4 Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Work Well Together | Jason Montoya | Skillshare

4 Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Work Well Together

Jason Montoya, Stories & Systems To Live Better & Work

4 Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Work Well Together

Jason Montoya, Stories & Systems To Live Better & Work

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9 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. What You Can Expect From This Course

      1:13
    • 2. Four Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Can Effectively Work Together

      2:39
    • 3. My Journey To Becoming An Authority On Freelancing

      5:00
    • 4. Intentions Part 1 - Summary & Examples Of Intentions

      4:57
    • 5. Intentions Part 2 - The Formula For Intentionality

      3:52
    • 6. How We Engage: Focus Areas, Starting Points, & Compensation

      10:09
    • 7. How We Organize: SOFI, IDEMA & Other Resources For Effectively Managing Projects

      6:56
    • 8. Proactive Communication, Prompt Billing, & Value Land Us In The Sweet Spot

      7:18
    • 9. Recapping The Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Effectively Work Together

      4:25
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About This Class

"I find the instructor to be very intelligent, thoughtful, and sincere." - Ronald H.

Defined Intentions, Engagement Structure, & Project Management Setup Ideal Working Relations

The lack of capacity and appropriate skill level are two reasons companies reach out to freelancers to help bridge the gap. While this partnership extends production and provides flexibility to the business, it can also become the source of their frustration. On the flip side, freelancers can be left in the stressful wake of working with over-demanding companies.

So, how do we get unified and work together effectively? We need to understand our respective intentions, know the structure of how we'll work together, have a system for managing projects, and create a harmonious working relationship. In this course, we'll dive into all four of these areas and more as we discover how companies and freelancers can work well together.

Who Should take this course? People who manage and work with freelancers and freelancers who work as an augmented team member with a company.

What will students achieve after taking this course?

  • How freelancers can work effectively and efficiently with companies
  • How companies can work effectively and efficiently with freelancers
  • How to define and answer what it means to be intentional
  • Learn how to build a sweet spot working relationship
  • Explore a mindset and project management framework to effectively manage projects
  • Explore a system for working with freelancers that establishes accountability, communication and reflection points

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Meet Your Teacher

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Jason Montoya

Stories & Systems To Live Better & Work

Teacher

Now a full-time freelancer, I originally moved to Atlanta in 2005 with my wife, Cait. I attempted to make an animated feature film, launched a political news website, graduated in 2008 from the Art Institute of Atlanta, owned a marketing agency for seven years, and authored a book on flourishing in freelancing called Path of the Freelancer.

I'm also one of the three originators of IDEMA, a framework for capturing and sustaining ideas, and the author of a parable titled The Island Story.

In my journey, I've  personally experienced and seen others experience the life of surviving in isolation. In my times of need, others helped and inspired me when I needed it. As a result, my personal aim is to inspire others to a place of thriving and togetherness.

