So you want to be a freelancer. It’s no surprise that more and more people are making this career choice. The work from home, work for yourself option is appealing for many reasons. But not everyone is cut out for the job. Are you?
Most freelancers – regardless of industry – exhibit a few characteristics that help them create the right business culture for themselves, stay motivated and keep clients happy (and new working coming in). We’re going to look at these traits and how they can influence your decision to tackle a freelance career in a creative field.
One of the things people always ask me when they realize I’m a freelancer is “how do you know what to charge?” Honestly, I don’t always have the right answer. As any seasoned freelancer knows, estimated rates can sometimes be a game of chance with some jobs bringing in handsome sums while others end up as a loss. (You hope it all evens out in the end.)
So how do you actually charge clients? How do you know what a job is worth so that you are priced competitively and adequately for the work? That’s where the discussion of hourly versus project rates comes in. Here’s a guide to help you make the choice that is best for your business.
Even if you aren’t actively looking for a job, your resume is an important piece of your digital portfolio. From sites such as LinkedIn to personal portfolio pages such as Behance that showcase your work, glimpses into your design career are everywhere.
You want to control that message to ensure that you are putting the right vibe out there about who you are, the work you do and why (quite frankly) you are a rock star designer. And while a stellar portfolio is a great way to start that conversation, your resume is equally important. It should highlight some of the skills that aren’t as apparent from looking at a few marquee pieces.
(As a bonus the images in this post are of great designer resumes, and templates, from Behance. Make sure to click the links and visit the designer sites to learn more.)
Every freelancer needs to master and practice the art of negotiation. From clients that want to haggle over process, to talking someone into a specific style of design or interface style for a project, working on your own involves constant negotiation.
Some of us are more adept at negotiating than others. But even if it is not a natural talent for you, there are some ways to beef up your skills so you feel more confident entering these discussions with clients.
Today’s story is personal. I woke up, got ready for work, sat down at my computer and then just couldn’t design everything. I mean nothing looked good. I was embarrassed to even call myself a designer.
The harder I tried, the less creative I felt. Was I a design failure? Was my career over? All these thoughts flooded my mind. And then… I just decided to do something else for a while. Some days, you aren’t going to feel creative. It’s going to happen. Here are a few ways to overcome that “designer’s block” and move on to other projects (and work) until you get your mind right.
One of the biggest questions for any design freelancer is “what should I charge?” The second question is “should I publish a price list for potential clients?”
The answer to the first question includes a lot of variables, and only you can determine what a fair market rate is for the quality and scope of work you do in the market where you do business. In terms of the second question, a price sheet can provide a starting point between freelancers and clients. Today, we’ll look at the pros and cons of publishing a price sheet so you can decide if that’s the right option for you!
It seems like the demand to get more work done (and in less time) is a constant battle. For freelancers, juggling client needs and deadlines can be tough. It can make you question whether it is possible to become a faster, more efficient designer.
Chances are that you can. There are time sucks lurking around every corner when you work as a freelancer and identifying these traps can help you avoid them and work more efficiently. You can also learn to better use available tools and shortcuts to maximize your time. Here are a few ways to do it.
I came across this tweet not too long ago and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I hustle every day. The post was a simple image and outlined “good hustle” versus “bad hustle.” And it got me thinking… am I hustling all wrong?
We all know that freelancing could be described as the life of a hustler. There’s always so much to do, and so many things going all the time. But how can you hustle the right way and just get s#%! done? Today, I am expanding on the outline presented by Meg Robichaud to help explain better ways to manage it all.
The freelance economy is growing every day. In mid-2015 more than 15.5 million people in the United States classified themselves as self-employed, and Fast Company reported that projections show that number could increase to 60 million by 2020.
While these numbers are good for you and show support for freelancing as a career choice, there is a catch: the market is getting crowded quickly. To remain successful (or find success if you are just getting started), it’s important that you find a way to stand out from the crowd.
When you are working on a project, the most-often asked question is “when will it be finished?” This question can be an internal one (particularly if you are struggling), or it could come from a client.
But how do you answer it. When is the design actually done? In some cases that’s easy. With a printed project, it’s done when you print it. But what about digital projects, where you have the ability to evolve as much as you wish?
Working alone can come with a lot of perks, but there are some things that always seem easier when you are in a more structured group environment. One of these things is gathering feedback for your work.
With practice, you can learn to step back and provide a pretty good critique of your own design projects. It will take a little practice to get comfortable with the idea, but plenty of freelancers are quite good at evaluating their own work. If it’s not something you feel good about, this guide can help you learn to better critique your own work as a freelance designer.
Just because you work alone most of the time doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome brainstorming session. While brainstorming is often considered a group activity, you can have a successful session in your home office as well.
Not sure where to start? We can help you with that today as well. Grab a pen, paper, tablet, or whatever your tool of choice is, and join us as we take a look at how to improve your brainstorming and idea generation techniques!