Hello everyone, today we have an interview with Grace Smith of Postscript5. In this interview we talk about how being active on blogs and forums can help your business and you’ll also get to know Grace better if you didn’t know her already. She’s very cool :)
Jon: Hi Grace, thanks for accepting the invitation for the interview. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do?
Jon: A lot of people are contemplating a freelance career, but will not necessarily make the switch for various reasons and prefer freelancing on the side. Do you freelance full-time or you also work for a company/agency?
Transitioning from a full-time job to freelancing can be very scary but it can also be extremely exciting and rewarding. Personally I started doing both a full-time job and freelancing, it’s not fun and you work some crazy hours however it reaches a stage where freelancing full-time is the natural progression.
During this time I learnt the importance of building both my portfolio and contacts as well as networking both locally and online, the transition becomes a whole lot easier when you have a ready made list of clients and contacts!
Jon: What would be the single most important thing you learned since you started? Or a story about a mistake you learned a lot from.
Developing confidence in both your abilities and in the way you speak will leave such a lasting impression on those you meet.
Jon: Can you tell us what tools you use to run your business? (image editing software, CMS, invoicing tools, etc…)
- Graphics: Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator
- Cold Hard Code: Textmate & CSSEdit
- CMS: WordPress (previously Texpattern)
- Invoicing: Freshbooks
- Project Collaboration: Recently switched to Basecamp
- Organisation: Backpack
- Time Tracking: The beautifully simple Slimtimer
- Contact Manager: Highrise (at this point you may have noticed my affection for 37 Signals products)
- Brainstorming: Freemind
Jon: I noticed you were pretty active in the comments section on some blogs like FreelanceFolder, FreelanceSwitch and others. I’m curious to know how being active on blogs helps your business? Would you say it’s a good way to get new clients or is it more for exposure and branding?
Has being active online helped my business? Yes, without a doubt! In direct terms I have had numerous requests for work because I have been active and helpful on authority forums within my niche. Through this you can reach a whole new range of people who might be interested in your site and services and gain a nice slice of traffic in the process. The important thing to remember when using forums is that you have to add value to gain the trust of the community, spend time replying to questions and offering advice on subjects you are knowledgeable about.
Indirectly, commenting on other blogs is a great way of generating exposure and building your brand name. By adding insightful, well-thought out comments that add to the discussion you can be sure the author will take notice and if you consistently leave quality comments, other commentators will want to find out exactly who is writing these and therefore visit your site. Its a great way to connect with your peers in your industry.
Becoming community involved has three significant benefits; it can generate business, it can increase your brand exposure and it can help develop your own style of writing and improve your blogging.
Jon: You told me in an e-mail you were working on a new design for your site and you will also have a blog. When can we expect it to go live, and what topics will you write about?
Jon: What’s in your Ipod? And if you don’t have one, why? (I had to ask) :)
In terms of music I have quite diverse interests, however my current favourite artists are Lupe Fiasco, J Dilla, Roisin Murphy and Simian Mobile Disco, coupled with the entire back catalogue of Prince!
Jon: Grace, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to answer these questions, it is really appreciated!