Freelancing is becoming a popular thing with the internet especially for web and graphic designers. There are many places for individuals to place their own semi- portfolio for a fee and be privy to bid on projects listed by people needing a job completed. iFreelance, and Guru are just some of the sites that welcome freelancers like web and graphic designers.
What is a Freelancer?
A person who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them.
taken from Free Online Dictionary
Being a freelancer takes someone who is tenacious and is confident in their work. A freelancer also must be honest with what they know, yet be resourceful to get the job done. With websites like the above, you also have to be willing to invest money and the time in bidding for available projects.
Being freelancer for some might not means making a lot of money. That comes with time and building a reputation with clientele. It is also not always a glamorous job. You will come on projects that people will want to only pay a price that is below the time and effort given. However, below are a few tips to consider if you are currently a freelancer, about to jumpstart yourself, or are considering to freelancr:
- 1. Make sure to build a portfolio that has your best work. It does not have to be just layout and theme screenshots, but anything like graphics that could give a potential client how versatile you are as a web and graphic designer.
- 2. Try as many freelance groups for a bit (a month or two) and then eliminate those that are not giving out enough projects to bid on. You may not get awarded any project, but you will at least have a steady flow of choices to bid.
- 3. If you do get a bid, conducting via Instant Messenger is okay. Playing cat and mouse with a client that is halfway across the world is better just by email. It is hard enough to get a decent time to meet up due to time zone issues.
- 4. If a client is wishy-washy and the project seems to not be progressing in a timely manner, be polite but tell the client that your time is money and you are losing money for a project half done or partially done and not even paid.
- 5. Consider requiring a partial non-refundable deposit for projects over a certain amount of dollars. I usually have exercised a 50% of projects over $1000 or $200 deposit for under $1000. There will be schemers you come across, but I hope not. However, you could be left with a completed project and pranked. If you do and it is with a website, report it.
- 6. Make a pre-made site and offer full support for your layouts. Make sure that you charge decently. Some premium WordPress themes are being sold over $50. To give an idea of what I would charge, the current layout at Blondish if it were for someone else would have been $50 for a supported theme (which is my standard quote.)
- 7. Keep on top of bids. If you use the internet daily, give your freelance sites a lookover at least once.
- 8. Join tech, web design, and graphic design forums that allow pluggage, but you must try to be active. Some forums have a required amount of posts that must be met before you can plug yourself. These forums will help you learn as well as set yourself apart from others. Try Twitter. There are plenty of people at Twitter that use the site for business and personal use. My advice is to join in hopes of attracting your visitors to your site (which should also be a class act example of your growing and/or existing portfolio.) Like forums, you might be able to learn more things like web tools and design tips.
- 9. Ask friends if they might be able to exchange a shout out on their blog for your portfolio or if they can just do you a favor. You never no, they just might do it.
- 10. If you have a portfolio, think about doing affiliation with a few web designers or pooling some together on a site to showcase their work and entice clients. What you might not know, may be something your affiliate/ web design team might know. It also might help with the ‘power in numbers’ rule where each can market one website.
Remember, above all, do not sell yourself short by underbidding, but in the same breath, do not overbid. Some stats out there in the market put web designers averaging 80K and graphic designers 40K. Obviously, this is from places that have done the statistics on businesses that hire these type of people. I am sure there are freelancers who make a lot of money, but it takes money, work, and time. If you can invest some of each, then it could be for you.