Do you charge by the hour or by project? A question to freelancers

The never-ending dilemma of the freelancers.

How to charge? I’m not going to talk about how much, but how as in, per hour or per project.

To be honest, opinions are divided and there are pros and cons in both ways.

However, I have been reading and watching videos about this and I come to the conclusion that if you want to grow as a freelancer, as a business owner, then the best solution is to charge by project price.

Here is the deal. You start your career now and you estimate that you need (hypothetical numbers) 20 hours to finish X project.

After a few months or years, if you keep doing a similar project, chances are, and I’m convinced that this is the case, you will become better and more efficient at your work so the same project will probably take you now 10 hours. So are you going to charge fewer hours?

The correct answer is no.

That’s why for certain projects it’s better to charge a fixed price.

For other projects, an hourly rate might be more appropriate.

But I don’t think the idea is for us to hunt the hours. As a company, we need to aim for growth. Yes, I have been watching a lot of businesspeople (mainly on Youtube, the University of our time) about it and sharing their advice on camera.

The Futur and Chris Do is one of them.

 

However, I live in a country where price per hour is the norm. We have good rates though, so I’m not complaining.

It’s hard and I suppose being able to price our services appropriately comes with experience, and sometimes by daring to go higher. Yes, we are worth it.

Webflow VS Elementor?

I don’t have a verdict yet but I think Webflow is winning me over.

It wins when it comes to developing, but one may argue that both Webflow and Elementor are pretty much the same thing, meaning, both are tools for building websites and you can create boxes and elements and so on.

I’m kind of experienced when it comes to Elementor, even though I’m sure there are more things to learn, and I’m a total beginner in Webflow.

But they layouts, even if you start from scratch, are perfectly aligned, the designer screen, or canvas, is kind of having the grids ready, and whenever you move an element the guides are there to help you, to guide you where you should put your element for perfect alignment.

Elementor is completely freehand… kind of.

Yep, I think Webflow is winning me over. The challenge is how to persuade so many people, aka customers, that are used to using WordPress, they know it, they feel safe using it, it’s the market’s standard, to change into something new.

It’s up to me to put down the pros and cons and educate them.

No one said that the job of a designer/developer/freelancer is easy. We need to keep learning, adapting, educate ourselves, and educate our customers.

It never ends.

But I’m happy I discovered Webflow. And that I owe to Hanna.

Inspiration for designers

Where do we find inspiration? Good question.

I’m not that good at that, or at least I think I’m not good at that and that keeps my brain blocked.

But we can find inspiration everywhere. From the sky, from the passing by bus with the huge advertisement on the side, from the countless websites we visit every day, from nature.

I will be more specific though. I want to find inspiration to increase my skill set. As I have mentioned previously, I want to dive into design. UI/UX design.

I don’t aspire to reinvent any wheels here, I aspire to train my eyes to find symmetry, to find harmony, colours that match.

My friend Vaso said, start by looking at colour pallets. It’s a good advice.

However, I have a confession to make.

I find inspiration and I try to reproduce it. I did it yesterday with a cool website I found.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to steal anyone’s work. I do it for the sake of exercising, training, learning.

I will not be publishing it anywhere. If I show it to anyone, credits will be given.

I found inspiration and I want to nurture it.

It’s not ok to steal. It’s ok to be inspired, take a piece of work, a piece of art, and do something new with it.

And always give credit where its due. Chris Do, from The Futur has a great video around this subject. I hope I won’t mess it up.

 

 

Being positive is a state of mind

It is a mindset and it is a decision.

Yes, tough things happen in life. We lose friends, loved ones, we get sick, horrible things happen every day in different parts of the world.

I don’t want to be disrespectful to people that have really suffered trauma, that are victims of any type of violence, that battle with mental health.

This blog post is not about them.

I see it in my daily adventures (a fancy word for work and life 🙂 ) that there are people who choose to be negative and others who choose to not be negative.

Being negative will not help you move on in life.

Yes, it is ok to release some tension but we need to consider the final result. Will it help us?

I admit I used to complain a lot. I have put significant effort into reducing but and I have succeeded, but I’m not there yet.

Things are not perfect, not at work, not at home, not in society. Life is not perfect.

I changed my mindset a few years ago and I see myself being more motivated and inspired.

Because, what’s the alternative? If I complain will I change something?

No?

How do I change things? How do I change my life, my fate? I don’t believe in any supernatural kind of destiny or fate, I believe we make our own path in life.

