Category

Freelance

I Wrote The Wrong Bloody Book!

By Business Coaching Freelance Strategy No Comments

As an entrepreneur, freelancer, consultant or a professional in any field, for that matter – try and stray away from dipping your fingers into too many flavours and always be aware of the shiny pennies that might arrest your attention on your journey.

Take it from me, I’ve had to learn the hard way.

While it has certainly been a great journey in self-discovery and personal growth, I’ve found myself quite deep-down certain rabbit holes and it goes without saying that I have my regrets. (Now my fingers are sticky and my pockets sag with those heavy pennies.)

Take Caution When Delving Into Rabbit Holes 

In the previous business that I owned, I became known by friends, family, staff and the food manufacturing industry as “The Atchar King”, where I was renowned for my excellent product and the great service that my business provided in that industry.

At the time it was certainly convenient for my identity, as that level of credibility can take you and your business to great levels and leave lasting impressions of you.

And I’d be lying if I told you that being dubbed a king at something wasn’t pretty damn cool.

However, that doesn’t quite carry through to my current occupation and the business coaching that I provide to my clients today. It would be great if it did, but it instead takes away from the image and identity that I’m cultivating at this moment in time.

When I started coaching in 2012, I began gaining traction in the media, communications and technology spaces, slowly becoming known as the guy that provides great entrepreneurial advice and insight to business owners in those industries. I had just started building a name for myself, when I made the mistake of chasing a shiny penny.

For those who are unaware of the concept, a shiny penny is any form of distraction from the original destination that you’ve chosen to move towards. When your business is heading to a particular destination, shiny pennies often pop up along the way and realign your focus onto other ideas, concepts or projects that you might believe are beneficial to your company at the time, but end up affecting the resources and effort that should be spent on moving towards your intended goal.

So I found myself a shiny, new penny: the freelance space.

I Got Distracted With Writing The Wrong Book

It had interested me for quite some time that the freelance space was one that businesses could utilise to cut back on the expenses of having permanent staff and that particular roles could be outsourced whenever it was required – and so I went down a deep rabbit hole.

As an interesting and insightful piece of content, I landed up interviewing 64 agency owners around their use of freelancers so that I could better understand how well the strategy worked for them, what their frustrations were, whether certain things didn’t work and all of the pros and cons that come with this approach to running a business.

With all of this great information that I had accumulated, I came up with a report and it ended up gaining plenty of traction and interest – to the extent that I wrote a book about the freelance space and how to successfully run a freelance business.

It was a 2-year long project that I undertook, with a lot of time, money and effort spent on the process of writing and self-publishing it.

It didn’t end up being such a bad thing, as it was transformed into an engaging set of course material, where it was lectured and taught at a few tertiary institutions and I had even done some talks around it in a few different environments – but it ultimately took away from the identity I’ve been aiming to achieve.

People started referring to me as “the freelance coach”, which isn’t what I do, or advocate.

The shiny penny that I had picked up and took with me on my journey was becoming a part of my identity and started to define the clients that I would attract. Truth be told, this works wonders if that is the particular niche, or double-niche, that you want people to recognise you for, but it’s not what I wanted.

I don’t want to be known as “the freelance guy”, or “the freelance coach”; it’s not what I offer and it takes away from the core of my business, who I am and what I do.

It takes time to change the narrative around the identity that you’re given surrounding a product or service that you’ve offered or sold and I’m still working towards changing people’s views on what I actually provide to them as a business coach.

Rubbing Salt In My Wounds 

As if writing and publishing that book wasn’t enough of a reason to distract people from the service that I actually provide and what I yearned to be recognised for, I decided to share my Business Bikes And Breakfast Radical Accountability Program (BBBRAP) with the world.

It was still in-line with the direction I wanted to take in coaching and included a great passion of mine, but people started to attach that niche that I created as a label around what I do.

Taking a slightly different approach, I published a lot of what I did in BBBRAP as visual content on the different platforms that I was on and soon became known as “the guy that does bike events”, or that I “coach bikers.”

This was, again, something that I didn’t want to be exclusively known for and I’ve had to learn the hard way to avoid making mistakes like this.

