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Thread: Freelance or Employed?

  1. #1
    Member fuzegraphics is on a distinguished road
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    Freelance or Employed?

    I have always tried to encourage fellow graphic designers to work from home as a freelancer. The common answer: "Its too risky".

    These days being employed is a risk as companies are retrenching employees by the thousdands. Every seems to be disposable.

    There is more than enough work to go around for freelance graphic designers. If you are willing to give great service and quality design you are guaranteed to do well as there is a shortage of both.

    People say the graphic design market is flooded. Yes it is, but flooded with designers who do sloppy work and have no idea how to treat their customers!

    What are your thoughts?
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  3. #2
    Donor j0209 is on a distinguished road
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    If your good and enjoy your freedom, go freelance.

    Freelance only seems risky to go all in, but design can be d anytime of day.

    Use your free time to find some customers while your working for some else.

    Do that long enough and you'll have more work then you know what to do with.

    As soon as you start contemplating not going to work certain days because you have too much freelance work to do, thats when you quit the day job.

    Also with freelance you can charge double or more then your making at a day job.

    Your boss does it with you every day! Most designers at a studio are billed out at 3x - 4x more then they make hourly.

    Just my 2 cents, been freelance for 2+ Years and I could never go back.

    -J
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    Banned decamedia is on a distinguished road
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    I'm freelance from about 10 years.
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    Member fuzegraphics is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0209 View Post
    If your good and enjoy your freedom, go freelance.

    Freelance only seems risky to go all in, but design can be d anytime of day.

    Use your free time to find some customers while your working for some else.

    Do that long enough and you'll have more work then you know what to do with.

    As soon as you start contemplating not going to work certain days because you have too much freelance work to do, thats when you quit the day job.

    Also with freelance you can charge double or more then your making at a day job.

    Your boss does it with you every day! Most designers at a studio are billed out at 3x - 4x more then they make hourly.

    Just my 2 cents, been freelance for 2+ Years and I could never go back.

    -J
    That's exactly what I did. For a whole year I worked from 8 - 5pm and then got home and worked from 6 - 12pm. It was hard but I don't regret it for a second.

    I now have total freedom and earn more that I did being employed. And I don;t have to sit it traffic!!
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    Banned cwilli28 is on a distinguished road
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    I did freelance work all through college to help pay for misc. bills, food, beer etc. I graduated in December and I've expanded my reach through social media, just bordering on being able to do freelance full time. Any suggestions to pick up more clients? Or should I continue to rely on word of mouth and social media and allow it to naturally grow over a year or ?
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    Banned bobtaco is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0209 View Post
    If your good and enjoy your freedom, go freelance.

    Freelance only seems risky to go all in, but design can be d anytime of day.

    Use your free time to find some customers while your working for some else.

    Do that long enough and you'll have more work then you know what to do with.

    As soon as you start contemplating not going to work certain days because you have too much freelance work to do, thats when you quit the day job.

    Also with freelance you can charge double or more then your making at a day job.

    Your boss does it with you every day! Most designers at a studio are billed out at 3x - 4x more then they make hourly.

    Just my 2 cents, been freelance for 2+ Years and I could never go back.

    -J
    How do you get paid on a regular schedule? Invoices usually get paid at the last minute or sometimes over the net date.

    Do you have a mortgage?

    I have found freelance to have a downside as well.
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    Donor j0209 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwilli28 View Post
    I did freelance work all through college to help pay for misc. bills, food, beer etc. I graduated in December and I've expanded my reach through social media, just bordering on being able to do freelance full time. Any suggestions to pick up more clients? Or should I continue to rely on word of mouth and social media and allow it to naturally grow over a year or ?
    Have a website and specialize in something.
    Print business cards and always keep some on you.
    Word of mouth and social media work, but try and generate real world leads too.
    If some says " I have a friend looking to get something designed",
    get their number and call them, asap. Ask your customers if they know any else that uses a designer and call on them too.

    You'll have too much freelance work in no time at all.

    Just some ideas that work for me.

    -J
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    Donor j0209 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtaco View Post
    How do you get paid on a regular schedule? Invoices usually get paid at the last minute or sometimes over the net date.

