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#16
James Hines

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I have been on this site for 6 months now, and have only seen about 8-10 Cartography jobs. There was no Cartography/Maps category


The Cartography/Maps category should be listed as GIS or something like Geo-Spatial Technology, and should be listed under Engineering & Science not writing & content. Getafreelancer, Elance, & Odesk continue to insult the intelligence of our community.

I've put bids in on a few jobs but have yet to earn a bean from it. You will find that you are competing globally, and there always seems to be someone willing to do the work for a goat, or a bag of rice.


There's a saying among cartographers here, don't bid on any of those sites unless you have to. Your competition is the third world & often you can not compete against them. The standard of living requirements are lower, & $50 can get a lot more there in the first world.

Also the practicalities of using the site need to be considered. For example all payments go through www.freelancer.com, and it may take a while for them to release the funds to the supplier, after taking a 10% cut. All communications between supplier/employer should go through the site too - communicate directly and they get stroppy, as it cuts them out of the loop.


Suppliers can also be cheated out of work "Elance" as a test case tends to make providers pay to bid per category. And because there is no GIS category projects tend to be spread out so much that it tends to keep intelligent & real freelancers away. In other words, "GIS freelancers are continuing to be insulted by these sites." On the other hand real freelancers are also insulted because the door opens more for cheap labour.

"There is much beauty that we fail to see through our own eyes teeming with life forms that give us that perception of our reality.  Leaves on the trees blowing gently in the wind, or scarily, the waves pounding through high surf, or lightly on a warm summer’s day; that opportunity to sit or swim in the water on a white beach.   That comfort to shout, “The universal conscious do you hear me?  I am alive, guide me dear logos towards the path of rightnesses.”  Earned what has been kept, no longer to be absorbed into a life filled with cold damn winds and  that stubborn fog clouding  my vision with nothing but darkness."


#17
dvd mccutcheon

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Agreed - on all counts

It may not translate, but in the UK we call this sort of business plan a "no-brainer"

David McCutcheon FBCart.S
dvdmaps.co.uk


#18
Derek Tonn

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There's a saying among cartographers here, don't bid on any of those sites unless you have to. Your competition is the third world & often you can not compete against them. The standard of living requirements are lower, & $50 can get a lot more there in the first world.


Yep. I personally believe it is far more productive to spend time working to define your own niche/specialty and bolster the quality of your print/online portfolio than it is trolling in those "elance" types of waters. If any of us are forced to primarily compete on price for a lot of these types of jobs, it isn't going to end well. We (map designers) will either be undercut by people with FAR lower costs of living, or we'll be stuck in that downward spiral of not having any extra money to afford to really work to improve our marketing materials and distinguish ourselves from all the other noise out there.

I've been in "the business" for ten years now (16, if you count my freelancing days), and I can think of the number of times we've substantially discounted our fees on one hand. It's counter-intuitive, but the more you sometimes charge for your services, the more you are perceived to have a higher quality of work, and the more work you get. People who want to pay $100-$200 for a map are going to be miserable to work with most of the time anyway. They often won't appreciate quality work...and will treat you as though they are doing YOU a favor paying you less than you might be able to make flipping burgers at McDonalds.

We all have to eat! :) However, I'd rather land one $50/hour job than I would landing five $10/hour jobs any day. And if you're trolling elance or ??? for work, good luck earning much more than that per hour.
Derek Tonn
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#19
s hubbard

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this is my 50 cent (yeah, like the rapper)

i got it figured out yo - unless you're on the top crew of these map makers/cartographers in this biznazz, then you really have to go local yocal.

and with this economy, it don't matta how good you are, it's hard to get PPPPAID.

got so many peeps wanting my maps right now, but none have the funds >> imagine that

i truly believe there is a ton of mapping going on out there freelancing, but how many are fresh to admit the never ending hassles of getting an GD invoice back!!!!

i'm venting, and it's 3 in the morn, so cut me some slack...

the regular paycheck and bennies was always nice though too.
maybe, just maybe, if any of you guys see my resume come through your company,
help a brotha out :lol:

Attached Files


s hubbard
www.hubbardmapworks.com
2539'

#20
MapMedia

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It pays to diversify. Specializing comes with a high risk and you better be sure you have the clients lined up. For a one man shop like mine, diversification is the goal. Over the last decade, parts of the cartography service PIE have been removed by free and fee-based online tools:

- simple web / locator maps: Google maps
- wall maps (territories / zipcodes etc.): online map generators

More of the pie will be ported over to the internet, but this is also an opportunity.

My service portfolio includes custom maps, GIS, Flash/Flex and web mapping. I have yet to add map production / map sales solely because I am shying away from the investment and risk.

Diversify your service and markets as well as your lead sources. Times change, so have a plan that handles good and lean times.

As for dead beat clients not paying, as they say, you have a sales problem not a collection problem.

#21
Derek Tonn

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As for dead beat clients not paying, as they say, you have a sales problem not a collection problem.


