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The Design Center / Creative Networking / Designers Talk About Freelancing  

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... sage advice for starting the freelancing life

Don't keep all your eggs in one basket!

B.B. said, and then continues:
      If you're freelancing, try to stay diverse between clients and market yourself to others. I have found that when you're contracting with someone specific, you tend to lose sight of the other things you need to do to keep your own business up. Volume with one client is great but can be lost anytime, volume with many clients is even better, if one of the eggs crack, the others can be hatched.

B.M says
      I agree with B.B. about diversifying -- pick up a copy of The Accidental Salesperson- it's been a big help to me in marketing myself to new folks, and keeping my name in front of them.

S.Z. says:
      Hello, I too agree with B.B. The more variety of clients you take, the richer your work life will be. Try to never be attached to only one person because with this situation you may loose great opportunities of reaching new levels of knowledge, knowing new ways to solve problems, and surely get more of everything ($$$).

There is nothing bad with this freelancer life!! don't be defeated before even try it! If a problem is there to solve it, it's because you can do it

So for the advice thing: Keep your mind and your eyes open. You will have many more opportunities to grow as a person and as a freelance designer.

M.J.G. says:
      Congratulations! Here are some words of advice from someone who just went freelance himself recently: Full-time freelancing: 10 things learned in 180 days
I have freelanced since 1993. Not for the faint hearted, but it can be very rewarding.

M.V. says:
      I am doing freelance over a year now and have never regretted it. But you need two things: a lawyer and an accountant to do your taxes. Plus a strong will to not to give in to compromises regarding schedules, payments and quality.

R.R. says:
      I went from freelance to expanding to a small studio, 4 of us here. I wasn't cut out for freelance, really. I'm better at directing the creative and organizing systems.

1) diversify your client porfolio
2) make sure you have legal agreements in place between you, your partners, your clients, and your suppliers
3) get away from the computer to keep contacts alive

Essentially, your running your own business. Even if you have someone handling sales, you need to be out in the community connecting with people. If you expect to remain independent, you need to get your face out there too. Don't allow yourself to get lost in production, no matter how much you may enjoy it.

The best projects will likely come from referral rather than a cold call. You can generate referrals yourself just by remaining connected -- face to face.

If you rely on someone else to generate all leads, all sales, all referrals, are you really that independent?

4) when things go bad (and they will) be as prepared as possible, and stay solution based
5) when things get tough (and they will) stay focussed and positive
6) have fun
Good luck!

B.E. says :
      Another good reason to diversify and to keep yourself out there with the public is that your "salesperson" could decide to do something else. I had brochures printed up, work orders, invoices, etc. that included my salesperson's contact information and she decided to pursue real estate instead. I was left high and dry with a boatload of useless promotional/business material. You have to be an integral part of the system and not just the "creative resource" at the computer.


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