Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Freelance Designer/Developer?

There’s always a quandary when you’re a creative professional – you don’t know if you must go freelance or sign up with an organization that specializes in your kind of work. While it’s true that a full-time job could guarantee you financial security and free you of many responsibilities, there’s also the fact that your creativity could be curtailed and leave your chafing at the bit.

Depending on your employer, you may not have the freedom to design or develop according to your thought process, and having to conform to a script and work with a team could become stressful over a period of time if you’re a free spirited bird who likes to fly solo.

However, before you jump into the freelance industry, there are a few things you need to be prepared for:

  • No matter how talented you are, jobs and clients will not be queuing up at your doorstep, at least not in the beginning.
  • You must be prepared to do a substantial bit of legwork before you’re able to sink your teeth into a design/development project that is worth your talent - you must be able to sell yourself before you secure a project.
  • You may need to work at less than the going rate in order to establish a good portfolio.
  • It’s a good thing when you’re able to set your own timings and schedules, but if you want to meet deadlines and earn the respect of your clients, you must be disciplined and dedicated to the job and be able to stick to your schedule in spite of the many distractions you’re bound to have.
  • It could be stressful worrying about finding clients on a regular basis.
  • You would have to haggle with clients over payment, before and after securing the project; not every designer/developer is good with finances, so negotiating payment could prove to be a trying exercise.
  • All these factors could mean that you don’t have as much time or the concentration necessary to work on your design as you would like to.

It may not work for everyone, but in general, it pays to work for an agency first before branching out on your own. The experience will help you not just build your portfolio but also develop discipline towards the job – because freelancers can set their own timings, they sometimes tend to procrastinate and so fail to meet deadlines.

Besides, you also gain contacts in the industry and can work on building a network which will help you get clients on a regular basis and which will help spread your reputation as a credible and skilled designer/developer.

This guest post is contributed by Bailey Digger, she writes on the topic of web design degree. She welcomes your comments at her email id: baileydigger189(@)gmail(.)com.

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4 Comments

  1. September 13, 2010

    Cool guest post Bailey! I wish I had what it takes, I often need to do design/development but am not good enough. Eric is a huge help though when it comes to that :)

  2. November 25, 2010

    Its always difficult to afford with clients. They always ask for more at the same price, and many times it's needed to decrease benefits in order to do the job...

    To be freelance is hard, but these days is more.

    Sorry for my bad english, I'm spanish, but I do my best with english.

    Cheers

  3. January 10, 2011

    Honestly the hardest problem I have is waking up on time and devoting the time :) As far as getting clients, I don't have a problem and I only started because I had so many people coming too me, but I already had an excellent resume.

  4. January 18, 2012

    nice post. I hope that I find a good article like this about Freelance Marketing.