Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Homeworkers: Get mobile, get promoted

Without that five minutes chat by the watercooler, the open-ended lunch break, or a boss's beckoning door, homeworkers can often feel isolated from colleagues and the opportunities for informal networking and mentoring that are wrought by the almost mythical 9-to-5. Without the ties that bind, those working from home offices can be overlooked for perks and promotions. So, what's a busy homebody to do? Get connected, that's what!

Research to be published soon in the International Journal of Mobile Communications, looked at how a small sample of homeworkers working in a telecommunications organization were affected in terms of job satisfaction and promotions.

Homeworking involves individuals carrying out traditional office tasks, full-time or part-time, usually using a computer, an internet connection, and a telephone. The standard view is of someone isolated behind a desk in their home office.

Now, Banita Lal from the Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University and Yogesh Kumar Dwivedi of the Centre for e-Business Research, at Swansea University, UK, carried out in-depth, semi-structured interviews with homeworkers and their results challenge some of the received wisdom in the published sociological research literature on homeworkers.

"It emerged that four respondents expressed an interest for career progression and subsequently remained connected to their mobile phone outside of working hours to avoid feelings of professional isolation," explains Lal, "The other twenty-one interviewees did not communicate a similar desire for promotion but remained connected nevertheless."

Although face-to-face interactions with peers, mentors, and one's boss is important, the advent of email, broadband, and widespread cellular networks means that homeworkers no longer perceive themselves as islands in a vast ocean. Indeed, with globalized corporations becoming the norm, it is more and more likely that a homeworker will not even be working in the same country as their peers or boss.

We now have "Martini communication" - any time, any place, anywhere. This means that with flexible working becoming commonplace within many companies, there is a reduced chance of bumping into your employer-mentor at the water cooler and fewer opportunities for getting a rise with that carefully honed elevator pitch. It could be that the hoped-for beckoning door of your boss is closed, not because they are not approachable, but because they are a homeworker too.

Source: Inderscience Publishers

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Your Business Card is a Powerful Marketing Tool

A few years back, the standard business card had basic contact information printed in one color, usually black, on one side of plain vanilla paper stock, sometimes with two-color printing to kick it up a bit. Today you can easily print on both sides of a BC in four-color process with a laminated, glossy finish. In regard to cost, it's about fifty dollars for 500 cards. This is a fraction of what it cost a few years ago. Now that's a bargain.

"BCs are becoming mini-brochures that can make a colorful impression. The second side can be just the logo if you are after an 'I am very cool' effect, or you could print a mission statement if you want people to know what you stand for, and, at the very least, a short list of special things your company does. Whatever way you chose, you can captivate interest and provoke discussion. This is a great little marketing tool," according to John Howlett, President of AvizaGroup, an ROI consulting business specializing in advertising and marketing.

After you have grabbed their attention and jump started a conversation, you can deliver your elevator pitch, which is a salespersons dream. In the most optimistic view it might even circumvent the dreaded statement that ever business salesperson fears: "I didn't know your company does that".

The BC may appear to be a rather insignificant item. It is not. Especially if you believe first impressions are lasting impressions. Some people reading this article might say "give me a break, a business card as a marketing tool?" Think about how many times you found a BC, a month or more later, and had absolutely no recollection of who they are and what they do. How unfortunate for the person who handed you their card. They missed the opportunity to leave a memorable message in a potential prospect's hand and mind.

Millions of dollars are spent every day to establish brand recognition in advertising, in pursuit of building a positive, memorable recall about your company, product or service. Want to improve your ROI in advertising? Take a good look at your not-so-silly little business card. You can start by re-thinking about it as a powerful marketing tool.

John Howlett is president of AvizaGroup. He can be reached at John.h@AvizaGroup.com

10 Tips for Creating a Powerful Career Portfolio

Job seekers wanting to stay up to speed in the job market--let alone get a step ahead of their competition--should start building their digital career portfolios immediately.

The Internet has revolutionized the job search process, making it easy for job seekers to find and apply for dozens of jobs in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, it's now more challenging than ever to stand out from other applicants, leaving many job seekers to wonder what it takes to leave a lasting impression on today's hiring managers and recruiters.

The answer may be as simple as having a web-based portfolio. According to The Editors at JIST, authors of Your Career and Life Plan Portfolio, Third Edition, online portfolios go a long way in helping job seekers outshine competition and establish their personal brands.

