How Do I Find My First Freelance Role? - PROGRESSING YOUR CREATIVE CAREER
How do i find my first freelance role?
Now, there is no silver bullet when it comes to this task. It can be difficult to land your first freelance role but once you get your first, the next ones start rolling in with a lot more ease.
There are a few things that you can do/have ready to help make this process a lot easier.
1. Be Digitally Prepared
Do you have a website with your work on display? Do you have a social media presence for your work? To be an effective freelancer you want to have your work easily accessible at a moment’s notice.
2. Business Cards
If and when you do have an interaction with a potential client that likes the look of your work you’ll want to leave them with something that will remind them of who you are and what your contact details are. Now, if you were to write your contact details down on a scrap piece of paper or a napkin, your details could easily get lost. The best course of action is to have a set of professional business cards on you at all times. Your business cards should display your name, your website, your email and your phone number. This will help portray you as the professional that you are and will help improve your chances of creating a beneficial business relationship with the person you are interacting with.
3. Don’t Be Afraid To Start The Conversation
Freelancing is not easy! Something that you find out very early on is that nobody is going to do it for you; nothing will ever be handed to you! To be a successful freelancer you need to have a strong understanding of your skills as well as the confidence to, when the time is right, tell people about them.
Let me give you an example from the early stages of my creative freelancing career. I was at a pub in Melbourne North and was casually chatting away with friends and drinking a few beers when a friend of mine arrived at the pub. She had brought one of her housemates. He was a big tall guy with a beard and baseball cap on backward. He looked like some type of musician and just someone that I could genuinely have a good conversation with. I started chatting with him and it wasn’t long before he told me that he was in a death metal band with some of his friends, I said, “oh cool man, you look like you’re in a band.” He laughed and then asked me, “what about you man, what do you do?” I told him that I was just about to finish art school and that I was a photographer, to which he replied, “oh cool, can I see some of your stuff?” I quickly got my phone out and loaded my website with some shots I had taken. He said, “wow man these are cool.” I replied with “thanks man, you know if you and your band ever need some promo shots done, hit me up.” I then handed him my business card and we also exchanged Facebook information and he told me that he would speak with his other band mates to figure something out. A week later, I got a message from him wanting to organize a shoot and well, the rest is is history.
Now, understand there is a very thin line between shameless self-promotion and effective networking. My number one tip for not coming across as narcissistic prick is to read the situation. You never want to go for a hard sell, wait for the person that you are talking to bring the conversation around to somewhere where you can seamlessly slide in your creative skills and the fact that you may be able to help them out. The more and more you get yourself into these social situations the better you will get at reading people and conversations, and the better you will be at landing yourself new clients and possible freelancing roles.