Stopping to admire and pick up the shiny pennies that constantly draw you in becomes problematic when developing an identity or image that you’re trying to make stick in people’s minds.

So I implore you to be careful of the distractions that come your way and always be aware of quick-sinking rabbit holes, as well as the glimmering shiny pennies that might detract from your core business identity and main source of income.

Try and keep away from these types of distractions if they aren’t going to enhance the image, label or personality that you’re attempting to cultivate around your business, product or service.

Like I mentioned earlier – I’ve had to learn the hard way and find it quite difficult to redirect the narrative people have of me and what I provide as a business coach.

For some real business coaching, without the labels of ‘freelance’ or ‘biker coach’, then feel free to get into contact with me for advice, strategic planning, understanding the market and growing a powerful and profound business.

I can assist you with all of that and plenty more.

Don’t be under the assumption that I’m just a badass biker freelance wizard coach – I have so much to offer you and your business.

It’s easy to find me, chat to me and set up the meeting that will change your life and business for the better:

+2783 253 3339

brent@spillly.com

But, I mean, if you are interested in that book of mine or keen on biking and business – I’m still your guy!

Being retrenched? Your CV is not enough.

By Business Coaching Entrepreneur Freelance Motivation Recruitment No Comments

The CV
is dead.

Long live
the CV.

The way in which your parents “brought in the bacon” for 30 years, for the same company, no longer exists.

The workforce of today and tomorrow will find income without a long format Curriculum Vitae with their online presence, a direct sales approach and their searchability being the backbone of success with a strong balance of IQ, EQ and change quotient.

Stop using the front door to get in the building.

Our half-day customised master class will cover how the world and South Africa are moving towards a remote gig economy and where the Internet and online platforms will provide global work opportunity that we have never experienced before.

Brent Spilkin literally wrote the book on freelancers with his book “What the Freelance – the mini MBA for Freelancers.”  The research and findings of this text book has lead to a new approach to working for clients rather than working for an employer.

This master class will leave you with practical tools and insights into getting out the mindset of CVs, recruiters and “let’s hope I get that interview,” and into a new way of proactively seeking the kind of work and freedom you always wanted but never knew possible.

HERE IS A THOUGHT SHIFT: Less of unemployed and more self employed

These are some of the key lessons you will learn and apply:

  • Where to work?
  • How to get work I want?
  • Tools, tricky and tips.
  • Platform thinking.
  • Risk analysis.
  • Growing your network and using Social media effectively while owning your narrative and Media channels.

 

Who are you next?

  • Leader?
  • Entrepreneur?
  • Contributor?
  • Designer?
  • Strategist?
  • Consultant?
  • Provocateur?

Find out more Today If You…

  • Are being forced out of your job and don’t know what is next.
  • Are fearful of going at it alone or if that is even really an option.
  • Are eager to learn proven job-search strategies that work in today’s economy.
  • Are bored with your past choices and are exploring career opportunities.
  • Are ready to start the next phase of your life and career.
  • Have started your own side gig and need to push this a lot harder.
  • Feel that the millennials are doing stuff that scares you [and are taking the jobs you want!]

Come define your future. Make this a positive choice not a crisis.

For more info contact us or send us a WhatsApp message.

 

The Future of Work Meetup Event at Spin Street House in Cape Town

By Business Coaching Freelance Public Speaking What The Freelance

Those of you that know and follow me see that I’m a big proponent of Freelancers being a major piece of the global workforce in the near future.

Along with Flexyforce.com and Spin Street House in Cape Town, I delivered a 20-minute piece on why Freelancers are not being protected, how they can fix this, what is happening to creative agencies and how freelancers can take advantage of the shift in marketing spend and thinking. I also punted my book whatthefreelance.com a little bit too.

It was a great evening with amazing beer, wine, brains and conversation. It’s coming to Joburg soon, so watch this space!

How Businesses Can Leverage the Gig Economy

By Freelance What The Freelance

The gig economy is growing and by 2020, one in five workers will be freelance or on contract — this according to the EY Global Contingent Workforce Study. A fancy new name for freelancing in the digital era, the gig economy refers to the growing workforce of freelancers working ‘gigs’ — tasks performed as once-off jobs.

