Read the update in its entirety here.
Thanks for following along.
The next progress update regarding the journey toward fulfilling my 2017 goals, is now available.
Read the update in its entirety here.
Thanks for following along.
Last month I published a post that encouraged professionals and business owners to put a dollar value on their time.
I conducted a small survey with a handful of responses (certainly not scientific here), but it was interesting to read how much other professionals deem their time to be worth.
I averaged the survey results up and out of its respondents the average professional believes their time is worth $262.50 per hour.
So why was I interested in this?
Personally, I freelance my skills and time as a contractor on many occasions, and it's always interesting to me the responses I get when I share how much I charge for my time, services and the overall value to the client of the service I provide.
Just to be clear, often the response is negative...as in, I can't believe you are charging that (and trust me, my rates are average to low for the services I provide if said potential client went to a full-blown marketing agency).
However, when that happens it's my opportunity to share how I create value for the client and their business far beyond the amount they pay me...
...and that's probably the bigger lesson here: if potential clients are not willing to pay you the price you've set forth you're either marketing to the wrong people, or you haven't justified your value to them and their business...or both.
Back to the survey...
The survey from last month was another way for me to validate to myself, and to prospective clients, why I might charge what I charge on an hourly basis (if the project is something where I am in fact charging for my time).
The thought process was, if I could gather survey responses from a good cross-section of my target audience and identified among them how much (at least on average) they believe an hour of their time is worth, then I could align my hourly rate with a similar prospective client and further justify why I should be paid my price (again, you do absolutely have to be able to also present your value here).
So, on average those in my target audience are suggesting their time is worth $262.50 per hour. If I presented an hourly rate that is more than a 50% off of their hourly rate (i.e. $130/hr.), wouldn't they be coming out ahead saving time and money?
What's to complain about in that price or approach?
Posted by Nick Venturella
Guest post - About the Author: With over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, Brad Shorr is Director of Content Strategy at Straight North, an Internet marketing company in Chicago. He has been featured in many top online publications including Moz, American Marketing Association and Forbes.
Lead generation marketing campaigns are complex, which is why many organizations get sticker shock when they hear how expensive SEO, PPC and other forms of marketing are. The infographic below, the Lead Generation Ecosystem, is designed to give organizations a clear picture of what a lead generation campaign should look like, and why it is no easy task to get each piece in the right position.
The infographic was developed by Straight North, a PPC management service provider headquartered in Chicago. It was first created as an internal training tool for new hires, and proved so effective that the agency has made it available to the public.
The largest image in the infographic is the company website, since that is where online traffic is converted into sales leads. A good topic for reflection: Are you taking advantage of all the possible types of content on your website? Because of cost, production difficulty, lack of talent and other issues, many businesses rely far too heavily on text-only or text-heavy content. This practice is costly in terms of conversion. Today’s website visitor probably prefers visual content, whether it be short video, infographics, slide presentation or high-resolution, custom photography. Without these, visitors are liable to enter and leave your website without consuming much content, if any. Lead lost!
Take a look at the infographic now, below:
(having trouble viewing the infographic here in the blog post? Click here)
I'll be writing brief goal updates on my Patreon page for anyone to follow along my journey this year.
Here's the latest Progress Update.
Feel free to follow along, and if you're so inclined , become a patron, however, don't feel obligated.
I appreciate your attention and support.
Happy New Year everyone!
Did you make a New Year’s resolution?
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions.
Typically people make resolutions too broad in scope, which allows them an easy out if they choose not to fulfill it.
My opinion: goals are good, resolutions are not.
For me, this year, I have creative project goals, and my measure of success will be how much, and/or how many, of them I’m able to complete.
This year, I want to push past the creative barriers I’ve had in the past to do fun, interesting projects and figure out the monetization along the way or after the fact (that’s in part where you can help and be a part of the projects on Patreon — regardless if you become a patron, be sure to follow along to see the progress).
Personally, I always enjoy reading, experiencing, watching hearing about a creative person’s journey through their projects almost more than the end result of what they produce. I’m always curious about the path they took to get there. To me, that’s fascinating.
In observing others’ path towards their goals, I feel like I learn alternative ways to approach the creative process, which in turn helps my own creative process. That’s, in part, what I hope you gain from following along with me this year.
My creative journey, as well as any, is translatable to other fields and industries. Understanding how to work through projects or processes for your job or for your business is a creative process whether or not you consider yourself a creative person.
Below is what I plan to focus and document progress on this year (If you’re curious, get more in-depth descriptions of these goals here)…
Overarching main goal themes:
1. Focus more heavily on quality creative projects
2. Connect more with others along the creative journey to share with others, learn from others and serve others
1. Flesh out and re-master the audio quality of my Light of Mourning music album.
2. I’m currently getting clear on a (film/audio) project I’m calling the Legacy Music Project (a working title for now).
3. Begin to seriously work on my creative story/comic called Boxville.
4. I will continue to work on my AutismHR.com project, which is designed to help adults on the autism spectrum embrace the gig economy to earn an income on their terms from their skills.
5. Finally, I will continue to increase my knowledge and creative usefulness in my day job, continue to offer freelancing creative services and music performances, however, I want to help more of my contacts build their careers and build their businesses by helping facilitate useful connections to help grow their endeavors toward success.
posted by: Nick Venturella
I have been thinking about what I value, and how I put that out into the world. I try to do so in a way that's valuable to others, but also in a way that helps me make a living.