"Today's job market requires workers and job seekers to be marketers. We must be able to sell an employer on our credentials and potential. Electronic portfolios are a relatively inexpensive way to do this. You can use your portfolio to reach a lot of people in a short time, allowing you to distribute information about yourself to employers who would not otherwise know about you," say The Editors at JIST.

Digital portfolios impress employers because they are still relatively uncommon tools in the job search. Often, job seekers who do have a web-based portfolio fail to make an impact because it lacks content or looks unprofessional. To ensure people develop a portfolio that will actually influence their success in the job search, The Editors at JIST offer 10 portfolio-enhancing tips in Your Career and Life Plan Portfolio. These tips include:

  • Do carefully choose the information you put on the Web site. You will not have much opportunity for explanations. Consequently, the Web content must be selective and professionally presented.

  • Do update your Web site frequently. You can buy inexpensive software that lets you do virtually anything. Your hosting service can also help.

  • Do include some visual appeal. Don't go overboard with space-eating graphics or animations, but be sure your Web site has a professional look and feel.

  • Do include information about how employers can contact you by telephone, fax and e-mail.

  • Do print out color copies of your Web site to take on interviews if you don't use a hard-copy portfolio.

  • Don't indicate on your Web site that you are looking for work. You don't want your current employer to suspect the reason behind your electronic portfolio.

  • Don't spam. The term "spam" refers to unsolicited e-mail. Target your electronic portfolio to a carefully chosen audience that matches your career goals.

  • Don't have advertisements on your Web site. Pay for a hosting service that is advertisement free.

  • Don't put your picture on your Web site. You want to avoid any issues relative to employment laws.

  • Don't include too much personal information. Be cautious. Remember that anyone can view your online portfolio.

The Editors at JIST remind, "Remember that the creation of your portfolio is about much more than collecting a set of documents to show an employer. It is about defining who you are and what you want to accomplish, creating a plan for your career and your life. "

Your Career and Life Plan Portfolio, Third Edition, is available from the publisher (http://www.jist.com/ or 1.800.648.JIST). For a free media copy or to speak with The Editors at JIST, contact Natalie Ostrom.

Grab Your Free Copy of a New Photoshop Book

Who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? Certainly not Gary Crilley, Author and Publishing Editor of "25 Essential Photoshop Moves", a new full color tutorial book only launched in March this year. He plans to give away the first 2000 e-Book downloads and has even set up a website to promote the giveaway.

"The best way to get people interested in a new book is to get them talking about it," says Crilley, author of three previous books. "And the best way to stimulate conversation about a book is to ensure that a lot of people have ready access to that book." The publishing company, APIX, obviously agrees with this strategy, for it has authorized the 2000 free copies of the e-Book version to go on a first-come-first-served basis. http://www.freephotoshopbook.com/

25 Essential Photoshop Moves is currently being sold in print form for $47 and as a download (e-Book) for $38. The 176 page full color volume contains twenty-five individual tutorials, tasks and skillsets that the author suggests should be standard fare for a competent Photoshop user. Not aimed at the absolute beginner, the book slides into the frame somewhere between novice and intermediate, the knowledge within being targeted more at the semi-experienced professional or the eager student.

As the author puts it; "If I had to hire a Temp to do my job, I would insist that they knew their way around Photoshop, and these are the things I'd expect them to know. Making rudimentary selections, putting a blue sky into an image, that sort of thing." He adds that in his experience, many so-called professionals are remiss in some of these areas. "Once you can do everything in 25 Essential Photoshop Moves, you're hired!"

Of course the obvious question is why would any sane company offer a $38 book for nothing?

"Supermarkets regularly have free sample giveaways of new products," a spokesperson for APIX said, "and this is no different...except that instead of a few free chapters, we're giving away the whole thing."

And by all accounts it's a sound concept. APIX is a new company, formed in 2004, with several other book titles on the market, and at least two additional titles due for release in the next few months. "By giving away these copies, we're ensuring a solid readership base for this title and author, which is good for exposure, while at the same time garnering reviews and feedback from a wide sector of the target market." An additional benefit, the spokesperson suggested, could be a widening of that target market. "Many recipients of the free book may not have been potential purchasers of the title initially, which means we could gain access to a whole new market."