The acceleration of the gig economy has primed the market for opportunities — for both freelancers and businesses. So how do you leverage this trend for your company?

Embrace the blended workforce

While Africa’s digital maturity is not on par globally, the gig economy is gaining momentum thanks to technology, collaboration tools, video conferencing and virtual offices, creating much-needed opportunities and new revenue streams. 

For businesses, the main benefit is the ability to source talent instantly from anywhere in the world at competitive rates. Additionally, hiring freelancers on-demand on a project-by-project basis means you do not need to fork out on pension plans and medical aids.

Permanent employees are working side by side with freelancers in coworking spaces, whether online or in person. However, with a blended workforce comes the challenge of project managing teams working from different locations.

Work better, smarter and faster

By including freelancers in your workflow management system, you can actively improve collaboration between your contractors and your core company team, resulting in better understanding between the relevant parties, improved workflow and increased profitability.

It does not matter whether you are using Asana, Meistertask or Trello, just make sure you have visibility across your teams to get a bird’s-eye view of who is doing what, who has capacity on which day and to whom you can allocate work according to their skillsets.

Hire the right fit

 While you have access to a fast-growing, highly-skilled economy of freelancers, it takes
a particular kind of person to be successful — hardworking, organised, experienced, intelligent and highly-skilled are some of the attributes to look out for when hiring freelancers.

A freelancer’s hourly or daily rate will be higher than you would pay your permanent employees. However, there’s usually no need to provide any employee benefits, healthcare, insurance or perks to your contingent staff. In most cases, you will not even need to supply a desk, chair or computer. This saves you money.

Freelancers can do anything employees can do, but it makes financial sense to only hire freelancers for specific types of work:
●      Once-off projects: hiring a new employee for a single project makes no sense if you know you cannot keep them on after completion. Paying a freelancer to do the work is much more practical.

●      Highly-skilled, short-term work: training staff members in new skills can be expensive, which is why it makes sense to bring in the skills you need as and when you need them.

●      Creative work: freelancers typically rule creative industries such as the media, design, writing, production and audiovisual because there are defined briefs, clear specifications and measurable end-products.

●      Commission-based work: freelancers are accustomed to being paid for the work they produce and have the skills required to meet goals efficiently.

Hiring freelancers is like installing a revolving door — there’s a higher rate of personnel turnover compared to that of permanent employees, but the trade-off is you gain access to a flexible and innovative group of workers who are highly-skilled and cost-effective.

Here are some of the ways your business can save money by hiring freelancers:

●      Real estate and equipment: with most freelancers working remotely, you don’t need to supply physical office space or equipment such as computers, telephones, desks, and chairs.

●      Training for specialised skills: instead of spending money on training, hire a freelancer who already has the skills that you need and knows how to do the job well, shaving thousands off your budget and delivering higher-quality work.

●      Save on benefits: most freelancers charge more per hour than full-time employees, but you’ll still save a significant amount as you are not required to contribute towards their medical aid or pension funds.

●      You only pay freelancers for the work they deliver: your full-time employees get paid even when they don’t have a lot of work to do, which means that your business spends a lot of money on compensation even when you don’t have much revenue coming in. When you hire freelancers, you pay them only for the work they do.

 Keep the bigger picture in mind

According to PayPal’s new Global Freelancer Insights Report, the most significant challenge for freelancers in South Africa is irregular income. On the plus side, gig-economy work can improve work-life balance, often blurring the lines between personal and professional life. Freelancers can pick up kids from school and then switch back to their roles with little interruption. However, while the gig economy is creating new opportunities and unleashing innovation, it is also raising thorny questions about workplace protections and what a good job will look like in the future.

Although the broader socioeconomic effects of the gig economy are as yet unclear, businesses that embrace the agility of the gig economy have the opportunity to redefine the workplaces of the future

The top 8 things advertising agencies should be doing to build their business models around freelancers

By Business Coaching Freelance Mentoring No Comments

Not too long ago, agencies hid freelancers behind the curtain as they quietly pumped out work. Today, success requires you to view freelancers as strategic assets. With the growing gig economy and technology making it so easy to work remotely, it is becoming irrelevant whether
a worker is a freelancer or belongs to permanent staff. Clients do not care who does the job — they want to know you have the experts available to produce quality work on time and within budget.