What does Th... See full profile

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Transcripts

1. What You Can Expect From This Course: My name is Jason Scott Montoya. I'm going to talk about how companies how you can work effectively with freelancers or if you're a freelancer, I'm gonna talk about some systems and ideas that can help you effectively work with your clients. So I own a marketing company. We hired freelancers for internal purposes, but also to help fulfill some of the services we sold to our clients. I really gotta understand what it was like to be the company. Hiring the freelancer now become the freelancer. And then I started to build these teams. I've got a 300 degrees perspective on the different roles and how they work and the different tension have come up with some really good ideas and systems that have helped me flourish and helped a lot of my clients flourish when it comes to working well with freelancers. There's four areas that we're going to dive into that first areas, understanding our intentions. So why are we doing what we're doing? The second area we want address is how we're going to structure the engagement, the third areas, how we're actually going to manage the projects that we're working on, and those three areas are going to lay a foundation for what? It's ultimately the fourth area, which is a sweet spot. Engagement. I'm Jason Scott Montoya. Thank you for taking time. Toe watch this, So let's get at it. 2. Four Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Can Effectively Work Together: Hey, my name is Jason Scott Montoya. And today we're gonna talk about how companies how you can work effectively with freelancers or if you're a freelancer, I'm gonna talk about some systems and ideas that can help you effectively work with your clients. Now, when we talk about effectively working together, there's four areas that we're going to dive into. And by the end of this session, by the end of all these four sessions, my goal for you is that that you have understand these four areas and how they can help you flourish as a freelancer or first as someone who is working with freelancers so that first areas understanding our intentions. So why are we doing what we're doing? Why are we a freelancer Where we working with the types of clients were doing? If we're a company, you know, what's the motivation of why we're working with the serial answer? What are we trying to accomplish with the project that we're bringing them on and really understanding the underlying motivations and having clear vision and direction for our project, and how those underlying currents, whether we acknowledge them or not, actually affect the work that we're doing. The second area we're going to talk about is how we're going to engage. So we talk about communication, accountability, payment, compensation, the way we're compensated, whether it's hourly, fixed rate, those things affect. The working relationships was best that we understand and address those at the beginning of the relationship. So again, the second area wanted Rush is how we're going to structure the engagement, the third areas, how are actually going to manage the projects that we're working on in the tasks that need to get done. We're going to dive into some ah, mindset that I bring to the table. When I'm working with my company or with companies that hire me, I'm gonna talk about a framework at Project Management. Framework I used will dive into a few tools two way accountability and, um, and some other ideas and thoughts on again, how we're going to manage the projects and tasks that need to get done in order to accomplish our objectives. And those three areas and tensions, the structure of engagement and how we're going to project manage are going to lay a foundation for what it's ultimately the fourth area, which is a sweet spot engagement. It's where we're working well together. We have value in the working relationship beyond the transaction of the project itself. That relationship, that type of work you're doing. And we're really cultivating to some a type of engagement as a freelancer. It's the client that I look forward to working with on their project. It's the company that you know where you're looking forward to working with this particular freelance because of what they bring to the table. So we're going to dive into this four areas and really understand how freelancers and companies can work well together. 3. My Journey To Becoming An Authority On Freelancing: all right. Before we dive into the curriculum for this course, I want to give you a little bit of back history. Just about who I am, how I became an authority on freelancing and how that connects the dots toe. Why? I'm speaking specifically on this topic of freelancers and companies working well together again. My name is Jason Scott Montoya. I am, ah, father of four Children. I'm married. I've been freelancing for for about three years now, full time. And it's been an exciting and wonderful journey, and I've really gotten to a place where I've done really well, I'm flourishing. I'm earning the amount of income that that I set out to the clients and working with them having a huge impact. And, um, and as a result, ended up writing a book called Path of the Freelancer. So I'm now an author on freelancing and how to do well at it. And so, uh, just to kind of rewind a little bit. How did I end up writing a book on freelancing? How did I end up freelancing full time? And how did I end up mastering at? Well, I moved to Atlanta in 2005 with my wife. We went on her honeymoon. The day we got back, we packed up everything and we moved from Arizona to Atlanta, Georgia and ah, lots there. But we were. We had a lot of ambition and ideas, and one of things that ended up doing in 2007 was I launched a marketing company and from 7 4014 ran this company, learned a lot of lessons, made a lot of mistakes at the end of that journey, decided to shut the company down. And so, in 2014 and in the spring, um, it was my last day, but I had come it connected with my network and really communicated to them what was going on, why I was doing what I was doing. And as a result of that process, I had several business leaders reach out to me and say, Hey, before you go figure out what you're going to do next, Can I contract you? Can I Are you as a freelancer? Help me with my business and some of the challenges I'm facing, and I said, Well, I don't know what I'm going to do next I need to earn an income to provide for my family. So sure, let's Dio So I leaned. I accepted it. And within a month or two I had about eight projects on my plate. And I had become