So where can budding Photoshop professionals get this free book? Log onto http://www.freephotoshopbook.com/ and once the 25mb 'sample' has been downloaded and digested, expect an email from the publishers requesting feedback.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Art Can Help You Age Better

Ageless Lifestyles Radio host, Dr. Michael Brickey interviewed Amy Gorman on how art can help you age better. When sculptress and art educator Amy Gorman hit a block in her art, she decided to seek the wisdom of artists in the nineties and hundreds. She interviewed a wide variety of older women artists and profiles twelve in her book, Aging Artfully and the documentary film about the artists titled Still Kicking.

Ms Gorman says: "It is great to be in their presence. The women I interviewed do not think about the negative very long. They can shed stress. They don't focus on the negative. They move on. They're busy all day. They're living right here, in the here and now, and they want to live that way. They don't ruminate about past ambivalences or conflicts. They've passed that. want to do their art every day. They're quite disciplined people in their own way. They have schedules. They have a lot to do. And their art is part of their lives - very, very definitely - and it's part of their regular schedule. They've also got a sense of humor, every one of them."

Ms Gorman defines art very broadly including visual arts, music, dance, theater, and storytelling. She describes practical ways people at every age can become more involved in the arts and how older people's brains may actually be better at some of the integration that fosters art.

Her book is available at http://www.agingartfully.com/. The podcast of this Ageless Lifestyles Radio interview is at http://www.webtalkradio.net/. A transcript is at http://www.agelesslifestyles.wordpress.com/.

Lake Erie Photo Contest Seeking Entries

Lake Erie Living magazine has launched the 2008 Lake Erie Living Photo Contest. Amateur photographers are encouraged to head to the shores of Lake Erie to visually capture the beauty, activities, and lifestyle of the lake and enter their photographs for a chance to win prizes, including a Nikon D40x with 18-55mm lens, from Lake Erie Living magazine. The deadline for photograph submissions is September 12, 2008.

Amateur photographers may submit up to three previously unpublished photographs, taken in the last three years, and captured somewhere within a 30-mile radius of Lake Erie (both the U.S. and Canadian side of the lake). The three contest categories are drawn from those subjects of special interest to Lake Erie Living magazine: (1) Nature and Wildlife (2) Architecture and the Man-Made Environment and (3) People.

According to Lake Erie Living Travel Editor Laura Blake, "Our readers enjoy Lake Erie in many unique ways. This contest allows us to catch a glimpse of their Lake Erie and further exposes the greatness and beauty of the region for everyone to see."

In October, a team of judges will select winners from 30 finalists, 10 for each of the three categories. The grand-prize and category award winners will be announced in the December/January issue of Lake Erie Living magazine and on http://www.lakeerieliving.com/. A selection of images from finalists may also appear in a Lake Erie Living calendar, the Lake Erie Travel Guide and future issues of Lake Erie Living. Contest rules, prize details, and entry instructions are accessible at http://photocontest.lakeerieliving.com/ and in the current issue of Lake Erie Living now on newsstands.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

New Job Website eJobWire.com Launches

Today marks the official launch of eJobWire.com, a job website with superior functionality and ease of use, after several months of web development and beta testing. eJobWire combines a very easy to use interface with powerful functionality to produce a superior employment website for both job seekers and employers. eJobWire is a service of PressMediaWire.com a leading online press release distributions service provider.

With job postings on eJobWire.com, employers can reach targeted demographics of job seekers who represent a highly diverse and educated workforce interested in executive, non-executive, middle-income jobs in traditional as well as skilled and hourly positions. eJobWire give employers the ability to list multiple jobs with just one upload. The site offers employers the ability to set their privacy setting during its free registration. Functions like the ability to search resumes, update billing and check billing histories are available to all employers. All jobs publish immediately. eJobWire serves all business levels and all industries.

Job seekers have the ease to upload up to 3 resumes for employers to view and contact them. Individuals who need special assistance with creating professional resumes can utilize the sites resume wizard to create one fast and free of charge. This process is much easier and quicker than on other job websites. Job seekers can directly apply for jobs and also save jobs easily for future references. Job seekers can use various methods to search for their dream jobs by categories, location and keyword relevance.

Website: http://www.ejobwire.com/

Work at Home Business Expert Discusses Outsourcing

Jeffrey A. Landers, a work at home business expert and author, shares his professional insight on home business success, stating that outsourcing and focusing on work that will generate revenue is the secret to growing a successful work at home business.

Work from home business owners often try to do everything themselves. They're mavericks and they're used to multi-tasking -- sending out invoices, managing accounts, returning phone calls, handling vendors, checking e-mail, filing and hundreds of other time-consuming jobs that are necessary, but take up huge amounts of time. Landers believes home-based entrepreneurs are missing out on opportunities when they focus on these menial tasks. He believes home business owners should focus on the revenue-generating aspects and leave the time-consuming drudge work to an outsourced professional.

This is a bit controversial because many home-based businesses and start-ups are not in a position to bring on staff, pay taxes and unemployment insurance and manage people, especially when the owners are still working out of their spare bedroom and trying to save what little money they have.

"This is where many work from home business owners get stuck," says Landers, "they need to grow, but they don't have the resources and revenue to take the first step, so they go nowhere."

That's why Landers' book, The Home Office From Hell Cure helps home-based entrepreneurs not only realize they are doing a disservice to their business by getting bogged down in the menial tasks, but also helps them find a simple, cost-effective way to start focusing on revenue-producing, business-growing work.

"If a work at home business owner spends four hours tomorrow filing papers and trying to pay vendors, that's four hours he isn't putting together a new client campaign, marketing his business or meeting with potential clients," Landers says. "You add up all those little housekeeping jobs every week and you've got hours in the double digits where he isn't doing the work that will help grow his home-based business."

The first step? Landers advises readers to begin outsourcing by hiring a virtual assistant.

"Virtual assistants are a low-cost, low-commitment way to start getting some of that suffocating, time-sucking work off the desk and into the hands of a professional who is trained to get it done correctly in the least amount of time," says Landers.

In fact, virtual assistants work off-site from their own home offices and can be hired hourly on an as needed basis. If a work from home business owner has only two hours of telephone calls for the virtual assistant, that's all he pays for and by Landers' standards, "That's money well-spent."

Having a virtual assistant also means there are no employee benefits, payroll taxes, office supplies or vacations to worry about. Virtual assistants are in business for themselves, so they provide their own supplies and equipment.

Landers thinks outsourcing a virtual assistant is like having staff but without all the hassles and responsibilities.

"If a home-based entrepreneur wants to make more money, get better clients or just have more leisure time, he must come to terms with the fact that his time is valuable and should be treated that way," Landers says. "The best way to kill a home-based business is to focus on the work that doesn't translate into money and growth."

About the author
Jeffrey A. Landers has more than three decades of business experience. He is a serial entrepreneur who has founded five companies and has been advising small businesses since 1988. His company, Home Office Success, Inc. (http://www.homeofficesuccess.com/), has helped thousands of home-based businesses become more professional, more productive, and more profitable.

Insider Tips on Publishing Articles to Advance Business and Career

Writing and publishing articles is one of the best ways to become recognized as a thoughtleader, but most people don't do it the right way, according to "The Expert's Edge," a new book by Ken Lizotte.

Most beginners write an article and then submit it to a trade, business or professional magazine, then get rejected and end up concluding that they and their ideas aren't wanted. But the rejection often has nothing to do with the quality of the piece. It usually results because the article is too long or too short or not sent to the right publication or the right editor.

Lizotte says in his book to first let editors know what you can write about and then obtain a "go-ahead." He calls this process the creating of an "article ideas list" or AIL.

Lizotte's book provides step-by-step instructions on how to create an AIL, including deciding what to pitch and to whom to pitch and also overcoming "writer's fright."

People who regularly publish articles are perceived as go-to authorities in their field, research shows. Independent consultants make more, and employees rise faster in the corporate ladder.

"The Expert's Edge: Become the Go-To Authority People Turn To Every Time" (McGraw Hill, 2008), covers the theory and practice of thoughtleading, from Ralph Waldo Emerson -- who earned his keep with public speaking -- to contemporaries like Donald Trump, Tom Peters, Suze Orman and Harvey Mackay.

Lizotte is chief imaginative officer of emerson consulting group inc. (www.thoughtleading.com), which has helped 200 firms and individuals become thoughtleaders since 1996. His clients have published articles in venues such as Leadership Excellence, Executive Forum, the Handbook of Business Strategy and US Industry Today.

More information about "The Expert's Edge" can be found online at www.thoughtleading.com/book_experts-edge.htm.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Five Simple Design Techniques to Add Value to Your Freelance Website

Before you build your website, you should research what makes a website attractive to visitors. A website's appeal has a lot to do with simple website design. Creating a poorly-designed website can have adverse effects, such as repelling visitors and damaging your online credibility. Follow these five do's and don'ts to ensure you design a website that emulates good usability from a visitor's perspective.