    Do you have a mortgage?

    I have found freelance to have a downside as well.
    I set payment terms prior to the start of work, I invoice as soon as a project is complete and I follow up on all late invoices either on the ph or in person. If some stiffs you, dont do any more work for them. If some is always late paying, get a deposite before you start or tell them they have to pay COD before you deliver the production files. You need to have more then customer and you need to stay on top of billing for freelance to work. You may not get paid for everything but dont put all your eggs in basket and you should have steady income.
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    Banned cwilli28 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0209 View Post
    Have a website and specialize in something.
    Print business cards and always keep some on you.
    Word of mouth and social media work, but try and generate real world leads too.
    If some says " I have a friend looking to get something designed",
    get their number and call them, asap. Ask your customers if they know any else that uses a designer and call on them too.

    You'll have too much freelance work in no time at all.

    Just some ideas that work for me.

    -J

    Thanks really appreciate it. I need to get some business cards made up, vista print advertises 200 some cards for like $10, I'm not going to have them design anything, I'm just wondering if you or any knows about the quality of their card and printing. I imagine it can't be too great for $10.
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    Donor j0209 is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwilli28 View Post
    Thanks really appreciate it. I need to get some business cards made up, vista print advertises 200 some cards for like $10, I'm not going to have them design anything, I'm just wondering if you or any knows about the quality of their card and printing. I imagine it can't be too great for $10.
    I personally don't like the vista print cards, they use 10pt stock and they don't back trim. That said, the price is right. Just dont get the free cards, they have vistaprint advertisement on them.

    At most local print shops you can normally get 500 - 1000 cards, printed digitally on 12pt - 14pt stock 4/0 for like $40.

    -J
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    Junior Member Nidhoggr will become famous soon enough
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    I still study, have an internship. I do freelance work on the side.
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  14. #12
    Member fuzegraphics is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobtaco View Post
    How do you get paid on a regular schedule? Invoices usually get paid at the last minute or sometimes over the net date.

    Do you have a mortgage?

    I have found freelance to have a downside as well.
    With freelancing you will never earn a regular income unless you have a contract with compnay. Overtime you will generate new leads and therefore new business and you will eventually have a minimum each month. The idea is not to quit your job before you get to that minimum. What I did was I made a rule that I would have that minimum for at least 6 months before I quit my job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by j0209 View Post
    I set payment terms prior to the start of work, I invoice as soon as a project is complete and I follow up on all late invoices either on the ph or in person. If some stiffs you, dont do any more work for them. If some is always late paying, get a deposite before you start or tell them they have to pay COD before you deliver the production files. You need to have more then customer and you need to stay on top of billing for freelance to work. You may not get paid for everything but dont put all your eggs in basket and you should have steady income.
    I agree, but I have been stiffed a few to many times so now i demand a 50% deposit and a signed quote (which states the t's & c's clearly) on all jobs. As long as people can see your portfolio before hand they are willing to put a deposit down. And once they have invested my they always seem to follow through to the end. I'd rather miss out on a few customers that aren't willing to pay a deposit upfront as those are probably the s that won't pay in the end anyway!
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  16. #14
    Member fuzegraphics is on a distinguished road
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwilli28 View Post
    I did freelance work all through college to help pay for misc. bills, food, beer etc. I graduated in December and I've expanded my reach through social media, just bordering on being able to do freelance full time. Any suggestions to pick up more clients? Or should I continue to rely on word of mouth and social media and allow it to naturally grow over a year or ?
    Social media can be effective if d properly but that is only part of the marketing puzzle. I beleive a website showcasing your portfolio is a must. Its the same thing with any product. Would you buy a product if you didn't know what it looked like? Monthly or quarterly Newsletters are also good to keep your business in the minds of your customers. And send out specials every now and again as well.

    Also try advertising locally. There is usually so much business right under your nose. Go to local businesses eg. restaurants for menus. Businesses usually like using suppliers that are close to them.
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  18. #15
    Banned lamplamp is on a distinguished road
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    I like freelancer but it is challenge. You really active if you are freelancer and manage time is important.
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