I've long been toying with the idea of freelancing, but my past experiences with it have not been positive. Freelancing can be really challenging when your clients don't truly value the work and the thought that goes into design, photography, or other creative services.
It's tempting at first to say "Hey, I need clients to make money, but I need a portfolio to get new clients. So maybe I'll just give away work for a while." I've done this so many times. In the end, rather than my expertise and knowledge being trusted with a project, the client would intrude so much that the work was not portfolio worthy. The work was not representative of me or the quality I wanted to be associated with.
To be completely fair, I didn't have contracts in place and I didn't charge more than a hundred dollars for branding at the time that I experienced this flood of frustrating client relationships. You get what you pay for, right? So if that's true - and it is - then your client who is only paying you pennies for your work should expect poor work. No wonder they are intrusive and a little too involved in art direction. No wonder they expect the project to be done tomorrow.... because they are literally paying for 30 seconds of your time.
To further drive home the idea that working for free is not a good plan, Jessica Hische (total fan girl here) has developed a completely perfect flow chart for anyone asking this question. Click on the image above to see the full chart, which is available for purchase!
Becoming more confident and learning to set boundaries are key to successful freelancing gigs. Present yourself with confidence. Make your client understand that you are valuable and what you have to offer is worth the pay. Respect yourself. Value yourself. These are lessons I'm still learning. I struggle a great deal with "selling" myself to people. It's hard to do!
With that said, I've put myself and my skills out there. Check out my branding packages on CloudPeeps! By no means do I expect to go from $1.50 to a million dollars... or even a quarter of a million dollars profit, but I'm learning this lesson that Sue Bryce speaks about in the video above. My experiences and skills are valuable and in order to gain the type of client and type of work that I'm excited about, I must price myself accordingly. I must respect myself and value my craft.