Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2011 about Freelance

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Friday 11th March 2011

  • Hold on Loosely: How Loose Organizations Work

    by Clay Spinuzzi

    Companies always try to grow so they can do more things, add more capabilities, and make more money - right? Not anymore: Not in Austin, or in many other places. People are finding that digital and mobile technologies can help them to organize more loosely and rapidly, and that means they can keep small and flexible, scale up when necessary, and link up with other loose organizations to swarm big projects, even if they are freelancers working out of their own houses, coffee shops, or coworking spaces.

    How do these loose organizations work? In this core conversation, I'll briefly share stories from my research into some of Austin's loose organizations: freelancers, coworking spaces, and an internet startup. I'll discuss how the organizations in my research hold together, function, and build links with each other.

    With these cases in mind, I'll moderate a discussion about attendees' own experiences with loose organizations and brainstorm ways to make them run more effectively. Afterwards, I'll post conversation notes on my blog so we can keep the ball rolling after SXSW.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Friday 11th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

Sunday 13th March 2011

  • Technomadism - Becoming a Technology Enabled Nomad

    by Cherie Ve Ard and Chris Dunphy

    Why wait until retirement to explore the world? Technology is making it ever easier to work remotely, so why limit yourself to roving between local coffee shops when you can embrace a life of full time travel and a location independent career? Many are now exploring a technomadic lifestyle, and many more are looking for inspiration and advice to help them take the leap, cut the cord, and leave the conventional definitions of fixed-place home and work behind. Core conversation hosts Chris Dunphy & Cherie Ve Ard of Technomadia.com have been living and working technomadically without a permanent home base for nearly five years now, and they will share their stories, practical advice, and insights about this lifestyle. Topics covered may include selecting the right arsenal of technology to work successfully on the road, creating a mobile friendly career, selecting your ideal travel modality (wheels, sails, backpacks, or...), and logistical issues such as domicile, voting, vehicle registration, and more. Come learn how to make the leap to a life embracing wanderlust, or if you are already nomadic come and share your story and connect with other nomads. This session will be followed later in the day by an informal Nomadic Meetup.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 13th March

    In Rio Grande B, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

Monday 14th March 2011

  • You Are The Gig Economy

    by Julie Ruvolo and ingrid sanders

    “No one I know has a full-time job anymore. They’ve got Gigs.” - Tina Brown, The Gig Economy (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blo...)

    Depending on when you last watched Office Space, Lumbergh might be your idea of the quintessential boss from hell or evoke nostalgia for “when people had bosses.”
    Welcome to the jobless, boss-less Gig Economy.
    Where independent workers now make up 30% of the American workforce - freelancers, contractors, part-timers, self-employed, dabblers in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
    Where 75% of small businesses in the US are sole proprietorships – that’s 20 million businesses with no Lumbergh and no employees.
    And where 75% of 2010’s college grads don’t have a job waiting for them on the other side of their Commencement Address.
    Maybe we’re better off working for ourselves.
    In his latest book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Daniel Pink argues that “extrinsic motivators” like bosses and bonuses are less effective than things that motivate us from the inside out: autonomy, mastery and purpose.
    So what makes us tick when we don’t have a boss, an office, a time to show up at work, or even a paycheck?
    Through the lenses of autonomy, mastery and purpose, we’ll talk with a panel of the nation’s leading thinkers on the freelance lifestyle and work productivity and argue whether we’re looking at a crippling, jobless future or the emergence of a better way to work.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Abolish The Hourly: How Value Pricing Wins Clients

    by Lee Dale and Jon Lax

    From an introduction to value pricing to case studies to client relationships, how value pricing can help to abolish the hourly and find a better way to business success, for you and for your clients.

    Traditional business practice dictates that the way to bill your clients is to first figure out your costs by taking salaries + overhead + profit to figure out a billable rate, and multiply that by an estimate of the number of hours required to complete a project.

    Now, what if basing your rates on the number of available labour hours isn’t an accurate representation of the way you work or the way to bring the best value to your clients? The old model is broken, and value pricing is where we need to shift the client/service provider relationship.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Salon E, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Switch: from Freelancer to Entrepreneur

    So you’ve tumbled down the rabbit hole into the world of freelancing and you’re ready to make it a legit career so your friends stop thinking you’re unemployed. But how does it actually happen? Should you take the red pill... or the blue one? Do you have to grow a big agency or outsource work to India? Maybe neither. Designing a successful business takes vision, organization and communication mixed with grit and determination. And our panel guests are in the thick of it—building a business together and ready to share their successes and failures with you.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 14th March

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

  • Freelancers Are Slutty, But So Are You

    by Shane Pearlman and Peter Chester

    Freelancing is a lifestyle.

