7 responses to “5 things I learned from my first year of freelancing”

  1. Paul Murray

    Hi Carrie, all great lessons you’ve highlighted. A couple of lessons I’ve learnt in about 6 months or so of being a freelance graphic designer:

    Previous or existing clients are a great source of new work, if not one of the best. It’s amazing how much impact a glowing, personal recommendation can have on your services.

    Secondly, you shouldn’t be afraid to stand your ground. As a designer it’s important that I can justify my design choices and am honest with clients. If they request something specific and I don’t think it’s right for their brand, I need to tell them and explain why. If I just follow their directions blindly, I’ll more than likely have a negative impact on their company image, which isn’t what they hired me for.

    This certainly wouldn’t get me a recommendation from the client either.

  2. mamawolfe

    Congratulations on your success! What I’ve learned is to not be afraid to use your voice…the more authentic it is, the more people will listen. I’ve also learned to keep a calendar and schedule due dates and ideas…

  3. Sara Lancaster

    Nice post, Carrie. #5 is a big one for me. It’s so much easier to say who my clients are not, than it is to say who my clients are. One day I’ll figure it out!

  4. Steve

    Great post. I’m coming up on my first year full time freelancing next month. It definitely a huge learning process.

  5. Working Nine to Five - Personal Finance Round-Up

    [...] 5 Things I Learned From my First Year Freelancing [WordCount] “Hey Carrie, wondering if you’d like to look over this email and make some suggestions?” Is it a job offer, or a ploy for free help? As a freelancer myself, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered a similar situation. Here, the author finally puts this – and many other concerns freelancers face – to rest. [...]

  6. JRVogt

    Excellent insights that mirror a lot of what I’ve learned during my first year as well. It is surprising how easily you can get spread thin by taking on a huge variety of projects and letting clients demand more from you than you’re prepared to offer at the time.

  7. kristy @ gastronomical sovereignty

    Very interesting article! I’m quickly figuring out that you’re spot on about the small businesses..

    I’ve only been doing freelance design and social media management (officially) for one month…I’ve learned a lot of people want a lot of things for free. How do you convince them that it’s a project worth paying for?

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