Correct. I think most of us want to get to the point where it's not just prospective clients evaluating whether they want to hire us...but also us evaluating whether we want to work with them. ;)

The only times I've ever gotten burned (had somebody make a run for the border without paying most/all of their bill) is when I took too many chances and/or wasn't selective enough in who we were going to work with. There are thousands of prospective clients out there who can talk a great talk! What I want to see though is a history of walking. Either that, or someone who isn't passing a good-portion of the risk in their new start-up venture on to me.

I also don't want to bother with people who think that a map is something you can buy in bulk, on sale at WalMart! :) I want to work with people who appreciate maps as art...not somebody who has to agonize over a decision between the custom work of NACIS members and Google Maps. People who think of maps as commodities rather than art will pay/treat you accordingly. And if that's the segment of the business people are in right now, God help you. It's rough...and it's only going to get worse.
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

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#22
s hubbard

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As for dead beat clients not paying, as they say, you have a sales problem not a collection problem.
[/quote]

that's funny, i've never heard this before at all. and really, it makes no sense at all. how are sales and collections related at all?
i really have a sales problem? from one client not sending a payment? hmm. the many daily calls and inquiries i get seem to suggest otherwise.
so please tell me mr. savy business expert, how exactly do i make people send their payment on time?
do i keep calling them, and bug them, and possibly lose future business? hmm, no. do i drive down there a get my maps back, and lose future business? no. do i waste my time (which i don't have much extra of ) trying to send it to collections, against a huge company? no.
and the fact that half of america is broke, doesn't factor in at all to people being late with payments? hmm.
people on this forum really need to stop just replying (or ruining a otherwise decent post) with ego-laden remarks that don't offer any solution/support/ideas, and basically just sound self-righteous.
everything else you suggested i already do, and more.
and dead-beat client? it's a multi-million dollar company, really don't want to burn a bridge see...
my idea is - i have made a new, huge, bad-ass map for the CFO, who i have dealt with a few times (going up the chain). i'm gonna head down there and try to sell him this new one, and get the other payment while there. how's that for a response to my sales problem??
so let's have it professor, give us your brilliant ideas, tell us how to fix our problems, that's what this forum is for, right?>>
s hubbard
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#23
DHissemGISCARTO

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Wouldn't it be great if there was a website for freelance cartographers to find and bid on work?

I guess you can't just sit around and wait for something to fall into you lap.

I wonder how successful SEO really is for directing traffic and attracting work? My impression is that there is a derth of hungry freelance cartographers and not a lot of work to go around.


There is a site for that specifically Matthew ... http://www.freelancer.com/


I have been on this site for 6 months now, and have only seen about 8-10 Cartography jobs. There was no Cartography/Maps category at all until I requested one. I've put bids in on a few jobs but have yet to earn a bean from it. You will find that you are competing globally, and there always seems to be someone willing to do the work for a goat, or a bag of rice.

Also the practicalities of using the site need to be considered. For example all payments go through www.freelancer.com, and it may take a while for them to release the funds to the supplier, after taking a 10% cut. All communications between supplier/employer should go through the site too - communicate directly and they get stroppy, as it cuts them out of the loop.

Worth a look, but read through all the terms and understand how it operates before registering.



Humm sorry to here that dvd mccutcheon, I was kinda hoping that might have been a better site, but I was wrong I guess, and yes contacting a potential employer can be a bit of a minefield, if it doesn't blow your face off, probably will take a foot.
Darryl Hissem
"The virtue of maps, they show what can be done!"

#24
MapMedia

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that's funny, i've never heard this before at all. and really, it makes no sense at all. how are sales and collections related at all?


I wasn't speaking about your case Hubbard. Its something we have all experienced, that screening clients is important, but sometimes we get burned. The only way I know how to avoid getting burned is to find great clients, ones that appreciate the work I do and are qualified to pay (that's the sales part). I don't ask prospective clients for their financials, but getting a sense of their business and speaking with them gives me a gut feeling - and that's all I need. I also request 50% upfront for large jobs (4 days work or more).

#25
Derek Tonn

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that's funny, i've never heard this before at all. and really, it makes no sense at all. how are sales and collections related at all?
i really have a sales problem? from one client not sending a payment? hmm. the many daily calls and inquiries i get seem to suggest otherwise.
so please tell me mr. savy business expert, how exactly do i make people send their payment on time?
do i keep calling them, and bug them, and possibly lose future business? hmm, no. do i drive down there a get my maps back, and lose future business? no. do i waste my time (which i don't have much extra of ) trying to send it to collections, against a huge company? no.
and the fact that half of america is broke, doesn't factor in at all to people being late with payments? hmm.
people on this forum really need to stop just replying (or ruining a otherwise decent post) with ego-laden remarks that don't offer any solution/support/ideas, and basically just sound self-righteous.
everything else you suggested i already do, and more.
and dead-beat client? it's a multi-million dollar company, really don't want to burn a bridge see...
my idea is - i have made a new, huge, bad-ass map for the CFO, who i have dealt with a few times (going up the chain). i'm gonna head down there and try to sell him this new one, and get the other payment while there. how's that for a response to my sales problem??
so let's have it professor, give us your brilliant ideas, tell us how to fix our problems, that's what this forum is for, right?>>


Wow...that was a pretty rude reply (whether it was directed at myself or at MapMedia).

