At the moment I am having one of those frightful freelance moments when I’ve realised I’ve made a fatal mistake in the way my contract is written and have hastily worked to correct it even though the contract part of the deal is already finalised.
How many changes can be made to an item once it is complete at the moment I have a client who paid me a very limited amount of money and demanded a high volume of amendments from move that there to change that into six different colour. It is now driving me potty and now it is clear I am dealing with a very particular client from hell and although I worked very hard on his work I now feel that my opinion is under valued but in my head I see it as the client is allways right I’m finding it difficult to put my foot down and waiting for the confidence in me to finally break through the wall and be compensated in cold hard cash for the hardwork that this project has entailed.
Don’t get me wrong I like the project I just don’t like being taken on for a ride …. by anyone but at the same time I’m trying to grin and bare it get the job done and just carry on with my life. but this is just relentless.
can anyone help me with advice on how to rectify this problem. I’m exhausted!
so this comes back to the old will design for money sign that I have been adding to my site …. OH the smell of desperation.
It also seems that gumtree has suddenly been swamped with designers posting this that and the other leaving chances of a deal even slimmer.
although I did come across a very useful bit of information online using twitter to find freelance work it appear this might be working in my favour …!!
well hopefully I am nearing the end with my current client who seems to be incredible relentless to the point where I have had to change my contract. changes here changes everywhere I never get a moments peace (although I do love it ) my partner thinks I’m being taken advantage of and to be honest I agree but part of me wants it to be perfect so when I’m given changes I just can’t help myself so… to save time (mine and my clients) I have capped a limit on the amount of changes and then anything above has to have an added price. I think that’s fair I’ve been reading up on a few handy little tips and hints as far as contracts go.
I’ve successfully managed to advertise my services locally (nothing special just local windows) but unfortunately I haven’t heard back yet *large sighhh…*
At the moment life is very hectic and with my partner looking for a new job and us looking for a new flat my mind has wandered abit admittedly I just need to hang in there.
On the other hand my boss has given me a fantastic job of designing their new home catalogue which I am very excited about it hasn’t come to ahead yet as I am holding out for our photographer to come in and take some beautiful photos.
things seems to have slowed down abit although I am generating abit of interest (I guess) modesty kicking in. people are starting to sit up and take notice of my blog which Is good news for me as I’ve started to get emails coming through!!
The one thing I don’t like about freelance is giving a quote and loving the project the client commiting to that work and then silence ….. the thing is in any other profession things would be different be because we are designers we are down at the bottom of importance of the list. which sometimes I get ( within reason I’ve seen some baaaaddd branding in my time) but its working it into your diary and then it not being there its so hard to plan things and trust me you do need to plan)
although I must say I’ve been having response from everyone from Bristol to Liverpool and I am really enjoying it. It gives my career a new lease of life which I never thought I would get back after graduation day.
Things are definitely on the up….. any way back to the drawing board…. and I mean literally there are logo’s to be done!
Ok so it happend the dreaded dry spot…. for the past two weeks I have had client heaven with lots of reply and now my phone is silent and my inbox is empty…. whats happened? I haven’t changed my advert nothing is different so whats going on?
I’ve decided to start on local advertising I’ve been following steps on one of the books I had a my previous post a chapter called “self promotion” so basically I’ve been going to all local shops the post office ect and posting and posting advertisements to see if I can attract some local business which would be ideal. I also have plans to put an advert In a local newspaper.
I know I must look desperate from the state of my featured image and the stench it probably gives off but I do actually have one client at the moment and a few I am still waiting for them to get back to me with payments for to go ahead, and besides If I didn’t document this then people might think wow shes getting loads of work how impressive but thats not what I want to do. I want to paint a picture for prospective freelancer’s so they know what they are getting themself in for think of it as an experiment if you will use my story to help yourself.
on the plus side I have done abit of cold calling and pushing from a few clients, I have in the loop and hopefully I might have set myself up with a company freelance job. Which would really help me get a bit more consistant income and although I’m already working I yern for the steady income that an inhouse designer would be earning and I know that I should just hold off and try to achieve my dream but when I’m stuck in one bedroom with the partner and a cat sharing a house with 7 other people its only a matter of time before I crack which I do not want to do. I love my current job and I want to commit to this even if full time jobs are knocking at my door and I have to be honest I am hanging my nose over them. although house hunting is allways abit fun 🙂
So today I am lucky enough to had a client who when we first met were in agreement we would do a flyer just to gain trust through both partys.
