5 Tips to Start your Freelance Career or Break into a Creative Field

Breaking into a creative field is tough- theres no doubt about it. Whether you are a photographer, writer, designer, animator or blogger, it can be hard to get your work out there in a saturated and noisy industry. But it is possible and the internet has made it easier than ever. Over the last 6 months, I started freelancing on the side for the experience, and exposure. It hasn’t always been easy balanacing a full time job, and a blog, but I am learning what works and what doesn’t.¬†Below are 5 tips to help you break into a creative field and grow your freelance business.

This is first and foremost because it is absolutely necessary but you might be surprised how many people I have come across over the years who do not have a personal website to showcase their work. Having a linkedIn account is not enough if you are serious about freelancing and breaking into a creative field. You need to have an online space to showcase your work, your background, qualifications, skills ect. ect. ect. If you do not have a place to send people to look at your stuff, let that be the next thing you do… after you finish reading the rest of this post, of course. ūüôā Check out squarespace.com, weebly.com, and wordpress.com. Three great tools to get you started without programming or coding experience.

2. Do it Pro-Bono  
Pro-Bono is a term often used in the legal industry when attorneys will take a case and not charge their fee, aka they work for free. I am not suggesting that you should work for free for everyone, or for a very long time either, but at first it is a great way to build a portfolio and gain some on the job experience. You can also do work for trade. Let’s say you design packaging and your friend is creating a product. Maybe you can design the packaging in exchange for free product. Its a Win, Win.

3. Share Your Work on Social Media  
Be Shameless. A great way to get your work out their and secure clients is by sharing your work on social media. Many times, peoples social media accounts are how they land gigs in the first place. If you are an aspiring photographer- you better have a steller instagram feed. Anytime you secure a new client, update your website and post updates to every platform you use. Also be sure to let people know you are accepting new clients.

4. Put Yourself Out There
 This ties into social media- make sure your community knows what skills you have and that you are available for work.  And NETWORK- (ugh I hate that word too). But you have to do it. Talk to people, attend industry events, put yourself out there. You dont have to directly ask for work, but share what you are up to and what your goals are. People are inspired by driven, focused individuals and your passion just might be the thing they are looking for in a collaborator.

5. Search for Jobs Online
Its time consuming, it can be fruitless but its necessary. And sometimes a little legwork can go a long way. Search on  Craigslist, and LinkedIn for freelance gigs and apply. Post your resume to Monster, sign up for Odesk.com,  eLance.com, and guru.com. Before you know it, you might be working for someone on the other side of the world!

What are some of your fail-safe tactics to landing freelance gigs? I would love to know.


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