Digging Into the Freelancer-Client Details

Guest post by Jake Poinier

We’ve all had the thrill of freelancer-client relationships that succeeded…and the agony that ensues when things don’t click. The 4th annual Freelance Forecast survey (which you can take here), digs into the details of the good, bad and ugly. One version of the survey is for freelancers, the other is for clients–and you’re welcome to take both if you subcontract to other freelancers, or are a client who moonlights on the side.

Some of the Freelance Forecast results have remained quite consistent from year to year: For example, word of mouth and referrals are the key to new business relationships, both for freelancers and clients. Freelancers’ major challenges come from uncertainty, low- or slow-paying clients, and unrealistic expectations…while client-siders don’t always get the quality of work, reliability, or communications that are essential to getting the job done. Alas, no surprises there!

Ultimately, the positive message is this: The vast majority of the issues that arise really are under the control of freelancers or clients, in their behaviors and business practices. Not every freelancer-client relationship is going to work. But by taking into consideration the needs and motivations of the opposite party, you can gain insights on increasing your odds. Freelance Forecast is designed to help you do that.
This year’s survey closes Feb. 15–thanks in advance to all the Gangplank creatives and clients who take a moment to participate in this year’s survey. And keep an eye out for the results in the coming weeks!

–Jake Poinier is the owner of a Phoenix-based copywriting and editorial services firm, Boomvang Creative Group, blogs regularly about freelance topics at DearDrFreelance.com, and wishes his schedule would enable him to play in the Gangplank hockey league more often.

Global Coworking Unconference Conference

If you are planning on attending the interactive conference of South by Southwest this year, come in a day early to hear Gangplank co-founders Derek Neighbors and Jade Meskill speak at the Global Coworking Unconference Conference on March 8th.

The Global Coworking Unconference Conference, called GCUC (“juicy”) for short, will take place at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, and is an event that invites Coworking owners and followers to discover and discuss new innovations that will impact the Coworking movement and help develop their businesses. The name is a tongue-in-cheek ode to Stephen Colbert whom the organizers are hoping to engage in the conference in some meaningful way.

The event has been developed from the 2011 Coworking Unconference, which was produced by Loosecubes, and took place at the same time last year. A change from last year’s event is the addition of a more structured conference track which will run simultaneously with the collaborative, self-directed Unconference track.

Tickets are $100 to attend through February 22nd.

Roadmap to Launch 2012

Gangplank’s mission is to provide infrastructure and resources to the creative class, encouraging the free exchange of ideas that will lead to innovative solutions to change the world.

Our 90-day Roadmap to Launch program counsels teams through the first phases of starting a business. We offer mentoring, pitch practice, social events and beta testing with the goal of preparing teams for several launch events around Arizona.

Team Commitment:

Kick-off – Developing product over the course of a weekend
– 6:00pm on February 3rd through 8:00pm on February 4th.

8 Startup Classes – Every Tuesday from 5:30-8:30pm (excluding 2/14)

First 30 days:
– (2) Early Stage appointment
– (1) Design appointment
– (1) Tech appointment

30-60 days:
– (1) Sales & Marketing

60-90 days:
– (1) Legal

Startup Counselor – Weekly meetings with your team counselor to track your progress and make recommendations; bi-weekly once beta/prototype is complete

Pitch Practices – Monthly events to practice and receive feedback on pitches
– March 8th at 7:00pm
– April 12th at 7:00pm
– May 10th at 7:00pm

PR Training – Full day of one-on-one media and PR training
– April 28th from 10:00am – 2:00pm

Startup Drinks – Monthly on the third Thursday from 6:00-8:00pm

Elective Workshops – Additional classes available in sales/marketing, social media, building a tribe, etc.

The next overview will be 6:00pm on January 24th at ASU’s Memorial Union (3rd Floor Board Room). Admittance is limited to the first 25, so first-come, first-serve on seats.

For questions, please contact Scott Yacko.

Cereal Drive

Want to help a great local organization feed those in need?

