3 Great Articles for Creative Business Owners and Freelancers

1. How to raise freelance rates

There are more than 70 million freelancers in the U.S. — here’s how they can raise their rates

Whether you call yourself a freelancer, independent contractor, or small business owner, everyone has to address raising their rates from time to time. I like to charge by the project as I am paid for my expertise, not my speed. And, when freelancers are paid an hourly rate they sometimes lose negotiation power. 

“I want to raise my rates from $90 to $125 an hour.” That was the first thing Jessica said on the call. It was followed by, “My accountant advised it.” Quickly followed by, “How do I tell my clients?”

It’s a question I get asked all the time.

Before I could answer, Jessica continued, “I haven’t raised my rates for at least five years, and my costs have been going up steadily.” I could see she was uncomfortable with her justification. “But,” Jessica went on, “I’m afraid I’ll lose clients if I ask for more.”

I’ve been there. I sympathize. I feel anxious when asking for more money under any circumstances, not just freelancing. But throughout my career, I’ve negotiated design and branding fees in the hundreds and in the millions. Since 2005, I’ve advised creatives on negotiating salaries and fees. I founded and grew The Leonhardt Group, a Seattle brand design firm, and sold it when it reached a staff of 50 and $10 million in sales. After the sale, I took a creative director position in London. In that role, I found that the creatives I worked with across the world had the same struggles asking for the money that I did.

Read on Fast Company to see how to deal with this common dilemma. 

Read more articles on being a freelancer,

To learn more about our freelance, contractor, and small business community, apply to join the Creatives Roundtable.

2. ChatGPT a new ChatBot Is a ‘Code Red’ for Google’s Search Business 

Recently ChatGPT, an experimental chat bot made its case to be the industry’s next big disrupter. It can serve up information in clear, simple sentences, rather than just a list of internet links. It can even generate ideas from scratch, including business strategies, blog topics, and vacation plans.

Although ChatGPT still has plenty of room for improvement, its release led Google’s management to declare a “code red.”  For Google, this was akin to pulling the fire alarm. Is this the arrival of an enormous technological change that could upend business?

It seems like forever that Google has been the go-to for searching the internet. Will these ChatBots be a threat to that business? One Google executive described the efforts as make or break for Google’s future.

ChatGPT was released by an aggressive research lab called OpenAI, and Google is among the many other companies, labs, and researchers that have helped build this technology. Will this new technology actually compete with the big G? Google has spent several years working on ChatBots and, like other big tech companies, has aggressively pursued artificial intelligence technology. Google has already built ChatBots that could rival ChatGPT. One of the problems with this search is how the digital ads will fit in — a dilemma for Google for sure. These AI software solutions are coming fast and furious!

 This is really interesting and I wonder – how will we use it? The link is to a New York Times article, try out the NYTimes for free, or signup to view this article in full. They do allow a few free articles per month.

3. Einstein’s Law of Focus: How to Be More Productive, Accomplished, and Fulfilled, Starting Today

Here are practical steps you can take to utilize Einstein’s law of focus — what you decide not to do can make all the difference.

After Albert Einstein graduated from college in 1900, he struggled to find work as a teacher and took a job at the patent office. (Even Einstein had to start somewhere.) He used that job, in time-honored, dues-paying tradition, to cover the bills while he published four groundbreaking scientific papers and earned his PhD in 1906.

By 1912, he was widely known — at least within the scientific community — as an accomplished theoretical physicist. Big fish? Sure, but in a really small pond.

So he took a step back and assessed his career. Generally speaking, he was, um, a generalist. What if he focused on one thing? What if he applied non-Euclidian math to his own work on general relativity so it accounted for the effect of gravity? For the next three years, that’s what he did. That’s all he did. (He later claimed his hair turned white from the stress.)

In 1915, he published his theory of relativity, arguably the greatest scientific accomplishment of the 20th century.

Goal-scope creep is inevitable for people who expect a lot from themselves. Read what Einstein, Warren Buffet, and Cal Newport believe works to balance it all on Inc.‘s Online Magazine

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