Unfederated

Unfederated

www.unfederated.studio
Helping Freelancers Grow Successful Businesses Doing What You Love


61: Last Lady Standing
Sep 24 • 11 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara talk about their upcoming life changes, and how the show is going to respond.Support Unfederated
60: All The Things
Sep 17 • 43 min
Rob interviews Amy Walters about her journey from a traditional job to a multi-faceted creative & marketing career.Special Guest: Amy Walters.Support Unfederated
59: Determining “What’s Next?”
Sep 10 • 37 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara discuss the pros and cons of grocery delivery (especially on vacation). They then transition into looking at the future of your industry. How can freelancers build habits to be more nimble than bigger firms so they can be…
58: Quantifying Your Services To Your Customers
Sep 3 • 45 min
Rob gets things broken by the very person who shouldn't be doing that. Sara and Rob have a detailed discussion about how to quantify yourself and your services to your customers. Some businesses lend themselves well to this, but others do not. Is a case…
57: Leveraging Flexible Hours for Physical Health
Aug 27 • 40 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara talk about how a freelancer can leverage their flexible schedule to take care of their mental and physical health. Rob talks about how beneficial it's been during their house building process. Sara ponders what people on…
56: Should You Work for Free in Exchange for Equity?
Aug 20 • 49 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara talk about the practice of a freelancer working for a company for free in exchange for an ownership stake. Most of us have heard about people owning a % of a company cashing out when a company goes public or is sold. Is that…
55: Face to Face Meetings๐Ÿค
Aug 13 • 45 min
In this episode, Sara puts on her lawyer hat to convince Rob that face to face meetings do have a place in the business world. How do you schedule, structure, and end them? All of this will be discussed along with some helpful tips on how to follow up…
54: Summer Theme: Do More with Less
Aug 6 • 53 min
In this episode, Sara is back from Europe, and Rob has summer childcare difficulties. They work through how to maintain your work load during seasons of change. If it's travel, summer hour changes, conferences, or co-worker vacations, you must still get…
53: Responsibility, Authority, and Compensation: 3 Key Pillars
Jul 30 • 18 min
While Sara is on vacation, Rob goes solo to talk about 3 things to think about before joining the unfederated lifestyle. The first is responsibility. Do you have an increasing amount responsibility in your day job, but not lacking the authority to get it…
52: Getting Recession Ready
Jul 23 • 38 min
In this episode, Rob loses a Parks and Rec trivia game due to an obscure question, and gives Sara some tragic news. He’s heard that a recession is headed our way. Are freelancers better prepared than full time employees? How can you structure your…
51: The Skinny On Content Marketing
Jul 16 • 38 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara continue to talk about freelancer marketing. Rob talks about his use of email marketing and social media to grow his business. Sara brings up a third option. Sara also explains how she created her husband through…
50: The Skinny On SEO
Jul 9 • 42 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara break down Search Engine Optimization (SEO). They discuss organic SEO placement (opposite of paid ads), the myth around getting to #1 on Google, and discuss tools for SEO management/monitoring.Support UnfederatedLinks:SERP…
49: The Skinny On Google Ads
Jul 2 • 54 min
In this episode, Sara gets to ask Rob about Google Ads (previously known as Google Adwords). Does it work for all industries? What are the terms you need to know in order to make wise decisions? What are landing pages (and what makes a good one)? What are…
48: How Much Is Too Much?
Jun 25 • 43 min
In this episode, Sara and Rob discuss a time when the most obvious answer was the right one. They also look internally to figure out the motivations for their careers, deciding how much money is enough, and what are their secret goals.Support…
47: Being Your Own IT Department ๐Ÿค“
Jun 18 • 50 min
Rob and Sara discuss what it's like running a business without a full IT department. They discuss essential apps and services to make yoru life easier and to prepare for when disaster strikes. They also share horror stories from working in their…
46: Zen & The Art of Calendar Management
Jun 11 • 49 min
Rob and Sara talk about calendars, scheduling, and more when it comes to managing your time as a freelancer. Sara signs up for Calendly to take care of the scheduling ping pong match that can often occur with new clients, but also ponders the usefulness…
45: Freelance Parenting ๐Ÿ‘จ‍๐Ÿ‘ฉ‍๐Ÿ‘ง
Jun 4 • 47 min
Sara and Rob are joined by Rachel Bettis to discuss how becoming a parent impacts the life of a freelancer. Rachel is a real estate agent in Chattanooga, TN and the mom of a nearly three year old daughter. Can you do maternity leave as a freelancer? What…
44: The Collaboration Fallacy
May 28 • 38 min
In this episode, Sara and Rob talk about why vacations are needed to get the creative juices flowing again, and why collaboration isn’t always the best process for getting tasks done. Do you work better alone or with a team? Which process is better for…
43: Wait, Am I Unemployed?
