Chris Reynolds of Web Hosting Search submits this guest article about successful Freelance Designing.
It can be risky to work as a freelancer. However, while the possibility of late payments, lack of work and other challenges can put you off from becoming a freelancer, there are also some great benefits to becoming your own boss. Here are seven tips to keep you successful in your freelance endeavors.
#1 – Make Clients Pay
The biggest risk of being freelance is not getting paid. You do not have a big firm backing up, thus making you more prone to delayed payments or no payments at all. To avoid this, it is critical to make a contract with the client at the very beginning outlining the services and what they will get for their money. Do not just give them the contract. Ask them to sign it and give you a copy before you can get started on their project.
#2 – Promote Yourself
Another good key for success is to put extra time and effort into marketing and promoting yourself as a freelance designer. Marketing and promotion is critical when you are a freelancer. You will need to be not only the designer but also the salesperson. There’s no work if you don’t reel in the clients.
#3 – Manage Equipment Issues
It may be hard to get work, especially if you are just starting out. You may need to take whatever work comes your way and you most likely will be working more hours since you are now wearing more hats. You will also now be responsible for your own equipment. It is wise to consider insurance on your equipment and keep it in a safe place.
#4 – Draw Up a Business Plan
One very wise thing to do is draw up a business plan. Really work to figure out how you are going to keep yourself afloat while you start your new venture. A business plan will force you to think through various scenarios and make a legitimate plan, it may help you see that there are some flaws in your plan to go freelance.
#5 – Choose Clients Wisely
Choose your client wisely. Do your best to get referrals. Referrals are always better than new clients. If your gut instinct says that the person is not good to work with, then you are probably right.
#6 – Communicate to Clarify Expectations
Communication is critical. Spend time with your clients to get a good understanding of their needs; this will certainly help you in the long run. Make sure you know why they came to you. Is there something specific you do that they are interested in? If there is something specialized in their needs identify it right from the beginning (they might even want you to register a domain name and get web hosting for them, so be sure to clarify these issues accordingly). Figure out where they intend to show the work you are going to do for them and make sure you can do a good job. No matter what you do, do not promise something that you cannot deliver. This will cause problems for any business.
#7 – Wear “Many Hats”
Lastly, keep in mind that this is a business and you will be wearing multiple hats. You are not just a designer anymore. You are your own sales department, finance department, quality control department and more. You need to be able to run every aspect of your business in order to be successful or at least hire other people to fill those roles.