Freelancers are always seeking new clients. It’s the very nature of the business. Without clients, the business flounders, so there is always a push for marketing and new development – even when the freelancer has a full schedule. One of the simplest ways to get new freelance clients, however, doesn’t require more than just chattering with friends – so long as they are the right friends.
A professional network is a collection of friends and peers who all overlap within an industry usually, although they don’t have to. Think about the beauty of a professional network. When you need to sell your house, you ask your friend who happens to be a realtor to help you out. She lists the house and then gives you the name of her favorite inspector to help find problems. He refers you to the best HVAC or plumbing guy in town when it’s time for a quick repair. You might even get a discount since you’re a “friend of a friend.”
Why should this kind of networking just be online? You can use professional networking to find freelance jobs as well.
Make the Right Friends
The first step to effective networking is to find the right friends. While presumably everyone can help you find clients, the best choices are the people who work with the individuals you’re seeking. For example, the owner of a web design company is going to work with the same people who need website content written. Sometimes the web design firm offers to write the content for the individual, but if it’s not the designer’s strong suit, he might just outsource it to someone who can – that would be you, the freelance writer. This works just as well for a coder, flash designer, or other online professional.
Stay Current in the Circle
Once you have a relationship established, you’ll need to stay current and in a favorable light with your new friends. Make it a point to chat with your friends once a week or so. Add something of value to a community where everyone gathers. Keep your name out there so that when it’s time for a recommendation, you’re the first one everyone thinks of for the particular job that you do. This is true for all levels of professionals – developers, designers, SEO experts and content or coding services.
Protect Your Reputation
Within your circle, you have a rep to protect. The way you conduct business tells others how reliable you’re going to be should they choose to hire you – or recommend you. There’s nothing worse than to recommend someone who turns out to be a total flake or worse – a thief. When you provide a service, you have to stay squeaky clean if you’re hoping for referrals. You can run a business without being practically angelic, but if you expect others to pitch your services for you, you’ll have to toe the line. Being a bad boy or girl is only cool in the movies – not on the bottom line.
Easy Step By Step Instructions for Using Networking
- Make the right friends
- Stay current and fresh in the minds of your peers.
- Establish and then protect your reputation online.
Warnings, Advice and Suggestions for Finding Jobs Using Networking
For your best luck with referrals consider bundling your services with another provider. Combining services, especially if done as part of a partnership, can be very lucrative for both individuals involved, although tricky to establish and maintain at times.
The internet is a wealth of information; but it is also an easy way to get scammed. Checking for creditable websites is easy and worth taking the time to do before you hand over any of your hard earned money.
Investigate Websites for Scam Indicators
There are certain elements that make it obvious a scam is part of a website. These elements include:
- Fees of any type
- Testimonials that only have initials, partial name
- Promises or guarantees of a better life style, love, money, lottery, or sweepstakes
- Jobs offered on line
Work at home scams are on the rise too. Again, you should be wary if you are asked to pay up front; the home page viewed is nothing but testimonials or if nothing is mentioned of the product or service unless you buy the product. To top this scam off, if you clicked on the message or website you better have excellent spyware installed to stop future barrages of pop ups or viruses.
When shopping online be alert for the lock box symbol usually located at the bottom of the page. It is there for your security and means it is a secured site. Check scams are always too good to be true – before you cash a check or do any transactions with a check, call the bank who supposedly issued the check to find out if is legitimate and/or investigate the website or email. Again, if money is requested out of your own pocket first, it is a scam – DO NOT DO IT!
Use Your Instincts
Go with your gut feeling, intuition, or the hair raising reaction some people get on the back of their neck. If something raises your suspicion, just DO NOT DO IT! Protect yourself and most importantly, protect yourself and your computer with spyware, phishing filter, or anti virus software. Remember, if a website is unknown then don’t open the website.
Take time to do the research! If you want or need to open a website, Google the company to determine if a company is reputable. You can find blogs about the company or complaints on the company. Google “Common Online Scams” and there will be a list of them or check the Better Business Bureau website. I never give out my name or any other personal information if unsure.
Reporting Scams Online
There are many websites that you can file a complaint against an online company that has scammed you. Please report these companies to the proper authorities. Here are a few websites to help you check for scams:
- Federal Trade Commission
- Better Business Bureau
- Rip OFF Report – By Consumers
- Consumer Rated Home Businesses
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Checking Scams Online
- Use good common sense when visiting a website
- If you suspect a problem or see evidence of a scam leave the site.
- Report the site to the appropriate authority
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Checking for Scams
Not every site out there is a scam ready to happen, but there are plenty. Trust common sense and think through your actions before clicking. If you’re at all uncertain – leave the site immediately.