May 21 • 32 min
In this episode, Sara might have gotten bitten by a pig, and that is the reason she didn’t respond to email on vacation. Rob has a minor freak out session over losing a client, but then comes back to reality when things end up working out anyway. Sara…
42: Pruning Your Book Of Business
May 14 • 30 min
Rob gets some advice from his father in law (who's been a self employed attorney for decades), and discusses it with Sara. They also discuss balancing client relationships with emergency requests, and how that may impact pruning your client list at the…
41: Self-Promotion: ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผor ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿผ
May 7 • 42 min
Sara and Rob discuss the nature of self promotion when running your own business. Between panels, networking events, and online self promotion, what are the best ways to let people know what your expertise is without coming across "scammy"?Support…
40: The Accidental Entrepreneur
Apr 23 • 36 min
In this episode, Sara talks with Aaron Martin about becoming an "accidental entrepreneur". Aaron recently left his previous law firm and opened up a solo practice. With a baby on the way, he's evaluating health insurance, office expenses, building a…
39: Old Dogs & New Tricks
Apr 16 • 38 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara talk about ways that freelancers can (or have to) stay up to date with the latest trends in the industry, gain continuing education credits (CEU), and remain lifelong learners. Sara also discusses surge pricing on AirBnB…
38: Conference Season!
Apr 9 • 41 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara look at the usefulness of attending conferences for freelancers. When you consider the travel cost, time away from billable hours, and the stress of traveling - do they provide enough return on your investment to go? If you…
37: Finishing Well
Apr 2 • 30 min
Clients come and clients go, but there is certainly a "break up" process that goes along with it. If you ended on good terms, how can you finalize the project in such a way that you could easily pick back up again if their needs change?Support Unfederated
36: Staying In Your Lane
Mar 26 • 41 min
As freelancers, you often get asked to do things outside of your scope. In this episode, Rob and Sara discuss the pros and cons of “staying in your lane”. Rob talks about the time he got reversed two week noticed, but it wasn’t “hush money”. Support…
35: Working The Side Hustle
Mar 19 • 58 min
Rob and Sara are joined by Bradley Chambers to discuss freelancing while maintaining a traditional 9-5 job. Bradley has no desire to leave his full time job, but rather uses freelancing as a way to supplement his income. He discusses tips, tricks, and…
34: Facing Competition
Mar 12 • 36 min
Rob and Sara discuss the role of working with competitors in your local market. Is there a reason to meet together to share ideas and knowledge? Where is the line between learning and leeching?Support Unfederated
33: Health Insurance Options For Freelancers
Mar 5 • 40 min
Rob and Sara are joined by Austin Jett to talk about health insurance options for freelancers. There are a lot of things changing in the healthcare space all around, and it will certainly impact freelancers as well. Austin goes through all the types of…
32: Knowing When To Quit
Feb 26 • 34 min
In this episode, we learn that Sara ate moldy bread (and is probably very sick at this point), and Rob read a new (to him) book by Seth Godin called “The Dip”. The Dip is a little book that teaches you when to quit things and when to stick with them. The…
31: Doing Emotional Labor
Feb 19 • 41 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara discuss the idea of emotional labor vs physical labor. Even for jobs based around the internet (and clicking buttons), time is still a factor. How do you balance the emotional needs of clients vs simply performing a task?…
30: Building Productive Habits
Feb 12 • 40 min
Rob and Sara discuss habits, and how they impact our lives. There are good habits and bad habits that freelancers can pick up. Your goal should be to strike the balance between keeping your day structured enough to keep you on task while staying flexible…
29: What’s The Deal With Disability Insurance?
Feb 5 • 39 min
Sara and Rob discuss one of the downsides (or benefits) to freelancing: short term and long term disability. A lot of freelancers think one of the benefits of traditional employment is the benefits package. One way to look at being a freelancer is you are…
28: How Many Clients Is Enough?
