ChrisChris Frantz

As I decided to leave behind the sure thing and step out on my own into the wide world of freelancing, I thought "Why not up the workload a bit and post about every hurdle you encounter?" And here we are.

All articles by Chris

 

The Finest Tools & Apps for Freelancers (May 2014 Edition)

Since I’ve been freelancing full-time (a little over a month now), I’ve had to develop a number of different ways for handling all the stuff I never really cared much about while working a full-time gig. I started a few twitter accounts, woke up the Facebook pages and updated my LinkedIn. But it’s an absolute pain to manage all of that (despite it’s supposed importance), so I’ve automated at least a
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Using IFTTT to Automate Your Job Search & Everything Else

I have been smitten with the online service IFTTT (which stands for IF This Then That)for about a year now, and now that I’m freelancing full-time, it makes life far easier. I have everything from my job search to my coffee being controlled through this service. And I could even make my job search cue the making of a pot of coffee. You don’t need to know a single line of code, something
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Informal Education vs Traditional Education for Creatives

(Disclaimer: I did two years of schooling in a design related field, before I quit the formal education route and ventured out on my own. Hopefully this is a fair representation of both sides.) There’s no actual way of knowing for sure whether a formal education is the right path of education for you to pursue. If you do better under constant coaching, enjoy being guided into doing certain projects,
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Jack of All Trades, Master of None

(Credit for featured image: Justin Mezzell via dribbble) I’ve noticed this in most creative industries I’ve been able to poke my head into. The graphic designers are feeling it, and have been for longer than the filmmakers have. Print work is shifting into web work, and suddenly CMYK just isn’t enough. With the democratization of technology comes the the division of labor, which in this case has a trickle down
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Stop Buying Cameras, Rent Your Gear

Do you remember the last camera announced at NAB? Hint, it’s from another company that’s never made a camera before. The camera that’s resonated with people the most has been the AJA CION (pictured above). It embraces a lot of things people have been clamoring for, the most apparent being the body shape (finally a camera that looks like a camera!). And it will be released, probably with at least a few
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Passive Income for Graphic Designers: Creating Work That Pays for Years to Come

The idea of creating passive income in a field of work that you enjoy is pretty simple once you wrap your head around it. An easy way to visualize it and justify the additional work to yourself is by imagining a client that requires five hours of work on various projects. Pretend one of those projects is one of the ideas listed below, and by devoting five hours of time
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Casting a Wide Net: The Miserable State of Graphic Design Online

People are constantly trying to figure out how to make a buck, and how to do it as quickly and easily as possible through tactics that are a combination of spam and sheer odds. This trend has permeated most sectors of business online, but I was unaware (perhaps naively) of how bad it had gotten with graphic design.
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Freelancing Stress: The Symptoms of the Self-Employed

We all have a nagging feeling sometimes; like we’ve left something at home on our way to a job even though we’re totally prepared, or maybe it’s more like a vague knowledge of something not being quite right with the situation you’re in. Or maybe it’s a feeling of powerlessness or just pure uninhibited, all-encompassing fear. Maybe it’s what feels like a pulled muscle in a place you’ve never felt
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Why I Cancelled My Thumbtack Account (A Thumbtack Review)

  Thumbtack and sites like it are a scourge on our industry. Besides being  vague with details and the inner workings of their system, they also commit the cardinal sin of charging service providers for anonymous third-party contact. Many providers don’t even realize how easy it is for someone to generate a quote just to feel out some prices in the area, even when they’re not really interested. This is almost
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How To Avoid Freelance Consulting For Free

The meteoric rise in outsourcing sites such as Elance has led to a wealth of jobs and extra income for freelancers. Unfortunately a lot of that work has gone to workers overseas who are willing to work for a much lower rate. Sometimes these workers will use pirated versions of the software (check out the screenshots in the portfolio sections) or misrepresent their grasp of the English language by using
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Face to Face Networking in the Age of Social Media

This is the golden era of communicating online right? Be prepared to drown in a sea of voices and a pool of talent where only the cheapest and most desperate survive. While not as important as it used to be, face to face networking still makes up the majority of my work. The better I can get at it, the more money I can generate doing what I love. Despite
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Grass Is Definitely Greener On The Other Side; Tips on Hiring Freelancers.

I recently hired a freelancer for a project I’m launching (hopefully) in June. It will be my first attempt at product design and I’m pretty excited about it. As I go forward with this new direction (both a financial and lifestyle shake-up to say the least) in my life, I’m trying to keep myself occupied in my downtime with things that could possibly turn into passive income. One of those
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When is it OK to work for less than you’re worth?

Short answer, almost never. The only exceptions being if you’re new in the industry and just dipping your toe in, you’re absolutely inspired by someone else’s passion project, or you have your own passion project.  If you don’t compromise on that, you will find yourself with more income right off the bat. People love haggling with freelancers, and talking down our rates. If you hold your ground, and don’t budge
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9 Mandatory Rules Of The Home Office

Sometimes a line needs to be drawn in the sand. You have to stand up, put your foot down, and not eat lunch at your desk while catching up on True Detective at 3PM on a Tuesday. The home office has to be sacrosanct, the rules must be respected, and while you’re in your office you’re AT WORK.
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Quitting the steady gig

So I’ve had a job for a few months now working in a local government setting putting out all kinds of random bits of video, from PSA’s to 5-hour long broadcast sessions between local politicians, a far cry from whatever aspirations I had for myself when I first got into the film/tv/video field. It’s involved some ENG work, animation, live broadcasting, and everything in between. We were set up on
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