Our Freelance Graphic Designer, Betsy Huffine, offers guidance to the self employed creative types of the world.
Since my last full-time job was eliminated in 2008, I have been a freelance graphic designer. Once I got over the initial shock of being laid off, I set out to build a freelance client base. Slowly, I developed a system to assure myself a steady flow of work. In my experience, there are a few key factors in achieving self-employed success. The best, without a doubt, is…NETWORKING. After being in this business for 17 years, you meet all kinds of people who can help you when you are trying to make it on your own. Making these connections and keeping them is the best way to build a firm freelance foundation because you never know who will need help and when. All my freelancing jobs have come from knowing someone who knew someone who needed help.
The next key ingredient in being a busy freelancer is….FLEXIBILITY. You must be flexible and willing to start a job right away even though you have a vacation planned or other projects you are working on. You never know when your work will dry up so you have to take most of the jobs that come your way. You can’t be a “job snob” either. If you intend to keep working, you must let everyone know that you are willing to accept any job that pays the bills.
The last thing in being a successful freelancer is…TRAINING. In this day and age, with technology moving faster than the speed of light, you have to keep up with your skills and make sure you know all about new software programs that are available. It used to be that if you knew InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop you could be very much in demand. However; with the digital age upon us, you have to know Flash, Dreamweaver and HTML in order to stay competitive and keep getting work.
But never fear, my fellow freelancers, there are jobs out there for us! More companies these days are willing to hire freelancers instead of full-time employees. Speaking of which, if you need a dependable freelancer, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. –BH
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