1) Splash pages add little or no value – so get rid of them.

What's a splash page? It's the first page you see when you arrive at a website. The bad ones say something like "Welcome!" and then have you wait a few minutes while audio or video loads. Your website visitors have short attention spans. Your site is competing with millions of others. Making your visitors wait will make them hit their browser's back button and go elsewhere. You should design the first page, the "Home" page, of your website with interesting content and limit the graphics to improve load times.

2) Limit the banner advertisements.

Excessive use of banner advertisements will not only force your web pages to load slower, but too many banners ads will irritate and annoy your visitors rather than entertain them. Many experienced webmasters will tell you the days of successful banner advertising are in the past. Most web surfers have learned to tune out such annoying banner ads. You can probably get away with having one or two banners per page that match the context of your web pages, but overdoing it will only make you look like an amateur.

3) Design a simple and easy to understand navigation menu.

I'm sure you have recently visited a website that left you bewildered and frustrated because you couldn't navigate yourself around and couldn't find specific information. Did you revisit this website? Most likely not, because the experience was too frustrating. Learn from your own experience and make sure you plan your site's navigation menu so it is logical and easy to understand. It's a good idea to test it on a few friends to see if they can find what they're looking for without help from you. If they can't, you need to improve it.

4) Pick your website color schemes wisely.

If you give your visitors a headache when they're at your site they'll a) leave quickly; and b) not come back. One of the best ways to achieve these undesirable results is to use a color scheme that even a colorblind person finds irritating. Pay particular attention to text. Make sure the size of your text is readable and it stands out clearly from its background. Sticking with normal black text on a white background achieves the best results. Use a free readability tester at Readability Formulas to determine if your visitors can read and understand your content.

5) Get rid of that annoying music.

You don't have cheesy "tunes" playing in the background on your website, do you? If so, get rid of them. It won't do you any favors; you'll just come across as an amateur who wants to annoy his visitors. That's not to say audio and video don't have a place on a successful website. The increasing use of broadband makes it acceptable to integrate informative and entertaining audio and video into web pages that target your audience's interests. Just make sure you allow your visitors to turn off audio and video or to adjust the volume.

It's tempting to jump right in and start building your website without much planning, but it is more sensible to spend time working things out on paper first. Planning your website design ahead of time will save you time in the long run because you will minimize your mistakes.

Why Start a Freelance Business Using a Blog?

Almost everyone has heard of blogging these days. Simply put a blog is a web page that is made up of posts and is updated regularly. That is the simple definition however, a blog can be much more then that. If you are starting a business with a small budget then there are so many ways blogging can help.

First, with a click of your mouse you can put your thoughts, sale pitches, articles and various web page links out to the world by publishing it on your blog. This is especially great if you have started your business using any type of affiliate marketing. The blog owner registers with any affiliate program of choice and then puts various links, banners and products on the blog site. When visitors click on these links and purchase a product, the blog owner is paid a commission for generating the sale. How much easier can that be?

The second way a blog can help in starting your business is that it is a whole lot cheaper than getting a web site. You can usually set up a blog site for free. Compare that to buying a domain name and paying for the cost of designing a web site. Add to that the monthly cost of web site hosting and the cost starts adding up real quick. A blog is a great alternative until the money starts coming in from your business.

Third, less technical knowledge is needed so it is easier and faster for the beginner to start on the web. There is no need to learn html or programming because the software is already there for you to use. Also most successful marketers agree that to get traffic to your site you must update the content often and consistently. With a blog you can add or update the content whenever your want without hiring someone else to do it for you.

Also, blogging can give your business an edge over the competition because it is in real time and there is no waiting. Customers and visitors of your blog can easily join in and post their own comments and suggestions to your site and your products. It is a good tool to have testimonials about your product or service on your blog. Also be sure to post answers to any questions or problem in a quick and complete manner. It shows that you like to reach out to prospective customers and you will quickly gain repeat customers and acquire a following. Customers always prefer personalized attention.

In summary, blogging should not be overlooked as a great business tool. It is especially helpful to the beginner Internet marketer because it is cheap and it has no boundaries. Add to that your own creativity and you are well on your way to establishing a successful business.

(C) http://www.writingcareer.com/

Blogging to the Bank 2.0 by Rob Benwell - Blogging To The Bank 2.0 is my new step-by-step roadmap I personally use every time I create a new successful blog that will bring money in automatically for years to come ...