Polarized sunglasses have become increasingly common in the last five years as more fisherman and others who enjoy water sports have realized how dramatically the polarized glasses can reduce glare from the sun, especially on the water. The polarized glasses have special filters that block the horizontal polarized rays of the sun that reflect off the water. This lets you see down into the water rather than being faced with a glare. Popular on the water and for driving, polarized glasses can increase visibility significantly.
Check for Polarized Lenses
To tell if you have Polaroid sunglasses, you’ll need to check the orientation of the lens. Hold the glasses out away from you and look at an angle at a surface with a glare. Then slowly turn the glasses from flat to on their side. If the way the image looks through the glasses changes, they are polarized. Polarized glasses break up horizontal rays, by turning the glasses sideways, the lens are no longer breaking up the light and the difference is easy to see – the glare returns.
Using Polarized Lenses
Polarized lenses are useful for increasing visibility in certain light conditions. Polarized light such as the reflection on the water, the glare off cars on the road and even glare from wet conditions on the road can be greatly affected by the lens. Glare from other circumstances such as bright snow is not polarized light and won’t be affected as much by the lens.
Easy Step By Step Instructions for Finding Polarized Sunglasses
- Hold the sunglasses out away from you so that you can look through them at different angles
- Watch through the glasses as you turn the lenses about 90 degrees
- If the image changes and becomes less clear, the sunglasses are polarized
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Determining if Your Glasses are Polarized
Polarized glasses are great for fishing because with the glare on the water reduced, you can actually look into the water at shallow depths and see rocks, fish and other underwater activity.
If your computer is dragging while booting up or loading new webpages, your problem is likely the huge amount of small programs that website like to distribute in your hard drive to track your habits. While some are illegal and can be seriously damaging should the malware get into your financial records, others are simply annoying (and illegal as well.) To speed up your computer you’ll need to clean out any spyware or errors in your machine.
Clear Temporary Files
Your first step is to clear your history and all the cookies and temporary files stored on your computer. This will get a few of the programs, but certainly not all. To prevent more spyware from moving into your machine, you’ll want to first be sure there is nowhere for the software to hide.
Cleaning Your Computer
A registry cleaner will clear out all the errors and malware that’s currently sitting in your hard drive slowing everything down while it reports back on your actions to others. A vicious cleansing will clear the spyware out. But just as important as clearing out the old problem is preventing new ones from moving in. Registry fixes usually work to keep your hard drive free of errors caused by these downloads on a reoccurring basis.
If your machine is still slow after cleaning out your cache of spyware and temporary files, consider uninstalling programs you’ve never used or don’t use any longer. Be sure to remove only program you’ve loaded onto the computer yourself. Deleting a file necessary for running your machine will lead you to a complete wipe-out through reformatting. Reformatting will also speed up your machine by taking it back to its original status and deleting everything extra – including your personal files.
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Fixing a Slow Computer
- Clean out your temporary files
- Buy registry cleaners or fixes to clean and scrub your computer free of programs and errors you can’t see
- Uninstall programs to free up more memory and increase speed
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Facing a Slow Computer
An external hard drive can be a lifesaver. Store large media files and your important documents on the external drive. This way, your photos and videos aren’t dragging down your computer’s hard drive by taking up precious memory.
When you buy software online or in the store, you want to be sure that the company that will be protecting you and your files is up to the job. With the sheer amount of personal information available through computers, finding a quality product to reduce spyware and block illegal downloads is critical.
Read Unbiased Reviews
There are hundreds of websites offering reviews, but only so many that are unbiased. It’s a safe bet that almost any link online will make someone money when you click on it. Finding companies that don’t review the products they are selling more favorably than others can be a trick. Start with the best known companies, such as Consumer Reports, and branch outward. Read multiple reviews from all angles and don’t be swayed by news reports. In many cases, it is the reviews of customers that are most authentic.
Compare Like Software Products
Compare products within the same product family a well as just outside competition. The differences in usage and price might be subtle, but learning about these small differences can be extremely important for finding not only the correct product but the proper usage. Consider the difference in a Registry Easy review and a Registry Fix review. The two products are similar, but choosing the right one can be a matter of your exact needs.
Talk to the Computer Experts
If you’re buying a product in the store, seek out a knowledgeable associate to make a recommendation. If you’re buying online, find a relevant forum to discuss the software or search around for other recent conversations about the software to see if there are any points you haven’t yet considered.
