How to successfully freelance as a creative
My name is Hash, and I am a Motion Designer and 3D Illustrator based in London.
I have freelanced at some of the biggest studios in London, and had the pleasure of working with the largest clients and brands in the world. From Amazon to Sony, Adidas and McLaren, these are just a few giants I have been able to work with immediately after leaving London Met. I want to talk about a few tips for any graduate creatives wanting to freelance after their degree.
Understand the game
You need to understand first of all what you are getting into. A lot of creative graduates I have met want to work on their own terms and for themselves, but only a few know what it will take. The notion of being your own boss and pushing yourself isn’t for everyone, and you need to be strict and disciplined.
It’s all about the internet
I find it crazy when I meet junior creatives who don’t have a website yet! How are you going to show people what you do if you can’t direct them to a portfolio? So setup a website, you can make a simple one for free most of the time, and get networking. Get onto LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, wherever you can. The more coverage you have the better, and talk about your work! So many creatives make the mistake of not getting involved in conversations that they can get lost in the noise of others.
This is for talking to your potential clients, and existing ones. I have worked hard over the last 5 years to now only have direct clients, without having to go through anyone else. If I feel like I want to work with a new studio or agency, I shoot over an email or get onto LinkedIn to directly find someone working at the top.
London is full of so many networking events. I can almost guarantee there are more than 10 a month for whatever you are interesting in. Sign up and head over, take a business card, and get networking! After all, these are the fellow creatives you need to be rubbing shoulders with, as it will lead to jobs and more clients.
Climb the ladder
A lot of junior creatives make the mistake of staying in junior positions for too long. Work smart and climb the ladder fast. I love freelancing a lot because of this reason, I don’t have to wait for a position to open up, I am in charge of my career and how far I want to get.
Even if you are not on a client project, create! We often refer to this as side projects, projects you take on in your own time and these I have found are what have helped me out the most. After all, you are only as good as your last project, so if you keep waiting for the next perfect client project to come in, it won’t. Be in charge of creating what you want, then I promise, people will come to you asking for just that.
If you have any questions or want any advice, send me a tweet at @hashmukhkerai. You can see my work over at www.hashmukh.com