Working With Me (the FAQ)
While I’ve done plenty of consulting and freelance projects before, I’ve never actively sought out new clients before. So this part is new for me, and I’d like to make it as easy as possible for everyone — myself included. In that spirit, here are some potentially helpful answers for anyone interested in working with me.
What kind of people & organizations should work with you?
Generally, hiring me makes the most sense for medium sized companies that have a lot of different things to accomplish, but don’t want to hire a whole bunch of specialists (writing, strategy, web services, media, etc.) to do all of it. I don’t need to subcontract to make you a video, redesign your website, or rewrite your copy — when you hire me, we can pick and choose from all the stuff you might want someone to do, and then I can just go and get it all done.
Most of my experience is with technical companies (hardware, software), and a lot of it is business to business — but I like working with small service businesses and consumer marketing just as much. For ideas, makes sure you check out some of my work.
What’s a typical project look like?
Many projects include some amount of strategy (deciding what to talk about with customers and how to do it effectively) web work (new pages, designs, writing and graphic content), video content, and maybe some branding (logos, look & feel, etc.). For smaller businesses, it may involve getting them set up with basic customer management, email marketing, and the like. I tend to stay away from putting a lot of focus on social media, mostly because it’s still a relatively new space and most people don’t really know what they’re doing yet.
Basically, by the time you are done with me, you’ll be very happy with your company’s identity and ability to communicate with customers online.
What do you cost per hour?
I get this question a lot. I don’t have a consistent “reserve Nate for x$ an hour” rate, if that’s what you’re asking. Some things I do are easy, and some are hard. Some are creative, and mean I might need to think about your project while I exercise, or clean the litter box, but it’s crazy to bill someone for that kind of thing, so I don’t.
I play a lot of music, and in recording studios, a lot of places charge by the hour. It tends to create a very stressful work environment, cost-overruns, and disappointment. As a result, my favorite studios usually sit down with you beforehand, figure out what you really need to get done, set some basic guidelines on how much time they’ll spend on certain parts, and then give you a flat fee. You pay the fee, and you get what you asked for by the target date.
That’s how I work. If I say your video will cost $5,000 and take 3 weeks, you’ll get a video you really like in 3 weeks, and you’ll pay $5,000 for it. If you need to change the scope of the project, that’s fine — we’ll agree on the new cost and timeline before we start adding the new stuff.
What should I know before I meet you?
I look really young, but I’m actually just shy of my 32nd birthday. I am not a sharp dresser, or “corporate warrior”. I have been told that I slouch in my chair, but please don’t take that as a sign of disrespect. Other than that, I think we’re probably good to go.
I grew up in New England, so my favorite team has probably beaten yours recently. I hope that’s okay.
You work in tech. Are you an Apple guy? Google? Microsoft?
All of the above. I worked for a Microsoft shop for five years, and it was one of my favorite places to work. My first computer was an Apple IIGS, and my current one is a Macbook. I’ve been on Gmail since I graduated from college in 2004.
I am not a big fan of tech ideology. Technologies are usually tools, just like political or economic systems, for getting good things to happen. Some tools are better at some things than others, and which tools work best for which things and which people changes all the time. And although no one likes to admit it, some of us are stuck making the best of tools we don’t want to use — but for a variety of reasons — have to. I get that.
Can I see a picture of your cats hugging?
Well, okay. Only because you asked.