So I worked really hard at gaining the trust of my client although it seemed as if they had already hired another client to design some sticker and a logo for them, which was abit dissapointing because for me for my business having my design on a sticker on a car in the U.K, somewhere far away from where I even live if a big deal for me.
The client presented me with the work they had done for him which to be honest I felt sympathic for the designer because they had clearly lost the love for the art and I gave my honest opnion because thats just who I am and sneekly had a go at knocking the socks off this other company.
which I did and although I feel guilty about it know I am working as a small business, and this means alot more to me than them… clearly …. is it ok to be ruthless in this field? when you know you can offer better? but for me this give me a whole load more exposure and of course money, altough when I’m doing something I enjoy its not as much about the money its what I can do for the company.
I felt like I had earned it in a way, that they hadn’t. Either way its a fantastic project and I’m so chuffed that I was choosen over an agency….
The other day I was offered a job by my linkin in profile and I thought about what It would be like to work for someone as a designer again… I just don’t think I could do back to somebody else being the boss but at the same time. I feel I long for a steady pay and the security that it brings and even though I’m only working part time at the moment. I can still feel my libra tendencys of indesiveness setting in. They even told me there was a possiblity of working part time which would be great for me, because I sometimes feel the whole last one in first one out aspect driving me insane. so I guess that this is just going to be the type of thing that I’m going to have to ponder about.
I’ve come too far as a freelancer to give up now. I think I just need to fight on through and hope that I can get job satifaction from working for myself (which I know I can ) I just need to keep going and be supported by though around me its difficult.
I’ve been really busy recently replying to emails and cracking on with work from client that I haven’t had time for a break never mind a day off! but I know this is something I’m not going to get for a while. in-between all of the work I have been doing I finally received the books that I order in my post about freelancing books, so i’ve been amercing myself in all things freelance to get clued up about my new line of work.
I also had a client who refused to sign my contract and thus was going to pay me upfront which I guess is fine but doesn’t really give me the greatest confidence in my client. which to be honest probably gave him a little less faith in me in return but when I think about it do I really want to work with someone who will not sign my contract for no particular reason.
which leads me on to a subject I am probably going to struggle with.
“how to say no to a client” not on the basis of work related issues If I’ve taken on the job and I make sure I keep them informed of progress and push them into giving me feedback and imputing in their own ideas which I find is the best way to give the kind of customer service I would deem acceptable.
but what if a client contacts you out of the blue and for whatever reason you don’t want to take the job on. what do you say? how do you handle the situation?
well I never got that far with the client as like some do. They disappear into the sunset after given a quote and sometimes I think its a psychological way of getting me to lower my price but I am determined I will not break.
on the other hand I am currently working on a fantastic project with a company who need flyers cars sticker and logo and I have discovered that sometimes going with something completely unexpected and new and fresh is what gets you the client I went for a few safe idea first to feel out the situation and then went with a conceptual idea which they loved although this is the basis of my brand “the creative conundrum” if you will its about feeling out the situation the diagnosis and what can be done to make a unique impact. normally followed with a lot of pondering and thought at my end but never the less it gives me a unique selling point which I feel represents me and……
They are happy to provided contractual agreement which means in term I am happy and content!
I’m hoping to show you guys the previous design works from my first client I’m just waiting for some confirmation.
Ok so I apologies for my lack of posts over the past few days but I have been working incredibly hard for one of my clients who requires a banner for there website and although I have offered my services to work just about anytime around my current job I didn’t really factor into it the idea that on sundays people will not reply to your email. which can draw all of you work to a halt especially if Sunday is one of your keen days to get work done which for me is.
