Daunting, to say the least. Becoming your own company, brand and identity is one of the most daunting things I can imagine, second to elevators. However, I’ve learnt some effective tips to becoming freelance which I think will help greatly.
Firstly, create an effective online portfolio. This will draw attention to who you are as a designer and will be a showcase of your work that the potential clients can look at. This is your first port of call, it should withhold all of your best and diverse work. Nobody wants to hire a designer whom works within boundaries, being narrow-minded isn’t going to be a successful practice to hold.
As well as an effective online portfolio, you have to create an equally mesmerising print portfolio, along with business cards, CV and maybe even a cover letter.
Be brave, bold and professional. Your work should be a broad spectrum, don’t limit yourself. In the design world you have to be innovative, you can’t put yourself with everybody else. Doing this will only limit you clientele and your chances of working your way up the ladder. Don’t be afraid of the word no.
Go the extra mile for your customers. Word of mouth is your best tool, recommendations are the foundation of business. For example, you have really good customer service at one store, you are more likely to go there again. It’s simple psychology, as well as common manners.
Take the small jobs first. There is no hope in marching to companies like Vogue and asking if they want to pay you for a double page spread on the influence of Coco Chanel; they will laugh you out of the building. You have to build a reputation for yourself.
Never underestimate yourself. Your abilities are not defined by what you did yesterday but what you can create today. You are able to build upon your skills, strengths and weaknesses. The world is your oyster, kid.
Networking is the best thing you can do. Build yourself a social networking empire and be sure to keep up with the new trends. Popular social networks include LinkedIn, Digg, Pintrest, Behance, Google+, Freeshot, Vimeo, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr, the list goes on.
Practice, practice, practice. Again, building on your already existing skills will only make you a better designer.
Funding and a business plan. Many banks now offer new businesses a small loan (not the Donald Trump definition of a small loan; a million dollars. It varies on your plan and how detailed it is. Which, in turn, all comes down to how driven and motivated you are to get you business started.