Some tips for beginners and not so
A little water
Let me introduce myself - a freelance designer with experience working as a pure freelancer in just a month and a half.
Professional web experience - over 6 years. It is these six years that have allowed me now to become who I am and to finally choose the vector of my movement.
When I embarked on this path a month and a half ago, I thought that in the beginning it would be insanely hard, especially since there are so many experienced colleagues around whom it will simply be impossible to compete with me.
But, as it turned out, I was wrong. That is why at least 50% of freelancers simply do not understand some common truths, which I want to tell further.
How to build a portfolio
Again, returning to my person, I want to note that I have been working as a designer for only 5 months. That is, a rather ridiculous period. The rest of the time I worked as a PM, but, for a number of reasons, I decided to change my profile of activity. Moreover, I always liked to draw pictures. Experience as a designer in an agency - 3 months in one company. After that, pure freelance began. I say this so that people do not think that I am a design champion with a huge effective portfolio. It’s even quite the opposite.
So after working for 3 months, I realized that it wasn’t mine at all — to come to a dull office by 10 in the morning, do what you were told, and not what I wanted, to draw some shit designs for disinterested customers who are still they live in the late 90s with the complete absence of an inner bar of beauty (special thanks to the Soviet education in the field of art, or rather, its absence, the destruction of monuments and churches, Stalin's skyscrapers and Khrushchev’s five-story buildings).
To draw dull banners, moronic booklets, door signs and crooked business cards (sites ended quickly), and all this is for 30-40K lilacs - sorry, but not for me.
Without thinking twice, he slapped a statement about leaving the director on the table and left contented and free.
Gone, to put it mildly, with almost nothing. There were two designs in the blank that could be shown in the portfolio and that’s all. I hid the rest of “creativity” in the farthest folder and I never admit that I painted it.
Naturally, the question arose - how to sell yourself?
The answer came very quickly - to draw some designs for fictional companies.
For three weeks, without breaking away from Photoshop, I worked on designs. There is a huge bonus in this business - there are no real customers with crazy ideas. As you painted - it will be so. Therefore, the designs turned out pretty decent.
Everything, the portfolio is ready. Let it be small, but pretty. We upload to freelance exchanges and go.
How to file yourself
While working as a PM, talking with freelancers, I was surprised that 90% of candidates did not even bother to read the text of the project. When asked to send offers only in private messages and immediately state the cost, I received 50 responses to my project with the phrases “Hello! I'll do it! "Or" Hello! We are such and such a studio. Prices are such and such. The work is such and such. Write! ” Guys, I already wrote. Personally, I will not describe the task to everyone, sorry. There is simply no time for this. But everyone is a drum. For everyone, their own person is much more important than the customer (violation of one of the most basic rules of marketing services).
Accordingly, after analyzing my past work experience with PM, I began to unsubscribe to customers exactly what they are asking. Timing / cost, load work similar in meaning to the project, call the customer by name. If he asks to write to the post office - I write to the post office. If in ICQ - I write in ICQ. And no other way. But, having looked at the offers of other freelancers, I was surprised - little has changed since my PM. To a specific question about the price, people write "Write to icq, we will discuss ...". No one will write there. Is it not clear? It is easier for the customer to communicate with candidates either in the project or in the PM, but not to write in 30 seconds and try to understand which of them is who.
Or it happened that they send messages like "Still relevant?" To the LAN. Fucking. Goodbye.
Neither "hello" nor offers, nothing. Sense to me to write a similar message?
This is a very serious mistake. I know, because for a long time I was on the other side. You can beat off 50 projects a day with your moronic “write, discuss,” and not get a single answer. Or you can write a normal offer once and receive an order. Everything is simple.
As it is necessary and it is not necessary to communicate with customers
Imagine that the order is received. Everything suits everyone and you can get to work.
At this stage, for some reason, freelancers forget that customers love courtesy and keeping promises.
Just recently, I made a turnkey website and hired a programmer in the project.