a freelancer in a way that it sort of chosen me in terms and sense. Ah, and sought out to become a freelancer. But the projects were there, and it was pain, so I embraced it fast forward. About nine months. The products didn't stop, They kept coming. I had learned some some lessons along the way and really decided. You know what? I can make this work. I'm going to make this work and I'm really gonna lean in as a freelancer and master it. So 2015 spent that year really figuring out how to master it. Towards the end of the year, I had freelancers coming my way saying, Hey, Jason, help me figure out how to overcome this problem is a freelancer or this challenge with this client. And I ended up coaching and mentoring several freelancers and and they said you ought to write a book. I said, Okay, I had to write a book. I want to write a book. I'll write a book. This is the good one, right it on and up starting the project path of the real answer and writing That book recruited, um, a dozen or so freelancers to go through on a monthly basis and coach them through the content and get their feedback to help make it better. And so went through that journey in 2016 at the end of that year, had finished writing the book and was it was about to, ah, launch it and start the marketing. And at that time it started. Actually, the the demand for my services increased, and I had to start increasing my rates. And, um, and as a result, you know, I could only helps so much with time that I had, but I knew that the clients that I'm was working with needed a lot more help. So I started building these three Lansing teams, um, to help fill in the gaps, and I begin project managing and leading these different teams for my clients to help them resolve their challenges and in accomplished their marketing objectives. So I own a marketing company. We hired freelancers both for internal purposes, but also to help fulfill some of the services we sold to our clients. I really don't understand what it was like to be the company hiring the freelancer. On the flip side, I now have become the freelancer, and then I started to build these teams. And so when you think about talking about how marketing companies and just different types of companies of all sorts can work well with freelancers and freelancers working well with companies, and I've got a 360 degrees perspective on the different roles and how they work and the different tensions and I think have come up with some really good ideas and systems that have helped me flourish and helped a lot of my clients flourish when it comes to working well with freelancers. And so I'm here today because you have been in the trenches. I've learned what it's like and and I've sort of documented and noted thes the things that worked in the things that and today were. You are through this course we're going to explore Ah, what those are and how they can help you, and we're going to start by diving into intentions. Why are we doing what we doing? Our, um And and what do we hope to accomplish by the end of that? Ah, in the end of our engagement, both is the freelancer and the company hiring one. So let's get at it. 4. Intentions Part 1 - Summary & Examples Of Intentions: So let's talk about intentions. Intentionality. Interesting. Interesting word. Um, motivation. It's another word we can use to describe it. Um, really understanding. You know, I've come up with this cool concept. It's called the formula for intentionality and have included this graphic Aziz, one of the downloadable items. And you look, you look in that. But essentially, what I've done is I've defined What does it mean to be intentional? What does that look like? I want to give you a few examples, and it will dive into the formula for intentionality to help you understand how it works and how it can actually help you out. So when I when I work with my clients, I have personal motivations that Dr Boundaries that drive the behaviors that I that I follow in terms of how I worked with my clients, I have like I mentioned before, I married at four kids. And so I have boundaries. On when I'm gonna work, I try and cap sets, um, fences, so to speak on my time. And so also all ah, work. A 45 hour week and my hours every day are from 9 to 6 are excusing from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. With a little bit of time. Ah, break in the middle there and I'll do that Monday through Friday and then after six. Unless, except for an exception or on the weekends. I'm not working. And so when I go into an engagement when I'm working with the customer and when we talk about how we're working together, you know that's gonna be something that drives my behavior. If a client needs me to be available, let evenings. If they need me to be available, it weakens. It's going to be, um, up. It's probably not going to be a good fit for us to work together, because I'm not gonna be able to help them in that area. Another example of how my motivations affect my work is I've got a client who's building his business, and I'm I'm continuing to freelance for him as well as bring other freelancers into the fold and managed those for him. And one of the really the the motivations that he has is a business owner is figuring out what type of business does he want to have. Over the last two years, we've almost doubled his his revenues. And he's built, You know, we've built up this business that creates a very nice sustainable income both for him, for the staff that he's brought on board and the freelancers, both me and others that are working with him. And he could simply continue just to sustain that and live the lifestyle he wants and and pursue the things that he wants to do. That's option A or Option one, and Option two is. We actually have set the stage and built the foundation to build a scalable company where we could. It's a hospital, has hospitality company, but it's something where he could actually skill to other cities, other states and even other countries just in terms of how we've set up the systems and so as a motivation or intention, you know, what does? He has a business owner, Where does he want to take this company? And then you can see that's gonna affect how I help him, how I market his company, how I helped him build these systems and structures, and so his motivation is affecting that. On the flip side, you know, I have my own personal aspirations for me. I've written this book part of that step up Part of that step of writing path of the freelancer was to help me, um, start the journey towards building a financially viable writing career, ultimately writing books, but to ultimately, ah, end up writing