I’ve worked in three agencies in my time and I’ve only ever had one 3 month review. The fact that it caused me to leave that agency should tell me I shouldn’t do this write up, but I know this freelance lifestyle is miles better than any agency I haven’t started. I’ll get back to that at the end.
I’ve taken a template from somewhere and I’ll go through that, in hope I answer questions I wouldn’t normally ask myself.
I think my planning skills have grown massively in the last three months. I’ve gone from taking every opportunity that came my way, all at once, to planning them out properly. I put things in the calendar and leave a few days gap between them, this has meant I’m not doing ridiculously long days and having a life.
I failed at planning before this, I would just tackle an ever to-do list until it got so big that I couldn’t manage and eventually let a few people down. Massively.
I guess the other part of planning would be how I approach projects. I’ve started writing everything down, on paper, so I have a list of what needs doing, how things should work etc etc. This has helped so much.
I’m still not great at this. I have emails in by inbox from prospective clients I know want to work with me, that are 3 months old. I’m slowly getting better, but it takes time to complete switch my mentality to emails.
This ties in with the first two, but I’ll try to separate it. I’ve tried to keep my work load at about 4 days a week. Less than I should, but it works for me and means I don’t get overwhelmed. I can boost up production if needs be, but I don’t want to make a habit of it.
Expectations & Deliverables
I think I’m doing quite well in terms of getting things done on time. I try my best, but things always seem to take longer than expected. The clients are always happy with my work and when I deliver it, but like I say, usually late for me, but they’re happy. I do intend on working harder to keep to my own deadlines and informing the client if things are slipping behind.
Silly, but the very nature of the web is always chaining, so training, or rather learning new stuff, is always happening. I keep up to date by following about 200 RSS feeds that range from interior design to CSS hacks. It all helps, makes life easier and keeps me up to date which is always good for meetings. Being one step ahead of the other freelancer means I usually get the work.
I think I’m pretty damn good at remembering stuff. Where I fail is acting upon those memories. Communication. I learn something new every day that probably helps with the next day.
How I look? How I show work to clients? I’ll do both.
I don’t know about you, but when I meet a client, I always wear a shirt (and jeans, obviously), I always speak my mind and make sure they know what I’m really like. I don’t sugar coat how I am to anyone, even those who’ll pay tens of thousands for my time. I like to think I come across as smart, knowable but a little stubborn. It works for me.
As for showing work to clients, I usually send a publicly accessible URL to a client, with login credentials if needs me, about half way through the project. They seem to like this, and I can’t really imagine how else I could do this.
At the end of a project, the last invoice is paid then the complete site is sent, a few nice words are passed around and that’s usually it. I would prefer to keep in contact more, maybe an email newsletter. I should ask for a testimonial if the project went well too. I could improve so much here.
Attention To Detail
I dunno. With the work its self, I care so much about the small details, the visual flourishes, the validation, the hidden stuff the client will never see but makes my life easier as well as the next developer. I think I’m doping well here.
I’m going to create an agency. I’ll blog about this separately, as how I want to do it is unlike any other.