I remember this was a question I made to myself 15 years ago.
In that time, like many, I had the knowledge but still no experience. So my first decision after the college was to be a full-time employee. Overall it wasn’t so bad, because in a company you acquire the business structure, the confidence, the management and the formality you may need to handle yourself as a independent contractor.
After 5 years I decided it was time, I really wanted to do things by myself. In my last year working as a formal employee, I had already the idea of what direction to take and Prototypo | Creative Design was born.
As a independent designer what I really love is how different each project can be. No client is the same and there is always something new!. But not everything is so easy being a freelancer. There are couple of things I want to share with you based on my experience, and that you should consider if you are interested in following the same path as me:
- You have to be very clear in the service you will provide. This is what you are offering to your potential clients…you will sell your skills and your knowledge, so be clear in what are you outstanding at.
- What kind of clients you are interested in: You have to identify if you want to work for short or long projects and for large, medium or small companies. As a recommendation: first always try to investigate the background of any company you are interested in or a company that is requesting your services for a project. Sadly you can find at the beginning no everyone is committed or honest with your services.
- Have your brand ready: Design a blog or a web site where you can showcase your services and portfolio. This is a very important step because it inspires confidence in your prospects. Also have business cards and a PPT or Word presentation of your services because in large corporations this will be a requirement, no matter if is a temporary project.
But…where can I start looking for new project?
Perfect! This is the key question! If you start looking for a new project by sending a bunch of resumes to each e mail or web page of any company you find online, I’m afraid to tell you.. may no work as you expect.
But there is an incredible option, more if you are starting as freelance and you still do not have a client portfolio of your own.
The option is to register and apply in specialized web sites for freelancers. There are a couple of interesting ones.
You have to be careful… not all sites offer you this trust and confidence.
You want to hear about some other benefits of being an independent contractor? Awesome, let me share with you some, based in my experience:
- You can work from wherever you are: home? traveling? You decide! Just remember you have to fulfill professionally with your projects and committed times!, from where you do it? That’s the magic!
- It opens up new options for your professional development.
- You decide how much time you want to invest as independent professional, and with this, how much you can earn!
- Freedom to decide in what projects you can participate…the decision is yours!
As a last comment, remember that nothing comes for free. To keep your business alive and to make the profit you want, you need to work, and to work lots! But this is the great part, because as I can tell you, hard work pays off!