    In this session we'll present an overview of the pros and cons of working with freelancers. We'll walk you through our systematic approach to finding, retaining, and coordinating freelance teams. We'll answer some of the basic questions about working with freelancers such as:

    • When does it make sense to work with independent contractors?
    • How do you maintain an enduring relationship with a freelancer?
    • What are the traits of a successful freelancer?

    And we'll cover some basic topics including:

    • Lifestyle: Why people choose to be freelancers
    • Freelancers are slutty, but so are you: How to approach independence.
    • Match made in heaven: Pros and cons of working with Freelancers
    • Long distance relationships: How to approach communication
    • Take a trip to Hawaii: Keeping freelancers on your team

    We run a team of highly skilled and inspired independent contractors doing UI, web design, development, and multimedia. We've been working freelance on large corporate projects for over 10 years. We founded Freelance Camp in 2008, leading to a global movement. We've won numerous Webby awards, work with the likes of SAP, MTV, AOL and dozens of other 3 letter acronyms.

    LEVEL: Intermediate

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 14th March

    In Brazos 2/3, Marriott Courtyard Austin Downtown/Convention Center

Tuesday 15th March 2011

  • Ditch the Book: Running a Business YOUR Way

    by Espree Devora, Liam Martin, Lewis Howes, Giang Biscan and Shane Mac

    The perceived wisdom for business success is that you need to follow the rules. Sure, there’s room to be a maverick but you still need to have a 5 year plan, a marketing strategy, a HR department, a path to profit.

    Now the rule book is going out of the window as people prove you can be a success by putting passion and authenticity at the heart of their business, and doing it their way without compromise. Ideas like business unplanning and freemium models are busting the myths and disrupting the status quo. Now there’s a new generation of role models from Gary Vaynerchuk to 37signals who are proving that by keeping it real and eschewing a big strategy, they can still be a success.

    Ditch the rule book is for freelancers, start-ups, executives and entrepreneurs. It’s for anyone who needs an injection of fresh thinking to shake things up: to be a game-changer whilst staying true to their DNA. It’s brought to you by a bunch of guys with their own stories of how they ditched the rule book. These stories will educate, inspire and hopefully entertain. But we also want to create a forum for participation and interaction with contributions from the floor.

    Ditching the rule book can bring you breakthroughs in your business whilst making sure your business stands out in the crowd.

    Ditch The Rule Book is for 'rebels without a suit' and anyone looking to revolutionize their business by doing it YOUR way.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 15th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Freelancers Meet Up

    As the SXSW Interactive Festival continues to grow, it often becomes harder to discover /network with the specific type of people you want to network with. Hence a full slate of daytime Meet Ups are scheduled for the 2011 event. These Meet Ups are definitely not a panel session -- nor do they offer any kind of formal presentation or AV setup. On the contrary, these sessions are a room where many different conversations and (and will) go on at once. This timeslot is for registrants to network with other SXSW Interactive, Gold and Platinum registrants who are interested in freelancing. Cash bar onsite.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Maximilian Room, Driskill Hotel

  • Freelancers: You're Five Products Away From Freedom

    by Thomas Myer

    If you're a freelancer, you know that your existence comes down to chasing after lots of client engagements, projects, gigs, whatever you want to call them. If you stop working for any reason (illness, travel, you just want or need a break) then the income stops.

    Adding products to the mix can be a really great way to add small (but potentially large!) streams of income that you can count on month after month. I'll talk about using your talents and strengths to create products (ebooks, themes/templates, photography/artwork, plugins/apps, membership sites) that will appeal to an audience and generate sales.

    Remember, even if you only create a $100/week product, it only takes 5 or 6 of those to really start making a big difference in the way you work and live. This isn't about creating a "four hour workweek" or some other hyped BS, this is about creating repeatable, realistic income streams.

    LEVEL: Beginner

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 15th March

    In Salon A, Hilton Austin Downtown