Evaluate Your Software Purchase
Finally, when it’s all said and done, make a purchase and continue to evaluate your purchase for the months that follow. If you’re pleased, report back for others to learn about the product through review websites or forums. If you’re not pleased, absolutely report back to warn others about the purchase or get advice about how to make the new software more suitable for your needs.
Easy Step By Step Instructions for Finding Trustworthy Software
- Read unbiased reviews to determine the strengths and weaknesses of the product. Read as many reviews as you can and surely some of them will be unbiased
- Compare like products within the same brand to see which one of the product family is best suited for you
- Take to experts or other users to discuss your needs and obtain a recommendation
- Evaluate your purchase after buying it looking for problems or concerns
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Getting New Software
A reputable company has every reason to make sure you’re satisfied with the purchase. Always give the company a chance to make it right should there be a problem before reporting your issues online.
If paper mache isn’t going to cut it and you need a scalable 3D model for a work or your advanced schooling, finding ways to create the prototype simply and inexpensively can be challenging.
Create a 2D Design
Product prototyping requires a detailed drawing at the 2D level before it can be rendered in 3D. Use software and detailed specifications to create as detailed a design as possible. Look for potential problems or holes in the design while examining the 2D drawings. Anything you might have missed will be pointed out on the 3D prototype, but by then you’ll likely not want to invest in another model – no matter how cost efficient.
Bid Out the Project
Once you have a workable design at the 2D level, bit out the 3D-rendering aspect of the project to companies who specialize in this sort of development. In addition to bids, be sure to closely examine their portfolios of past projects as well as speaking to references about the quality of the workmanship and professionalism of the workers.
Work Closely with the Selected Company
Work closely with your selected company to explain the project. Ideally your designs should show the prototype in great detail, but be sure to discuss any lingering details of the design before the programmers and artists begin work. Stay in communication with the rendering company during the process.
Easy Step By Step Instructions for Creating a 3D Prototype
- Include as many details and layers to the product at the 2D level
- Bid out your project to rendering companies and specialists
- Work closely with your selected company to see your prototype created correctly
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Creating a 3D Prototype
Seeing things built from your imagination or designs can be awe-inspiring. Be sure to document the process somehow. You’ll be glad you did down the road.
There are numerous ways to use solar energy around the house. From solar lights in the yard to a full solar grid powering your home, finding solar power in any area is very possible.
Consider Your Location
Before planning a home run entirely on solar power, you must consider your location. If your home is Seattle, you’ll be lucky to see enough sun to power a toaster, much less home, although solar energy can be stored for later use. New Orleans solar power, however, would be much easier to harness and use since there is considerably more direct sunlight in Louisiana. Louisiana solar power is a nice protection against future hurricanes and storms as well.
Start Small – Save a Lot of Energy
There are quite a few small things you can do around the house to harness the sun’s energy and decrease spending on your utility bill. Solar lights to line your porch or driveway are inexpensive and easy to install. There are also many other solar powered outdoor items to use around the pool or while camping.
Large Savings Found in Solar Panels
If you’re looking to use solar power on a grander scale, you’ll need to consider a solar panel. There are resources available to help you build your own or you can have professionals create a network on your behalf. The solar grid can be small and still power all or most of an entire home. Putting in the panel and grid doesn’t mean giving up your traditional energy source, you can simply use your solar power first before tapping into the energy provided by your electrical company.
Easy Step By Step Instructions To Use Solar Energy at Home
- Consider your area and it’s possible for solar power
- Use small solar powered items around the house and yard as much as possible
- Consider installing a solar grid and solar panels to harness the sun’s energy for your primary electrical needs
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Going Solar at Home
It is relatively inexpensive to install a small solar panel to try using solar energy. If you like being free of energy companies, you can install larger panels down the road.
When you’re online, you’ve opened yourself up to a complete onslaught of marketing materials, spyware and malware that can infect your computer, set up shop and report back your habit, or even account numbers and log in information, to others. Being protected means removing the accumulated junk and then starting fresh with high quality protection software.
Clean Your PC from Existing Spyware
Your first step to protecting yourself is to get rid of all the old spyware and malware that is already on your computer. The sheer number of these programs often cause computers to slow down, open pages and programs slowly and to eventually crash. Cleaning your computer can be as complex as reformatting it completely and starting fresh with all files and settings, or you can use specialized software that comes with your virus protection programs or a program especially designed to cleanse machines. Registry Genius is one of many specialized programs that identifies and then removes elements from your computer that might be slowing you down.
Install Spyware Protection Programs
Once you’re certain your computer is clear of errors and viruses, you can install a new platform of virus protection. In fact, even if you’re certain about your computer’s current condition, the best antispyware programs will identify and clear old problems before going on to protect you from future threats. Every year you need to update, renew or buy new spyware protection. There are too many threats that aren’t visible online to not visit even a few websites without having protection in place. Programs such as McAfee and AntiSpyware2009 are known for their high levels of protection.
