Anytime we are facing a life-changing decision, it brings us to a point where we need to stop and take a long look at all the good and bad sides of the move that we are about to make. For some being a freelancer is not one of many options, it is the only way to earn for a living. However, there are people who are at the crossroads between staying with an employer and making it on their own. Becoming a freelancer after previously having a steady income can be a real tough call to make.
This article will not paint a fictional picture that everything is rainbow and sunshine after becoming a freelancer, but provide you with useful information on how to make it as one and not fall into the trap of the new-found “freedom”.
Try working for an employer first
It may come as a shock that this is the first advice, but it is actually very important to feel the pressure of deadlines, having to be somewhere at a particular time, becoming a part of a real-life team. If your first job is within a studio or any company in need of an artist, you can develop many useful skills, like better communication and the feeling of responsibility. This is also the first test to see if you are better working within an office/studio or from home.
Self-promotion is important
Use the Internet as your most powerful tool. Share your work on social media, forums, blogs, or any other place where you believe that you will gather more audience around you. This is the only way to be noticed. Even if you are the most talented artist on the planet, it will be hard for your future clients to reach you if you are not visible to the online community.
Maintain a good relationship with clients
Although other freelancers can tell you that they basically have no relationship with their clients, that doesn’t mean that you should be rude or impolite. Going the extra mile and being nice can take you a long way, and many clients can decide to continue working with you over a longer period of time.
Organization is crucial
Taking the initiative can be hard, but it is the only way of surviving as a freelancer. Without a boss breathing down your neck you can easily become lazy and avoid work. Not meeting the deadlines and delivering sloppy work that is done at the last minute can get negative feedback from the client. It can even be enough for a client to decide not to work with you any more.
Give yourself some credit
You must understand that even though you are a freelancer, you are doing creative work that needs to be paid. Treat your freelance position as a nine-to-five job but also don’t allow anyone to ask you to do free work for them. For others to see you as a professional you must be the first to value your own work and time invested in it.