It was a shock to me to receive messages from him, “Well, what’s there ...” the next day, after I sent his work for approval to the customer. Again - no hello, nothing. He told him that only a day had passed and the customer had not yet looked. In response, he received "Nuno ....". Well this is PPC, I'm sorry. Especially when you consider that he has several time frames.
As a result, I will no longer work with this person for any carriages. And I will not advise him. Although I have really often programming orders - I can feed the programmer the whole month.
In short, be polite. If you didn’t switch to “you,” call the customer at you. Communicate carefully, think what you write. Take an interest in his life / work. Be a pleasant conversationalist. Even in ICQ - it doesn’t matter. People love the service. And the customer is everything for you. You serve it, not a favor.
Well, follow the deadlines. This is really important. If you say that you will complete the project in 3 days, then be so kind as to do so. If something does not work out, write to the customer. No need to hide from him. Honesty and openness more than interrupt any lining in the work. No one will be indignant at your mistakes if you keep the customer informed. Strange, but many people who have even reached the age of 25+ do not understand this. And it's easier for them to lie than to tell the truth. This is strange.
Well, a great plus for your karma will be if you apply a simple rule - write to the customer in a week or two with the question - “Is everything all right with the site?”. This is not at all difficult. I write to people. Someone says that everything is fine. Someone really shows a jamb, which I correct. Time for this is 10 minutes. But I am sure that my rating in the eyes of the customer has grown significantly. And sooner or later he will return to me. Or advise me to other people.
Better than 100 bucks than nothing.
Very, very, very many freelancers sin by jerking off their vanity and waiting for manna from heaven.
These people will wait a month for an order with their unreasonably high price and most likely they will not wait.
I took one simple thing as a rule - if I have several free hours, but I don’t have an order for my cost level, but at the same time I have offers to make at a lower price, I will definitely take it. Everything is simple. It’s better for me to earn a hundred bucks in these few hours, gain experience, maybe replenish my portfolio, get a customer who can give me a normal order later, and positive feedback in my profile than nothing. You have to admit that you don’t need to be a mathematician to understand the benefits of my approach and do so, rather than wipe your pants and wait for an unrecognized professional to be appreciated.
It really is. And my observations speak of the same thing. Sometimes posts appear on freelancer sites "I have not been able to find an order for 2 months :(" Mans, but have you tried to make the price a bit lower and communicate normally? Finding an order on freelance is a matter of several hours. Another story from practice is one of days after a sleepless night, I didn’t want to work at all, so I just decided to go down on a freelancer site and look for customers. I spent 3-4 hours on the site. During this time I agreed with three customers about the project (I scored myself the whole next week with work) and after that, two more reacts whether I just finished work with them on my proposals. 3 hours - 5 customers. And someone can’t find one for 2 months. Perhaps it’s not about competition and dumping? (By the way, my prices are pretty average. Tell me that low I just can’t).
I do not intend to remain a freelancer for a long time. Just freelance is a great way to gain a customer base, gain experience in communicating with customers, learn self-discipline, develop your own style and subsequently sell it. Moreover, after working only a month, I already began to receive orders for turnkey sites with a budget equal to the average budget in agencies in Moscow. This is the first step to a big deal.
Guys, and don't forget to evolve. Because the only way to stay afloat. Many people who went into freelance, as they were at their level 2 years ago, have remained. This is a dead end. If you want to be a freelancer all your life - then it doesn’t matter. But if you want something more - study, work, try. Only hard work, coupled with an analysis of their actions, can lead to more outstanding results. This also applies to professionalism and the amount of money earned.
Well, money, yes. For this month I have earned as much as no Moscow agency can offer me purely physically. And I can’t say that I process it either. The real work hours are 6-8 per day. Of course, there are 24 hours of work, but this is an exception.
If you have a head on your shoulders, then on freelance you can earn money as a top manager of a medium-sized company. It really is.
Sorry for the sheet, but I just want to have as many professionals as possible and as few unimportant people as possible. Because sites are something without which I cannot imagine myself. And I want the same people to be around.
Well - with the Coming :) I hope the New Year will be successful, productive, cheerful and joyful for everyone!
Good luck everyone!