Should You Become a Freelance Designer
By ilovegraphics on March 02, 2010
There are a lot of perks when you work for yourself. You have some flexibility in the hours you work, you can pick the projects you take, and you get to be your own boss. These are some great reasons to be a freelance designer, but working for yourself is not for everyone. You will have to take on a lot of tasks that have little to do with designing. Check the list below to see if you can do what it takes to be a freelancer.
First of all, you have to be self-motivated. There will not be a boss checking up on you to make sure you put in enough hours to get the files to the business card printing company in time. Loving what you do will help with the design work, but you will also have to be disciplined enough to keep up with all the other tasks that are part of running a business.
Work Long Hours
When you work freelance, you will end up putting in more hours rather than less in order to be successful. You will have to have a lot of stamina to keep up a demanding schedule. And do not expect to be able to take vacations whenever you feel like it. You have to do the work when it is available, and there will still be deadlines to meet.
Market Your Business
Successful freelancers put in a lot of hours marketing their business. You have to be able to talk to strangers about your skills and ask people you barely know for referrals. You will not get enough business card printing projects, logo design gigs, or brochure projects if you do not actively spread the word.
Being a business person means competing for money. The business clients you will have will want to spend as little as possible. To make a living, you will have to be firm about charging what your business card printing, logo, or brochure designs are worth. This means figuring in the cost of running the business as well as your hours into the fee.
Sometimes you will also have to defend your design choices. You cannot make endless revisions and make money — or be happy. So, at times you will need to tell clients to trust you to do your job.
Do the Boring Stuff
As a freelance designer you will have to spend a lot of time doing the basic tasks required to run a business. You have to keep client files organized, pay the bills, answer the phone, and schedule meetings. Again, a love of being a designer will go a long way to putting up with the necessary business stuff, but make absolutely sure before you go the freelance route that this road is right for you.