Use Online Safety Strategies
Once your software is in place, you should be protected, but you can still get into trouble without realizing the consequences. Use common sense when a warning or flag pops up. Letting sites come through the firewall should be done on a rare basis if they bring up an error. Letting a work website load at home after it flags the antivirus software is one thing, but a gaming site that gets an error should remain blocked. Find an online gaming site to use that doesn’t flag your new software and you should be okay.
Easy Step By Step Instructions To Protect Your Computer from Spyware
- Clean your computer before installing new software
- Install antispyware software on your computer to keep malware out
- Use common sense when visiting websites to keep yourself protected
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Protecting Yourself from Spyware
When buying software for your computer, opt for a full protection suite that includes all malware protection. Spyware is just one of many threats from online, although it can be the most burdensome to the average user.
If your computer is starting to drag and has errors pop up on a regular basis, it might be time for a bit of cleaning. Getting your computer clean can be done in a few different ways.
Reformat Your Computer
When you purchased your new computer, you should have received the discs required to reformat it. Reformatting means you’ll be taking your computer back to the original state. You’ll lose all of your programs, files and anything else you’ve changed or stored on the computer. Moving everything important, such as pictures and music, to an external hard drive will save you headaches later if you choose to reformat.
To reformat, you’ll want to insert the disc once you’ve made back-up copies of important items. Simply follow the instructions on the screen and your computer will wipe out its memory and give you a refurbished computer ready for action.
Take Your Computer to the Professionals
You can also take your computer to professionals to have it cleaned. In many cases, however, this can be expensive and there is not a guarantee that the shop or pro you’re using will be able to clean your hard drive completely. You might wind up with corrupted material still on your machine. A reputable, experienced company that also offers a guarantee for services will be your best option if you choose to use a professional service.
Be aware, however, that even those pros that are seemingly totally professional might sneak a peek in your documents to see if you have anything interesting saved there. Again, an external hard drive for personal pictures and financial data would make sense.
Buy Registry Cleaners
Most problems with a PC can be located through specialized software such as Registry Easy. Programs such as this and its companion, Registry Fix, make it simple to identify the errors and problems with your computer. Better yet, the programs go on to resolve the issues with very little input from you the user. Truth be told, some repair shops take advantage of this sort of software to repair issues as well. A cleaner can be less expensive and if you select the right one, it should take care of most of your errors and you’ll see your computer speed up dramatically.
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Cleaning Your PC
- Consider reformatting your computer and starting fresh.
- Take your computer into the professionals to clean.
- Buy a cleaner and work through the errors and problems yourself.
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Cleaning Your Computer
Once you’ve cleaned your computer, be sure to buy updated virus and spyware protection every year. Having protection will let you search without worry about junk being downloaded and causing errors on your machine.
During a recent move, my boyfriend and I discovered that my PC and his laptop had more trouble co-existing than he and I did. I had always been under the impression that wi-fi was designed in such a way that you didn’t have to sign up with an internet provider to use the service. We discovered the hard way that wi-fi in your home is actually a parasitic entity.
Setting Up Your Hub
In order to set up what is called a hub in your home, one computer must first be physically connected to the internet. In our case, the connected computer was my PC and the service provider was Time Warner.
Connecting a Router
Once a connection has been established, you will need to purchase a wireless router. These can be found at most electronics stores and vary in price from about $30 to $100. The price depends on the strength of the transmission, so the size of the area you want to provide service to. In our 1500 sq ft home, we were able to use an “N” sized hub and can access wireless from any room in the house.
Most routers provide you with step by step instructions to connect including setting up a password and establishing if you want your network to be private (so that only you and people with your password can access it) or public (so that anyone within the transmission area can use your connection).
Easy Step By Step Instructions For Setting Up Wi-Fi
- Establish a connection. The easiest way is by signing up for internet service and having a PC connected the “traditional way”. There are other ways to establish this initial connection, but this is the easiest for those who are not computer savy, like myself.
- Connect a router to the linked computer. Other devices act like parasites, feeding off this internet connection.
- Follow the prompts that appear when you install the router. Decide if you want the connection to be private or public.
Warnings, Advice, and Suggestions When Setting Up Wi-Fi
When we purchased our router we went to Best Buy. We were able to ask a member of the “Geek Squad” exactly what to do and he was incredibly helpful and made the process simple, even for people with no computer knowledge. Be aware if you establish a public connection of who is around you and who will be able to access your internet.