Posts tagged skillshare class on going freelance
#WTART Update 08: Some live videos to watch this weekend

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As some of you might know, I’ve recorded two Skillshare classes myself and I’ve watched several dozens of classes created by talented people who decided to share their skills with others.

Here are some of my favorites that might help you with your freelance business:

Samantha Wilson’s series “Now What?” is great for graphic designers who’d like to learn what to do with their creations besides putting them down on paper:

If you run an Instagram account for your business, you might appreciate Dana Malstaff’s strategy to create and manage your strategy through Trello:

Philip Campbell summarized the places where you can sell digital assets online:

Luna Vega, whose story you’ve read in This Year Will Be Different, created a class about email marketing techniques:

One of my favorite people at Kickstarter, Stephanie Pereira, made a class to teach you about storytelling, which is a pretty handy class if you’re planning to go live on Kickstarter in the foreseeable future. (Tom Bates, a backer of My Creative (Side) Business did and I was lucky to help him!)

I can also highly recommend the class of my friend Gareth Pon, who teaches you how to make the most of Instagram:

...and finally, if you haven’t already watched it, you might like to take my class on freelancing as a little recap:

Happy Saturday! Enjoy the videos! 


It’s a wrap! December
new york

At the beginning of December, I was still on vacation in South Africa. However, once I came back, I split my time between wrapping up my assignment with Kickstarter and finishing the manuscript of #MCFSB. Often, people ask me how I deal with budgeting and charging my clients. To be honest, I prefer to work with bigger clients for longer periods of time because that spares me a lot of administration. Then, I try to work on side projects in which I’m striving to monetize. However, every time before the end of a contract period, I try to get the assignment to a point that I can say the job's well done and accomplished. 
Whenever I discuss contracts, I specify figurative goals because it’s easier to reflect on your work and say that you’ve delivered what you promised. It’s also easier to discuss future collaborations based on hard facts and numbers, so that was what I was trying to accomplish before getting on the plane to New York. 
A few days before I left for New York to see the team at Kickstarter, I met up with Sean Blanda from 99U to say “hi” to the team at Skillshare and also had a lovely meeting with someone at Squarespace. I sent the first version of the #MCFSB manuscript to Diana. Our goal was to have it edited before going live on Kickstarter (which happened on the 4th of January). 
I’m now finishing off this small article and I’m going to write a reflection of the entire year and publish that one soon. Stay tuned!  

It's a wrap! October

I remember last year when I swore that I’d force myself to speak to the camera more often. First was the Skillshare class that Sarah and I shot in September, and now, the second video for the upcoming Kickstarter campaign. Given the experience of those two videos, I might be able to say that being on film is way out of my comfort zone, which means that it’s something I must practice. On another note, the video for my upcoming Kickstarter campaign is complete and already uploaded. I’m still refining my concept for the text and the rewards, which I want to make more attractive than last time, but nevertheless, you can already have a peek here, and maybe even bookmark the page to receive a notification when it goes live. But that’s just a thought…

However, Kickstarter doesn’t just keep me busy because of the upcoming book that I have already started working on. At the beginning of the month, Kickstarter’s strategy team and I met with a couple of German creators to discuss the challenges of the German market. It was an incredible experience and one that makes you realise that even in a globalised world, there are still significant cultural differences. 

In the third week of the month, I went to the Dutch Design Week and spoke at the EHV Summit, consulted the wonderful teams at Eindhoven's Startup Bootcamp, and also managed to visit the great folks at Rockstart in Amsterdam, followed by a meeting with Dan from Peerby, the peer landing platform whose founders consider every city to be the greatest warehouse one can possibly have. 

I was also invited by the KAS to run a workshop about the trades one needs to be considered an attractive employee with Andreas Winiarski who represented Rocket Internet. Quite a combination! 

The best news is probably that of Raven and Finch, one of my wonderful clients, has been featured in the Entrepreneur Podcast on Monocle24, and also the news that my photography was highlighted in an EyeEms community newsletter

Once again, it was quite a month! I’m not taking any new clients until the end of the year, but will be available from January on! It’s time to take some time off, and quite frankly, I think we all deserve that every now and then. If you are curious about my South African adventures, follow along on Instagram.  

Skillshare classes that will help you grow your business.

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Do you sometimes ask yourself whether something groundbreaking and important slipped your attention? Working in the digital industries, a lot is going on every single day and it’s hard to stay on top of everything. At least, that’s how I feel.  

Educating myself has become one of my top priorities, but because it’s impossible to attend conferences every single day, it’s important to make education part of the day to day. 

I watch TED or Creative Mornings talks whenever I eat by myself. It’s inspiring, but it doesn’t make me work on my business; that’s where Skillshare comes in.

On Skillshare, every class comes with an exercise and the possibility to get feedback on the projects you upload. It’s no longer just listening. Skillshare forces you to think and share your work progress with others, a practice that might help you grow your business. 

