We, geeks – Episode 21: Free Yourself with Freelancing

How do I start my own business? How can I change careers? How can I start my own graphic design, photography, or web design business? How do I become a freelancer? These are all questions and ideas that Nathaniel and I tackle in this latest episode of the We, Geeks Podcast. Below is a brief breakdown of what Howard and I talk about in this podcast. Be sure to listen to the entire thing above!

What should be included on a resume?

If you’ve moving from a corporate or full time job, or maybe moving out of college into the real world, let’s talk about using your resume to find a stable, full time job that will-presumably-provide you with some amount of stability.

What kind of position should I expect to land?

While looking for a full time job, what kind of position can you expect to land? Are you looking to get into a niche field, or something broad and highly accessible? All of these are important factors.

Where should I look for a job?

Seeking out a job can be incredibly frustrating, but most of the work is done before you even start looking for a job. Huh? How? We’ll talk about being special and making yourself great and stand out. That’s the first and most important way to ensure that when you start looking for a job, it’ll be worthwhile. We talk about where to look locally and online when seeking jobs.

Should I expect to make an equal salary as my last career?

This is pretty straight forward, with change comes, well, change! Sometimes better, sometimes not. We talk about the prospects of making money in this new endeavor.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit is what drives you and makes you want to win and scared to death to lose. Fearless in the face of failure, fearless in the face of criticism, fearless when defending what you love. This spirit is what tells you that after the “normal” day job finishes, you’re real job starts at home.

How important is education in the design industry?

Do I need a college degree? Should I go to college at all? Is college worth it? We have some interesting theories on this question.

What factors go into the decision?

We’re grown ups (some of us, at least) so we have very real responsibilities like family, current expenses, and debts. How should we handle making the change?

How much time should I expect to work at changing careers?

Awhile. We spend some time to talk about this and how to cope with it.

Learn a little about writing contracts

You better write contracts and learn why these things are so important. I argue that you shouldn’t do a lick of work without a contract and I further explain the value to you and the client in a contract.

Building a portfolio (Behance, Dribbble, Squarespace)

There are lots of great services online and ways to build a great website to show off your portfolio online. You MUST have a portfolio! Make it you! We also talk about editing your portfolio, creating you own clients and fake jobs to add great work that you love to your portfolio. We also talk about branding your portfolio and/or website.

Choose two social media networks.

We talk about how to harness the power of social media to build connections, respect, and drive business with it.

What specific field should you target?

Should I target a specific group? How should I do that? We talk about ways to get the clients you want and do work that you want.

Build a system to capture clients.

Efficiency and accuracy and consistency in handling clients is paramount. We talk about how we handle clients in a way that is fast and can be done over and over again.

How to find design and freelance jobs.

We talk about reaching out locally and finding companies that need you, how to push yourself in a way that is special, to provide a unique experience to have clients loving what you do and coming back for more, and telling their friends about you. Find companies that would put you on retainer if at all possible. We also talk about local business network meetups, networking clubs, and design contest forums and freelance job sites.

Outsourcing a serious threat.

We talk about the threat of outsourcing, but talk about how you can combat it and build your business bigger and better.

Refine your skills. ALWAYS!

Should I be interested in learning further? What training should I look for? Should I spend money on it? We talk about all this and more.

You better work HARD!

Work 12-15 hours a day, then work some more. “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.” -Lori Greiner