How to find work as a Freelance Designer

How to find work as a Freelance Designer

I get quite a few emails on Linkedin from students who just graduated or people switching careers from a full time job to go completely freelance, my whole career and resume on my profile has been freelance. Except for maybe a few places I’ve worked long term. Many people wonder how I’ve managed to find work and the answer I’m going to give you is that I had to put it in a lot of effort looking for work. When I graduated in 2013 from Grad school, I found that there wasn’t a lot of support for job placement.

What I did looking for work, ended up working for me. It wasn’t an easy process but I literally spent two-three hours a day looking for work online and calling recruiters. I mean I hustled! And I stayed consistent and persistent and I wouldn’t let anything bring me down, I learned how to pick myself up when the going got rough and learned to bounce back. I kept moving forward and trying new things. If one thing didn’t work, I tried a new strategy and I stayed in a positive mindset. 

But before I decided to look for work, I got really clear about what kind of work I wanted to do and focused on the environment and company I wanted to work with. Visualize where you want to be.

You have to be willing to put yourself out there and tell people what you do.

 

Here’s what I did to put myself out there:

  1. I signed up with a bunch of creative recruitment agencies, there’s quite a few out there. My personal favorite : 24Seven Inc Los Angeles, they found me some of the best jobs and companies to work with. Which included landing a short animated commercial project at Skechers USA in Manhattan Beach and a short two day project at WME in Beverly Hills. I also signed up with Creative Circle, The Creative Group, and Apple One (Which sometimes they have graphic design jobs.)
  2. I put my portfolio up everywhere there was an online community. I have smaller versions of my portfolio on Coroflot, Carbonmade, Behance, and Freelanced.com. I even made a Tumblr and Facebook Page to get my stuff out there and to put out a presence online. I guarantee you somewhere down the road people will find your work online that may need your services. I even posted ads on Craiglist and occasionally found work on Craigslist. Luckily people have been finding my work online and that’s how I get some freelance opportunities.
  3. I went out and attended networking events and mixers constantly! I brought my business cards where ever I went and treated every moment as an opportunity to meet people that may be working in the industry I wanted to be in and asked a lot of questions! You never know who you’re going to meet or who you happen to be randomly talking to – you may just vibe with them and want to help you along the way. I also went to events where there were lots of recruiters and I also got in touch with them and sent over my resume. I suggest looking on Eventbrite for event happenings every week, I also suggest Network after Work and the Ad Society LA – were my favorite networking events to attend, its all going to be dependent on the city you live.

I always say: Keep creating opportunities for yourself and Stay Positive! It can be frustrating looking for work.

  1. Create an elevator pitch for yourself. Who are you? What differentiates you from the crowd? What is a unique trait or skill set that you have that makes you unique? Craft something unique and clever that you can talk about yourself and what you do to get other people’s attention.
  2. Work on your art or designs constantly and stay in the habit of regularly updating your work online. Be consistent. If you want to target only a certain market than cater your portfolio towards that. But I look for both graphic design and illustration jobs because I like both. I found that people who wanted to hire me on projects was because I draw a lot of girl characters and my style is adaptable. I’m not your typical artist where I stick with one style, but I like the exploration and variety of drawing in different styles. You have to figure out what’s going to work for you and focus on that, and hopefully you can find work through what you have in your portfolio.
  3. Make sure you are on social media! I’ve had people also find my work through instagram, twitter, and Angel.co, Society6 and Dribbble. I’ve even had people reach out through Linkedin messaging and my new favorite a business networking app called Shapr. (I’m resourceful)
  4. Follow up on your contacts. Make sure you send them an email, a text or a call on the phone to let them know that you are still looking for work or are still interested- and this applies to recruiters, people you’ve worked with at companies, people you meet at networking events. Find a way to stay in contact and keep the communication open.

Good luck out there and don’t give up!

————————————————————-

Anyway, I hope this helped you in some way! If you have any questions please feel free to shoot me any questions through email! This article was originally published on Linkedin. 