To the point, however. The premise that a sales problem leads to a collections problem is correct. If what you're selling, who you're selling to, the terms in which you are making those sales, etc. aren't well planned, researched and executed, you can't help but have a collections problem on the back end.

Can you do everything perfect and STILL have a collections problem? Absolutely. In this economy, everybody seems to be paying a little more slowly. Can you also give yourself a better chance of success if you steer-clear of the dead-beats (not working with them to begin with) and people who will bully you around or hold you over a barrel? Absolutely.

That's all MapMedia's point was about! Put yourself in a bad spot, and bad things will more-frequently happen to you. Bad decisions related to sales and marketing will lead to a higher likelihood of bad outcomes, including cashflows/collections. That was an excellent reminder...and 100-times more useful and productive to CartoTalk participants than what you just shared.
Derek Tonn
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mapformation, LLC

datonn@mapformation.com
http://www.mapformation.com

#26
Hans van der Maarel

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my idea is - i have made a new, huge, bad-ass map for the CFO, who i have dealt with a few times (going up the chain). i'm gonna head down there and try to sell him this new one, and get the other payment while there. how's that for a response to my sales problem??


So you go over there and try to get them to pay you for map #1 by showing them what a good job you've done on map #2? "Please? Pretty please? I'll give you this other map if you do?"

Let us know how that works for you, but I do tend to agree with what Derek and Chris said, screening your clients is important. Multi-million-dollar companies can be very bad about paying (in fact, there's some out there who try to solve their financial problems by paying their bills too late). Getting part of the payment up front is a very common thing and ensures that you get at least your hours covered.

[putting moderator hat on] And please do watch the tone of your posts. This is a friendly place and we'd like to keep it that way
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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#27
s hubbard

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Wow...that was a pretty rude reply (whether it was directed at myself or at MapMedia).

To the point, however. The premise that a sales problem leads to a collections problem is correct. If what you're selling, who you're selling to, the terms in which you are making those sales, etc. aren't well planned, researched and executed, you can't help but have a collections problem on the back end.

Can you do everything perfect and STILL have a collections problem? Absolutely. In this economy, everybody seems to be paying a little more slowly. Can you also give yourself a better chance of success if you steer-clear of the dead-beats (not working with them to begin with) and people who will bully you around or hold you over a barrel? Absolutely.

That's all MapMedia's point was about! Put yourself in a bad spot, and bad things will more-frequently happen to you. Bad decisions related to sales and marketing will lead to a higher likelihood of bad outcomes, including cashflows/collections. That was an excellent reminder...and 100-times more useful and productive to CartoTalk participants than what you just shared.

you still didn't offer any solutions >> excellent reminder of what, how?
put yourself in a bad spot? are we suppossed to be psychic like you?
you offered nothing - and the dead beat thing again - wow, you didnt even read the post

so you think i'm being rude huh? i'm being honest and making truthful comments.

still, no one has offered a solution - just petty ramblings about how i didn't psychicly know that this huge company is a dead-beat? come on people.

and yes, i wil go down and see a different person, higher up the chain, who i personally know from before.
and yes, i will probably get my payment cause i know him.

really good interaction here. i can tell who can dish it out, but not take it back >>

that's ok Hans, i'm done. did you really just make the "pretty please" comment - and then tell us to watch our tone? amazing. i wondered why with over 8,000 members - there is only a handful of posts every day.
no we know why...all this, and not one bit of constructive help. just stuck-up responses. i guess you guys know it all!
good luck with all that power >>
s hubbard
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#28
David Medeiros

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Please don't feed the trolls. ;)

GIS Reference and Instruction Specialist, Stanford Geospatial Center.

 

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#29
s hubbard

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Please don't feed the trolls. ;)



wow - again, what does this even do? very mature and thought out
s hubbard
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#30
David Medeiros

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Please don't feed the trolls. ;)



wow - again, what does this even do? very mature and thought out


It's my humorous suggestion (and I'm going to ignore it right now) that other forum members stop trying to explain themselves to you because it apparently does no good. You have an obvious chip on your shoulder when it comes to advice that to my eyes is given in the friendliest terms. Of the many forums I participate in CartoTalk is by far the most tolerant and professional. I think you read way too much into what people have to say here when it has anything to do with you and you react in a defensive, antagonistic manner every time. It's bad for the forum and it would be best if people avoided directly interacting with you if this is how your going to treat them.

I apologize to the forum for dragging out an obvious troll post but I'm losing my patience and sympathy for s hubbard.

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