Freelance 101: How to get started!


So lately I’ve been swamped with emails about how to get started in this intimating world of freelance. I guess I’m a seasoned pro (ish) now, 2 years and running and I’d be more than happy to share my advice, and tid-bits to the ones dipping their toes into the vast seas of freelance graphic design. This is just my humble advice from what I’ve learnt so far, so freely take the parts of it that work for you and leave the ones that don’t. I’m going to try my best to somehow concessively and clearly explain it all. It’s a pretty vast topic, so here’s my attempt to!

How to Get Started

Everyone always started their emails mentioning how daunting it is to get started, and yes I’ve been there. It’s scary as hell.

First off, I’d like to say that freelancing is not for everyone. It sounds super negative, but it’s true. It may look all glamorous from the outside, but there are pretty big lows and downsides to working by yourself and I’m here to tell you both sides of the coin. Yes, you do get the freedom to work whenever you want, call your prices, find your clients with all the benefits of not having to work under anyone.

But if you can’t stand the thought of not having a steady income, or if your in it for the fame/recognition/money- I would say, it’s not the game for you. You have to love and be passionate about your craft more so than those elements because if your chasing it for the wrong reasons, chances are they probably won’t develop as quickly as you’d like before you burn out. Put wisely into words from the book Creative Inc, ”For passionate freelancers, money isn’t the only goal. It’s the happiness derived from a sense of purpose and the excitement that comes with the challenges.” 

Evaluate your Motives

I’m just going to pretend that we’re face to face having a conversations, I’d probably ask you the following questions to get you thinking: Why do you want to freelance? What do you have to offer? What are you future dreams? and do you think freelancing is the best way/tool for you to get to that future dream you? Are you willing to let go of that security of 9-5?

I’d say take the jump, if your heart’s motives are in the right place, and you’re willing to risk steady income. I know a lot more comes into play and it’s easier said then done. I’ll try to cover more of the complexity of eg. saving up enough money for the beginning months of freelance etc. in the coming posts.

Curious to see how I got started? Read how I took the leap myself, here.

Read More, Internet Less

Pick up these two books, I love them and could not recommend them more. I wish I had stumbled upon them earlier in my career. They all have great advice coming from the biggest players out there.

1. 'Creative, Inc.' by Ilasco & Cho (I did a little book summary for Creative Inc. a while back if you want a quick overview, though I highly suggest you go get to book because it’s packed with tons of tips)

2. Steal like an Artist' by Austin Kleon

Let’s start with the ‘how to get started’ post as it’s getting a little longer and wordier than expected. I’ll hit up more topics in weeks to come. 

Let me know what you think and if this is helpful at all! Any other questions you have on your mind? And to season freelancers any tips to suggest? 

Hope this has been helpful at least a little bit, until the next post!

x. Bee