The Chandler Christian Community Center is running low on cereal donations. If we all pitch in by grabbing an extra box while shopping or bringing in an extra box from the pantry, we can help give back to this wonderful community. Please spread the word to help CCCC provide for the families in your community.

Let’s help the CCCC have a surplus of cereal!

The drive starts Monday January 23rd and runs through February 3rd. Just deposit a box of cereal in the boxes at Gangplank Chandler (260 S Arizona Ave).

Questions, comments or pick-up of more boxes than you can handle can be directed to Melissa Conrey at melissa[at]melissaconrey.com.

Gangplank Chandler

You’ve heard talk for the past few months about our new locations opening in Tucson and Avondale. As these locations come online, the identity of the original Gangplank is changing. HQ is no longer confined to the activities and stories of Chandler, but the experiences of Gangplankers across the state and soon, the nation. Gangplank’s home in Chandler is becoming the base of operations for an entire network of Gangplanks. Continue reading

Disability as a Catalyst

Wired Magazine calls Asperger’s Syndrome “The Geek Syndrome”. Bram Cohen, founder of Bit Torrent, often talks about Asperger’s as a catalyst for his success. STEM Force Technology is a local for-profit social impact company that hires individuals with Asperger’s in the STEM fields. Learn how individuals with Asperger’s, and Autism Spectrum Disorders, have shaped the field of technology and how creating pathways for underserved populations benefits individuals and the marketplace.

Garret Westlake is the founder of STEM Force Technology. He is also the Director of the Disability Resource Center for Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus, and a faculty associate in the College of Technology and Innovation where he teaches in the Technological Entrepreneurial Management program.

Popup Hackspace Event

Popup Hackspace @ The Night Gallery

What: A popup hack night with free pizza, red bull, music, networking, and fun opportunities to innovate, create, and collaborate. Come see what the Phoenix-metro area has to offer innovators of all ages. The event will include burlesque dancers, improv comedy performances, and presentations by Gangplank, ASU’s Venture Catalyst and HeatSync Labs. Stop by for food, music and hanging out.
When: Saturday, January 7, 2012; 3:00 pm until 10:00 pm
Where: The ASU Night Gallery at Tempe Marketplace
Who: Anyone with a pulse is invited!
Why: To raise the community’s awareness about the ways creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship are being supported at Gangplank and ASU.

Tentative Schedule
3:00-4:00pm — Capoiera Demonstration & Torch Theatre performance
4:00-5:00pm — Presentation by HeatSync Labs
5:00-6:00pm — Belly Dancing & presentations by Venture Catalyst and Entrepreneurship @ ASU
6:00-7:00pm — Open Beta (come share your own startup product and vote) – See details below & Gangplank presentation
7:00-7:20pm — Scandalesque Performance
7:30-9:00pm — Startup Speed Dating – See details below
9:00-10:00pm – Hack wrap

**If you are a creative, collaborative group in the valley that is interested in participating, email katie@gangplankhq.com

Open Beta Session Details
If you’re going to fail with a new product or service, fail fast. The only way to stay ahead of the market is to get your stuff into the hands of testers as quickly as possible. Who cares if it’s not perfect? You don’t need to add that new feature UNLESS your customers tell you it’s necesary. At Open Beta, get the feedback you need on your startup NOW. Quick and dirty presentation [3-5 minutes] followed by live testing and feedback.
RSVP: To participate in Open Beta, email katie@gangplankhq.com.

Startup Speed Dating Session Details
Everyone needs somebody to love…for their startup team. Your co-founder, developer or designer is out there, you just need to be thrown in a room together to see if sparks ignite. Register for Startup Speed Dating and we’ll do the work for you. We’ll pair you up with prospects and give you the time you need to get to know each other.
RSVP: Register for Startup Speed Dating at http://startupspeeddating.eventbrite.com/

American Red Cross

Nicole Underwood of the American Red Cross Grandy Canyon Chapter, discusses how the American Red Cross helps with disasters, and specifically how the organization is community focused, driven, and supported. From volunteers, to donations, to outreach, with longevity in the US and AZ (almost 100 years!) American Red Cross’ humanitarian mission is a reflection of the needs our community has.