The phrase “Gig Economy” has come to classify a large chunk of the current job market for those working in creative fields. Freelance work can be a great way to get involved in your career field as it offers short-term commitments relying on your skills and talents. This is a great way to build your finances and flesh out your professional portfolio.
- Typically on your own schedule
- Extra income source
- May help you break into your industry of choice
- Provides experience for your resume
- Expands your network
- Pay often starts low
- Work can be unpredictable
- Typically does not provide benefits
- Need to constantly seek out new projects and clients (until you build a strong client base)
- Create or update your website or portfolio including: about me, resume section, recent work, testimonials if you have them, services and rates, contact information.
- Update your LinkedIn and professional social media pages.
- Reach out to your current professional network to ask for advice and let them know you’re starting freelancing.
- Start marketing yourself! Post on social media sites frequently and consistently.
- Purchase any equipment/software needed for the type of work.
- Just do it! Accept your imperfections and hit the ground running.
- You are the expert of your personal voice, so stand behind it.
- Express yourself in the best ways that work for you as a writer/creator.
- Research authors or writers who inspire you and evaluate how they market themselves.
- Be aware of the competition; know how to make your work fresh and new.
- Try things! A wide variety of experiences will stand you in good stead.
- Consider creating a website, Twitter, or Instagram account to advertise your work with.
Congratulations! You’ve received a job offer! Now what?
- Is it worth the money? Is it worth the time?
- Will it give you beneficial exposure?
- How will it strengthen your portfolio?
- Do you share the same values as the company/website?
- Is the client difficult to work with?
How to Negotiate
- Being upfront and direct is better than being too polite.
- Avoid “minimizing language” such as: “it seems like,” “I feel like,” or “I think.”
- Instead, use language that is certain and clearly driven to showcase your agency and professionalism.
- Eradicate the word “just” from your vocabulary (do not say: “I just have,” “I just wanted you,” “I’m, just emailing,” “It’s just a story about,” “It’s just me,” etc.).
- Look out for reassuring phrases that soften directness and beg for reassurance like: “Okay,” “Don’t you think,” “Isn’t it,” and “All right?”
- Be clear and honest.
For guidance and more personalized questions, contact your career advisor.