screenplays and getting into the film and television industry on the creative and storytelling front. And so when I'm working with the customer, I know that I'm not going to be freelancing in the indefinite future. I know my time as a freelancer is going to be limited in terms of my rates are going to increase, and my time and availability is going to decrease over time. So how can I set up my clients up for success so that when I move forward, um, in my own journey, there's continuing to be taken care of and getting their goals accomplished. And so one of those things that I do is I build systems. I organize things that keep them managed well and documented. I build teams to help them, and that allows me the comfort to know that Hey, when I've built this up for them and it's time for me to move on and I can replace myself. I've left them off better than when we started working together. And so that's how my personal motivation effects the business in the way that I work in the way they set it up. I go into an engagement with the end in mind before haven start, and part of that is driven by my aspirations. Teoh to move forward in my own personal writing and writing projects. So you know, that's a few examples of how that plays out. 5. Intentions Part 2 - The Formula For Intentionality: and I mentioned the formula for intentionality. So I'm gonna go and pull that up here. The formula for intentionality is composed of four elements. The first part, his purpose. Why as a freelancer, why am I freelancing as a freelancer? Why am I working with the types of clients that I'm working with and really understanding purpose? So purposes what pushes us, it propels us forward. It gives sort of the energy and motivation to move Teoh get excited and passionate about something. That's the first element. Second element is our mission. How are we gonna goto as a freelance? Or how am I going to go about freelancing If your company and you're looking toe toe work with a freelancer? How do you want to go about working with that Frandsen freelancer? That something again, We'll dive into in the second pillar and this, um in this course, but essentially understanding how and how you know we can break it down into a little bit more specifics in terms of what our goals, what other actions we're gonna take and what's the strategy incubates those goals and actions that actually drive us towards through the larger picture, larger vision. And that's the third element, Which is What's our vision? What does it look like when we've as a freelancer, when we have arrived at the at the at the ideal destination at the finish line of our vocation? What does it look like to succeed? What is success as a freelancer in in companies? When you're looking to hire a freelancer and you're thinking I want to hire a freelancer or to hire someone to help me with this challenge of this project, help resolve this situation? What does it look like when it's finished? When it's completely and perfectly? Um, and not always. Not that it's always perfect, but that we can sort of set a standard that we're striving to achieve. And then the fourth element in this whole of formula is our guidelines or values, with then sort of the the guard rails that that guide us along the way within what values within what guidelines what we follow as we progress, I give you two examples for me, my, ah to core values. One is, um, openness, and one is accountability. Those are two of my core values that guide my behavior in my activity, both in personal life as well is in my freelancing work. And so the openness means, you know, I might have good ideas. I might know what we need to do to move forward, but I'm always gonna be open to hear feedback and an idea since and especially when they are contrasting to mind, were If you know, a client wants to go a direction, I'm not inclined to go. I'm gonna have I'm on retainer open mind. Be willing to speak my voice, but also be willing to hear um and listen to others at the same time again, accountability is another one. You know, when I make a mistake, I'm gonna own it. Um, And when others make a mistake, you know, I'm gonna also hold them accountable, although do it with grace and compassion as I approached them. And so we've got this formula for intentionality. So it as a company where as a freelancer, just start to ask yourself why Why am I doing what I'm doing? How do I want to go about it? What do I hope it accomplish? Where does it lead us? And within what guidelines am I going to follow. And if we ask that both for a personal professional and the way in the way that we want to work with someone, what will start to find is that those by defining those and going into an engagement with those clearly defined and being able to clearly communicate that with our freelancer or freelancers with your client. So that's intentions, um, again both personal, professional and company, and then figure out How do we align those intentions? So the next heroin talk about is how we're going to structure our engagement? Let's get at it. 6. How We Engage: Focus Areas, Starting Points, & Compensation: all right. The second area, when it comes to working well together for companies and freelancers is how we're going to structure the engagement. And when we're talking about how we're going to structure the engagement a few things we need to consider as we need to have a way for accountability, we need to have a method and for our communication. When is it gonna happen? How's it gonna happen when you understand that? You know, if we're gonna work together, how do we start that process? And then what are the ways? How do we have a checkpoint system So that things continue to move along but allows us to just and accommodate as needed. And so to help us explore those different pieces, I'm gonna actually share the system I use when I'm working with clients. And, ah, the re part of the reason I designed the system that we hated is to address all of these things toe have the accountability to have the chicken points and to really provide a system that me, as a former business owner, could really latch onto in me as a freelancer could really latch onto in in terms of this is beneficial for both sides and a lot of ruling neat, powerful ways. So when I'm working with the customer or prospect comes, means is, Hey, you want to work together? Um, there's really, ah, the first area that we're gonna talk about its focus areas. There's to focus areas that I particularly work on, and that sort of, you know, just helped me tow zone in or zoom into that area so I can start to ask them questions to understand what it is that they need. Sometimes