Jan 29 • 37 min
Rob and Sara discuss one of the "good problems to have" for freelancers. What happens when you don't have enough time for new clients? How do you balance quality of life with having backup plans incase an existing client leaves? They also discuss why you…
27: Traveling With Clients
Jan 22 • 32 min
Back from a family vacation, Rob and Sara discuss strategies and tips for working (or not working) while on vacation. Is it better to 100% disconnect or find ways to touch base with clients here and there? Before you take another vaction, you'll want to…
26: The Mind Games Freelancers Play With Money
Jan 1 • 36 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara discuss the dangers of rationalizing everything you want as a business expense, how that affects your significant other, and how to track expenses.Support UnfederatedLinks:Xero | Beautiful Business & Accounting…
25: Ending The Year Strong
Dec 25, 2018 • 35 min
In the final episode of 2018, Rob and Sara discuss ending the year on a high note, managing client relationships around the holidays (and vacations), changes for 2019, passing off clients via referrals, and more. Support Unfederated
24: Managing Pro-Bono Work
Dec 18, 2018 • 45 min
Rob and Sara look at doing pro-bono work and serving in non-profits. They discuss how to balance billable hours with serving your community, how to find pro-bono work that best uses your skills, and not getting stuck on boards with no exit planSupport…
23: Finding Rest
Dec 11, 2018 • 61 min
Rob and Sara discuss the idea of rest for freelancers. With traditional 9-5 jobs, paid time off is usually the norm. With freelancers, it can be difficult to take days (or even hours) off for things like vacation, snow days, and exercise. What are the…
22: Marketing: Rob’s 6-P Approach to Marketing
Nov 27, 2018 • 58 min
Rob and Sara discuss marketing strategy. Rob leads Sara through his marketing consulting process. He advises empathy and understanding and recommends isolating your preferred client-base. He takes her through his 6-P approach: People, Position, Promise,…
21: Outsourcing: How to Delegate or Automate
Nov 20, 2018 • 60 min
Rob and Sara discuss the process of outsourcing. They discuss how to evaluate the tasks that can be automated, the tasks that can be delegated, and pare your activities down to the things that can only be done by you. Rob is generally the first to…
20: Setting Goals as a Freelancer
Nov 13, 2018 • 54 min
Rob and Sara discuss how they set goals for their business. They discuss the amount of money they make, what they expected, and how they measure their own success. Sara discusses the billable hour requirement at old firms and how she uses the metric of…
19: Contracts: What Freelancers Need to Know
Nov 6, 2018 • 53 min
Rob and Sara discuss when Freelancers need contracts in place. Sara, a lawyer, refrains from giving legal advice, but generally provides educational background on mistakes she sees business owners make. Relying too heavily on the title of an agreement is…
18: Pricing: How freelancers set rates
Oct 23, 2018 • 48 min
Rob and Sara discuss how they set their prices, the benefits of subscription models, setting an hourly rate starting off, and how to know when to increase rates. Rob has a provision in his contract where if someone cancels early, they are still on the…
17: What freelancers miss most from traditional employment
Oct 16, 2018 • 29 min
Sara and Rob discuss the things they miss most from their traditional employers. Sara misses work rooms full of office supplies. Rob talks about a co-worker stealing office toilet paper. While they have chosen their own paths because the pros outweigh the…
16: Death: Prepare your Freelancer Business for Death or Disability
Oct 9, 2018 • 44 min
Just in time for Halloween, Rob and Sara discuss the ways in which freelancers should prepare their businesses in the event of their death or disability. If not carefully and swiftly managed, a successful small business can quickly become in the red. If…
15: Become a Freelancer in a Day - Emergency Preparedness to Freelance - Pt 2
Oct 2, 2018 • 44 min
Rob and Sara discuss hitting the high points of days 2-10 of finding yourself in an unexpected freelancing position. Continuing to sow seeds with your village, avoiding putting yourself out there if you're not in a place of strength, taking time to feel…
14: Become a Freelancer in a Day - Emergency Preparedness to Freelance - Pt 1
Sep 25, 2018 • 45 min
Rob and Sara discuss the emergency steps you should take on day one if you're fired or other circumstances result in you suddenly finding yourself needing to freelance. First set up your choice of entity at your state's secretary of state, without letting…
13: Managing Friends as Clients
Sep 18, 2018 • 46 min