My point is, if you're going to spend a large amount of time doing something, that means that time spent on something from column A cannot be spent in column B -- displacement of time.
Therefore, if I can find a way to have the activities that I enjoy spending time doing -- that I value and others value by consuming it -- make an income, then from a professional/fiscal standpoint that's an ideal way to spend my time. Because after all our time is valuable.
So what's the point of doing these things that you might value, and putting it out into the world?
Financial gain is one measure or aspiration to have, but beyond meeting your living expenses/necessities, is it worth it?
I guess I would answer that with some questions:
If you answered yes to those questions then I would ask you one more question:
Do you find your participation in what you do fills you with love and happiness, and do you enjoy learning about or experiencing when the people affected by what you do are filled with love and happiness?
Even if the impact is one person (maybe it's only you), it's worth it.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
I'm running a short survey.
The survey is one question long.
The survey responses are anonymous.
I'm looking for several small business owners to answer the following question:
What amount of money quantifies your perception of what one hour of your professional time is worth?
I plan to blog about why I'm asking this question once I have 20 or more responses.
Thank you in advance for answering the question.
You want to know how to earn a few bucks from your creative endeavor like, today?
Whatever the reason is you need to make money today doesn't matter. What matters is that you likely already have what you need to go out make a few bucks now.
For example, back in my college years I found myself in need of a few extra bucks more than once.
Here's what I did...
Being a musician, I used to go downtown and perform on the street, busking.
It started out as an experiment to get some practice in and understand how my music was received by complete strangers. I figured a few people might be generous enough to leave a tip for my talent.
For a poor college kid, this turned out to be a pretty lucrative way to get paid to practice and promote my music.
I ended up earning somewhere between $50 and $100 within a 2 hour timeframe. This was immediate return on my efforts to bring the value of music to passersby on the street.
Plus, I would sometimes had out free sampler CDs of my music to those who stuck around for a bit and seemed to enjoy my songs. My website address was on the CD as well. Some people even asked to sign up on my email list on the spot (so I started carrying a notebook just for that purpose).
I ended up doing this regularly during college. It provided some income, but the greater value was the exposure to new potential fans that my music received.
Here's how the same idea could work for a photographer:
If you're in a town that has a tourist draw and you are a budding photographer, you could do the same thing. Put out a little sign on the street offering to take people's photos using their own smartphone or camera (which they likely have with them), for tips.
You're a professional photographer so you can frame it up real nicely and help them capture a memorable moment.
When you hand back their phone or camera be sure to hand them your business card with a link to your website where they could hire you for your photography services and/or order a print of one of your own photos to hang in their home.
With good street traffic and a friendly demeanor you'd be surprised at how many tips you'll make on the spot, not to mention the amount of free advertising and traffic you can drive to your website.
Posted by: Nick Venturella
James Altucher is an American hedge fund manager, entrepreneur, bestselling author, and podcaster (as stated by Wikipedia).
In the above quick video Altucher explains what you should if you ever get fired. It's a recipe to help you connect with others, find a new opportunity and get on with your career.
The truth is though, this is sound advice for anyone who wants to be successful in their life and career. It's about being smart and mature in your communications and relationship building.
Altucher even provides some mental exercises worth doing that can serve as positive, constructive, daily mental therapy -- nothing too difficult to execute here, but the impact is profound.
Whether you're a musician trying to build your fan base and industry connections or a corporate sales person preparing for (or perhaps forced to be prepared for) your next opportunity, Altucher's advice is worth heeding.
Posted by Nick Venturella
I just saw this infographic (above) on LinkedIn.
It depicts a graphical summary of Conor Neill's 2013 TEDx talk "Who would you bet on?" The 3 elements of personal success. (The original talk is available on the TEDx youtube channel here ).
While the infographic covers a lot of information, I want to camp out a bit on that, 'Keep a Journal,' section.
I'm talking about keeping a daily journal of your own free-writing. A journal for brainstorms of ideas, personal reflections, documented gratitude, frustrations, solutions to problems and even To-Do lists .
It's one of the simplest advantages you can give yourself to be successful in your career and in your life.
How's that? You ask?
The act of writing what's on your mind, daily, allows you to articulate thoughts and feelings.
Once those thoughts and feelings are out and documented on a page you can examine them a bit more objectively and learn to continue to do things that work for you and discontinue things that do not.
Plus, psychologically, getting those thoughts and emotions out frees up some mental capacity to deal with other things.
That makes you more productive.
Beyond all of that , you get to know yourself.
My wife and I always talk about the need to have a good relationship with yourself. Like any relationship you have to work at it.
Daily writing is one way to work at having a positive relationship with yourself and increase your emotional intelligence.
My suggestion is to wake up slightly early to allow yourself time to write.
Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes writing in the morning -- it really does help you start your day off right. If you can spend about 30 to 45 minutes writing that's ideal, but we're all busy.
The point here is to get consistent, even if you accidentally miss a day, get back on the horse the following day.
My challenge to you is to do this morning writing for at least one entire month and experience for yourself how it makes you feel compared to when you weren't writing.
Likely outcomes of this challenge are:
I hope you take the challenge and it serves you well. Good luck!
Daily writing and the accumulated knowledge I gain over time from doing it has been one of my personal secret weapons to success.
Posted by: Nick Venturella