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7 Vital Freelance Survival Tips

Posted by in Advice, Freelance, Inspiration on October 16, 2015

So Freelancing.. Year 1. I can honestly say it’s been both the most rewarding experience and the toughest challenge I’ve ever faced. Here are some of the things I learnt along the way:

1. You seriously need savings.

Even though I am an experienced designer, I was new to the freelancing game and therefore getting work was hard. It was also a very quiet period when I started, so the chances of me finding work were slim. Fortunately in terms of finances I had enough saved up to keep me afloat for a bit.

2. Be prepared for the highs & lows.

Accept that there are going to be good and bad times when freelancing. There were times when I wondered if I was doing the right thing, especially when having no work for several months – it’s scary! But I was patient and that paid off as I landed one of the best client gigs of my career.

3. Spreadsheets and invoices are your new best friends.

As designers we get to work with some incredible software, so having to use spreadsheets and create invoices can be seriously tedious. Get ready to suck it up though as you won’t be able to survive without them, so learn to love your new friends.

4. Self promotion in down time.

When you don’t have any work on the go, it’s important to stay focused and self motivated. The worst thing you can do is just sit at home watching TV waiting for the phone to ring. Instead any down time you have should be spent on promoting yourself, making new contacts and networking.

5. Build a network

In order to get work you need to grow your contact list and attend networking events, this will ensure you have a steady stream of projects.

6. Avoid saying ‘no’.

Learn to always accept work, even if it isn’t what you specialise in – you will find a way to pull it off.

7. Be willing to put in some serious hours.

Sometimes you will have too much work and projects with similar deadlines. That’s when hours outside of the usual ‘9-5’ get used. Be prepared to work silly hours, as you never know when the next job will come in.

What are your experiences from freelancing? Comment below.