So now I’ve been working hard to drum up some more interest and researching into other ways I can get my services and business and what I offer heard to the general public which can be difficult with a low budge. so instead I have spend £5 on the gumtree website adding my advert to the top of the list anytime somebody types in graphic design a key tip if your using gum-tree I don’t put my advertisement under services as gum tree charge for this so I put myself under the artist and community section which is kind of a similar thing which works for me and as well as having the one main advert I also post 3 other free adverts and this works incredibly well for me at the moment although I did get an instant reaction after adding my advert in the pay section I suppose it looks more like you are recommended by the gumtree being in this section and although its only £5 if I only get one job it will make the money back for me hopefully.
you will also notice that I have made a few changes to my blog page yesterday because I’m working on making my brand consistent I’m in the middle of creating a beautiful and compelling website which I will let you all know when it is up and running although I am still going to use this as my main blogging area as wordpress offers me the kind of things that will promote traffic to my site although to be honest everyone I have spoke to on here has been really supportive and given me lots of information about freelancing.
I’m also now focusing on different area’s of advertising a friend of mine works closely with people at our local newspaper who can do advertising insert or though at the moment the amount I am paying on gumtree is well worth sticking with for the moment when I can offer a job for £30 an insert in the paper would mean I could only break even.
I have a few business cards left over from my university days which I am going to use for the moment and then re design my cards after I’ve generated work for myself.
I’ve nearly finished my first job now and I’ve really enjoyed it I’m begin to realize what little time a freelancer has and with me still working part time Im constantly working to make a name for myself although I’m told by very knowledgeable people on wordpress that this is what I should be doing.
on another positive note I’m waiting for my contract to be finalized with another client so fingers crossed all will go through and I’m also reading my partners A level business books to help me out although I would really like to get hold of a freelance designers guide book if anyone knows of any of these please do let me know as I want to learn as much as I can to stay on top of the market!.
phew! a long one today maybe I should have spread my posts out abit! another long busy day for me!
On my way back from Leeds now after a fun packed 3 days! And on reflection after taking my laptop with me I have to admit I haven’t done an awful lot of work whilst away.although I have been waiting for my client to get back to me on the colours of the logo that he wants.which has set me back with the banner designs.
They finally got back to me today which is the one day I don’t have decent Internet connection I’m on a 4 and Half hour journey back to London now! But they did have some additional paid work they wanted me to do which is good.
In other news I did enlist the help of my partners 9 year old sister to help me think of ideas that are about London for my banner work which was very helpful and it got me thinking about the advantages of woman doing this type of work and how they can involve their children and how this can give a positive effect on their life’s as well as the mothers.
I find now in a society where there are less jobs and woman often feel pressured about having or not having children, this line of work takes the edge off when woman have less chance of rising the top of the career ladder. being self employed gives them a sort of empowerment it gives woman the flexibility and choice to do work that they can work around them as well as involving their children.
even if they do say, as my partners nine year old sister says graphic design is “pretty pictures” than that’s fine by me as it also means I’m doing my job
no this is not a star war’s related post but the good news today is that I have finished half of my logo work for my client who is satisfied and very happy with my work his words “pure art” I’m not going to post the finished design just yet because they will obviously want to launch it on their website first which is exciting.
I’m going to create a banner for them for their site now using the branding that I have created for the logo.
Yesterday I had some very interesting outcomes on the freelancing font (sorry front) I met someone in my local area where I just managed to slip into conversation that I was a designer. It just some happened that she needed some work doing logo design,business card design a nice small project which is great for me only starting part-time and I got to thinking how many graphic designers use the local area to advertise their skills so I’ve put together my steps I’ve taken to try to drum up some more business.
- Taking flyers out to local business print shops are a good one for this you could advertise them to you clients for business as well as getting them to recommend you as a local designer.
- get some business cards hand them out to people use the people you know as a starting point.
- if you meet new people don’t forget to tell them what you do because you never know who might be looking for business.
- put your business cards in local news agents and in supermarket advert slots.
after following these steps I now have one client in the local area and one potential client.