Posted 14.06.2016 @ 9.53AM
Yes, something like that would be fine. It covers all the main things you have to worry about.
This is the one I use, just for your reference: http://www.sonjameyer.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Sonja-Meyer-TC2016.pdf
As you can see it covers a lot of the same stuff. I email this along with the official quote and a 1 page design brief that covers scope of work to be completed. Then my clients just email me back to say they accept.
The AGDA one includes job-specific details as well, but I just find it easier to type up a proper brief to make sure everything is clear. So it's up to you how you want to get 'sign-off' on the actual work to be carried out.
Posted 10.06.2016 @ 1.09PM
In regard to your first question, you shouldn't need a solicitor to do up a contract for you if you're just doing small jobs. There are multiple ways you can manage contracts but most creatives do it this way (I believe):
1. Create a Terms and Conditions document outlining your full terms. You can edit this for different projects if you like to include the work that will be carried out specifically on that project and the rate you have quoted + rates/terms if the project is to go beyond scope. I usually keep mine the same as it covers my terms for all project types, but also send a separate brief document outlining the details and specific requirements of the job. There are plenty of examples online that you can use as inspiration. You will provide this to the client before a job commences and either have them sign it and send it back (the old way) or simply get them to approve it over email. This is still legally binding should anything go wrong. But you should ask them to write back with a statement such as 'I agree to your terms and conditions' just to make sure.
2. Use a contracting app like http://www.letsagreeterms.com/. This app is still in beta and won't be available for a little while (they are a client of mine) but once it's available I think a lot of creatives will find it very useful for this sort of thing.
I have one client that I work with on a regular basis and they asked me to sign THEIR contract, which states my payment rate and that I can't work with other organisations of a similar nature etc. So from time to time this may also occur and will operate as your client/designer agreement.
In regard to your second question:
It's up to you how you take payments from other currencies. If you get it paid into a PayPal business account it can be invoiced and paid in their currency and then Paypal will convert it for you. This ends up pretty expensive though as you pay high fees and their currency conversion rate is bad. But you can probably put your fees up a bit to account for this.
I do this for small jobs sometimes, but for larger jobs I ask my overseas clients to pay with their currency into my CurrencyFair account and then I pay a tiny fee to convert it to AUD and send it to my Australian account once the funds clear. TransferWise have a similar service. The benefit of invoicing in your client's currency is that it makes it much easier for them as well at tax time.
When it comes to tax time and you have to declare your income - if you earned money in other currencies and you are a sole trader it's pretty simple. You just have to work out the actual exchange rate for the month in which you received any other currency and do the conversion. Then declare it as Australian $ earnings. This is only if you still earn more Australian $ within the financial year than any other currency, otherwise if you earn more of another single currency in a year you might have to switch your 'tax residency' to that country. This gets more complicated and is beyond my knowledge.
This is explained here: https://www.ato.gov.au/Rates/Foreign-exchange-rates/ and you can also use this page to check the monthly exchange rates.
Posted 15.02.2016 @ 11.13AM
I only ever use Genesis these days and it's amazing. I'll never go back!
It takes a little while to get your head around the action hooks and how to remove and add them as necessary to restructure widgets and other things within your theme. I'd suggest using the Genesis Visual Hook guide plugin to help with this.
Depending on your level of expertise with PHP (mine is still pretty basic) it can take time working out how to code custom page templates and archive/taxonomy templates for custom post types. But I still think it's easier than creating a child theme off other bought themes. Once you get there, you can set up a really simple system for yourself and use the same basic child theme for any project (with new customisations).
Also don't forget to edit your 'customise' file so that it's much more user friendly for the end user. I've become really accustomed to using it myself too - for editing menus, widget content etc (so much quicker) while having a visual of the changes.
It works really well with custom fields, WooCommerce, and other plugins and is also great for SEO, as far as I can see thus far.
Overall, the code is very simple and clean so it's incredibly customisable and always so fast loading and beautiful. I'm totally addicted to it and get frustrated when having to work with anything else now. :)
Posted 07.02.2016 @ 3.55PM (Edited 07.02.2016 @ 3.59PM)
Yes it's pretty overwhelming at first and many times you will want to give up. See my recent breakdown here: http://www.australianinfront.com.au/forum/thread/burning-oooout
Feeling a bit better now, thank Christ.
For one thing, with full-time freelancing you have to put in a lot more hours to make the same kind of money. That can be disheartening at the start.
BUT it depends what you value. If you value freedom and flexibility over cash, then you will do well. If you just focus on making lots of money you'll be pulling your hair out for a while.
It's definitely possible to do both, if that's what you want. But you will have to get to a point where you have enough regular work that you can outsource a bit or hire other people. Then you can start taking on bigger jobs and attracting bigger clients, but do less of the work yourself. That's when you can make the bigger bucks.
The one thing I've learned in the 4+ years I've been solo is that it's all about finding the one or two clients that will sustain your business. Then you can focus on finding other work that just tops it up. As long as the regulars keep coming, you'll be sweet.
Finding good 'regulars' is the hard part and usually comes from a bit of luck, combined with being in the right place at the right time. So my advice to start with would be to get yourself out there, and make sure everyone in your network knows what you're up to.
Unfortunately it's not as easy as letting your work and professionalism speak for itself. You have to put yourself in a business frame of mind and try to sell yourself well and be present. This doesn't come easy to many creatives, and is something I still struggle with a lot.
Finally, being around like-minded people is very helpful. It provides more momentum on hard days where you wake up thinking 'what am I doing?'. I can't recommend co-working spaces enough, but they are pricey in Melbourne so might need to wait a while before making the move.
Good luck, let me know if you ever want to grab a coffee to chat more. :)