I'll have a client that plays in both of these focus areas, but usually it'll be one of the other. And so the first focus or your area is working on the business. So it's coaching the CEO. It's talking and just having company's strategic planning sessions, Um, it might involve strategic planning for their marketing as well. And that brings me to the second, um, focus area that I deal with this marketing and essentially external communications. How do we communicate with our customer prospects? How do we cultivate those relationships that for customers that are existing, how do we work with the team toe? Have more effectively communicate with with the customers and really help him on the marketing. So we got the business is one focus area working on it and they're working on the marketing and they're there to focus Aries that I helped with. Now, once we dive in tow at one of those respective areas, then we've got a starting point. So what are the specific starting points that I can do to help the my client with a starting point? If a customer comes to me and they know specifically what they need, they say, Hey, Jason, I need a June low website, which is one of the things that I can do from a tactical level or they come to me and say, Jason, I need help. Would you Would you do some CEO coaching with me? So they come to the table, They know what they need and they requested, and I'm essentially fulfilling their request. That's a starting point, but a lot of times accustomed will come to me with a problem or challenge, and they don't know how to fix it, and that's where we'll come in. We'll So let's do an audit. You are starting point will be unaudited will assess the situation and figure out what are this sort of the places that we can start after the audit to actually start to move forward and resolve some of these challenges? We get this starting point, um, and once we figured out the starting point, um, the next thing that will do is talk about well, how you know how it is. How are you going to compensate me? How am I gonna communicate with you and that sort of thing? And that's where really were, like, we're the ah, you know, we talk about a system I developed called bam, which is batch action management. And when you talk about compensation, bam is actually an hourly built on an hourly model. Some freelancers like to charge a fixed fees and like to charge hourly. Some like to charge a mix. Some like to charge in a completely different way. But I've based on my own kind of experience and journey. I found that I really value time and I want to charge for my time and and this batch action management system is a great way to do that. So, uh, the way that I do is work in batches of 10 hours. My hourly rate is $85 so a client's committing to $850 for a batch. And during this batch, pull up the graphic here and and give you the the graphic in the as a download. And in this graphic you'll see in the circle, you've got the starting point, which talked about. And then once we start the project, we start to work through that. And with that, within maybe three or four hours of that town are batch. I'll have a checkpoint and I'll communicate with the customer. Say, Here's what I've been working on. Here's what's next and it allows the customer it just gives them a steering wheel for my activity. It says, Hey, you can come in and you can redirect my efforts or you can change them something news come up where priorities have changed or I'm going the wrong direction because of misunderstood you. You can turn the steering wheel and again, 78 hours into the 10 hour batch, I'll check in again. Here's what I'm doing. Here is what I'm up to next allows you to change gears or just reassure yourself that I'm working on the things and that I'm moving forward. At the end of the 10 hours I do a cap essentially a stop, and at that stopping point, I check in with you and say, Here's what I've done Here is what I recommend we do next and it acts. Is an on off ramp to the highway. It says you can continue working with me. We can change how we're working together. We can pause how we're working together or if you just want to stop working because this isn't working for you, then we can do that and so becomes its own off ramp. Former customers allows them to really have a handle or control over the type of work I'm doing and just make sure that I'm moving in the right direction and I'm not going, you know, beyond what they're both financially or time wise, capable of processing. And so the system is just works really well. There's two other pieces that come into play for the clients that I end up working within an ongoing capacity or actually three for certain projects that fixed project. Maybe it's, you know Ah certain marketing project or website or some sort of written content type of project. Um, you know, I'll let a client know what Fry estimate. This could take 2.5 batches, or it could take 10 batches or whatever it might be that way. They have an idea of with larger ah spends going to be. And then I'll update him along the way and say, Hey, we're moving along and by the way, we're ahead of schedule or were behind. So if you want to stick to that budget, we're gonna have to pull out these things from the budget toe to maintain, um, your gold. And the other thing is, if I'm working in an ongoing capacity, another thing I'll do is is will determine a pace, a pace of the number of batches that were going to do in a particular period of time. So it might be for some of my clients. It might be five matches a month. For others, it might be one batch a month. For others. That might be too. For some, it might be once 1/4 um, or someone might be once a year, but whatever it is, will determine what that paces, and that allows me to have sort of a larger rain. And so, if I got from doing five batches per month when I hit the end of the 10 hours, that 10 hour just becomes a communication checkpoint instead of a cap. The cap now moves to the end of that five hours, so the batch now becomes a 50 hour batch with communication checkpoints along the way and the cap um happening at the end of that that 50 hours, if that's the pace that we've said, and then if there's an overarching budget, sometimes a client might say, Hey, can do this number of batches per per month And but here's the overall budget, and that allows me to understand how to pace it in terms of sometimes I'll have a client that says, Hey, you can just do the batches as quickly as you can and don't worry about throttling it so that you can span a period of time. So I might, you know, if I've got a client that wants to have me do to patches