I had been working with a design company for about 4 years before my first child was born. Planning to go back to work full-time, my career plans changed and decided I wanted to stay home to be with my daughter. After a few months, I decided to give the Freelance design world a shot because I wanted to contribute financially to my family and have an artistic outlet.
1. Use Social Media
I posted on Social Media, letting people know I was available for freelance design work. It was embarrassing posting online for help but I was at my lowest point and had to reach out to someone. Luckily, it paid off and with word of mouth, I landed my first big client.
2. Sign a Contract & Communicate on the phone
I made sure to get create a contract to be signed both me and the client first before we start work, it protects me as the freelance designer. Once that step was completed, we talked on the phone and email about the needed designs, we were in constant communication. It was hard managing working from home with a new baby but I wanted it all, so I made it work.
3. Get Real world Experience
She was a great first client. Well, maybe the first client since I learned a thing a two from real world experience. I recommend that 100% because there is nothing like learning from other designers, developing new skills and building professional relationships.
4. Verify who they are
A while back, when I first got out of college, I did a t-shirt design for a client, I found through Craigslist and I never talked to her on the phone. Red flag number 1 nowadays. She paid me the deposit and never paid me the rest. And then disappeared from the internet. I guess technically speaking she was my first freelance client before I knew anything about the design world. I learned so much from my mistakes it helped me remember to know who I am dealing with.
5. Use Freelance Sites
In conclusion, nowadays it’s a little easier to find clients especially ones who are not cheap or criminal. I would recommend searching on LinkedIn, Bechance and using social media for job exposure. We all need help sometimes and it better to tell people so they know you are now doing freelance work. Word of Mouth is how I get most of my clients.
6. Be Kind
Remember, your reputation is a big deal in the design world, so remember to be kind to every client, and keep your opinions to yourself about the bad ones, because unfortunately even in a big industry like design there are small minded people who could reunion your chance at that future as a freelance designer.
So, that’s easy to remember – Just be kind and you’ll do fine.2