Here’s why you need to create a freelancer strategy

Many agencies look to freelancers to provide cost-effective, quick labour. However, if you do not manage freelancers appropriately, they can cost more time and money than you realise. It takes time to find them, manage them, and to fix their work if something goes wrong. These hours add up and take away from your margins.

When you hire freelancers correctly, i.e. build them into your business model, your bottom line will benefit from the consistently superb quality work they produce. Freelancers add value. Most projects need a team of experts, and few (if any) agencies can have them all on their staff. Additionally, the best talent for the project may not be available locally.

Freelancers help you reduce overheads, increase specialisation and improve service levels. Providing higher-quality output and lower costs to clients is why you should be gearing your agency towards operating via freelance talent.

Developing an arsenal of trusted freelancers, who are well-coached in your company culture, and creating systems for scaling, can help your agency grow without straining your budget or sacrificing quality. Here are the top 8 things your agency should do to build your business model around freelancers:

1. Have a wide bench of talent

Instead of the same teams hiring the same freelancers, ensure you have a wide choice of freelancers on the bench which any team can access when they need specific talent.

 2. Consider their rates, as well as their ratings & reputation

 Thoroughly vet talent until you can trust their work is up to scratch and that they know how to deliver what you expect. Contact your peers to chat to them about their experiences with some of the freelancers you are considering adding to your bench of talent, or use online freelance resources where they are rated by the companies who have hired them before.

 3. Develop relationships with them

 To improve work consistency, shorten ramp-up time and minimise costs, build relationships with your go-to freelancers and ensure you always have a reliable pool of talent on hand.

4. Let freelancers know they are assets

You are hiring freelancers to add value, so treat them like they are valuable. To benefit from cost-effective, high-quality results, your freelancers must feel that their talent and experience are beneficial to your team.

5. Give them all the information they need

When a freelancer is empowered with all the information they need for a project, they become more dedicated and willing to collaborate on making said project successful. You can further assist them to develop a deeper understanding of the client and project by including them in relevant meetings and connecting them to the right people to answer their questions.

6. Communicate expectations clearly

 Be upfront about what the work entails, what the deliverables are, and what success looks like for you. On the other side of the coin, invite the freelancer to express their expectations too, so that you know what they will be billing, have an idea of their availability, and any other essential details which may affect the project.

7. Bring contractors onboard earlier

 Before your pitch to a new client / for a new project, bring your freelancers onboard to help shape the project scope with their specific expertise and assist in defining what success looks like, as well as to better estimate the rate your agency will charge for the work you are pitching.

8. Give them access to your tools

From day one, give your freelancers access to your collaboration tools, such as Asana or Slack. This promotes open communication, which helps them resolve issues efficiently and hold each other accountable.

The bottom line for agencies hiring freelancers is to find the best possible talent and use them wisely. By building a contingent workforce into your business model, you can increase your agency’s immediate margins and ensure that the value of what you are offering grows over time.

The Sunday Morning Media Show with Ashraf Garda + Spillly

By Books Business Freelance Mentoring Public Speaking No Comments

Last Sunday morning, I was given the pleasure of speaking to Ashraf on SAFM on his freelance career and the challenges he faced and often still faces as an independent professional.

The conversation covered aspects of the current economic situation is SA and how the education system is letting people down in the entrepreneurial space.

For more info on our topic and the WTF Freelance MBA that is being run at Vega School click here. 

The Gig Economy with Kojo Baffoe on Kaya FM

By Freelance Interviews Radio What The Freelance

Last night, I had the opportunity to speak to the Kaya FM audience on the #LifewithKojoBaffoe show. The topic was centred around the current economic climate and how this is growing the small entrepreneurs and the freelance economy. 

With Kojo being a freelancer most of his life, the conversation was frank and honest pointing at the clear need that business skills are lacking in the independent professional space, something our What The Freelance book and course at Vega School is certainly helping with.

If you tuned it, great, if not – what our Facebook page for the next interview coming soon…