Curse Of The Freelancer

  • Hello all! I wanted to start a little side project called Curse Of The Freelancer.
    My aim here is to show my experiences of when times can get alittle tricky when freelancing. I have been freelance for many years now and I honestly wouldn't want to do anything else. It gives me freedom with time, opportunity for more family events, type of client and preferred design direction. It does, however, come with risks...

    In this series I want to share my personal experiences of my freelance wars, as you imagine things are not always plain sailing. I want to show this is a fun way, to help make designers aware of the risks. I do not want this to be seen as a negative overview/vibe of freelance, just more of a realistic one (from my perspective).

    I hope this will be a good source and if I can help in anyway I would see this as a success. I am also open to hear other freelancers stories too. I have many more designs/explanations I am working on, so do keep posted over the next few weeks.

  • 01.
    Payment Terms of 45 Days.

    Alot of my bigger clients have a 45 days payment term, which can be quite a burden with cash flow and organsiation of time/allowance. Its good in respect that money will be coming in (EVENTUALLY), but it doesn't help the here and now.

    My Solution.
    I have found that if you take on a few smaller sized clients (possibly start up's) then this helps the cashflow. It also helps take away all the focus on one project and keeps the creativity alive.

  • 02.

    Spending a lot of time alone can come with it's issues.
    For example it can cause me to overthink on my approach to projects, question my style and put my mindset in a corner.

    My Solution.
    I have found it's good to keep a positive mindset by having time away from my work. For example going for a walk, going for a drive, getting outside for fresh air. See the world basically. Getting outdoors helps me gather my thoughts and puts me in a positive outlook to continue my day.

  • 03.
    One of my most challenging tasks from switching from an agency to a freelancer...
    Client Budget.
    Striking a balance/agreement between designer and client (potential client) is no mean feat. The main challenge is to help a client understand the value of your services. Just because you no longer work within an agency full time, this doesn't mean your work ethics, commitment and quality is any less. In fact, I personally feel it's more, I work harder knowing it's for yourself and for your future.

    I will be honest though, I have been very lucky with past and present clients, they understand and appreciate my value, drive and work ethics.
    However I have had many experiences where some potential clients like to 'push their luck. so to speak. For example, just recently I received an inquiry for a logo job (full branding package). For $50! (£28.24 after tax). Come on Bruce!

    My Solution.
    Being honest! I am transparent and upfront with a client about my cost and about the services they would receive.
    Agreed it is a very hit and miss tactic, but one that works for me. It works for me because when I find a client that appreciates my work, then the more effort I put in. It's that simple. I strive to make my clients excited about what I produce. That's my aim.

    If a client is unable to appreciate my value we simply go our separate ways. I am always polite and thank them for showing interest in my work and wish them the best for the future. Staying professional and polite (no matter how offensive their offer may of been) is the way to go. In my opinion.

  • 04.
    Off Days
    Drive. Or lack of it?
    I am not going to lie, some-days I struggle with drive.
    Don’t get me wrong it’s nothing to do with what I do, it may just be my mood, an event that’s happened or just me having an ‘off day.’
    The challenge with working from home is that you do have a lot of distractions.
    Another tea? Chat with friends? A quick nap in bed? A quick blast on GTA...
    Distractions come at a price. They affect your mindset, your schedule and your focus.
    My Solution.
    Quite simply... Just do those things you want to do! You are your own boss. If you have other things on your mind they will stay there until you distinguish them :)
    You are always going to have off day’s, so on those days just chill, do the things you want, do what makes you happy. You should use these days to
    recharge, otherwise you will just burn out!

    However, keep in mind you still have deadlines to keep too and clients to entertain. Staying professional and efficient is key.
    Maybe on these off day’s do some self promo work, or some design your LOVE doing.
    This way it will motivate you for the client work the next day. It’s all about balance!
    PS. Today I am having a cheeky off day :) You in?

  • 05
    MASSIVE Ouchie! Just this week I experienced the harsh reality of copyright infringement (unintended).
    I was made aware I used a particular image which I was unaware that it had copyright infringement values and I had to pay the heavy price. Which isn’t ideal when freelancing and keeping cash flow in the green.
    I have however learnt a very valuable lesson from this experience, to which I won’t ever make that mistake again.

    My Solution
    CHECK Copyright on ALL imagery/content you use.
    I can’t stress enough how important it is to make sure you are using the correct copyright procedures othwerwise you WILL get stung like me, and that’s not cool.
    Check with content owner and if ever in doubt don’t use at all. Please don’t make the same mistake I did.