An ordinary day…you draw some sketches, read blogs, try different techniques from various tutorials, spend a lot of time in front of the PC, forget about your family and friends, you forget to eat, to drink, but the clients are still not there.”What should I do?”, you ask yourself.
Your buddies tell you to get a “real” job, they say that freelancing is a pretext to stay unemployed, much more you have the feeling that they are all right and you are a big looser.
Work again at full power trying all the best. Surely I can’t give you a job or a task, but reading this article will increase your confidence and willpower.
Imagine your future
If you want to be a successful freelancer then you should be the first one who considers you a great pro in your domain; think that your portfolio is very strong, your practical expertise is vast and you need only a few promos on the Internet.
Imagine that you will have so many opportunities that sometimes you will need to refuse some proposals, one could say that the money is looking for you.
Once again, to really be in this situation you should be the first one to believe in such a future. Please, do not be humble, the clients have no way of knowing that you are the best choice, the One they need; in a year’s time the clients will find out what a great chance they missed. Also imagine that after six or maximum eight months you will have a great office and much more money.
Plan every step
If indeed some went back to work then a modification in the working patterns is due. Every step must be scheduled: good organizing skills are essential for a successful career. Keep in mind this is very important!
There is another mental advantage: if you don’t allow yourself to be overcome by the many tasks at hand you will succeed and you will realize that you can (“Yes, we can”, Barrack Obama). On the another hand try not to be too enthusiastic and start thinking that a freelancer can do two YouTube projects and one half of a Google search engine in one day; first schedule small tasks, easy to handle and progress from there; in this way you get an optimistic look and strengthen your motivation.
Read all the tutorials but try to be original
Loosing your drive is something that happens easily especially in the beginning, or when you are not hired. When unfortunately this happens, a good way to avoid the lack of focus is to learn new techniques.
In my personal opinion the best way of learning is using tutorials; first I read the entire content to understand the idea and the techniques used, then I apply what I learned but on a different picture (keep in mind: on a different picture from the one used by the author, respecting the steps of the tutorial, but projecting your personality in the final result).
For example if you try to follow a tutorial about text effects in most cases it will use Blending Options with some of its options: Drop Shadow, Inner Shadow, Outer Glow, Inner Glow, Bevel and Emboss, Satin, Color Overlay, Gradient Overlay, Pattern Overlay, Stroke. Always try small modifications to the tutorial values to see the differences, you have nothing to lose. In this way you train your skills and put your originality to work. An original & good design make your portfolio more attractive and thus the chance of getting hired increases.
Make and publish portfolios
So we’ve reached the next level: the portfolio. An important factor in losing motivation is that your work isn’t appreciated, you do not have a benchmark to let you know if you’ve evolved or you’re only working in vain. A great help is given by the websites which allow uploading your portfolio. In most cases other freelancers will comment everything you post on the website. Even if you aren’t convinced, just try! (You’ll see).
Do not worry if you have some very negative comments, it is common for beginners (you do not want to know huge amount of very bad comments as “Dude, you are stupid”,”What were you thinking”, I received in my career as a logo designer). Post each week a complete work and in three-four months a clear evolution will be seen.
Keep in touch with other freelancers
If you are still in doubt then write to all the freelancers you can find on the web, send them links to your portfolio; if you ask only a few then your chances of getting a replay is almost zero. For example, to be a regular writer here I sent a message with my previous works to 80 websites, so try and try again.
A freelancer usually gives you a late replay, he will, most of the time, objectively show your positive and negative points. Keep in touch with many of them, if they like your style maybe you receive a bonus: a project when he has some extra tasks. The next level is already reached: if you receive a job then your motivation will increase exponentially.
Make an account on an important site for freelancers
A good opportunity to get a job is to create an account on a website with jobs for freelancers. Once here, please bid only for those projects that you can do in the requested time and for a decent pay. Once again, do not be humble, on some happy day somebody will contact you and that is another vital step in increasing and maintaining your drive.
Nobody is born a freelancer
Be very positive in your thoughts, it is strongly recommended if you want to have a successful story. Nobody was born a freelancer or a star.
You heard some songs from Christina Aguilera; before she became a star she sang at many competitions without being looked at twice. She sang in my country at “Cerbul de Aur” in Romania and nobody was impressed by her. Nowadays the situation is completely different: she is recognized for having a great voice, she is thought of as a complete singer and “Cerbul de Aur” is canceled/postponed due to the economic crisis. Let’s take her example!
Do not work when you are tired
Honestly I know that this is very important advice but I never follow it. I noticed that my efficiency is greater when I am rested but when I have a lot of work the repose is neglected.Getting burned out seems to be the biggest problem for freelancers because of a big project which must be delivered quickly or just because of a bad time management. Please give me an email if you can respect this advice. I am sure that after reading this article you will start working, isn’t that so?
In conclusion,being a freelancer may be the most beautiful job in the world or the worst job in the world.The important thing is to find the right balance between work and rest and everything will be fine!