Freelance Graphic Design (Part 2)
...Continued from page 1 of Freelance Graphic Design
Things You Will Have to Do....
You will have to be a Jack (or Jill) of all trades:
You are now responsible for the accounting, book keeping, janitor duties and marketing. You are now the receptionist. YOU have to take the phone calls, make the appointments, talk to perhaps frustrated customers who aren't satisfied with something. You will be the marketer that has to make sure your name is getting out, and to the right markets. All of this adds up and can be quite time consuming. Freelance graphic design isn't all about creativity and designing. It encompasses a great deal more.
You will have to be assertive (if not aggressive at times)
Those who are timid can often get eaten up in this kind of business. Trust me. I know. If you are the kind of person that doesn't like cold calling and that kind of thing, you will have to get out of your comfort zone to survive. You will sometimes need to bug clients about promised funds, providing needed materials and documents, and so on. You will need to get on the case of the printers if they are taking their sweet time. You really can't be the kind of person that will get pushed around. Otherwise people and businesses will put you last on their "to do" list and you will not get the speedy responses that you need to satisfy both sides.
You will have to act like a professional and look it
Lose any rough edges that come out when you are under stress, because those edges will be showing to clients. You are the professional, needing to show it in action, word and outward appearance. This means biting your tongue when someone criticizes your work, or when they pick the design sample that you like the least. When you meet with a client, dress well for it. Forget the casual look. These people want to feel well assured that they have invested in the right company to do the job. Looking sharp affirms them that you take the job seriously, and picking you wasn't a mistake. Acting as a professional obviously also carries over into action. Keep the client well informed, and provide clear documentation as to what they can expect in the end, and the steps along the way.
You will have to sell yourself
This goes along the lines of number 2, but it deserves it's own space. To succeed in freelance graphic design, you will have to market and sell yourself like you have never before. Get the word out by cold calling, advertising in the newspaper, news groups, forums, and by word of mouth. Sometimes the best way to get started is by doing work for people that you know. This provides a slightly cleaner transition into the freelance world, as long as they don't expect you to do the job for cheaper because they know you.
You will have to be very VERY organized
Along with any business, you are really going to have to be organized. This starts from the way you organize your files on your computer, all the way you store printed materials. Losing a clients file or work is just not acceptable, and you will pay for mistakes like this. The last thing you want to have is a bad name.
Other Things to Consider...
1) You will get bad clients from time to time.
2) Don't count on a flexible lifestyle
3) You will have to work more, not less to succeed.
4) It takes time to get established.
5) Freelance graphic design isn't for everyone.
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