Whether it’s your first or your fifth time taking on a real-life client, navigating the world of freelancing as a designer can be confusing and pretty intimidating. We want to help un-muddy the waters and clear the jungle path (clearly jungle puns are not our forte) with everything you need to know about freelancing.
We should probably start with answering the question, what is freelancing?
Freelancing is when someone works for themselves and not for a specific company. You get to be your own boss! Unlike running your own studio or design firm, freelancers are self-employed, can take on their own clients, and can also be contracted by other businesses to complete work for them.
So, where do I start?
We’ve put together a toolbox of skills and resources you’ll need to get kick-started in the world of freelancing as a designer. Here are some of the top things you’ll need:
- Design Skills
- An ABN
- A client
- A pricing model
- A can-do attitude
- Problem-solving abilities
- And an open mind and willingness to learn and improve
Slow down, why do I need an ABN, and what’s a pricing model?
As a freelancer you’re legally required to have an Australian Business Number (ABN), you can easily set this up online at:
Or talk to your accountant or lawyer to help you if needed. Trust us when we say invoices, Contracts and Agreements are your friends! Get your clients to sign a contract prior to commencing your work, as along with an invoice this helps keep things transparent and clear when completing and getting paid for your work. For help getting started with creating contracts and agreements visit:
We all love being paid for our work! But when starting out it’s important to remember that you’re probably not worth a million bucks… yet. There’s a handful of pricing models when it comes to being paid for your work, hourly rate, flat rate, and minimum cost + flat rate, and it’s important to find the one that works for you and the work you are doing. When setting prices and finding a pricing method that’s right for you, take into consideration your experience, the type of job, your target market, and your competitors. For guidance on what you should be charging, try to find out how much others charge for a similar job. There’s no right or wrong way to go about pricing, and unfortunately, there’s no magic equation to give you the perfect price, so keep reviewing and adjusting your costs and revisiting your pricing until you find what feels right for you.
Ok, you’re almost ready, here are a few final tips to get you started.
The first step in becoming a freelancer is as simple as taking the first step. Remember nothing will be perfect from the get-go and will require some learning along the way, so in getting your first client make sure to keep your portfolio up to date, and don’t be afraid to reach out to clients you want to work with.
Also, remember that persistence is key. Don’t give up if things get hard, there will be ups and downs, so ride those highs and push through the lows. It will be worth it in the end. It’s also ok to not have all the answers, and there’s plenty of support around if you need of a helping hand. Freelancing is a forever journey of learning, changing, and improving.
Written by Ash Bell
Freelancing Resources & Tips by Rohan Gerrard & Jessie Newton © 2020