I have been freelancing for a couple of years and between then and now, I’ve come across all sorts of people and done quite a lot of varied work over multiple sectors.
The experience in both industry and life that I have gained has been absolutely invaluable and this has helped me develop into the person I am now. In effect, freelancing has shaped both my personal and professional outlook. I’m putting this article together to give advice to those thinking of starting a career in freelance; whether as a designer, developer, consultant or whatever. This advice will hopefully transcend sub-sectors.
Do quality work, but don’t be obsessed by Quality
Working with clients can be bitter-sweet. You will either click immediately or your relationship with them may be more turbulent. This can cause issues – you should make all necessary steps to achieve a good professional relationship. You will find that compromising is the best way to achieve this. Even if you know the client is wrong, their demands may result in your producing work that you may deem as sub-par.
Usually this will not hurt you directly, so let it be. It’s next to impossible to educate a client, nor this is our mission. I recall something I was told many years ago in a print agency: whatever the client sends to the press, has to be printed. This included mispellings, obvious mistakes and the like. Of course they would warn the client, but never, ever, would modify anything. A lesson learned.
Of course if the client is not willing to compromise on something that MAY hurt you, or your reputation, you should consider firing them. Which may seem backwards, but really it is not: a freelance is, first and foremost, free. I’ll talk about this aspect later on, as it really does not mean you should not respect your clients or leave them in the cold. But their success is your success, and you should try to keep an high profile.
A few freelance resources
In no particular order, those are a few useful freelancers sites where jobs can be found, negotiated and appraised.