Many people dream of doing freelance work. Especially within the creative industry. There’s a sense of freedom and independence associated with it, and while that’s not wrong, it’s not the whole picture. Creative freelance work means you do a lot of the legwork companies do for their employees. It’s up to you to market your art and to gather clients, communicate with them, strategize the approach to projects and see them fulfilled.
To help you out, here are some tips to keep in mind when starting your freelance business:
1. Establish a Business Model for Yourself
As an artist, you might be thinking that freelancing is just about earning through commissions. And while that is essentially what it is from a wider perspective, you still need to figure out what type of art you’ll primarily do. That’s what it means to have a business model as an artist. Are you going to do arts and crafts, or are you a concept artist? Perhaps you do traditional portrait art or dioramas. Whatever kind of art you do, make it clear for yourself and your potential clients, so you can control your work better.
2. Generate Your Pioneer Clients
Once you’ve established your business model, you will want to put your business out there to start generating profit. Usually, this means letting family and friends know that you are up for commissions. Apart from that, you can also go to freelance websites for job listings. Putting up a business is not a piece of cake and it might be a slow start, but remember that your goal is to earn from your art, so continue pushing for commissions and you’ll gradually increase your client pool.
3. Create a Simple but Effective Portfolio
As a freelancer looking for clients, it’s essential that you have something to show them to give them an idea of what style of art you do. Remember that your portfolio will be the baseline and that the client will want “more” from you, so as a startup, keep your portfolio basic. Your goal as a new business is to get clients, so create an online portfolio where visitors can see your art. Make sure that the webpage is clean and concise, has structure and congruence, and has a way for visitors to contact you.
4. Never Stop Creating Material
Of course, despite showcasing a basic portfolio, your goal is to continuously develop your skills and get better at your craft. And as an artist, you should know that skills aren’t something you gain overnight, so keep practicing and keep building your business up. Increase your visibility and network as an artist by joining artist groups and doing strategic pro bono work.
5. Satisfy Your Customer’s Needs
Of course, customer satisfaction remains the number one priority. It will help establish the fact that you’re a reliable provider, and that you can deliver high-quality work. Being very particular when it comes to what the client needs, discussing and communicating with them when it comes to their demands will help you a lot. Never be afraid to ask questions. Assuming what they want and need will only result in a negative experience,
6. Learn to Pick and Choose but Don’t Be Selective
Before you think that this advice is contradicting, think about it: you can’t exactly be picky when it comes to what projects you’re going to take on. But there also needs to be a sense of realism when it comes to your approach. Know what projects you can handle the most, and always secure projects like that. This increases your chance of delivering a satisfying performance (as established in the last point). By doing so, you’re also building a positive reputation for yourself.
7. Gather More Clients
Once you’ve established your client pool, you will want to find more clients so you can generate more income. A good way to do this is to market your freelance business, put it out there, and advertise your art. There are many ways to market your business. You can be active on social media and amass an online following, go on different online platforms to showcase your portfolio, or even hire an SEO agency to do the work for you.
Freelancing isn’t the easiest path to take, but it’s definitely a fulfilling one. You’re in control of your own time and workload. Not to mention you can choose which projects to take on, which means you can choose the ones you’ll find fulfillment and money in. However, never take the work needed lightly. Ultimately, you still need to put in the work, be it freelance or under a company.