Career Fuel: Portfolio planning for the full stack freelancer

I loved Tiago Forte’s post on the rise of the Full Stack Freelancer.

I’d been skirting around this idea for a while but he brought it all together in a really succinct and and coherent way.

Tiago says:

Full-Stack Freelancers borrow freely — from tech startups, digital nomads, lifestyle designers, independent contractors, the sharing and peer-to-peer economies — but placing them squarely inside any of these categories is not quite right.

That’s because Full-Stack Freelancers manage a portfolio of income streams, not a job based on one set of skills.

These potentially include both products and services, online and offline businesses, digital and physical products, active and passive income sources, in-person and remote interaction, individual contribution and group collaboration, and offerings that are low margin and high margin, mass-produced and customizable, high risk and low risk, monetized directly or indirectly, short-term and long-term, or any combination of the above.

So what are these products and services, and how we can plan, organise and deploy them?

Tiago continues:

Social media shares and free blog posts are your lead capture, bringing people into your audience. They also keep you exposed to the wider world beyond your niche.

Your introductory offerings are your qualification and filtering system, helping you identify not only the people who are most committed to your message, but also the best ideas and formats to help carry that message.

Premium offerings are the cash cows, allowing you to provide the most value with your time, and be compensated accordingly.

Taking inspiration from a few people’s portfolios I put together a quick Google Sheet to map out how my own portfolio was shaping up. It was a very interesting exercise and I could easily see a couple of gaps to look at filling.

Then I thought: perhaps other people would benefit from a tool like this?

I’ve been using Airtable more and more over the last few months and whilst it’s not quite ‘sticky’ enough to be a go-to app for me just yet, it’s undoubtedly very powerful and also has some great social features built in for sharing and collaborating

So here’s a simple Airtable ‘base’ for modern freelancers looking to follow Tiago’s suggestion and go full-stack.

Hopefully it’s a useful resource to you. Any feedback, ideas or suggestions just drop me a line – I’d love to hear from you.

Check it out here:

https://airtable.com/embed/shrWaxQk6RzAjZydz?backgroundColor=purple

Tickets Podcast: Debs Armstrong on bespoke experiential

On the guest list for today’s episode of Tickets is Debs Armstrong.

Debs is founder of Strong & Co, an award-winning experiential agency based in London, working with clients including Google, Twitter and the BBC.

Tickets_Debs_Quote

Debs’ started out creating installations at squat parties in London during the mid 90s, and was also the co-founder of the legendary Shangri-La area at Glastonbury Festival.

In this episode Debs tells us stories of recreating Blade Runner in the English countryside, where brands and agencies get it wrong with experiential, and how she balances artistry and entrepreneurship.

https://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/165130/52985852

Tickets Podcast: Adam Morallee on international boxing and brand partnerships

On the guest list for today’s episode of Tickets is Adam Morallee.

Adam is founder of Brandsmiths, a boutique law firm based in London with a focus on media, entertainment and technology brands.

Tickets_Adam_Quote

Adam is also a prominent boxing manager, working with the world-title winning heavyweight David Haye and his Hayemaker Ringstar promotion company.

In this conversation, Adam shares his hugely valuable insights into setting up an international boxing match, the future pay per view sports broadcasting, and how talent and their representatives can forge more valuable partnerships with brands.

https://app.stitcher.com/splayer/f/165130/52985853

Introducing ‘Tickets’: a podcast exploring the world of live experiences

Before I left London for New York I got chatting with a sports and media lawyer.

I mentioned my background in the live music industry, and he was fascinated to know more about how live music deals were made.

After telling him a little of what I knew, we discussed where some of those ways of working could be applied into his world. We both enjoyed getting insights into each other’s areas of interest and agreed to keep in touch, but we were both busy – him on a couple of big deals, me on visa applications.

Fast forward a few months and several conversations I’ve been having in my new home of New York have reminded me of that London meeting.

There’s little doubt the definition of a live experience is getting ever broader. As that happens, more white space is appearing between the disciplines, concepts and approaches being applied.

This is exciting, but there are a couple of problems.