So, if you’d like to push yourself a bit further, I would love to recommend some of the classes I’ve found that could be valuable to you:

  • Context is Key by Gary Vaynerchuk will teach you how to use social media to make people aware of your business.
  • The New Business Toolbox by Seth Godin will guide you through the strategy of business communication to get it right from the beginning.

…and if you’re interested in what I have to say about freelancing, An Insightful Guide to Becoming a Freelancer might be the right class for you.

I hope these classes will help you grow your business. Let me know what classes you’ve enrolled in.

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It’s a wrap! September

The sentence that made my September came from Melinda Borzsak-Schramm. During her talk at the Freelancer Meet-Up in Vienna, she said that as a freelancer, one needs to have a thick skin. Many times, potential clients say they are excited about your proposal and will follow up in a couple of weeks, which might never actually happen, as it’s been the case with two potential clients this past month.

Whenever you propose a concept that is not the standard solution, it’s much harder for people to agree to work with you. I understand that doing something new is scary, but at the same time, it would feel irresponsible to me to say that doing what everyone else is doing online is the right choice. Millions of people fight for the attention of their potential customers. Doing the same thing one has seen working for other people online might not work any longer. Whenever you work online, you need to seek out new solutions; be bold and progressive!

Online marketing, to me, means helping my clients brand their services through actions. Helping them find the sort of benefits their customers will value the most is what I am personally after. I don’t believe that writing another blog post will make the cut, so if you’re someone who has courage and wants to try something new, don’t hesitate and get in touch! 

Ever since I published This Year Will Be Different, I’ve had the chance to experiment with different marketing techniques and directly monitor the results of my efforts. Only a couple of weeks ago, I published an insightful guide to becoming a freelancer on Skillshare (which looks awesome thanks to Sarah) and gained more than 1000 students in less than three weeks. 

Focusing my efforts on building a community of freelancers has also made me register the domain name Let’s see if this is going to be something small or rather something big. Nevertheless, I won’t focus on this project until early next year. (I figured I needed to do some long-term planning.)

Besides the Skillshare class, I also published the first sponsored post on my Instagram feed. I’ve never agreed to publish any sponsored content until a company came along where I saw the value for my Instagram community. aspires to be the app to connect professionals with one another to collaborate and work together in the future. 

Also in September, the majority of my time has been dedicated to helping people launch great projects on Kickstarter. Here are some of my favourite projects: Brooklyn Neighborhood Guide, Berlin Comedy Café, SolidLUUV, BoozeHound, John Boxer, PhotonGrill, and True Boxers

How was your September and what are you planning to do in October? Is there anything I can help you with? 

How your creativity can make you money.

Here are parts of my weekly newsletter: you can subscribe to my newsletter to get the full articles to your mailbox. 

Do you remember what your parents advised you to study? What they said would be a wise choice for you to get a job afterwards? I was told several times that studying business was the only right choice. Everything else was a waste of time. My father always believed that creative jobs are the ultimate path to poverty. He was probably worried I would become a starving artist if I followed my curiosity and dedicated my time to my creative drive. (I'm glad I studied interior architecture anyway.)

I learned quickly about the differences between art and commercial art. I listened up when people talked about the internet. And I started to seek out ways to capitalise creativity. Because I believed that there is a way to be creative in the day to day and still have a fridge filled with awesome stuff. 

Most of you joined me on my journey after I published This Year Will Be Different to better understand what it takes to go freelance. Once I learned to walk the freelance path, I figured I needed to follow Christine’s advice and learn how to diversify my income streams to feel more stable in the situation I built for myself. Suddenly, I was saying “yes” to just about any offer that came my way. “Monika, do you want to sell stock images?” “Sure!” “Monika, would you like to do a Skillshare class?” “Why not?” I knew after the disastrous video I published to get my book funded on Kickstarter earlier this year, I had to try to tape myself again. 

Freelancing started to feel like a game and I started to feel like a creative ninja. Yes, I too was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fan, but that's besides the point. Thanks to my great clients, I’ve had the freedom to invest time in things I knew would never work out immediately. I started investing time and whenever people asked me what I did, I said I was playing; I was playing the freelance game.

In the last couple of months, I’ve learned a lot about the possibilities that are there for everyone to make money through their creativity. The idea for a second book was born! This time, it’s explaining how different freelancers turned their creativity into a business with multiple income streams. So far, I've talked to a writer, a language teacher, a graphic designer, and soon, I’m also having an interview with a letterer! (Yes, you can make money writing pretty fonts.)

If everything goes as planned, "My Creative (Side) Business" will be live on Kickstarter in January. So that’s one piece of good news! The other is that my Skillshare class is finally online. If you would like to tap into freelancing and prefer audio over reading, or if you would just like to see how I am “in person" (…and what weird pronunciation mistakes I make), then follow this link or click on the image below.

I cannot wait to see your Freelancer's manifesto uploaded to Skillshare! 

Enjoyed the read? It's an adapted version of my latest newsletter. Get the full versions into your mailbox.