in a month, I could just knock those out in the first or second week and get it. In other cases, I might have to throttle that over the course of the month or a few months in the pace. The overarching budget. And then also, um, the, uh the pace, the overarching budget. So bam system. We've got our starting point. Our communication communication checkpoints are car stopping points. We've got our pace and our overall budget. All of these pieces create communication. They create accountability to create checkpoints for the greatest. They give it the clients steering will, and ah, and they allow our client I really have control over the type of work were doing in the direction we're moving. And what I found is this just gives them significant, um, reassurance and working well together. In fact, I've had clients that love the system so much that they have their other free and answers adopt the same model. And, um, it's it's been a pretty phenomenal, uh um, way to approach things. Also, if you have a run into clients that tend to be more micro managers or hands on, um, this system has a way of giving you a bit of a bubble toe work within, um, because they understand that you're managing yourself. You're holding yourself accountable and they're not is engaged. And, uh so it really does help in that regard as well, Miss. So we've talked about how we're going to structure the engagement terms of compensation, accountability, communication. Now let's talk about how we're actually gonna manage the project in the ideas that come to the surface and how we can do that effectively. 7. How We Organize: SOFI, IDEMA & Other Resources For Effectively Managing Projects: All right, let's talk about managing or how we're going to manage our projects. Let's, um, let's start with one of things that when I go to work with a client, I bring this mindset into the clients I'm working with. And it's called So Fi S O F. I. And what it stands for is seeking opportunities for improvement, seeking opportunities for improvement. So fi so So Phi is a framework or it's a system. But it's really a minds that I bring in that whatever our starting point is, whatever the project that we're doing is I'm going into this engagement and I'm looking for opportunities for improvement, looking for problems. I'm looking for challenges. I'm looking for ways that I can improve their business both in the area that they've designated. And outside of that. And so one of the obvious sort of challenges that comes up for me is, well, how do I organize that as well as the other stuff that we're working on together so that we can capture it and make sure that her moving things forward that we need to be moving forward but also building, um, a set of of option up testicles or I mean, excuse me, opportunities to work on in the future. And so, um, in the marketing company journey that that I mentioned earlier, um, one of the things that came out of that process was a system called Idema i d e m A. And it's an acronym that stands, Ah, I stands for idea eight D stands for discover e stands for execute M stands for maintain a Stands for audit. And essentially, it's a sick liquor cyclical process for the life cycle of every idea, every project. So we i d eight men come with an idea. We discover we plan out that idea once we planned it out, then we have to actually execute it. Once we've executed it, then we need to maintain its sustain it over time, and at some point we need to audit it, make sure it's still doing what it was intended to do and and and see if we need to improve it or not. Retire it or continue. I'm allowing it to play out the way it needs to play out. And so this idea may system ah framework allows us to start to capture idea than figure out where they belong in this process. As I'm working with the customer, I might see something that goes, You know what? We need to audit that I'll put I've got a buck. I need to have a bucket where I can put all the audit things and and just as an example of how this plays out in terms of going into an existing situation and and figure out how to apply a demon, um, I think about my kids, my kids I got like I mentioned I got four of them 763 and one. And their rooms can get messy as you can imagine. So one of things we'll do is we'll get everything in the room and just put it in a big pile in the middle. And then we've got different buckets or containers for the different types of toys in the different types of things. We might have a stuffed animal been a Lego band, and so we'll go into the pile, will say, Let's get all the stuffed animals and put him into the stuffed animal been, Let's get all the Legos and put him into the lycopene. Let's put all the garbage into the trash can. Let's put all of the, um, the clothes into either hamper or the dresser, depending on if they're clean or not. And in the same way, when I go into a business, I'm thinking okay, I see all of these ideas. We need to actually just capture them and plug him into an idea repository. I see all these projects that were started, but they weren't finished, so we need to plug all those into sort of an execution list of things that that need to be finished. And so that's really where are Project Management Tool comes in is so how, What's the tool that we can use that we can actually start to use this Idema structure and then within our tool? And so one of the tools all uses air Table Air Table is it's essentially a database tool that allows you to use it, um, in different ways you can use as a sort of a spreadsheet view. You can use it in a con bond. You, um, you got a gallery of you and ah, and then there's a couple other options as well. You can also use trailer, which is a simple Con Bond board, and create different lists. So in with whatever system that you'll use, um, and I I use both of those depending on the context, but essentially create a category for each letter. I d m. A. And as I'm working with the customer, I'll start to plug in the different items in the particular area that they exist. And and then when I'm project managing, I know. Okay, this is something that's being planned out. We need to finish planning at this, something that's being maintained. We need to figure, you know, we need to audit it at some point, and, um and so we'll kind of dive into these different tools and ah, explorer, you know. Okay, how does this work with this particular client? Each system is a little bit, you know, modified and the beauty of Idema's, that really is customizable toe work. Um, and be shaped in the way that that we need it for the particular project. So I go into a project with seeking opportunities for improvement. I used this framework I d m a Idema to in or how I'm gonna organize it and then I've got a project tool such as Air table or trail Oh, that I plug in the different elements of Idema and then allows me start to manage my project and make sure things were moving through that cycle by having that mindset by having that framework and by having that project tool it now allows for two way accountability. We can see what's being worked on, who's responsible for it, and it allows me to be held accountable if I'm falling behind or if I'm dropping the ball or allows me to hold others accountable if they're doing um the same thing. And ultimately, by having that process and then marrying that with the batch action management communication cadence, it really creates this automatically self healing system that's always correcting, always improving, always getting better and moving things forward. Moving things in a direction that really helps, um, accomplished the goals more effectively, brings the team along and really, um, just does a wonderful job getting everyone on the same page so that to a accountability is just amazing. The other thing, you know that I keep in mind when you're thinking about the on these frameworks and the systems and they are great and they work really well, is just be willing to adapt and accommodate the systems. Sometimes they break. Sometimes there's things that don't really fit. There's exceptions to the rules and being willing to just be flexible. And those situations. And sometimes, you know, I have to choose to lose sometimes Ah, in order to ah toe win in the larger the larger game. And so just be willing to, you know, adapt and accommodate, even sometimes when it's not the most pleasant thing to do. When we do that, we've laid the foundation for a sweet spot relationship, so let's dive into what that looks like. 8. Proactive Communication, Prompt Billing, & Value Land Us In The Sweet Spot: All right, let's dive into What does it mean to have a sweet spot engagement toe? Have a relationship or a working relationship with freelancer or freelancer have a working relationship with a company that is a sweet spot engagement, as I label it in my book path of the freelancer. And so I've got I've really identified three different areas that define the sweet spot. Area First is proactive and responsive. Communication had also add meaningful communications and not just okay, but actually, when I submit something of of worth or some kind of project or update that actually kept feedback that I need, um, in the way that I need it. So again, proactive and responsive communication I have clients that range the gambit, as I'm sure many freelancers do. Some that I don't hear for them for weeks hurt even months, um, and others that almost respond every email or phone call that I make. So they really run the gamut. But obviously the ones are the most responsive that give the most feedback and that really think and ah, care about what they have to say in terms of giving feedback. Um, those are the sweet spot communicators. And as a freelancer, I want to be responsive and proactive and clients reach out to me. If I can't give him an answer or reply to their specific requests, I can at least let him know. Hey, got your message. I'll get back to you tomorrow or I'll get back to you later this week. And so just letting them know So they don't feel like their email went into a black hole and they wonder whether you actually got the message or not. So that's ah, you know, just really embracing that communication. It can be challenging as a freelancer. We got a lot of things going on, but just just go in, get inbox zero, make it happen and do what you gotta do. And there's a lot of resources out there that you can tap into toe help you overcome that specific challenge. The second areas is, ah, building, building and invoices. Companies pay on time pay early if you're able to, um, as real answers. You know, we we really appreciate that cash flow can be hard at for a company or for answer, but especially for freelancers. So pay on time. Freelancers make sure that your invoices are detailed and up get updated and accurate. Um, I've been doing this three years, and I still sometimes make mistakes. I sent an invoice this past week, and I just left out some really important details, which led to a string of emails that had to be going back and forth to resolve that missing information. And had I just put it into the invoice, it would have saved, um, this me sometime as well as them in resolving this particular issue. So freelancers make sure and voices make sure we're actually sending them, um, I for companies. They don't want to have a backlog of invoices all of a sudden, get sent to them all at once. So make sure you're sending them as you Ah, to be as your starting new projects. As you're doing new things, they're based on the payment terms that you set up. So we've got the first in which is proactive and responsive, communication and meaningful. We've got, uh, prompt and accurate billing and payments. And then the third is to have a valuable relationship to have a relationship that's valuable beyond this. The transaction, it could be the really ship that I have with my client with the person I'm working with at the company that I'm working with. It could be just, ah, good connection in terms with we enjoy working each other. We like each other. We have good personalities. Lots of similar stories just enjoy the relationship. It could also be the work we're doing that maybe we're having a meaningful impact on the people that are impacted by the work we're doing their their lives are affected in a positive way. Um, hey could so it could be meaningful work. It could also be challenging work or something fun or exciting or something we haven't done before or knew. But anyway, however, that value, which we're all going to describe in different ways and quantify in different ways having something that's valuable, that's outside again. The transaction of the project itself is going to shift that relationship, that engagement to a sweet spot engagement. So if I've got a client who's paying on time, who is communicating well and who is that creates some kind of because the relationship is valuable, the work we're doing is valuable. That is a sweet spot client and, um, for companies, when you're hiring a freelance or you want someone that's proactive and responsive, I I got one client, um, about a year ago, Who? Ah, they had a freelancer that was working on their other hub spot project. And, ah, the person that freelancer disappeared, didn't respond and communicate just disappeared. And