Saturday, April 12, 2008

How to Choose the Right Subject for Your Article

There are many things to consider when writing an article. One of the main ones is the choice of topic. Choosing a topic you are passionate about is important for several reasons.

· Your writing will not only flow more easily, but your enthusiasm will show through and affect the reader in a positive way.

· Editors like enthusiasm in writing.

· You will know much about your topic, thus saving a lot of time in research.

· Your writing task will be a joy to do.

You might feel that writing in the area of your interest is too limiting, but it is possible to branch out into areas that are similar. For instance, if your area of expertise is in chemistry, then writing about health should not be too much of a learning curve. It will also give you a wider scope for selling your articles. Many magazines have a health section. Health topics can be widened to include such topics as sporting injuries and how to treat them, or nutrition. Nutrition can focus on various age groups. See how the ripples widen? In no time you’ll be able to submit articles to many different magazines or websites and you’ll still be writing with passion and enthusiasm.

Choosing your own topic is easier if you decide to write freelance. You can submit to magazines specializing in that topic, but what happens if you are asked to write about a topic you hate, or know little about? If you are a skilled researcher and writer you will bring all your skills to bear on doing the job correctly. Otherwise, consider refusing. If, for example, you are asked to write about finance and investments and you are not even familiar with the terms used, then unless you are a quick learner and love research, your reputation might suffer.

Publishing articles on the Internet is even riskier to your reputation, since there is not always an editor to scrutinize the details and say yea or nay. You must not only get your facts right, but offer good solid meat in your article. An article that includes the basic information that everyone but the man from Mars knows, will make you a laughing stock in the article world.

For example, everyone knows that Fido needs to be fed, watered and exercised properly to be a happy doggie. But does everyone know that his drooping ears need to be inspected carefully for ticks or disease? Do they know the symptoms of a certain disease that particular breed is prone to and what to do about it? Have they heard about that old remedy that will save them a bomb at the vet? If you can provide information such as this in your article, you will soon have a happy readership.

Freelance Outsourcing: How To Identify Reliable Sources

As a business owner, outsourcing is an important component that you may want to add to your business so that it may continue to grow and not become stagnate. To develop a good outsourcing process, you need to determine who you will use as a resource to fulfill your outsourcing needs. There are different resource pools that you can use to find your outsourcing personnel. Examples of the resource pools are online business resources or local vendors. Whichever way you choose, keep in mind that you want to outsource to someone who is like-minded and have the same business ethics as you.

A case study in a bad outsourcing experience
As a business owner, it is important to trust and know who you are outsourcing your business projects to. If you do not manage the outsource process correctly, you could end up with a bad outsourcing experience. Case in point, you win a bid for a large project that has sections that you want to outsource. You choose to outsource to someone you find online. However, you did not take the time to check their reference and you end up with someone who does not meet with your expectations. Unfortunately, before the project was completed, you realized that the person's words in writing about their expertise does not equal with the skill set shown on the project. Now you are stuck with a project that has gone bad and a situation where you may have to fire someone from the project.

How to find good outsourcing personnel
To find good outsourcing personnel, you much start with the basics. Make a list of what you need this person to do and then make sure the to do list lines up with the overall project goals. Once you have the list, determine the experience that your outsourcing candidate must have in order for you to consider them for the project. Use a reputable service as a middle-man for your outsourcing personnel search. When the list of outsourcing candidates have been narrowed down to your final list, interview them and check their references.

Sources for finding outsourcing personnel
When searching for outsource personnel, keep in mind that you can use temporary agencies (you want to use one that has a well documented track record of success matching of businesses to candidate). Some local vendors which are temporary agencies may have an online presence and would also be considered online resources for your outsourcing needs. Online sources that you might want to review for your outsourcing resources is http://www.elance.com/, GetAFreelancer.com, http://www.online-writing-jobs.com/, or http://www.freelanceportfolios.com/.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

How to Cope with the Stress of Freelance Employment

We've all heard the freelancer boast, "I went to work in my pajamas today" or "Since I started working from home, I'm able to spend more time with my family."

Just as these are all wonderful and true, there are plenty of reasons for the self-employed freelancer to encounter terrific amounts of stress. Sometimes more than if they worked for a high-powered company.

Aside from the stress of having to find new clients and new jobs, freelances often experience stress because jobs come in crazy, sporadic bursts. One day your schedule is almost empty, and the next day it seems like you can barely keep up.

