I’ve realized that reaching that goal when you start an independent design business can be scary. As it was for me, but it depends on you and your talent.
Here are my 7 tips for designers and creatives who want to make the leap to the world of freelance:
The best way to learn about the business is by being there. Learn from those who know, take this opportunity to absorb everything you can, mainly from people who do what you want to do in the future.
When you work in a company, you will also learn how customers are handled, costs, project management, processes and many other things that they do not teach you in college and that are important when working alone.
This will help you to know how a business works from a creative, administrative and production point of view.
When I decided to be a freelancer, I had some savings that allowed me to continue with my lifestyle while getting my first clients. However, I would have liked to have more money to have more peace of mind and economic security.
If you have a lot of monthly expenses such as rent, loans or children, save everything you can before becoming a freelance full time, because that kind of expense does not give you await.
I recommend you make a calculation of your monthly expenses and save at least the equivalent of 3 months in advance. That way you know that in the worst case you will have those expenses covered while the money starts to arrive.
Even if your business takes off immediately and you start billing from the first days, it is good to have money in the bank as a backup. It can be useful in difficult times or to invest in your business later.
Currently, any business or marketing expert will tell you that you must choose a niche market to succeed, but this decision can only be made when you really know the market.
In other words, if you are already an industry veteran, specialize in what you do best.
But the new creatives recommend that you wait at least a year to choose a specific market or service. During that time, try and demonstrate everything you can do, build a solid portfolio, enjoy the possibilities offered by the creative world and learn with each client.
He works on projects of all kinds: corporate, web, print, digital design for children, men or women, new companies or companies with a long history, etc.
Try all kinds of projects and then if, specialize in what you like most.
Do not hesitate to tell everyone what you do. The best clients, the best projects and the best opportunities usually come from voice to voice. One of the best ways to create a name in your industry is by making your customers happy. If you know the quality of your work, surely they will recommend you.
Creating friendships with other logo designers in London is also wonderful, you can learn from them and share great tips with each other, and in other cases, you can exchange clients.
For example: if your photographer friend has a client that needs a logo design, you can be that person who designs it.
This type of recommendation generates great confidence in your client because when you hear good opinions about your work, the possibilities of closing that business are much greater for you.
Being a freelancer is not simply saying that you have no boss or schedules to meet. First of all, being a freelancer is having a personal company and every company needs a business plan.
A business plan will help you to have clear goals and will serve as a reference to know if you are achieving what you want, also keep you focused on your goals.
When I started looking for clients I did not have any kind of business plan because I did not think it was necessary, I knew what I wanted and I thought I knew how to get it. But from the moment I decided to define my business plan, I realized the amount of time and effort I lost because I did not have it. A professional plan is worth its burden in gold.
If you want an example of a business plan, next week I will publish an article on the subject.
The first thing we do at the beginning of a new stage is to look for models to follow, and although their main objective is to motivate us to achieve many things, in some cases we are discouraged when we do not achieve the same as they do.
Do not try to compare your prices, your services or your clients with creative freelancers who have been in business for 5-10 years, remember that they also had to start from the beginning as you and thanks to the time they have in the industry they can do it who do and collect what they charge.
Take them as a reference and learn from them, but do not expect to be like them right now.
The goal of being an independent creative is not simply to make money, it’s also about loving what you do. If you are not happy with the projects you do, you will get bored quickly. This will be reflected in your designs and in the way you approach each project.
So before you start your creative business, ask yourself this: Do you really like what you do? Does it make you happy?
If this is not the case, look for something different that makes you feel satisfied at the end of the day and what you feel comfortable with.