Between the current state of the economy and the effects of globalization on the creative industry, more and more graphic designers are choosing to freelance rather than look for full-time work. Unfortunately, many of them struggle because they were suffering under false expectations about what it is like to be a freelancer. These questions are here to help you make an informed decision when considering going freelance.
How Am I Going To Get Clients?
One of the biggest shocks most new freelancers hit is that they’re suddenly responsible for finding their own clients. Before taking the plunge it’s best to have a solid plan for where you’re going to find your clients, because if you wait until you need them, it’s too late.
What Happens If I Don’t Get Clients Right Away?
The fact is, it takes time to build up a client base. If your freelance business is going to survive it’s vitally important that you either have enough money in the bank to last a few months of little-to-no work or have a secondary income that’ll pay your bills until your freelance career starts to become reliable.
Do I Want To Be A Designer Or An Entrepreneur?
Another thing that comes as a surprise to many new freelancers is just how much of their time is spent running their business rather than doing work for clients. Marketing, writing quotes, invoicing, collections, bookkeeping, and a host of other activities take up a significant chunk of the daily work-effort of your average freelancer. Successful freelancers have a passion for entrepreneurship and enjoy working on the business as much as the design itself.
Do I Have What It Takes To Run A Business?
That last question leads well into this one because all those additional tasks that come with running a business require their own skills and aptitudes. If you struggle with marketing, business strategy, or keeping track of finances, then running a business will be an uphill battle. These are skills that can be learned, but you’ll be much better off if you learn them first, rather that taking the sink or swim approach.
Can I Manage My Time Effectively?
One of the great perks of being a freelancer is that you can set your own hours (at least to some extent) but with great power comes great responsibility; it requires planning and self-discipline to meet deadlines and keep your business running when you’re working on a flexible schedule. Nobody wants to work through the night because they have deadlines to meet that they didn’t prepare for.
Am I Able To Budget My Money So It Lasts Through Slow Periods?
Freelancing is a feast and famine lifestyle. Sometimes work and money are plentiful and sometimes their scarce. If you don’t have the skills and willpower to put money aside to pay bills during the slow periods, you’ll run into trouble quickly and you won’t be a freelancer for long.
If It’s For You…
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge to becoming a freelance designer, you should download a copy of our free ebook How To Be A Freelance Graphic Designer. It’s full of tips and suggestions for planning and running your freelance design business.