Did you know the biggest test as a freelancer isn't in what people see as your great portfolio, but the road map towards achieving that great portfolio. Below are the five main things that I consider important in mastering your journey as a freelancer either as a graphic designer, web developer, fashion designer etc.
- Your Pricing Model.
- Your Process (Work Flow).
- Client Relations
- The quality production.
- Time management.
The perception most clients have is that because you are a freelancer your cost should be below the market rates. This isn't true, if you offer quality production why not also be competitive with the market rates?. The challenge is when you have no credits or portfolio some client will always attempt to play below what is reasonable for business, the solution is to have a pricing that targets different projects and understand the scope of work before you provide a quotation.
Your Process (Work Flow)
At this stage you need to understand how the production cycle goes from the initial meeting to different sign off stages. Remember to attach this process with your pricing model to avoid exploitation by the clients who might decide not to pay. Always ask for a percentage before you start and have a signed agreement of the project expectation. If the client is your friend having something written even in the form of an email will still work. I have an experience where clients provide never ending revisions at random stages as a result stagnating the process without cost revisions to accommodate the time and resources used.
Always stay professional, and create some standards on how you will communicate, respect the deadlines and outline the process clearly during the briefing session. Always evaluate if you can handle the project alone or if you will need third party support to complete the project successfully. Be honest and share your schedule in case you have another client project running on the side, I rather have one happy client than to have many unhappy clients due to poor quality and shifting of the goal post.
The Quality Production.
There's nothing satisfying like having a happy client. One thing that will make your client happy is achieving the desired goal with the greatest quality. In some unavoidable circumstances, you might need extra hours to complete the project, if that happens, you will be required to timely communicate to the client, but while also doing the planning always allocate time for testing and handling unexpected outputs. Quality production comes first, followed by your process (work flow) and your pricing in building a strong brand that will attract the next client.
Apart from quality and communication, time management is a crucial skill to master. This cut across many factors, for example from attending meetings, deadlines, planning, etc. The scope of work also determines how much time you will take versus the cost involved doing the same.
If you don't do it right, you will end up handing a small project over long unexpected time frames because of not having a clear process in place. Sometime delays are caused by the client not following the agreed schedule, in this case always inform them at the start that should there be delays from their part the project timeline will have to be extended with the same time to fit in the appropriate schedule without compromising on quality. A small fee might be charged for clients delay on a reasonable basis. My point is open schedules are very dangerous, you might end up doing one project for a year.
#GoodRead Becoming a Successful Freelancer – Learn the Key Attributes Image source: https://www.truelancer.com/blog/becoming-a-successful-freelancer-learn-the-key-attributes/
All these five key areas in the freelancer's life are interlinked and the best thing is to keep learning with an open mind. Always understand your clients needs before you start. I hope you have learned something in my journey feel free to share with your network and should you have a session I would love to come in person and share with the class.