information I need until day X.

in matters of personal organization, iโ€™d try to not book anything in my schedule until I have everything in hand.
โ€œIn order to hit your deadline X, Iโ€™ll need 100% of the required assets by Y. Any delays will push back X by the equivalent amount of time.โ€
sumx19d
crzetkhvvjoel Good idea to indicate a fixed delay length (X) for any required asset delays.
sumx19d
ypgwemhzc The problem here is that when I say "the whole project will be delayed if they donโ€™t send the information I need until day X" it isn't moving the needle more than any other follow-up email might.
if theyโ€™re okay with the deadline being pushed based on their own delays, then you donโ€™t need to do anything else, no?
sumx19d
cgsttbctg Right, but I want to set things up to increase the likelihood of them delivering on time.
sumx19d
qhvisllfz It's weird being a contractor where there isn't necessarily an element of social pressure for them getting me materials on time - especially when their schedule for actually deploying the deliverables lags my due dates. That is to say there's always some element of getting me materials related to a deliverable only becoming urgent for them close to when they need the deliverable (opaque to me), not when it's due by.
maybe theyโ€™re involving you too early in the project? i see companies prioritising their internal processes over contractors all the time in advertising agencies, but usually they just come to the contractor last minute with a ton of work and a super tight deadline
sumx19d
rsrnzhqfa This is an ongoing relationship so that's not the issue. The concern here is also that pushing due the date back potentially affects due dates for all future deliverables for the client.
Right now you have no leverage. Find yourself another client to fill those empty hours with. Then you can say to them honestly, โ€œI canโ€™t work on your project until you deliver the materials so I fill the hours with work for other projects. Iโ€™ll do everything I can to get you the copy as quickly as possible since youโ€™re a preferred client, but I have to prioritize the work for clients who got me materials first. You used to provide materials at least 2 weeks in advance, if you go back to doing that I can guarantee you priority.โ€

If they say yes, then great, your favorite client is back to being timely. If they say no, itโ€™s fine, you have work to fill the hours, and they understand why youโ€™re not going to turn things around last-minute. If they want priority but donโ€™t want to give materials timely, you can now have a conversation about rush pricing.
Hi Guys . Im still new to this digital nomad world. Can anyone recommend an inexpensive course on skillshare, udemy or similar that teaches you how to get started and get clients?
Clientsโ€ฆ for what?

That's like asking, โ€˜How do I become an employee?โ€™

An employee ofโ€ฆ what?
Try โ€œTo Sell Is Humanโ€ by Dan Pink maybe
and then itโ€™s a simple case of convincing others that trading their money for your skills/time/product/expertise is a good idea ๐Ÿ™‚
I've had a ton of success getting clients on Upwork, that's where I cut my teeth learning how to get clients. But the quality of client is lower there than if you go and build a reputation in the real world and seek out the clients you want to work with.
I got my stripes on Upwork learning how to do proposals, get sales appointments, close deals, and just in general set/meet expectations.
Then LinkedIn is really the best place to get clients once you know what you're doing.
Figure out your solution messaging, set up a few webex expert info sessions on whatever your expertise is, do an automated cold out reach campaign on linkedin and via email, generate sales appointments onto your calendar with calendly or the like, then get on the phone and close the deal.
There are three ways to get clients. Marketing, networking, and applying for jobs/contracts. You can also try prayer but I would recommend trying the first three first.
thank you!
This is a great resource, thanks for the share!
Hi U02DFNZ63E1br />I warmly recommend you Pandadoc!
I've used it many times, it's not that expensive, easy to use and enables you to create automated documents with cool templates and personalized fields, plus it includes certified electronic signatures service ๐Ÿ™‚
Are there any other platforms like Toptal (for SWEs) out there that bring clients to you?

From searching the older messages here I could gather Braintrust and A.Team are a couple - are there more?
Turing
Hi! Is there any Argentine Freelancer ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท here who wouldn't mind if I talk to them privatly to ask some questions about being an argentine nomad freelancer? ha! ๐Ÿ˜…
Here! ๐Ÿ‘‹
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