Flutterby™! : Feeling dirty

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Feeling dirty

2005-09-24 12:51:31.761031+00 by meuon 3 comments

At this point in my life, doing HTML/PHP/JavaScript/etc.. tricks is a decent way to make a living. Lots of flex time, the ability to travel and still make some dough, and hosting is starting to make some residual recurring income. I've given up being a purist about many, MANY things. But this morning, a good paying customer had me add a 'texttail' (animated text following the cursor) on two of their sites. I did it, he's happy. But for some reason, I feel dirty. It's just SO tacky. But what I have learned is, for some things: tacky sells. It's just a way to connect with some target audiences.

[ related topics: Animation ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2005-09-25 04:36:07.106393+00 by: Dori

At this point in my life, doing HTML/PHP/JavaScript/etc.. tricks is a decent way to make a living

How? I've been trying to find a way to do this for 8 years now with no luck. Got any secrets you're willing to pass on?

#Comment Re: made: 2005-09-25 14:07:13.362685+00 by: meuon

You, Tom, Dan and many MANY people are much better programmers and graphics designers than I am, so it'd definately not my skills there. If I could explain it in simple terms I would, but a lot of it comes down to some reverse salesmanship and reputation. Reverse salesmanship includes things like picking customers that you know you can succeed with their projects and needs, where a typical sales-driod sells -anything-. I've also done a few things on a whim, ie: Person is clueless about how to do 'X', so I'll invest 2-5 hours in doing 'X' just to show them I can. If you pick these right, their next question is 'how much do I owe you and how much will it take to add 'Y' to the project.

But the biggest tool is happy customers: I started from scratch again a few years ago, underbid and worked my ass off on a few simple projects, but got my name known in a new and different way. The funniest thing is that a lot of my work gets referred to me by former competitors or done for them.

Another thought is: get away from the geeks. They aren't going to hire you. You got to mix with mundane people who need things done. Geeks do it themselves and just want you to teach them. Join and attend various meetings and get known for something 'community' centric.

Show on your website(s) and other places you are willing to do -ANYTHING- for money, not just write books. On GeekLabs.com I'm a whore mercenery geek for hire with an attitude. It works for $500 projects ( I do a lot of these) as well as $5000+ projects ( when I am lucky ). I've done quite a few $100 service calls as well.

Get known for stupid pet tricks like: formmail.php which shows up well in Googling: formmail.php because I picked a program name that people are looking for. - It'll lead to: "can you make it do XXXXX" calls and e-mails.

Like many geeks, you host your sites on cheap resell webservers, when there is real power to be had in running a live server with it's own DNS, Mail, SQL Server's.. and you can charge other people a premium for your skills in making their web sites work. - None of my customers care where their site is hosted, they trust me and my abilities to 'make it work' on my servers. And I make a little bit each month in reccuring revenue...

Lastly. be honest even when it hurts. I may be known as an asshole, but I'm known as an honest asshole. - Understand I've lost a lot of business this way as well.. but I don't care who I run into at the coffee shop or grocery store. Example: I failed miserably at a website a few months ago, she needed a much higher level of design than I could do or get done for her budget... I wiped out what she owed me (I never collected a dollar), and helped her move her DNS and domain to another company (still no site.. ). I saw her at the Stone Cup Coffee not long ago while I was with a client. She came over all friendly, gave me a hug and said nice things. I had to explain to the person I was meeting with that she was a 'failure'. I got the gig.

#Comment Re: made: 2005-09-25 16:51:01.334091+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ya know, every time I see something from Donald Trump, I wonder who, except for a few rural Alabama trailer park residents, would possibly find the sorts of advertising he does attractive.

So, yeah, I kno that I don't understand the world and there are people who see that as more than just wacky grossness.