So, you’ve graduated with new digital media credentials and would like to try your luck in a freelance career? As long as you already have a target industry and a few addresses, phone numbers and emails of family, friends and colleagues, you already have a head start. Use these seven tips to get you started in becoming a successful freelancer.
7 Tips to Becoming a Successful Freelancer After Finishing Digital Media School
Working as a freelancer is hard work. You must prove yourself and establish your brand as a reliable one that delivers high quality digital media work. Here are seven tips to help you do just that:
1. Create & Build Your Brand Online
When you are providing services for clients, you are selling those services, and in essence, selling yourself. That means you are your brand. It’s your job as an up-and-coming freelancer to promote your services while marketing your brand online, so be careful how you come across. You want to appear professional, while spreading the word about your brand. Some ideas for building your online brand include:
- Complete your LinkedIn profile and join relevant groups
- Follow influencers and engage in industry-related groups on Facebook
- Send out tweets about your freelance specials using relevant, popular hashtags
- Publish regular posts about your services using hashtags on Google+
- Register and stay interactive on Meetup and similar websites
- Create a powerful digital media resume
2. Look for Gigs on Freelance Websites
Seek out websites dedicated to helping users find freelance work when working towards becoming a successful freelancer. Here is a short list of popular freelance websites with digital media gigs:
3. Get in Touch with Everyone You Know
People don’t generally wear “digital media help wanted” on their sleeves. It’s up to you to tap into their needs and pique their interests in what you have to offer. Take the time to get in touch with everyone you’ve ever known in life, via phone, text, email and social media. Let them know you’re launching your digital media freelance career. Give them a few details about what you do, and what you can do for them to bring value to their lives. You just may land your very first client this way.
4. Plan Out Daily Goals
In the beginning, you’ll have a lot of idle time on your hands. Why not use this time to create daily, weekly, and monthly goals that will help with becoming a successful freelancer in your industry? Some goal ideas may be to send emails to relevant contacts, following industry experts on social media, commenting on a specific number of industry-related blog posts, or placing bids for X number of gigs on freelance job sites.
5. Engage with Industry Experts
Professionals and experts within your industry are great resources for both networking and advice. You can learn tips and tricks, as well as ways to expand knowledge and perfect skills. Industry experts are always “in-the-know” about upcoming events, product and service improvements, freelance gigs and so much more. With the right people in your network, you can get freelance advice, such as:
- What’s the going rate?
- Where to locate new clients
- How to close a freelance deal
- Effective ways to pitch and bid on gigs
6. Only Deliver High-Quality Work
In the beginning, you may have to work for virtually pennies just to get you started on the path to becoming a successful freelancer in the digital media industry. You may even be forced to take on volunteer or internship work at first. Whether you’re working on a paid gig or a non-paying gig, be sure to deliver the highest quality work possible. This goes a long way to creating a reputation that will take your brand to ultimate heights in your field.
7. Blog About Your Experiences
You’ll run into some trials and tribulations while trying to launch your digital media freelance career. There will also be triumphs and accomplishments worth boasting about to others in your situation. Blogging about your experiences, both good and bad, has multiple benefits including, but not limited to:
- Helps to create an online presence for you and your brand
- Showcases your experiences along with your skills and projects
- The more fresh, new content you publish, the more Google and other search engines will send traffic to your blog, increasing your chances of gaining new clients
Ready to start taking steps towards becoming a successful freelancer in digital media? Network with the industry experts, instructors, and other students and alumni at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Contact the F.I.R.S.T. Institute Career Development Department to get started on your industry networking experience today. Learn how Donnie built his digital media career.