The title may sound like an oxymoron but freelancing is a different way to earn a living than working full time for a company. Unlike a full time employee, the freelancer has the responsibility to find solutions to develop and increase his/her business, find new clients and retain the existing ones. In a company, there is a division exclusively responsible for this. I have learned to invest in myself in order to grow my graphic design business. When I say investing, I mean time and money. In the long run, I got a good return on my investments.
My first big investment was a good laptop so I was able to be more mobile and offer my clients to work at their offices. It paid off very well when I got a big contract with a new client requiring to bring my computer. Since then, many more clients who needed my services but did not have a free working station, were able to use my services. It is my responsibility to stay up-to-date with new technologies in my industry. I keep my equipment and software current to the industry standard. It can be costly but essential so my clients get the best service they can expect from me.
I did spend some money on business cards and promotional items (post-it notes and notepads with my logo, email and phone number) to give to potential clients and make me look more professional. Having a website is a must for every business and freelancer. I made my own website to showcase my work. I’m lucky I can do it myself so it only cost me time. If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone to do it for you, it is worth the investment.
Keep learning and improving your skills.
As a freelancer, I go through phases where I’m not that busy and it can be frustrating. It is the perfect time to keep busy learning new skills and improving the ones I don’t fully master. Taking time to improve on my skills and what I can offer to my clients is one of the most profitable decisions I ever make not to mention the self satisfaction it gave me.
In the long run, investing in yourself is worth the time and the risk, it will motivate you and will improve your future. You can find multiple options in continuing education online or in your community and it is worth looking into.
It is important to spend time to build up my client base.
In my downtime, I take the opportunity to make myself more visible on my social networks. I write articles and post availability notifications on Linked-in and Instagram. I reach out to my regular clients to let them know that I’m available for new contracts. It’s important to promote yourself because your skills and your service offers won’t sell without assistance. You need to take action to secure that new contract.
See you in my next post