 

Vlog #1 Freelancing from home & living creatively

Vlog #1 Freelancing from home & living creatively

Starting to blog about my daily/weekly thoughts! Let’s see how often I can keep up with this! I really love shooting and editing videos! Check out my channel where I will start vlogging more about all things freelancing, how to create a sustainable income as an artist and so much more! Subscribe to my channel if you like this kind of content! 

Just some thoughts on going to grad school, freelancing, and working from home. The path I followed was never a straight one! Moving from California to New York and then back again to California! As creatives we are constantly changing our minds!
[stnsvn-button-large url=”https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNf-YYiyLjc444SXq3rm07g” button_text=”SUBSCRIBE TO MY CHANNEL HERE”]
Places to find me online:
Online Courses on Skillshare:
Digital Tie-Dye Pattern Making in Photoshop – skl.sh/2ojBVpm
Social Media & Your Business: bit.ly/2I5CcpE
Camera I used for this video: Canon GX7 Mark II amzn.to/2tntJuD
Is WordPress right for you?

Is WordPress right for you?

Do you like learning how to do things on your own?

Or maybe you have a hobby, side hustle, portfolio, or a business that you want to build a website for?

Depending on how fast you learn and how patient you are, you too can create a WordPress site from scratch.

But there are also a good amount of people who don’t want to put in the time into creating a WordPress website and want to focus more on running or building their business. And this is also ok, because why spend time and energy on something that someone else does better than you at probably a faster turn around time? You’d be better off hiring someone to do it for you so you can focus on the things you love. Back in the day there was no easy way to create your own website, there was only a web designer or developer to help you code the page from scratch and that could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

If you come from the early days of the Internet from the early 2000s like I did, If you are a small business with 1-10 employees and you want to Maximize your budget, you’ll want to read this carefully. And….maybe this is where you fall in, a small business owner or founder of a startup who wants to get something quick up and running online for a low cost. And….you want to learn and be in control of managing your website and your content, to be able to update your site when you want and however you want. For me it is so easy, I manage three websites and I want to be able to blog when I want to or upload new products or images on my website without having to contact a developer and waiting to have them change something minuscule on my site for an expensive amount of money. If your business changes quite frequently, then you need to have a website that you can change whenever you want. It will serve you well to keep reading.

A quick rundown on WordPress and what it is:

WordPress is a CMS, there is a big difference between a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org site. Can you guess what it is? WordPress.com is the platform to host your site while WordPress.org is the product that can be installed on a self-hosted hosting site. Just like Squarespace, Weebly, and Wix, WordPress.com is in the same category. It is a platform. WordPress.org however is a content management system, a software that you can install on your hosting site. It’s well worth doing because you can customize the css, PHP, and customize the functionality of the site to your heart’s desire! However a WordPress cms can be installed on any hosting site. And let’s not make this more complicated than it needs to be.

A hosting site is simply a place to host your website and web address or domain. It’s like the place you house your website, where you can keep it safe and comfy. If you have several small websites or businesses you’re better off getting a hosting package, most hosting sites like 1and1.com allow you more than 1 website to host. You could be paying for a whole set of websites hosted in one place for a lot less versus other independent platforms like Squarespace that charges $16 a month and you can’t even change or add a 2nd website. But only you can decide what’s the best option for you.

 

WordPress may be right for you if:

  • You have a willingness to learn new things
  • Are patient with learning a new platform
  • Like to figure things out on your own
  • You’re okay with doing the work and have time.

My favorite places to find WordPress themes:

Station Seven WordPress

Superfly WordPress Themes

Divi Theme from Elegant Themes

Divi Themes Store – Layouts for Divi

I’m not a spokesperson or affiliate of WordPress in any way but having access to something quite powerful with the possibility of doing more is freedom. There are quite a few components involved, more detail on that in a later future post! Like this article? Share it on social media!