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Independent Interaction of Sam Wilson

  • Adam Martin

    Great post Sam. This definitely further lets me know that sometimes I need a good, swift kick in the rear end to get things going. This inspires to get moving.

    Fri, February 05, 2010 at 4:46pm
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  • Rob Russo

    Great post and oh so timely and true. Gotta get my own site(s) finished…

    Fri, February 05, 2010 at 7:17pm
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  • Jackie Powell

    Ain’t that the truth! I can also add this helpful quote that gets us moving… “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of better.” You can always improve, but something is better than nothing.

    Fri, February 05, 2010 at 11:46pm
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  • Deron Sizemore

    Good post, Sam. I’ve had plans of my own to start designing a site for myself, just haven’t got around to it yet. Thanks for the inspiration to get started. It’s time.

    Sat, February 06, 2010 at 1:46am
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  • Teresa Vance

    excellent article. first time on site. amazing

    Sat, February 06, 2010 at 11:17pm
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  • Sam Wilson

    Thanks everyone!

    @Jackie, that’s a very excellent quote and so true.

    Sat, February 06, 2010 at 11:18pm
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  • Martin

    Needed this, thanks.

    Sat, February 06, 2010 at 11:58pm
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  • Philda

    I am out of work for the first time since I was 15 and I am 57!  I would like to write and was looking around for information on starting a blog.  I want to write about growing up on a cotton farm and the life lessons learned. I ran across this and was blown away.  It is so beautiful.  Many of the colors remind me of the farm. I would definitely have to go back to school to learn to create anything like this or hire it done.  It is a work of art.  Congratulations!

    Fri, February 12, 2010 at 4:54pm
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  • cheese boy

    I like cheese and your site.

    Thu, April 01, 2010 at 12:37pm
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  • Phill Taare

    thanks for the motivation,

    I really like your site, did you tile your background image? very nice job


    Thu, April 22, 2010 at 12:49pm
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  • RickSloboda

    Great post and wonderful work, Sam — I’m a new fan.

    This post actually applies to any creative type, or entrepreneur in general. I’ve also heard the excuse: “People don’t look for my services on the Web.” Given the fact that more people are spending more time and money on the Internet, I think this logic is naive and foolish.

    Regarding the “too busy with real work excuse,” our web copywriting firm was recently contacted by an “online marketing expert” who handed me a business card with a gmail account and no website address. An online marketing expert with no website. So much for credibility!

    Thu, September 02, 2010 at 5:18pm
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  • Sam Wilson

    Sorry for the belated replies!

    @Phill Thank you and yes I tiled the background. When I created my site, it was on a dark monitor so I couldn’t see a lot of the sloppy seams. But I’m at peace with it. Again thanks for your comment!

    @Rick that is a great point and a pertinent story re: the copywriter without a site. So many people I know are so paralyzed by “looking bad” they end up looking terrible by not producing work. It is like they say “Real artists [and professionals of any stripe] ship.”

    @Phillda et al. thanks, may you all find 2011 to be your best year yet.

    Wed, January 12, 2011 at 10:01am
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have your say...

Finish your site

There are so many talented people whose lack of a site is stunting their opportunities.

Exposure is underrated

A lot of professionals, especially freelancers, feel like their opportunities will be on par with their talents. That’s not how it works. You must expose your work. Exposure increases your work’s value, dramatically.

Finish your site now

There are lots of reasons designers don’t finish their sites. I’ve been there and I procrastinated as much as the next person. Here were some excuses I told myself:

  • Not enough work in portfolio yet
  • Not good with HTML stuff
  • Too busy with “real work”

These reasons are terribly short-sighted, here is how to work around them.

Play to your strengths

If you don’t have enough work in your portfolio, then make a site that highlights your thoughts, ideas, and personality. People want to work with people they like. They don’t like you yet because they don’t know you. They don’t know you because your site isn’t finished!

Trust that HTML is not hard

Suck at HTML? That is okay, it is not as hard as you think. There are many options available to you. Wordpress and/or ExpressionEngine have a ton of great templates to begin with. You do not have to be a programmer to put together a site these days. Also: HTML is not a programming language.

You are not a mechanic

A lot of people will tell you the mechanic’s car is always broken. This is a harmful and outmoded metaphor. Doing your own site will lead to greater exposure, greater value, and to better higher-paying clients. And the latter makes life much easier and work more rewarding.

How to start

Get out some typing paper. Write down your 1 or 2 main goals (e.g. “showcase my work”, “create a soapbox for my ideas”). Take a tour of sites and make note of the ones you like the most. Don’t bite styles, rather look at their organization. You shouldn’t open Photoshop until you know exactly what content you are putting on your site. Remember: planning is at least half the work.

How to finish

Finishing a site is both fun and a test of your will. Tell a few friends of your intentions and timeline. Let them ask (even hound) you about it. You can challenge a friend to a “site race.” Also, put a piece of paper next to your desk and write on it “Finish site.” Tape it up in plain sight. Finally: remind yourself that client work makes other people money; your site makes you money.