  1. Many people creating and producing these experiences don’t have the bandwidth or access to explore these white spaces, join the dots and look at where they could apply adjacent ideas to what they’re doing.
  2. It’s not easy for audiences to develop a better understanding of what goes into bringing these experiences to life.

With both these problems in mind, I’m excited to announce the launch of ‘Tickets‘: a podcast series going behind the scenes with the visionaries, producers, and operators behind some of the world’s most innovative and vital live experiences – from Broadway to boxing, virtual reality to retail.

The first three episodes are now online. Here’s a brief introduction to each of our debut trio of guests.

Adam Morallee: founder of London law firm Brandsmiths, Adam is also a prominent boxing manager with deep expertise in areas such as brand partnerships, content licensing and IP development. (and yes, Adam is the person I had that first conversation with…)

Debs Armstrong: founder of award-winning experiential agency Strong & Co, Debs also co-founded the legendary Shangri-La area at Glastonbury Festival.

Andre Lorenceau: co-founder and CEO of LiveLike VR, Andre and his team are building a new way to make live sports broadcasting more interactive, social and compelling.

 

New episodes will be released each week and we’ve got some fantastic guests already confirmed.

You can check out Tickets through the following channels – please go ahead and leave a rating and comments.

Apple Podcasts

Stitcher

Acast

Our podcast landing page

 

If you’d like to be a future guest on the show or want to suggest someone who should be, drop me a line.

 

Enjoy!

Introducing Zorro: projects for hybrid talent

TL;DR: Zorro is a new solution for connecting companies to multi-disciplinary talent. We work with proud generalists – the operators, producers, builders and can-doers who don’t fit into standard job titles or descriptions. Whether you’re on the hunt for projects or people, check out www.findzorro.com

A few months ago I moved from London to New York. One of the restrictions of my visa was that I had to apply for an Employment Authorisation Document (‘EAD’, i.e. a work permit) before I could undertake any work for US companies. This process took several months, usually 3 but sometimes as long as 7 months depending on the specific application and the processing times at USCIS.

During the wait for my work permit I met up with as many interesting, smart and creative people as I could, as well as taking some time to sharpen up a few of the tools in my career toolbox.

Occasionally I also took a look at job boards to see what was out there and what companies were looking for.

Most of what I found had very specific job titles with role descriptions which were either extremely specific or very broad.

This made me consider three things:

  1. There’s very little demand for people with diverse and eclectic skills and backgrounds, as all companies wants to hire specialists
  2. As headlines are (apparently) 80% of the work when writing, some of the generalist jobs would get missed by potential applicants as the titles looked far too narrow and specialised
  3. The job boards focused on consulting work are full of roles that are either very specific and/or require an MBA/’top tier’ consulting firm background

I was willing to bet that (1) was incorrect, if not now then in the near future, and particularly within smaller businesses as everyone on the team needs to be able to do almost anything. Job titles become fuzzy at best.

(2) could be overcome by a bit of deeper pruning by those in the job market, but it’s a hassle, and using the right combination of search terms is pretty difficult on most platforms.

(3) ruled me (and most of my peers) out as I don’t have an MBA nor am sure on the value of one. This is evidenced by MBA schools having severe pain right now.

There appeared to be a gap. Not a huge gap, but that was ok. It was a small gap, the kind of one that a cat or maybe a fox could fit through…

With that in mind, I’m pleased to introduce Zorro – a job board for the generalists, the hybrids, even the misfits. That’s not to say Zorro is for anyone – it’s aimed at connecting companies who want Swiss Army Knife-style talent who have solid track records as well as diverse eclecticism.

Zorro is curated on both sides, and right now we’re in private beta while we iron out all the gremlins (I told you I was still sharpening skills – coding is definitely one of the slightly blunter ones).

If you think you fit the bill, or you’re looking to bring people into your company who are really good at getting things done then please join us.

Zorro can be found at www.findzorro.com

And why ‘Zorro’? The title is inspired by Isaiah Berlin’s essay about the Hedgehog and The Fox, which in turn got its title from the Ancient Greek poet Archilochus, who said a hedgehog knows one important thing, and a fox knows many things.

Sometimes we need the hedgehog, but I believe more than ever we need the fox.