so reach out to me and I ended up helping them And how it a month later, that freelance air finally responded to this customer. And as you can expect, that did not go over well, so don't disappear. You know, be if you have something comes up, just be communicated of, let people know what's going on so that they can, um, respond and react accordingly. I mean, stuff happens and and we can always plan for that, but But we need at least be open and communicative in that process. So, you know, you think about that. One of the pieces that were one of the steps that we can all take is to build a relationship outside of the work itself. Get spent time and community. What I call community time getting together, get hot drinks, get meals, ask them about their lives, what's going on and and have an interest and curiosity beyond the work relationship. But an actual person were people that were working with. And also the next piece of that puzzle is learning and being just braving fans and advocates for each other company. Tell other Pete other companies about your freelancer, you know, share them with others and freelancers. Tell others about the company's you're working with, you know, be the radio fan and and obviously we're not always going to be really fan of everyone. But for those that I work with that are sweet spot clients. I love to tell others about them. I love to connect them. I've got this one company that I'm working with that just has such a neat tool. And I'm telling everyone I can about them, um, both personal and professional, because it's just such a great and powerful marketing tool. And so just become that rating fan and really work with, um, you know, create that value. Add That's beyond the relationship beyond the transaction of the project and something further than that, I have one client that's probably referred three or four clients my way and it's just awesome in it, and it makes a difference. So those, you know, we talked about these four pillars. And so these are the ways that we can work well with their freelancers. When we defined them, we established them and we get in alignment with, um, our company or with our freelancer, depending on which side of the aisle were coming from. 9. Recapping The Powerful Ways Companies & Freelancers Effectively Work Together: All right, So let's go ahead and wrap up these four points and just briefly summarize what we've hit. We've talked about these four powerful ways that we can effectively, if we're companies, effectively work with freelancers. And if referral answers, we can effectively work with companies. The first is understanding our intentions both as a freelancer and as a company. Why are we doing what we're doing? How would we want into it? Where does it take us? What is, in other words, what does it look like when we've arrived and within what guidelines are we going to operate? And we're going to think about those at a prefer personal level, a professional level and in the engagement itself. So why are we engaging with this freelancer? Vice versa. Their understanding, our intentions and how those currents affect our behavior, how they affect the relationship and how we can actually learn to create alignment and actually leverage that energy to springboard each other towards their respective objectives . We also talked about how we're gonna work together in terms of structuring the gauge mint. We're gonna have some sort of accountability, some sort of communication checkpoints. We're gonna have some ways to have these on and off ramps to be able to change and adjust things and ultra and have a fair compensation system. So we were used more for compensated more when were used less were compensated less. We're gonna have this, um, essentially powerful system t just structure how we're working, knowing where we're gonna get started, how we're going to stay on track and move forward. And then we talked about the bam. That batch action management system is a model that you could use toe either essentially duplicate yourself or create some sort of variation of that based on your own needs. The third area we talked about is understanding and having a system for how we're gonna actually manage the project. So I talked about going into my projects with s so phi mentality, seeking opportunities for improvement and going into these projects looking for ways that I can be of help and how I can improve their business beyond the specific things they've asked. So having an eye for problems so that I can help fix those. And so we talked about that we talked about Idema. I d m a. I d a discover execute, maintain an audit and as a system, it's a framework that we can use toe capture ideas and to project, manage well and then use the tools such astrella or air table, to be actually and put those ideas and track them in Documentum and and have that to a accountability and be willing to adapt and accommodate based on the situations that arise. And then we talked about having a sweet spot relationship where we're proactive and responsive and communication where we have accurate and prompt billing and payments. And we talked about having a valuable relationship, a valuable work and having just building value outside of the transaction of the work itself. And finally we talked about and in the context of building a sweet spot relationship, just advocating for each other. Freelancers advocating for companies, companies advocating for freelancers and really helping each other grow and succeed in our respective paths, said those were the four years that have really found that have helped me. They've helped my clients. They've helped us really, really well together. I've built teams, the's marketing freelance teams for my clients, and we've operated with ease these sort of fundamental pieces in some of these examples that I've given you hand. If you've proactively engage in them, you understand what people are trying to accomplish and where they're trying to go. It makes a big difference they feel cared for. And they really do, um, what they can to Teoh to meet and exceed your expectations. And I really think these pillars can help you as you explore working together with freelancers. So I've prepared a lot of resource is I've got some of the graphics, the deck that goes through the different pieces that we've talked about and some some written content to sort of reiterate some of what I've said and add some details that that may have missed here in this course. And, you know, by now you should have some good ideas on how you can work well together going forward. So go do it. Have fun and feel free to ask any questions that you have