What's one key piece of advice you'd pass on to a new freelancer?

If you had only one piece of advice to share with a new freelancer (graphic, web, design, programming) … what would you suggest to him/her?

Advice from a self-employed builder friend of mine “the first ten years are the worst”, I think this also applies to freelancers.

I don’t think that I have enough wisdom to give any advice to anyone… I mean one of those sentences that can change your life like “love what you do” or “if you do it right and worry about your clients, money will come” or anything :slight_smile:

@John - That’s great John … yeah my first 10 years were rough.

@ Molona - I started out thinking “i’d do what I love - designing/creating on computers” … then I did just that … and made very little income because I was doing exactly that, “designing on computers” … when freelancing you’re “running a business” first … or at least at the same time. I’d even go so far as, make separate time for purely fun not-for-money projects.

Have an exit strategy.

@KennPoint ; I feel your pain. I have always quoted less than I should and customers are a real pain :lol:

Still, if you don’t find some enjoyment in your work, then it is not a job, it is torture :slight_smile:

I also agree with @Patche; You always need an exit strategy… even more if you’re as crap as I am doing business! :lol:

Do your best to define your audience first. This way you can design better. This will be my advice. I hope it helps.

Define the audience … nice advice. One thing I’d also suggest is to have separate creative time for projects that are for your fun only. So your web designing isn’t all just work for clients.

Be social as much as you can in your work stream field and do your best.

All the best

and yes you can register yourself on freelancer’s websites there are many of them over the world you just need to search it, register yourself, and wait for the opportunity and once you have the opportunity i would suggest don’t let it go away.

I have more than one piece of advice, but I’ll answer anyway.

  • If you work from home, make sure you organise plenty of lunch dates, off site meetings etc because it can be pretty lonely otherwise. Especially when it comes to Friday evening.
  • Set yourself reward tasks. ie I’ll work for 3 hours and then I’ll spend some time reading/doing a personal project/researching something fun. Otherwise it’s hard to stay motivated.
  • Make sure you have a ‘bread and butter’ client/job. Even if it’s boring and mindless, it’ll act as insurance when there is nothing else coming in.
  • Go to plenty of networking events or do lots of online networking. It’s not healthy to work in a bubble and it doesn’t do much for your professional reputation.

If you can get all those things working for you, freelancing is great. I’ve been making a good living off it for a while now and wouldn’t change a thing… except maybe the Friday drinks situation.

Wonder why :lol:

I’ve been freelancing for 8 years now but more as a teacher as anything else… Now as tech support and programming… but always at client’s premises so I don’t have that problem :slight_smile: