Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why Being A Freelance Designer Is Risky

Why Being A Freelance Designer Is Risky

Why Being A Freelance Designer Is Risky: 7 Business Strategies To Help You Succeed

One of the biggest problems with being a freelance designer is that the work can be challenging. No matter how clear you may be on the assignment and direction from the client, there are pitfalls to avoid.  Here are seven tips to help your freelance business succeed.

1 – Craft a Contract
Before you begin work, it is critical to draft a contract that delineates the product to be delivered as well as the amount of revisions a client will get. And include what will NOT be included in your services; it covers all your bases. You do not want to be caught in a situation where you are doing countless revisions and not being paid for it.

2 – Confirm the Delivery Format
It is crucial to find out how a client wants the design delivered. You will want to know the application in which the design is being used and thus make sure that you deliver a format that will work for the CMS (or non CMS). This should also be specified in the contract.

3 – Ensure You Get Paid
When you are freelancer you will not have the security of a large design firm backing you up and collecting on your accounts. One smart thing to do is to place a watermark on the work or deliver it in a resolution that is too low to be used by the client. Once the work is paid in full you can deliver the artwork at full resolution with no watermark.

4 – You May Have to Start at the Bottom
There is always the lure of being freelance, you work the hours you want and take the projects you want to do right? Well you may find that it’s not quite like that especially in the beginning stages. You may need to take whatever work comes your way until you can market yourself and get a roster of clients that will give you enough work to support you and your new business.

5 – Set up an Arbitration Policy
If there is a discrepancy in the amount due or over the initial contract you drew up with the client, you need to make sure you are legally covered. When drafting the contract make sure that the client signs it and returns the original copy to you and understands the requirement of arbitration to end disputes. This will be critical if you should have to take them to small claims court.  Always be as specific as possible.

6 – Spend Money where Necessary
You may not have all the latest equipment like you would at a design firm.  Buying computers, softwares, pencils, watercolors, are all sunk costs to your new business.  Keep your costs down by holding onto your laptop a few months extra and seek out discounts for softwares.

7 – Name Drop
Keep a detailed address file to stay on top of your professional contacts. Your contacts are your most important asset. You want to keep in touch with your clients even after you finished a job. Sending email updates, newsletters or promotions can be a good way to stay in touch.

Freelancing is a hard road.  Not everyone is suited for a lifestyle.  It takes brains, balls, and wit to stay above water. But we hope these seven tips will give you an edge to succeed.

Written by- Eva Vesper at WHS, a web host guide that provides reviews, articles, and tutorials.  Got questions about hosting or domains?  .

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