And I am doing that every day. I’m positive, I try to fight the urge to complain and instead I put my energy and focus on things that matter, that can make a difference, that can bring some results.

I encourage you to do the same 🙂

And go watch some Gary Vee. He is one of the main reasons of my mindset shift, aka positivity and ambition.

 

Becoming a designer…or not

It’s not easy.

You know that feeling when you have decided you want to start something new and you are excited and you think about it all the time and you are like “yes! I can do it”
And then you dive into it and you are still excited and enthusiastic and you think “yes! I’m starting to learn about this thing, it’s so cool” and the further you proceed in your learning process the more you start to feel “oh man, what have I gotten myself into? I’m never going to make it.”

Yup, that’s where I am now. I felt so excited about learning more about web design, UI/UX design and it’s not something completely new to me. I have been building websites since forever, but I was more involved in the technical aspects, not the front view, the design.

I feel overwhelmed and I doubt and I question myself. Will I be able to make it? The motivational answer is “Yes, of course, don’t give up”

The real question is…”what was I thinking?”

But I’m not ready to give up yet.

Do you relate? Have you felt the same?

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What makes a website a good one?

Oh, that’s a big one. I don’t think I will manage to cover everything in one single post, but I suppose I have to start somewhere.

A good website is one that tells the visitor exactly what it is, in a matter of seconds. More than 3 seconds and they will start losing interest if they don’t know what your site is about.

You need to get the attention of them and you need to make them stay and navigate through your webpages.

How to do that?

Yes, that’s the tricky question. Your website’s design should guide them through your virtual world.

Your images, your colours, the typeface you are using, the clickthrough action buttons, must all together tell the same story and help your visitors understand what is it that you do, why it was smart that they visited your website, and how they can learn more about you, get in contact with you, or buy something from you.

You need to consider that all the elements of the website must be placed strategically and in harmony so that you can offer a smooth and pleasant experience. I may sound like a travel agent but consider that you are taking your visitors on a trip through your company’s web pages.

A clear menu and the use of breadcrumbs are important in helping people navigate and knowing where they are on your website, at any point.

Images do a good, well actually they do an excellent job, explaining processes so try to explain and represent things with pictures or images or any type of graphical elements. People don’t have time nowadays to read lots of text.

Unfortunately, this isn’t the 90s 🙂 where we used to read every piece of text and all the emails we got.

Easy navigation (menu), images that show who you are and what you offer, pictures that make the visitors feel as if they are entering your company, are important factors for a website to be successful.

A first page that, with the help of graphics and pictures, shows who you are, what your company is about, a contact page where it’s crystal clear how visitors can reach you best, a product gallery, a company or personal presentation, a portfolio page, all that assisted with a navigation menu, are essential things.

UI/UX  (User Interface/User experience), but not only, is what helps companies create amazing, beautiful, and successful websites.

Actually, before we go to UI/UX we need to talk about branding and setting goals, but that’s a story for a different post.

 

Creativity, whether you are a designer, a writer or an accountant

Up until recently, I thought I was not a creative person. By creative I refer to the design point of view. Keep reading and you will understand what I mean.

I’m not a web designer yet, but I aspire to be.

Well nowadays you don’t say web designer, you say UI/UX designer which is more accurate.

Anyway, back to creativity. I have come to the conclusion that we are all creative but we don’t know how to show it.

Creativity is inside of us and it doesn’t have to have the form of “design” or art.

Programmers can be creative. Writing code is not a linear thing so you can be creative and come up with a piece of code that helps you solve a problem in an amazing way.

I recently took a class in Skillshare that teaches how to draw. I did that course to unlock my own creativity. That’s what helped me reach the above conclusion because through the drawing exercises I realized that creativity is what we make it to be. No one gets to decide if we are or not.

My drawings were silly, but they were funny. They were unique.

And who says I can’t be a designer, in my 40s? No-one. And if someone does, well that’s your opinion and you keep it to yourself.

We might be taught by the society that oh if you are an accountant you can’t be creative. I disagree.

There are creative ways to solve accounting issues.

We are all creative and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

What are ideas?

What are ideas?
Where do they come from?
From our every move.
From all the things we do during a day, when we let go.

When we engage.
When we brainstorm.
When we think outside the box, or as in a quote I found online* “think as if there is no box”.
We all have ideas.
Don’t give up on yourself. Don’t be hard on yourself.

Let the ideas come.
I try every day to get mine.
They never end.

 

*forgive the lack of credit but I don’t know the source. Please let me know if you do.