Rob and Sara discuss the pros and cons of having clients who are also your friends. Navigating the waters of doing favors versus setting up a legitimate client relationship with a friend is tricky and can negatively affect your personal relationship. They…
12: Live From Chattanooga Q&A: When to Trade Clients like Pogs, How to Fire a Client, Using Data to Direct Your Business
Sep 11, 2018 • 30 min
Rob and Sara conduct a live recording at the Society of Work in Chattanooga. The Unfederated community weighs in with their most pressing questions about firing clients, the ways in which they track data and use it to make decisions and direct their…
11: Brass Tacks #1: The Best Hardware and Devices for Going out on Your Own or Freelancing
Sep 4, 2018 • 61 min
This Episode is the first part of a three-part mini-series: (1) the hardware we use, (2) the software we use, (3) special resources we use when we travel. Rob and Sara discuss exactly what hardware they've chosen to invest in, the importance of using the…
10: Q&A: Impractical client requests, the lack of maternity leave as a solo business, partners who don’t have an income changes the freelancer equation, mentors
Aug 28, 2018 • 40 min
Rob asks Sara for thoughts on a client request to print and mail invoices when it disrupts his dearly held streamlined freelancer systems. When the name of the game is keeping non-billable work as streamlined as possible, making an exception can be really…
9: Staying Inspired As Freelancers: Staying Engaged, Ideal Clients, Treating your brain like a Tesla, and preparing for Artificial Intelligence and an Economic Downturn
Aug 21, 2018 • 44 min
Rob and Sara discuss how they manage to stay inspired and engaged during the day-to-day of freelancing. They discuss how to manage the drudgery in running their own businesses. They discuss the benefits and downsides of having control over every aspect of…
8: Money: The Nitty Gritty of Cash Flow, Billing Software and Retirement Savings for Self-employed
Aug 14, 2018 • 57 min
Rob and Sara discuss how eradicating debt allowed them to find success as freelancers. The importance of avoiding debt where possible, managing A/R, and paying themselves in regular, smaller increments. Rob pays himself every two weeks and Sara pays…
7: Timely Pivoting and Cutting Your Losses: Early Freelancing Mistakes Explained
Aug 7, 2018 • 42 min
Rob and Sara answer a question from a listener regarding their early mistakes. Both have found that the ability to change tactics and pivot when something isn't working is essential. Both discuss the biggest ventures they invested in early on that they…
6: The Slow Down Low Down: Teaching Yourself to Pivot, not to Panic
Jul 31, 2018 • 46 min
Slow days happen and how you deal with them may be the single most predictive indicator of freelancer success. Sometimes a slow day is best used taking advantage of the opportunity to leave the computer and go do something fun. Slow times are also a great…
5: Embracing the Hustle: Sales & Networking
Jul 24, 2018 • 51 min
Most freelancers cringe at the idea of being a salesperson, but it doesn't have to be sleazy. Rob and Sara discuss the importance of sales and networking, which approaches have failed and which approaches have been successful. Despite their different…
4: Create the Company You’ve Always Wanted to Work For
Jul 17, 2018 • 47 min
In this episode, co-hosts Rob and Sara talk about their decision to create a business that is fundamentally different than their former employers. They describe their offices and discuss the importance of choosing clients you mesh well with and work you…
3: Freelancing and the Importance of Managing Perception
Jul 10, 2018 • 36 min
In this episode, Rob and Sara compare and contrast the perception of freelancing in their respective fields. Sara explains some of the hurdles associated with peoples' perception of lawyers and the need for a real office. Rob describes managing his…
2: The Freedom to Fail: the Pros & Cons of Freelancing
Jul 3, 2018 • 33 min
Rob and Sara give a high-level overview of the major pros and cons of freelancing. They discuss being your own boss, choosing your own clients, and making your own schedule. They also point out that you acutely feel your losses, remain responsible for…
1: Doing the Math: The Decision To Go Solo
Jun 26, 2018 • 61 min
Rob and Sara discuss their decision-making strategies in general and the moment they each made the decision to leave their traditional employers to create something of their own. They comment on the insight their significant others provided them and the…
0: The Very Beginning
Jun 18, 2018 • 8 min
Sara & Rob share their hopes for the Unfederated podcast - outlining their own experiences as freelancers and providing the framework for how community among freelancers can empower success.Support UnfederatedLinks:Why Do We ‘Bury the Lede?’