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  • Freelance Work

    Hello freelancers,

    I'm about to graduate from college and step out into the real world, so I wondering if you wily vets could tell me where/how you find the best freelance work. I know that it may seem like I'm trying to nudge in on your territory, but believe me, I'm not. I'm staying put for the summer, then moving, so I need to get in some work this summer to bolster my portfolio. I'm just trying to get a discussion going about this topic, since it probably pertains to a lot of you on the site.

    I've seen the usual suspects from big sites like Heritage, but their payout seems ridiculously low for the amount of work put in, plus I've heard it's all about the bottom line, and they could care less about the design. So anyway, if you're got some contributions, let's hear 'em!

    Thanks!

  • #2
    I network with people in my community.
    Professional Pixel Pusher Designing the world around you. | Working daily to reach 10,000 hours of practice.

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    • #3
      Is freelancing really the smartest choice to start off your career just out of college? I would look for an in-house job first, then try your hand at freelancing after you've got some experience under your belt, and a bit of a name for yourself.
      Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
      mediamainline.com
      cyclopsphoto.ca

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      • #4
        I mentioned that I was just trying to get some work over the summer before I moved, and to build up my portfolio some more.

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        • #5
          It's true that you can't build much of a portfolio while working in-house, but you also can't build a portfolio without a portfolio as a freelancer (as weird as that may sound). You'll get yourself stuck in a catch-22 situation, where nobody will hire you because you don't have the experience and you can't get the experience because nobody will hire you.

          What I'm saying is that it takes a lot of work to build up a list of clientele when you're working for yourself, so unless you can afford to survive with no income for a while until you can build it through sweat and tears, then you're better off to get some experience under your belt first by working for somebody else.

          If you try that route first and come up with nothing... Then it's true that Freelancing can create the work that doesn't exist for you. However, just know that you'll have to be prepared for a rough road while you try to build up a portfolio with nothing to show your worth.

          Personally, that's the route that I took in my career, so I definitely can't say that it won't work out. I've been working full-time as an independent design contractor for over half a dozen years, and for all but the first year or so have had enough repeat clients and local exposure that I stopped advertising, marketing, or cold-calling for clients except for when I started. However, during that start it's all about drumming up work, and very little doing of billable work. Which means you won't have the cash flow to live on for a while until you've made a bit of a name for yourself.

          It's just like Real Estate... Realtors pay thousands of dollars to get licensed, but the majority of them drop out by the end of the first year - because they have to go through that year with no income until they've built up some clientele, and most people can't do it.

          Right now I almost feel like I'm starting all over again like this, because I've now decided that I want to reduce my design career to focus on my photography. But at least this time I've got design to cover my ventures and pay for my expensive photo equipment.
          Last edited by Ned; 05-19-2009, 10:36 PM.
          Ned Yeung, A.C.E.
          mediamainline.com
          cyclopsphoto.ca

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          • #6
            I'm a professional freelancer from Italy.

            For me, the most important thing is your network.
            You must work hard every day trying to meet new people, and figure how you can make money from that people.

            Once you have developed a decent network, you will have more clients, more partenrs, highter budgets for quality works, etc.

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            • #7
              yes, I appreciate with arx707 member's reply. A Professional Freelancer is hard worker. You can develop by Freelance, If you work professionally.

              Thank you...

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              • #8
                If you're trying to build up your portfolio, maybe you can try building some sites for friends or relatives to begin with. That won't pay much, if at all, but it's still a real job that you can say you worked on and it can go into your portfolio. That's what I'm doing anyway, for example I'm doing sites for my mother-in-law who is a fashion stylist, my riding school, and my niece's kindergarten.

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                • #9
                  join a local club and/or do work for non-profits. although non-profits can be a pain in the ass, they're good portfolio pieces and the people are usually pretty well connected. but other then that, look for an advertising/AIGA/or some type of club chapter in your local city. don't try to "network" to network, actually be interested and try to make friends. people can tell if you're being fake to find work. they need to remember you as someone they liked, not someone they can forget right after.

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