Let’s take a quick look at what it takes to stay in the freelance game:
Profits. Please remember that, for you and your clients, nothing happens until something gets sold. You must generate a profit, or your freelance days are over.
Talent alone isn’t enough; it never was. You must also be dependable, knowledgeable and professional. A large part of your success will be attributed to just “taking care of business.” Take the initiative. Handle small problems while they are still small. Strive to provide the best service you are capable of. Stay flexible and focused when there are scheduling conflicts, vendor problems or approval delays. It is easy to bury yourself in work and neglect billing, payables and receivables.
Stay healthy. ‘Nuff said.
Education is a lifelong commitment, especially for the freelancer. Along with relentless hardware and software updates, you need to stay on top of printing and Internet technology. Sharpen your design skills and feed your creative soul with night classes and artist’s dates. Attend trade shows and seminars that interest you.
Know how to land new business. Have I said that often enough in these workshops?
Take stock regularly. Is your fabulous freelance career going as well as you had planned? If not, why not? What needs adjusting or improving? Is it your skills or is it your attitude? Be honest.
Be prepared to field some very attractive offers. As a successful freelancer, clients and business associates will perceive you as sharp and capable. And you are. You are generally operating at several levels above the average employee. You will be offered everything from staff positions, stock options and directorships to partnerships. Weigh them carefully. Consider the reasons you started freelancing in the first place. Are they still valid? If so, consider how accepting one or more of the above offers will impact your freelance activities.
Stay Sharp, Be Informed. Subscribe to one or more business publications. If you haven’t done it already, make sure you’re subscribed to receive my free newsletter. When you need help, ASK. Get to know graphic designers, printers and industry professionals in your area. If I can assist you with coaching or consulting, contact me.
I hope these Freelance Workshops continue to be of benefit to you. Good luck in your career; please write and let me know how you are doing.