It was this time last year that I reached out to my friend, Dave Yankowiak, to see if he’d be interested in partnering to start up and co-host a new web show for freelance web designers. Luckily, he agreed and by early 2011, we had posted our first episode of Freelance Jam.
I’m thrilled that the show has continued on for 18 episodes during 2011, with many more to come in 2012. We’re having a blast planning and producing these shows. It takes a lot of hard work, time and some cash investment (at no profit) to keep this show going. So what makes it worth it?
Here’s a list of things that I get out of co-hosting Freelance Jam:
The web design industry, particularly those working independently, is extremely community oriented. Maybe more-so than any other industry. We thrive on sharing ideas, teaching each other, and inspiring great work from one another. The show has given me the opportunity to learn, teach, and get to know the folks that work alongside us (yet across the globe) every day. This is the single reason that keeps me motivated to keep doing the show and growing our audience.
If there was one over-arching theme to my past year, it has been collaboration, which I’ve written extensively about in previous posts. Partnering with Dave on Freelance Jam presented an opportunity to work as 50/50 co-owners of a long-term project. That’s something many freelancers don’t get to do, but should. As self-employed and highly self-motivated, independent business owners, we tend to have strong opinions about how things should be done. Having a partner forces you to have a give/take, sometimes accepting an opposing view and go with it, sometimes pushing back. At the end of the day, its our combined talent/professionalism that makes it work—much better than had we done it alone.
Speaking and interacting on camera really takes some getting used to. I can’t really pin down any specific tips here, other than to keep throwing yourself in front of a camera and gaining experience. It took several episodes to begin ignoring the fact that we’re on camera and just have a normal (and hopefully interesting) conversation with friends.
Video content is becoming more and more important and effective these days, and I plan on doing a lot more video stuff with my other startups. Freelance Jam gives me a great opportunity to build up on-camera experience.
I’m not sure about this one. I can’t say I’ve had new clients approach me directly from seeing the Freelance Jam show. And I wouldn’t expect that, since the show is really for other freelancers and web designers. However, I have had a few clients check out the show only after we’ve been working together, which I think serves to strengthen our relationship. There may be some indirect impact on business… Increasing visibility, networking opportunities, etc.
As you may have seen, we just launched a fresh redesign of FreelanceJam.com. We’re also in the process adding written transcripts to the shows for those who’d rather read than watch. And of course, we have several great shows and guests scheduled for the coming weeks and months.
So stay tuned!