Deadlines can be overwhelming, and when one is overwhelmed, productivity plummets. The brain is no longer focused on creativity and action, but is scattered and reacting (not acting.)

When deadlines stack up, here's what to do. First, reduce stress by... Stopping. Sounds a bit radical, and it's really hard to do. But just stop. Listen to a great song. Go outside. Do anything that clears your mind for ten minutes.

Then examine the situation. There will be items that need to be done pronto, tasks that can be done later that day, and an exercise or two that can be done later in the week.

Sometimes an assignment will have to be delayed. It's hard to pick up the phone and make the call to say "I'd like to get a little more time on this job," but you'll be surprised to find how pleasantly effective this can be. Many clients often have no problem with a moderate delay. Give it a go, and give yourself one less stress factor.

Next, physically arrange the tasks before you in this manner. Yes, in stacks: Right Away, Later Today, Tomorrow, Delay.

You've just begun to take control of the situation. Even though the work ahead of you hasn't changed - it is still daunting - you will have the means and the organization to manage it.

If the nature of any of your tasks allow it, call upon a colleague who can help you. If you've never done this before, now is the perfect time to start. This form of subcontracting will cost you part of your profits, true... but in a pinch it allows you to get the job done, which is your number one priority. The nice thing about this sort of arrangement is your colleague will most likely send jobs your way when he or she gets overloaded.

It is easy to say that advanced scheduling and personal time management can ward off the majority of these problems. But the reality is... in the world of self employment, deadlines can go from zero to mind-boggling overnight.

The truth is, it's not a good idea on many levels to turn jobs down; and so we tend to take them all on. With a little resolve and these tricks up your sleeve, you'll get the jobs done well.

(sponsored ad)
6-Figure Freelancer : How to Make Money Writing Online by David Drake - With proven strategies, and step-by-step methods, you could easily be making 2, 3 or even 9 thousand dollars per month in no time flat.

Freelancers: Work ON Your Business, Not IN Your Business

Business owners everywhere are working seven days a week, struggling to sell their products and services, as well as attending to all the daily tasks of keeping the business going. The paperwork alone can be a full time job. Few seek help, often saying, "I can't afford to hire someone...I barely make enough to pay myself!"

The truth is, you can't afford not to hire help for those mundane tasks. This is especially true if those tasks require expertise you don't have. Every minute you spend learning how to do something is precious time you could be spending on developing your business.

Self-made millionaire, Cory Rudl, said the best business decision he'd ever made was to hire someone to help him. Although he was paying out almost half his earnings to his employee, that move freed him to develop his business into a money making machine, to the tune of millions of dollars.

You can do the same for your business, and it won't cost half your earnings either. By creating "mini projects" you can hire a freelancer to do those routine chores and pay them for the hours you need them.

Creating those mini projects will take some effort at first. It means you have to stop and think before you tackle a task, "Is this something I have to do myself, or can I delegate this to someone else?" Even after getting started on a task, it's important to be aware of your time spent - if it takes you too long to do it, you're wasting your time! That's the signal to hire a freelancer who can do the job for you.

Although many freelancers can come to your business office, you can save even more money with "virtual assistants." The craze for virtual assistants has taken the Internet world by storm.

Virtual assistants are capable, competent people in every country who are looking for work they can do from their own office. And their rates are incredibly low. For $2 or $3 per hour, you can have your website developed, all your QuickBooks transactions entered, have a software program developed to make your life easier...the options are endless.

For a few more dollars per hour, you can hire the best available copywriters, marketing gurus, graphics designers...you name it. The key is to define your mini project, decide what you're willing to pay to have it done and get the word out.

The Internet is a great way to get the word out about your project. Websites such as GetAFreelancer, http://www.scriptlance.com/, http://www.elance.com/ and http://www.rentacoder.com/ have hundreds of professionals eager to work. Post your your mini project on these websites and you'll have 20 bidders or more in a few hours. In a very short time you'll be able to choose the best qualified professional for your project at your price.

So, if you're working in your business, doing everything from sales to bookkeeping, decide now to get help. If you want your business to grow, you can't afford not to.

(spondored ad)

How to Make A Fortune Writing for Fortune 500 Companies by Nelson Duffle - Here's How You Can Make an ABSOLUTE FORTUNE Writing for Fortune 500 Companies... even if you don’t know where to start, who to talk to or what to say!