Visual Designer

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10 Things to Think About When Becoming a Creative Freelancer

I always see people posting in forums that they are new and want to be a photographer or some type of designer but don’t know how to start. Then they list reasons why maybe they have been rejected and why they can’t do this and I’m like…

“NOOOOOO! STOP NOOOO.”

You can definitely do this. I don’t even know you, and I am confident in you, especially if this is really what you want.

So I made a quick list of things to think about when you are just starting out with the goals of becoming a profitable creative freelancer.

  1. Don't get offended or take it personal when people say no.

  2. Don't NOT offer your service to people because you are afraid of "what if" they say no. (Let them speak for themselves.)

  3. Ask new people everyday if they are interested in your help. (Your service, even while it is in exchange for money, is helping people.)

  4. People won’t know you exist if you don't tell them. The internet is one of my favorite inventions, but it doesn’t perform magic specifically for you, just because you showed up.

  5. After you get an idea of what you like, narrow down your target market and increase your prices. (Ex. I help small businesses, that have been around for at least 3 years, become more profitable by using better communicative design.)

  6. Just remember there are people right now who desperately need your skills. (If you look on Craigslist, you can see their desperate pleas.)

  7. You are providing a service that will help make peoples lives better. You don't need to spend tons of money on fancy marketing skills or tools. You just need to believe in yourself, have tons of patience and be consistent. Tools can be great, but first we need you to get that 1st client. Then 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.

  8. Instagram is a great free platform to share your creative visual skills, tag your location, and get potential clients. There are tons of other great platforms but don’t get too carried away joining them all. I love Pinterest and Twitter, but my services have connected best on Instagram and so I decided to spend most of my energy there.

  9. When starting out, it’s okay to just email people you find online or send some DM’s, whether or not they had asked for help. (Just be respectful and if they say no, move on.)

  10. And most importantly….YOU CAN DO THIS!

Becoming your own boss is hard but, for me, totally worth it. The struggles and uncertainty I had while working in Silicon Valley or corporate just aren’t worth it to me. At the end of the day, if I want more money, if I want to travel, if I want to sleep in, the only person I need to consult and negotiate with is myself.

I wish you the best in your journey and look forward to watching ya’ll grow.

Akinyi