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Five Keys To Creative Freelancing
By: Tom Roarty
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As mentioned in last week's article, this week is all about the things that I have found to be helpful when entering the freelance world. Does this mean that the following list is all you will need to be successful? No, but it is a good starting point.
Solid Representation
One of the ways you can find freelance work is through an agent, but how do you know if the person representing you is a good fit for your career? Time will tell, but the sign of good representation is consistency. Do they contact you when you inquire about positions they post? Are you finding your positions within your comfort zone? Do you trust that they understand all of your capabilities? Always be available for your agent, because once a relationship between you and the right representation is found, success is highly likely.
Know exactly what a client needs from you in regard to equipment and make sure you can meet their requests. I know it's not easy to keep creative tools current, and the cost can seem astronomical for a new freelancer, but if you find yourself in the market for a new computer, try to get the best one you can afford rather than cutting corners. This will assure that when you need to upgrade your software it will be more than likely compatible with your machine. I have been very lucky finding the tools I've need using Craigslist, but I would suggest that when buying from a private party, you check every aspect of what you're buying and realize that unlike a store, there is likely no return policy.
Thick Skin
Because of the nature of our business, all creative need thick skin. Freelancers, however, could use a little extra. This is due to the fact that many times freelance clients are short term, and although you will meet a lot of really great people, there are still those who will view you as disposable. Just keep in mind that these gigs don't last forever, and a difficult client is only there until the next great one comes along.
Attention to Detail
If a company brings you in as a freelancer it is usually because they do not have time to complete a specific project with their current resources. For this reason, it should be evident that they probably will not want to have to worry about mistakes made to the work they are rushing to get done. Take an extra minute and double check everything you plan on presenting.
Positivity and Professionalism
A client does not necessarily want to be your friend; usually they just want to get their project done. But that doesn't mean they want an uncomfortable work atmosphere either. Be personable and always have a positive attitude when entering a new working relationship. Also, if you are not sure what to wear, ask. The better you fit into an environment, the better chance you have of being asked back.
Although the above list is composed of basic common sense, it doesn't hurt every now and again to reflect on the little things that make a successful creative freelancer. I'm sure this list could be way larger in size, and as time goes on, I may try to add to it, but hopefully these first five suggestions will help in securing you a long and prosperous freelance career.


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